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Sensor Cleaning

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  4. » Sensor Cleaning

sent on May 29, 2012 (10:29)

As I convert my raw files from the 2 cameras which I used the last few weeks, I found images from both sensors with visible "unwanted passengers" (I'm assuming dust)
I usually clean my sensors at home using the air and vacuum power of green clean, but while travelling (esp. involving flying) I never bring along this cleaning system. I would like to try other sensor cleaning method while on the go.

Please share with me your best approach regarding cleaning method (other than rocket air blaster, I have the impression that I am blowing-in more dust into the camera body when used in dry dusty area)

There are so many in the market. Which one should I get?

sent on May 30, 2012 (11:51)


I use a dry "sensorclear" pen. It gets rid of unwanted passengers, just dry dust spots. Unfortunately my 1Dmk4 has oil spots, visible from about f/11, which it cant get rid of Triste I need to find good wet cleaning pads to get rid of that oil. It gets spalshed ontothe 1D4 sensor from the shutter mechanism.



sent on May 30, 2012 (13:57)

If you can do it in a bathroom. Run the shower on cold for 5 minutes, kills dust in the air, then clean. I would wet clean or use a brush which you charge with a rocket blaster or the expensive ones that spin to charge up.

sent on May 31, 2012 (10:12)

Thank you for the feedback.

@ Stu: wish I could come up with suggestions how to deal with the oil stains on your sensor and will share my finding if and when I stumble upon something during my search for cleaning solution. I really hope the spots on my sensors are just dry dust and not oil stains from the shutter mechanism. (since I failed to locate the 500f4 before the Brazil trip and the 5D3 was also nowhere available during that time, I got me the 1D4 instead. The AF at f8 was the major deciding factor because I had no choice, but to use 2XTC on the 70-200 f2.8 & also the 400f5.6)...but of course there are other things to cringe about too.

I usually change lens in a fresh and clean big transparent plastic bag, but the 100-400 was most of the time on the 1D4. I really don't know if its true or a myth that the pull and push zooming action actually did pumped-in dust into the camera.

@ Neil: Brilliant suggestion. I never thought about the bathroom environment. Really good one. Will certainly do this in the future. I've been seriously thinking about the arctic butterfly. Its much thinner to stow in the bag compared to the rocket blaster (which looked quite sinister during airport scanning lol...the amount of times my bag goes through the scanner...ha ha.. At times, back and forth several times for different personnels to scrutinize the x-ray imagery. Sometimes I LOL looking at the faces of those guys who's sitting behind the monitor studying my overstuffed camera bag)....the last trip, they don't like the look of my 24 in 1 cardreader :-P

sent on May 31, 2012 (11:03)

Wait till you go through airport security with a 500 f4...

yes, the arctic butterfly is the way to go but i always take my fluid and pec-pads as once whilst touring the Galapagos I got something on the sensor and only had a brush with me. Ended up breathing on the sensor, using a cotton bud and then brushing. Worked though, breath is basically pure water ;)

sent on June 01, 2012 (0:37)

Well you aint settling for second best with the 1Dmk4. I love mine :) I have two of my dream cameras... There isnt that much IQ difference between the 1Dmk4 and the 5Dmk3 in my experience.

I know what I need to do to clean the oil spots, but as I'm not using the 1Dmk4 for landscape work right now, it's not a priority. I never had any problem with my 100-400 pumping dust into the camera, but what I do know is when I got it there was a lot of dust visibile on internal elements. I got it cleaned and up tothe day I sold it, I never saw any new dust appear. The lens was very old (1998) and I suspect it had, had a hard life and also been on safari a few times. Africa is dusty!

sent on June 04, 2012 (23:51)

@ Neil: Will the 400f2.8 II slow me down at the airport security too? ...for 3.85kg lens plus 1.25kg ID4, I've started weight lifting at the local gym. I'll spare you my rant about the 500f4.

I was just about to order the arctic butterfly when a pal sent me a youtube link from a reviewer who was so p***ed after using it once or twice and ended up with smudges. Another link I saw a guy demonstrating the pec pads, lol he mentioned he's a touch ADHD and needed a shot of whiskey to stay calm before pec pedding his sensor. Funny, but that just made me nervous cos I think I'm also adhd. Small matter these dusts, but big decision huh?

@ Stu: I'm loving the IDmk4 too. I almost go for D3s because nikon 500f4 is available....but I will be crippled transporting 2 systems when on the go. You're the second person saying there isnt that much IQ difference between the 1Dmk4 and the 5Dmk3 based on user experience. I'll wait for the X.

...owwggh those dust bunnies..... Triste ...they're not cute at all!

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