DUST: Does this rule out buying DSLR's?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jim F B, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Jim F B

    l v Guest

    Two years with my 300d and no dust on my sensor -- yet. I check it
    about twice a year. Even the mirror looked good the last time I
    checked. I do some lens changes between my 28-135 IS and 70-200 IS.
    Most of the time I leave my 28-135 on the body. When I do swap lens I
    quickly put the lens cover on the body first, lens second. I've only
    shot about 5000 pics in those 2 years so it is hardly broken in. I
    love the advantages of the dSLR over the p&s my older brother has.

    l v, Feb 20, 2006
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  2. Jim F B

    Jim F B Guest

    I am not frightened of "mechanical things", but I would be annoyed if spots
    appeared on photographs that I took in between the maintenance sessions. I
    think this is the main issue, you just don't know when dust is going to get
    to your sensor, so you always run the risk of some pics having dust specks
    on them. However, it is reassuring to see that you are yet to have a problem
    in more than two years' use.

    Regards, Jim
    Jim F B, Feb 20, 2006
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  3. Jim F B

    Jim F B Guest

    The Olympus sensor is not much smaller than some of the other cameras
    discussed in this thread:

    Sony DSC-R1: 21.5 x 14.4mm
    Canon EOS 350D: 22.2 x 14.8mm
    Olympus E-500 EVOLT: 17.3 x 13.0mm

    source: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydscr1/page20.asp

    I agree that it will be interesting to see whether the Olympus dust
    "solution" works over a longer period, but it certainly seems to have worked
    well to date hasn't it?

    I don't think the dust problem has been inflated merely to give Olympus a
    chance to offer a solution, that's a bit cynical! It's a real problem with
    all DSLRs.

    You make some interesting observations, but I hope I'm not all that gullible
    in believing Olympus has done a good thing with its dust "solution", time
    will tell!
    Jim F B, Feb 20, 2006
  4. Clearly it does depend on the shots you take, since others don't think
    it is a problem at all. High f/#s make the problem more acute, so if
    you don't often use high focal ratios (and a lot of people don't -
    you've paid a lot of money for those big bits of glass, use them) then
    it certainly will be less of an issue.

    What concerns me most though is that those who don't consider it to be a
    problem are quite prepared to touch up "dust bunnies" in Photoshop -
    that might be fine for the main pictures, but I sure as heck don't want
    to have to do that with every shot. Sometimes I just pop into a shop and
    get prints made right off the memory card - I don't want to have to go
    home to make edits to everything as my camera gets older. That makes
    the "Direct Print" button on Canons even more of a waste of space than
    it currently is.
    Kennedy McEwen, Feb 20, 2006
  5. The SI screen sits above the focus screen in the viewfinder, not the
    sensor. Apparently there is a path in the 5D that permits air to get up
    there when the mirror is raised to clean the sensor AA filter, taking
    any dust with it and settling on the top of the SI screen. This
    requires disassembly to access it, which would certainly invalidate
    warranty if not done by Canon themselves.

    According to the forums where this is being discussed, Canon are aware
    of the issue and are looking at whether anything can be done.
    I am not suggesting it is a big problem, but it certainly is an issue
    and I would prefer a non-contact/air blowing means of clearing it - such
    as the Olympus approach or sealing the area further away from the sensor
    so that even at f/32 the average dust spec would be invisible, which
    probably means in front of the mirror.

    Pretty soon we are going to see very few sensor improvements appearing,
    if we are not already there - maybe smaller pixels on full frame,
    producing 20-25Mpix, but that's about it for sensor development, noise
    isn't going to get much better than it already is. So the only things
    that will discriminate cameras are the features - just as it was with
    film SLRs. You don't need TTL metering - but it sure takes a lot of
    effort out of handling a Weston. You don't need autofocus, but it sure
    prevents missing the odd picture because you couldn't focus manually
    accurately or fast enough. And you don't need automated dust cleaningm
    but it is another feature that will sell one camera over another, all
    other things being equal. Its a pity that the only people doing it at
    the moment are wed to a dead end format.
    Kennedy McEwen, Feb 20, 2006
  6. A camera from a leader in sensor design that licenses solutions they
    don't lead in from those that do. ;-)

    For many years both Canon and Nikon were paying royalties to Asahi
    Pentax for elements of TTL metering. Didn't they also pay Olympus to
    use OTF flash metering? It certainly seemed to appear on their models
    long before the Olympus patents expired.

