Dust on sensor?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by phk, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. phk

    phk Guest

    I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.

    Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.
    phk, Nov 2, 2005
    #1
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  2. phk

    tbm Guest

    hi,
    yes dust is a problem for most if not all dslr's.i have been told one of the best ways of cleaning one's sensor is with pec pads and
    eclipse fluid.stubborn dust will not shift with a blower brush.rgds to all from TBM...
    tbm, Nov 2, 2005
    #2
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  3. phk

    Bob Salomon Guest

    In article <>,
    "phk" <> wrote:

    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.


    The Giotto's Rocket Blaster safely removes dust from sensors. It has a
    very strong stream of air. More importantly the one-way valve at the
    bottom of the rocket only lets air in from the bottom so dust blown away
    by the nozzle can not re-enter the nozzle so only clean air comes out.

    --
    To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
    Bob Salomon, Nov 2, 2005
    #3
  4. phk

    SimonLW Guest

    I had the dReble for 2 years. I am careful about changing lenses in
    dusty/windy environments. I never had to clean my sensor yet.

    Get the large sized blower brush and remove the brush head. The smaller ones
    are too weak.

    The sensor has a glass cover over it with an AR coating. The dust gets on
    this. Be careful not to scratch when cleaning - if the blower don't clear
    the dust, that is.

    Olympus has a ultra-sonic dust removal system on their DSLRs. I can't
    comment on the effectiveness.
    -S

    "phk" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.
    >
    SimonLW, Nov 2, 2005
    #4
  5. phk

    c Guest

    Dust is a big concern with digital SLR's but after reading the procedure for
    properly cleaning them at http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/image/15473243 I
    am less concerned about getting dust on the sensor. This page describes a
    very thorough way to clean the CCD without doing any damage. The bulbs that
    blow air around don't seem like a good solution to me for several reasons as
    this web page states. It is worth a read for sure.

    Chris


    "phk" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.
    >
    c, Nov 2, 2005
    #5
  6. phk

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >phk writes ...
    >
    >I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems

    with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.

    I would call it a nuisance but definitely not a reason to avoid
    switching to a dSLR ... I usually don't see it and when I do see it it
    typically takes 30 seconds or so to clone the specs out of the image in
    Photoshop.

    >Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems


    The smaller sensor models (1.5x, 1.6x) don't show as many problems, I
    found I had to clean a 10D every 3 - 5 months for example (1.6x). The
    larger sensor models seem to attract more dust and require more
    frequent cleaning though. My 1Ds needs it typically once a week,
    sometimes more often if in a dusty environment.

    You only see the dust specs at small apertures, btw.

    >It appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for
    >dust removal, but I wonder whether that actually works.


    I've used the Giotto Rocket Blower that Bob recommends in another post
    to this thread and it didn't get all the dust off for me. I've used
    the Sensor Brush and this usually gets everything off unless there's a
    smear. If there's a smear I use a Pec Pad with Eclipse fluid, but this
    is rare. After a while you get used to doing it and it's no more scary
    than cleaning the front of your lens.

    The Oly 4/3 bodies have a better way of cleaning the dust, done when
    you turn the camera on, but there are a couple of other long-term
    issues with this system that keep sales low and would keep me from
    buying into the system. But if you're really paranoid about dust this
    may be the best system for you.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Nov 2, 2005
    #6
  7. phk

    Jim Townsend Guest

    phk wrote:

    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems.


    Dust on DSLR sensors is a non-issue. Cleaning a sensor isn't some sort
    of black art. You don't have to spend a year training under the watchful
    eyes of a master sensor cleaner. It's not hard at all.

    Just blow off the sensor with a bulb blower or wipe it off with one of
    the many commercially available brushes or swabs designed for the
    purpose. There are millions of people who have been doing this on a
    regular basis for years.

    Here's a good article on all aspects of sensor cleaning:

    http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/
    Jim Townsend, Nov 2, 2005
    #7
  8. phk

    Chris Brown Guest

    In article <>,
    phk <> wrote:
    >I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    >with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    >Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    >appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    >removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    >tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    >simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    >get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.


