How long does it take you to clean your sensor?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hyperoglyphe, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. hyperoglyphe

    hyperoglyphe Guest

    This has taken me 10 days so far. Thinking I'm doing the right thing
    getting experts to do the job, I took my Canon 20D to the local Canon
    Australia service centre a couple of hundred yards down the road from where
    I work.

    At day 8 I phoned for a progress report and was told it might be longer than
    2 weeks. When I said "that's a real slow squeeze on a blower brush", I
    realised I was dealing with the sarcasm impaired.

    I was told the technicians might be busy.

    What a joke. It's not that sensor cleaning is not a profitable operation
    for Canon Australia seeing the AUD$250 (US$190) estimate to clean some crap
    off a sensor they probably put there in the first place during another in a
    long line of warranty 'repairs'.

    Where am I going wrong?

    hyperoglyphe, Sep 2, 2005
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  2. hyperoglyphe

    skroob Guest

    20 minutes if i do it myself with SensorSwab & Eclipse.

    2 hours (including drive time both ways) to take it to the Nikon Service
    Center on Long Island, NY.
    skroob, Sep 2, 2005
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  3. hyperoglyphe

    Sheldon Guest

    I can't say there isn't some risk to cleaning your sensor, but I think it's
    a skill you should attempt and learn if you are going to own a digital SLR.
    There are instructions all over the Net, and the materials are not that
    expensive. Just keep reading the instructions and looking at the photos of
    how it's done. If you do this long enough you'll probably have enough
    confidence to give it a try.
    Sheldon, Sep 2, 2005
  4. hyperoglyphe

    GTO Guest

    It takes me around 10 minutes from the time I take the sensor swabs (type 2)
    and the Eclipse fluid out of the shelf, attach the power supply to the D70,
    turn the camera on, put the mirror into the up position (via menu command on
    the D70), put two drops of Eclipse on each of two sensor swaps, move them
    one after the other over the sensor, turn on/off the camera, take one test
    shot at f22 towards a bright white surface with manual focus set at
    infinity, upload the image into Nikon Capture, and look at it at 200%
    magnification. - It's clean and simple!

    GTO, Sep 2, 2005
  5. hyperoglyphe

    Bill Hilton Guest

    This has taken me 10 days so far.

    Takes 10-15 minutes to do-it-yourself, sometimes longer if you need a
    couple of passes ... try the blower, if that doesn't work try the
    sensor brush, which works well except if there's a smear ... if there's
    a smear you need the Pec pads with Eclipse.
    Taking it to Canon instead of learning how to do it yourself?
    Bill Hilton, Sep 2, 2005
  6. hyperoglyphe

    [BnH] Guest

    Are you in Sydney ?

    Try Whilton @ Hyde Park.
    If you use Nikon, Peter @ Poraday , Bondi can do it for you on the spot
    [provided its a bright sunny day] for 30 mins the most or 2 working days the

    [BnH], Sep 2, 2005
  7. hyperoglyphe

    hyperoglyphe Guest

    I'm in WA. I've been reading the "Copperhill" pages on pbase, so will
    probably follow the sensor swipe/pec pad path. Their Oz distributor is
    Quality Camera sales Aust.

    The sensor swabs also look good especially if dust contamination is likely
    when wrapping the Copperhill sensor swipes with pec pads.

    I knew there had to be some excuse for buildng a laminar cabinet. Overkill
    maybe? Why not!

    hyperoglyphe, Sep 2, 2005
  8. hyperoglyphe

    Andy Dee Guest

    Can someone please explain what Eclipse fluid, or pec pads are ?
    Never heard of either.
    Andy Dee, Sep 2, 2005
  9. hyperoglyphe

    hyperoglyphe Guest

    hyperoglyphe, Sep 2, 2005
  10. hyperoglyphe

    GTO Guest

    All comes from a company called Photographics Solutions (see

    If you want to purchase it in the US:

