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My really dirty sensor

First, I hope I'm posting this in the correct forum :-)

I have a really grubby sensor! When the spots first started to appear I didn't really know about the whole sensor business and assumed I had a dirty lens or filter. Of course, now I know better, but it means that some of the really visible spots have been there for easily 3/4 months.

So...I will try the blower method, but am anticipating limited success. I feel confident enough to wet clean the sensor and it has been suggested to me by a friend that I use medical alcohol and either a lint-free cloth or - get this - a cotton bud. (the theory being that any fibres left by a cotton bud are big enough to be really easily removed.

But isn't it in the rules somewhere that I should be spending a whole heap of money on some specialist kit?
Yes, a kit is highly recommended.
Or taking it in to a shop that cleans sensors regularly.
A little lint left behind is nothing a blower can't fix,
but a scratched or damaged AA/IR filter (the sensor is actually covered by this) is an expensive error, and hurting the sensor itself is a very real possibility, too.

Please take a some time to read this site, to know what you're up against:
Cleaning Digital Cameras
I've bookmarked that site and am working my way through it - some great info in there.

I will go the kit route I think. The cotton bud idea surprised me. But I don't want to get it done professionally, not if it's something that is likely going to need doing repeatedly.
The thought of wet cleaning my own sensor really scares me . The way i look at it , if the sensor cant be blwon clean then ill let the experts handle it . I dont want my investment costing me more when i screw up .

I have bookmarked the site too Keith , thanks for the link..

........ Shawn
Canon 20d and a few cheap lenses ..

It is our job as photographers to show people what they saw but didnt realize they saw it ......
It just depends on wether you can afford a new filter + cost of labour and carriage, if you mess up.
I had a couple of spots and they came away with the blower. The nozzle end never went more then a couple of mm past the lens mount on the camera. I had to blow a few times, but I could see the spots with a jewellers eye glass/loupe, so could tell when they had gone. Where to, I don't know but probably in the equivalent of the bellows.
I heard some of the compressed air cans contain a liquid propellant which could leave you with worse than you started.
Someone suggested putting your camera on a tripod pointing down a little, raise the mirror, and you can see what you are doing. Get it near the window.
Anyway its your decision. Smile Best of luck.
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
Yes, I've read that somewhere - on a tripod in good daylight, pointing down a little. Maybe the blower will be more successful than I'm anticipating. Of course I would rather not clean the sensor, but the more I read on the subject, the more I'm inclined to feel that with a careful approach it can be done.
I've used canned air on my 300D a couple of times when a bulb blower wouldn't clear the sensor. My method was to mount the camera on a table top tripod. Place a half full can of compressed air flat on the table, give it a short burst. take a shot of the clear blue sky and look for shadows.

BE VERY careful not to get the liquid propellant to co come out of the can... I sprayed a x2 macro filter with a can of compressed gas and it got frosted over by the liquid. The filter was left with hundreds of small cracks around the edge. That is why I keep the can flat on the table and half full for the sensor.

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