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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Sensor cleaning...Since reading about the Visible Dust (brush) cleaning method a while back, and later on some guy trying it out ...
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Old 07-06-2005, 16:15   #1 (permalink)
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Sensor cleaning

Since reading about the Visible Dust (brush) cleaning method a while back, and later on some guy trying it out for himself using self-sourced brush etc., I've been looking out for a suitable brush locally when I'm out.

Yesterday I found what I was after in a local artist/craft shop, a 3.99 0.5" wide artists brush with acrylic handle & fine nylon bristles (brush is a Daler-Rowney System 3 SY21 Long Flat if you want to find one for yourselves).

I cleaned the brush twice with Isopropanol (also known as IPA - get it from your local chemist @ 5-6 per half litre), then used a can of compressed air (99.99% pure) to dry it thouroughly while at the same time it should be applying a static charge to the bristles.

I took a shot of the sky @ f22 and it showed about 8 medium'ish dust specs, cleaned the sensor using 2 wipes from left to right then right to left, and after each wipe I used the compressed air to blow of any loose dust that might be there. I then took another shot of the sky and NO DUST AT ALL, zero, zip, nada, none

After the cleaning which took less than 2 minutes, I blew off the brush again and covered it so as to prevent any contamination until the next time.

So for less than 10 I have an effective sensor sleaning solution. I also use the IPA for cleaing PC components, so it wasn't really an extra expense for me.

I just thought I'd pass the info on if anyone might be interested, because I think this method done at more regular intervals when necessary, might be better than using the pecpad method as nothing is pressing too firmly against the sensor, nor is any liquid.

Cheers
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Old 07-06-2005, 19:21   #2 (permalink)
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cool, nice cleaning tip there Biggus, thanks!
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Old 11-06-2005, 13:35   #3 (permalink)
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Is it worth taking the risk with this artists brush?

After reading this article on the Visible Dust Website I wouldn't be too sure.
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Old 11-06-2005, 14:36   #4 (permalink)
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I'm really not keen on using puffer/ blower brushes - even if you dislodge any dust on the sensor you're quite likely to blow it up onto the focusing screen where it's unsightly and annoying, even though it has no effecton your shots.
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Old 11-06-2005, 16:01   #5 (permalink)
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...but then they would say that wouldn't they? I mean after all, why would someone pay the 60+ they're asking for it when you could do pretty much the same thing for under 10?

I also took the info given on the Visible Dust site as well info from Petteri's Pontifications and used my own judgement on this.

As for scratching the sensor, well considering how light the "pressure" I used was (barely dragging it across), and how one might use a Pecpad or similar, I can't see it being more destructive. The brush I have is also very soft with long fine bristles.

If some see what I & probably many others are doing as risky, then time will tell, but I'd probably guess that by the time any significant damage was done (if any), I'd already have bought a new camera anyway, plus there's always the insurance on it
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Old 11-06-2005, 17:52   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggus
plus there's always the insurance on it
/me calls the rozzers

Good info though - cheers. I tried the pecpad method and used about 4 pads and there was still a stubborn mark.

Edit: There's an article about sensor cleaning in the PBase magazine: http://www.pbase.com/magazine
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