    For sensor swabs, see swab&item_no=2

    For PEC*PADs, see pads&item_no=1

    For Eclipse fluid, see


    PS: Photographics Solutions claims that "the swab material is NOT the same
    as the PAD material." For more information, see
    GTO, Sep 2, 2005
  11. hyperoglyphe

    lars Guest

    About 3 minutes. A brush will do the job 95% of the time, with
    PecPads/Eclipse handling the rare case where you've got a smear or
    something sticky on there. Got the brushes on ebay for about 15 bucks a
    pair (ebay search on 'cleanskies brush').

    lars, Sep 4, 2005
  12. hyperoglyphe

    Stacey Guest

    ~1 second and is cleaned everytime I turn on the camera.
    Stacey, Sep 4, 2005
  13. hyperoglyphe

    GTO Guest

    Although, it is very possible that using a brush works for you, I feel a
    little reluctant to use a lens brush on an image sensor or its blocking
    filter. On another CMOS device (not a DSLR, it was a PixeLink), I was able
    to add a little scratch with a Kodak lens tissue on the IR blocking filter.
    In this case, it wasn't a problem, since I could easily exchange the
    scratched filter by myself. - After this experience, I concluded that these
    blocking filters are rather soft. Remember, when one slightly scratches a
    lens filter, one will not notice it in the final image since the filter
    postion is not close to a conjugated image plane. But that's different for
    the filters on top of the image sensor. There, one will notice every little
    scratch. - Personally, I do apply much more care when cleaning image sensors
    (and their filters) than I take when cleaning a photographic lens (and its
    filters). Of course, I also take care when cleaning lenses and don't use my
    handkerchief ;-)

    GTO, Sep 4, 2005
  14. hyperoglyphe

    GTO Guest

    Non-DSLR? Ultrasonic cleaning system (e.g. Olympus E-300)? - If you use the
    E-300, does it really work?

    GTO, Sep 4, 2005
  15. hyperoglyphe

    Stacey Guest

    E-300 and yes it really works. I've yet to hear anyone with an E1 or E300
    complain about sensor dust.
    Stacey, Sep 5, 2005
  16. hyperoglyphe

    lars Guest

    I and many others have cleaned our sensor filters dozens of times with
    brushes without any damage to the filter. No way a soft nylon brush is
    going to harm a glass filter. You just need to barely brush the surface,
    as the static attraction pulls the dust off the glass. I never 'scrub'
    with the brush - PecPads (wrapped around a homemade/cutdown spatula) and
    Eclipse suffice for that sort of operation.

    lars, Sep 6, 2005
  17. hyperoglyphe

    Stewy Guest

    In highly technical terms you laymen probably will not understand...

    All our fully trained professional service engineers have taken long
    courses to be as fully trained as possible, some of them could not even
    hold a screwdriver but now can hold in either (!) hand and usually be
    able to turn it too! With this level of expertise, can you wonder it
    will take weeks?
    A rushed job is a botched job! How can we justify the cost if it takes 5

    BTW My brother, while cleaning his 20D sensor with a can of compressed
    O2, allowed the can to completely deplete and sprayed propellant onto
    the sensor - luckily he had extra cover from Jessops and won't be
    inconvenienced too much.
    Stewy, Sep 8, 2005
  18. hyperoglyphe

    Charlie Self Guest

    I use a make-up brush of the appropriate size. Wash the brush twice and
    rinse in distilled water (probably not necessary but my well water is
    very heavy in minerals). All it to dry, under cover to keep dust off.
    Then spray the BRUSH with canned air to create static, raise the
    mirror, brush the filter face a few times and reattach a lens (follow
    manual directions for raising the mirror). It works best if you hold
    the camera upside down, I think, but it works pretty well either way,
    and it would take a real klutz to lay on that brush hard enough to make
    the ferrule hit the glass, which is about the only way a scrape could

    Once the brush is washed, it takes about three minutes. For the slowest
    among us, five minutes should be enough.
    Charlie Self, Sep 8, 2005
  19. hyperoglyphe

    Jim Townsend Guest

    It takes me about 5 minutes. I use Sensor Swabs and Photosol.

    Over the last two years, I've cleaned the sensor once every four
    months on average.
    Jim Townsend, Sep 8, 2005
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