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Sensor Cleaning

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paulster78
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« on: January 26, 2011, 07:20:15 pm »

Martin wrote
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getting dust spots on my sensor now from changing lenses too much, the air blower is not getting rid of them all.

Thought id start a separate thread to discuss sensor cleaning and some of the various methods that everyone is using.  Martin at the minute i'm in the same boat as you with quite a few stubborn dust spots which despite numerous attempts with the air blower, will not shift.  Heres an image taken today showing the extent of the dust.




At the minute i'm having to use the healing tool or clone stamp tool to get rid of these spots in editing, i really need to properly clean the sensor. Has anyone any experience with the wet swabs method? 
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brianb
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 07:50:33 pm »

Yes. No problems, just use the right swabs, the right fluid (Eclipse) and follow the instructions. Might take a couple of goes to get it right.
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paulster78
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 08:58:15 pm »

Thanks Brian, looks like the way forward.  Found this youtube video which is very useful that uses the eclipse solution, according to this i need type 2 swabs for my 1.5x crop sensor i think.

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martinastro
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 09:15:05 pm »

I watched that same vid Paul and thought it was very helpful but I haven't used swabs and fluid yet, they can be expensive too, and getting a pro to do it can be costly also. John C can offer further guidance on this matter. I'm very interested in following this thread for help because I'm in the same boat as you from chang lenses which is an absolute curse, honestly it's really putting me off changing lenses again in the future. Buying a good quality wide angle-medium zoom lens might be a good investment to cover most ranges, that's what I'm considering then just leaving it on lol. I've got dust motes on my sensor, I used a good blower which removed most but there are 2 or 3 faint ones which won't budge, I stopped the lens down to 18 and saw MANY MANY more very faint dust spots which is depressing me, although I haven't noticed anything major on the images yet but the fact that I know there are there bothers me. Blowing works quite well but it's not perfect. I hope you get it sorted Paul, and for that matter I hope I do too. I think the muscles in my right forearm are stonger than my left from using that blower....builds up a sweat too  Smiley
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brianb
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 02:24:10 am »

The swabbing procedure is not hard, maybe it's scary the first time or two but the results are worth the effort. Offset the cost of the swabs against the time wasted repairing dust spots ...

Lens changing. Do it in a clean environment if at all possible. Keeping the mouth of the camera pointed downwards seems to help.

OK, you may need to stop down to get depth of field, but small apertures risk deterioration of image quality due to diffraction effects ... f/8 is small enough for most lenses and with the better ones there's little if any benefit from stopping down below f/5.6. Use the biggest aperture you can get away with, the effects of small dust specks (a few are inevitable) will be far less noticeable & for most images you probably won't need to patch the image at all unless the sensor is really mucky. Also, when stopped well down, dust on the rear element of the lens can become an issue.
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paulster78
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 05:20:47 pm »

It is expensive Martin, around 10-12 for the cleaning solution and the swabs are various prices depending on the quality. The best swabs are 30+ for a box of twelve.   But at the end of the day do you really want to put any cheap or inferior products near your sensor.  Dont let it get you down Martin i was at f22 and lost count of the dust spots and of those maybe 10 show up on images especially if theres a lot of sky in the shot.

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Offset the cost of the swabs against the time wasted repairing dust spots ...

I agree and its time i dont have at the minute
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JohnC
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 04:17:26 pm »

I had the right kit which I got from the USA but I found that the sensor was smeared and in the end I was losing good photos so I took it in to have it cleaned professionally and the cleaned sensor was used with the inversion photos. I don't know what they do differently but I followed the instructions carefully swiping in one direction  then  down the width of the swab and across again etc. and using a different swab on a stick to dry it. I'm going to get the lens changing down to a minimum now.I think it's better to change a lens outside the car rather than inside. Last week the sun was streaming in through the windscreen and  I coiled see that the air was full of suspended particles.
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paulster78
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 09:27:07 pm »

Well i received my little bottle of Eclipse cleaning fluid today and together with the swabs that arrived a few days ago i set to work.  Quite scary at first when you dont know if you've got too much or too little fluid on the swab, are you appyling enough pressure to the swab and so on. After each clean took a test image and ended up using 4 swabs to get the result i wanted. By the 4th clean i was far more confident and next time should only take 1 or two swabs at most.  My sensor is so much cleaner tonight than it was before and i can highly recommend this method.

Found this site which may be of interest to anyone who wants to buy swabs.    http://www.nomoredust.co.uk/    You can buy as many swabs as you need and dont have to buy a whole pack, they also provide a cleaning service which looks reasonably priced.
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martinastro
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 02:46:20 pm »

Paul, thanks very much for letting us know the results, sounds like you are happy with your purchase and feel very confident to try it again. I will keep this one in my mind when I take the plunge myself. Glad your sensor is now clean again and you are back in the action. Good luck  Smiley
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