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My really dirty sensor
#1
Hi,

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?
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#2
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
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#3
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.
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#4
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 ......
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#5
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.
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#6
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.
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#7
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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