    Reminds me of a conference I attended a couple of years back where a
    French designer was describing their new sensor chip. During the
    questions afterwards someone asked if he knew that the intellectual
    property rights to one very specific aspect of the design was already
    owned by another company. The Frenchman gave a Gallic shrug and
    replied: "Phht- zis is only a matter of small money". ;-)

    So is licensing the ultrasonic dust cleaner - especially if Canon/Nikon
    improved on it, such as making the sticky pad user replaceable.
    Kennedy McEwen, Feb 20, 2006
  7. If the body was sealed then the only air that would get pumped into the
    mirror box would be the amount of air that could be compressed. Since
    the lens itself vents in other areas - around the focus and zoom barrels
    and through the flange interface, I doubt you would get much pressure
    build up, very little compression and no dust getting into the box.
    I am sure that the air path is so convoluted through the camera body
    that most of the dust will have adhered to internal surfaces long before
    the air reaches the body seams. ;-)
    Kennedy McEwen, Feb 20, 2006
  8. Jim F B

    Alfred Molon Guest

    No, you can still shoot RAW - you just have to wait 8 seconds between

    Idiotic, but on the other hand you get a 10MP camera with a 24-120 lens
    and a big sensor for less than 700 Euro.
    Alfred Molon, Feb 20, 2006
  9. Jim F B

    Skip M Guest

    Actually, there was a Canon exec who mentioned that they were considering
    some sort of dust disposal thing, but that engineering resources were
    otherwise engaged. That is the one single thing I think is cool about Oly's
    system, the dust removal. It's not a big deal to me, but if there's a
    solution to a problem, no matter how minor, it would be nice to combine it
    with the cameras and lenses of Canon and Nikon.
    Skip M, Feb 21, 2006
  10. Jim F B

    Skip M Guest

    I wonder how much air pressure the 100-400 produces...that push/pull is like
    a tire pump. But it doesn't have a gasket, so much of that air is vented
    from the mount. The 24-70 doesn't produce much pressure, at least not as
    much as the 100-400. ;-)
    Skip M, Feb 21, 2006
  11. Jim F B

    Charles Self Guest

    As Roger N. Clark noted, it is easy to clone most dust specks out when they
    do show up. It needs to be remembered, too, that they are usually only
    apparent on light colors and at apertures of f/16 and smaller.
    Charles Self, Feb 21, 2006
  12. Jim F B

    Dabear Guest

    Regarding P&S cameras and dust, they are often more of a problem than DSLRs
    in some respects. I have a Canon D20 and have not had dust issues...but I
    am careful when I change lenses and am not in hostile environments in that
    regard. However, I have a friend of mine who just received her Olympus P&S
    back after having to send it out for repairs due to dust issues. It seems
    that the zoom gets dust on it when extended and then pulls the dust back
    into the camera when the camera is turned off. Her solution? She purchased
    a tube that installs on the camera and over the lens and then she installed
    a polarizing filter. The end result is that she has a housing over the zoom
    lens. By way of saying, dust can cause problems with most any camera under
    the right circumstances. I know that at some point, I'll have to send my
    Canon D20 in for some kind of repair...but as the old saying goes "ships are
    safe in harbor but that's not what ships are built for". Ditto with
    cameras...which means that at some point, most will have some kind of
    problem that results from use in a rather hostile environment.

    Dabear, Mar 19, 2006
  13. Jim F B

    John Smith Guest

    Where did she get that tube? I need one too.
    John Smith, Mar 19, 2006
  14. Jim F B

    Rich Guest

    I wonder if we'll see a re-emergence of the old "changing bag" but
    this time, instead of being use to change large-format film to keep
    out light, it will be used to change DSLR lenses in, to keep out dust!
    Rich, Mar 20, 2006
  15. Jim F B

    Skip M Guest

    Actually, I took my old changing bag with me a couple of weeks ago, the
    weather was going to be bad, and I used it to change lenses in a drizzle.
    It occurred to me that I could use it out in the desert to keep air borne
    dust out of the camera, too...
    Skip M, Mar 20, 2006
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