    IME (I've owned 4 DSLRs), dust isn't that big a deal. If you shoot a lot
    with the lens stopped roght down (e.g. macro), it can be a pain, but it's
    generally not visible with the aperture wider than f/16.

    A blower doesn't tend to get the dust off. I've found that pec pads, with a
    drop of Eclipse cleaning solution (methanol), wrapped round the end of a
    suitable shaft, such as a cotton-wool bud, with the camera on a tripod can
    make short work of all dust, but you don't need to do it often. I owned an
    EOS 10D for a couple of years and cleaned the sensor precisely once.

    Occasionally you'll get something that's visible at f/8, or so. These are
    more of a pain, but unlike the smaller stuff these do tend to succumb to
    being blown off, and you can generally see them with the naked-eye as well,
    if you look at the sensor (remember the image is rotated 180 degrees, so the
    bottom-left of the image is the top-right of the sensor).
    Chris Brown, Nov 2, 2005
    #8
  9. phk wrote:
    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential
    > problems with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems.


    Yes to both.

    It is a problem IF you get dust on the sensor. If you are working in
    certain dusty areas or are not careful when changing lenses, you may get
    dust ( I have not had any yet and I change lenses a lot )

    Once you get dust, it can be a little more difficult to get out of there
    than it would seem, but not impossible and if you ever get the problem, just
    come back and check out existing questions or ask a new one and you will get
    the latest instructions on how to clean it. If you don't get dust, don't
    worry about it and don't even try to clean it.

    > It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.





    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 2, 2005
    #9
  10. phk

    a Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.


    An option are Olympus DSLRs, which have an automated dust removal system
    (they shake the dust away when you switch them on).
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    Olympus 4040, 5050, 5060, 7070, 8080, E300 forum at
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    Olympus E300 resource - http://myolympus.org/E300/
    a, Nov 2, 2005
    #10
  11. phk

    Frank ess Guest

    In article <>,
    phk <> wrote:
    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential
    > problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.


    Plenty good advice and observations here. Let me add:

    The big blower has worked well over the year I've had a 20D, and the
    half-year I've had a 350D/RebXT: prior to changing lenses I use it to
    send the dust away from the outside of the camera and of the lens
    mount before opening either. Keep the vulnerable surfaces/openings
    faced down, to enlist gravity as an asset.

    When the 20D (thrice, so far) or the 350D (twice) require dust removal
    from the sensor, I do all the exterior blowing, let the dust settle,
    and open the camera, close the lens, blow out the camera, lock-up the
    lens, blow out the sensor cavity and close it all up. All the blowing
    with camera open is with the opening facing down.

    Typical suspenders-and-belt mode: I am equipped to use brushes and pec
    pads, but haven't met the need, yet.

    As has been said, dust on the sensor is real and a concern, but not
    much bigger a one than dust or fingerprints on external lens elements.

    --
    Frank ess
    "You know my method, Watson. It is founded upon
    the observation of trifles."
    —Sherlock Holmes—
    Frank ess, Nov 2, 2005
    #11
  12. "phk" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.


    Dust on a sensor is not a huge problem but it is a problem. I clean my
    sensor with a nylon makeup brush, only costs about $ 10.00 as oppossed to
    about tentimes that much for a nylon brush from VisibleDust. A blast of
    compressed air gives the brush a static charge and then I wipe it across the
    sensor and it lifts the dust off.
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Nov 2, 2005
    #12
  13. phk

    Kyle Jones Guest

    > > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.


    In the case of your glasses, you have dust and a humid environment
    due to your breathing. The sensor won't be subjected to that
    humidity and so the dust should bind less to its surface.
    Kyle Jones, Nov 3, 2005
    #13
  14. phk

    Rich Guest

    On Wed, 2 Nov 2005 18:16:16 -0500, "Peter A. Stavrakoglou"
    <> wrote:

    >"phk" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    >> with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >>
    >> Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    >> appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    >> removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    >> tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    >> simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    >> get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.

