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Old 09-11-2006, 17:35   #1 (permalink)
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Sensor Cleaning

A member who lives near me needed his sensor cleaning. Well he'd not done this before so he had PM'd me for a bit of advice and as I was at a meeting in his neck of the woods, I popped in to show him how to sensor clean.

Well, to the point, some of the marks on his image are black dots which could well be dead pixels but I noticed some dots on the mirror. These would not blow away and, for all the world, it just looked like the reflective backing was going. Any one heard of this?

By the way, if anyone else is in my vicinity and needs help with sensor cleaning drop me a PM.
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Old 09-11-2006, 17:48   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor Cleaning

Sorry never heard of that, could you see the marks on the mirror itself or when looking through the viewfinder? If the first then yes its definately something on the mirror or a mirror fault (never heard of a camera mirror's backing coming off but I have seen it many times on normal mirrors so I suppose it could be possible). If its the second it could well be in the viewfinder or stuck to the upper face on the inside. This is very difficult to get at and risky too, every time I seen someone attempt to clean that with anything other than compressed air it has made it worse.
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Old 09-11-2006, 18:00   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor Cleaning

The marks are definately on the mirror - I had a look with the lens off before he locked up, and they wouldn't move with a rocket blower.
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Old 09-11-2006, 18:21   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor Cleaning

It is possible he has attempted to clean his mirror using a cloth and maybe used his finger to wipe away the odd bit of dust.... bad mistake! Oils from your fingers transfer to the sensitive surface of the mirror and when wiped can then leave marks.

I am assuming he doesn't get any marks on the shots as the mirror wouldn't affect those. If the pictures have black dots that are dead pixels you will be able to check that very simply: Take a picture of something light and plain using RAW. Don't process it but open it up and view it at pixel level and look at these spots. They would have to be absolutely the same size and be perfectly round if they are dead pixels. Remember a pixel is incredibly small, too small to actually see with the naked eye on a sensor itself. These days, dead pixels on a sensor are very rare so I am suspecting it might not be the case but not discounting it altogether.

Has he tried cleaning before you went over? I wonder if he has tried using something that he bshouldn't have and has put some microscopic deposits down. These would have disappeared after you cleaned it though.

For anyone interested, I have just posted a review of Green Clean, an excellent but a tad pricey sensor cleaning method that is a lot better than Copperhill where you use sensor swabs and Eclipse fluid. It is effectively a vacuum for your camera as well as cleaners for the sensor itself. It is very effective.

Hope you find it helpful.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 09-11-2006, 18:34   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor Cleaning

I don't know what make of camera he has but if its a Canon he can have the sensor remapped to remove dead pixels. I guess it all depends how much they bother him.

I suppose that Nikon may also offer this service too but I have not heard of it.
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Old 09-11-2006, 20:30   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor Cleaning

Thank for your thoughts, Rob, Steve. He has a Fujifilm S2 which is a few years old. He got it from someone else. It is now a lot cleaner and I suggested he might just edit the dots out. But...if I didn't know better from yourselves I'd swear the mirror was flaking.
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