    >
    >Dust on a sensor is not a huge problem but it is a problem. I clean my
    >sensor with a nylon makeup brush, only costs about $ 10.00 as oppossed to
    >about tentimes that much for a nylon brush from VisibleDust. A blast of
    >compressed air gives the brush a static charge and then I wipe it across the
    >sensor and it lifts the dust off.
    >


    $100 brush? This dust elimination market is really a scam, which is
    no suprise in the photo market. Methanol based cleaners at $10+
    for about $0.10 worth of alcohol. Specilized q-tips at $40-$50/pack.
    People should realize that the front of a sensor is the same as a lens
    and you don't have to be hyper-paranoid about it's treatment, just
    cautious. Blow off what you can, then use a brush and finally,
    clean it with fluid if it needs it. Do not use circular or long
    strokes so you don't accidentally drag any grit across the entire
    surface. Much of the dust in the air is sand, or quartz-based and
    harder than glass or coatings and can scratch them.
    -Rich
    Rich, Nov 3, 2005
    #14
  15. phk

    Sheldon Guest

    "phk" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.
    >

    Forget your glasses. They are always in the open and pick up a lot of
    moisture from your eyes. I use a large hand blower first, and if that
    doesn't work I use a Pec Pad and Eclipse. Just follow the directions you'll
    find on the Net, don't be afraid, and you'll find you can clean the sensor
    (or actually the filter) in just a few minutes after some practice. Brushes
    never worked for me, but some people swear by them.

    Don't let the dust problem keep you from getting a DSLR. It's not that big
    a deal.
    Sheldon, Nov 3, 2005
    #15
  16. phk

    Stacey Guest

    phk wrote:

    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems.


    Olympus dSLR's don't have this problem, everything else does.
    --

    Stacey
    Stacey, Nov 3, 2005
    #16
  17. phk

    stevemathews Guest

    OK, I know this is bad, but I use a high pressure air aerosol. Have done so
    on more than 20 occasions. No problems yet.


    "phk" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >
    > Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.
    >
    stevemathews, Nov 3, 2005
    #17
  18. phk

    Charlie Self Guest

    Rich wrote:
    > On Wed, 2 Nov 2005 18:16:16 -0500, "Peter A. Stavrakoglou"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >"phk" <> wrote in message
    > >news:...
    > >> I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    > >> with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    > >>
    > >> Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    > >> appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    > >> removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    > >> tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    > >> simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    > >> get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.

    > >
    > >Dust on a sensor is not a huge problem but it is a problem. I clean my
    > >sensor with a nylon makeup brush, only costs about $ 10.00 as oppossed to
    > >about tentimes that much for a nylon brush from VisibleDust. A blast of
    > >compressed air gives the brush a static charge and then I wipe it across the
    > >sensor and it lifts the dust off.
    > >

    >
    > $100 brush? This dust elimination market is really a scam, which is
    > no suprise in the photo market. Methanol based cleaners at $10+
    > for about $0.10 worth of alcohol. Specilized q-tips at $40-$50/pack.
    > People should realize that the front of a sensor is the same as a lens
    > and you don't have to be hyper-paranoid about it's treatment, just
    > cautious. Blow off what you can, then use a brush and finally,
    > clean it with fluid if it needs it. Do not use circular or long
    > strokes so you don't accidentally drag any grit across the entire
    > surface. Much of the dust in the air is sand, or quartz-based and
    > harder than glass or coatings and can scratch them.


    Good advice. Dust in the air MAY be sand or quartz based, and harder
    than coatings, but glass is usually (almost always) harder than the
    dust. Circular strokes just tend to re-deposit dust.

    I've got all the specialized expensive stuff, but...with one or two
    exceptions, my sensor cleaning has all been done with a brush. Spending
    $100 for a brush is, IMO, insane. Get a make up brush of the
    appropriate size, wash and rinse at least twice in distilled water and
    dry in a dust free environment. Store in a clean plastic bag. When
    clean-up time comes, spray the brush fibers with canned air to create a
    static charge. Then stroke down or across the filter covering the
    sensor. 999 times out of 1000 that does it.

    If I change lenses in poor conditions a lot, I might have to do my
    sensor cleaning job every week or two. If not, a month or six weeks,
    and sometimes two months or more, go by without a need to clean things
    up.

    This is really a non-issue that continually gets promoted to problem
    status. Anyone who doesn't have 10 minutes a month to check and care
    for SLR gear probably shouldn't buy the SLR.
    Charlie Self, Nov 3, 2005
    #18
  19. Charlie Self wrote:
    > Rich wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 2 Nov 2005 18:16:16 -0500, "Peter A. Stavrakoglou"
    >><> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>"phk" <> wrote in message
    >>>news:...
    >>>
    >>>>I've been reluctant to switch to DSLR because of the potential problems
    >>>>with dirty sensors caused by the ability to remove the lens.
    >>>>
    >>>>Is this a real problem with DSLRs, or not as bad as it seems. It
    >>>>appears that Canon recommends use of a hand-held blower for dust
    >>>>removal, but I wonder whether that actually works. Dust is often
    >>>>tenacious and bonds itself to surfaces in ways that are resistant to
    >>>>simple blowing. Maybe the best example is my eyeglasses. Once they
    >>>>get dusty, only windex will clean them thoroughly.
    >>>
    >>>Dust on a sensor is not a huge problem but it is a problem. I clean my
    >>>sensor with a nylon makeup brush, only costs about $ 10.00 as oppossed to
    >>>about tentimes that much for a nylon brush from VisibleDust. A blast of
    >>>compressed air gives the brush a static charge and then I wipe it across the
    >>>sensor and it lifts the dust off.
    >>>

    >>
    >>$100 brush? This dust elimination market is really a scam, which is
    >>no suprise in the photo market. Methanol based cleaners at $10+
    >>for about $0.10 worth of alcohol. Specilized q-tips at $40-$50/pack.
    >>People should realize that the front of a sensor is the same as a lens
    >>and you don't have to be hyper-paranoid about it's treatment, just
    >>cautious. Blow off what you can, then use a brush and finally,
    >>clean it with fluid if it needs it. Do not use circular or long
    >>strokes so you don't accidentally drag any grit across the entire
    >>surface. Much of the dust in the air is sand, or quartz-based and
    >>harder than glass or coatings and can scratch them.

    >
    >
    > Good advice. Dust in the air MAY be sand or quartz based, and harder
    > than coatings, but glass is usually (almost always) harder than the
    > dust. Circular strokes just tend to re-deposit dust.
    >
    > I've got all the specialized expensive stuff, but...with one or two
    > exceptions, my sensor cleaning has all been done with a brush. Spending
    > $100 for a brush is, IMO, insane. Get a make up brush of the
    > appropriate size, wash and rinse at least twice in distilled water and
    > dry in a dust free environment. Store in a clean plastic bag. When
    > clean-up time comes, spray the brush fibers with canned air to create a
    > static charge. Then stroke down or across the filter covering the
    > sensor. 999 times out of 1000 that does it.
    >
    > If I change lenses in poor conditions a lot, I might have to do my
    > sensor cleaning job every week or two. If not, a month or six weeks,
    > and sometimes two months or more, go by without a need to clean things
    > up.
    >
    > This is really a non-issue that continually gets promoted to problem
    > status. Anyone who doesn't have 10 minutes a month to check and care
    > for SLR gear probably shouldn't buy the SLR.
    >

    If you have pets, a lot of the dust will be dander from their fur...
    Bruce Coryell, Nov 3, 2005
    #19
  20. phk

    Chris Brown Guest

    In article <EXmaf.361$>,
    Bruce Coryell <> wrote:

    >If you have pets, a lot of the dust will be dander from their fur...


    Get pets without fur. Works for me.
    Chris Brown, Nov 3, 2005
    #20
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