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General photography questions and answers: Discuss sensor cleaning confusion.......Hi all, I have 3/4 specks on the sensor of my 350D. I have been doing a bit of reading ...
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Old 04-12-2006, 20:51   #1 (permalink)
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sensor cleaning confusion....

Hi all,

I have 3/4 specks on the sensor of my 350D. I have been doing a bit of reading around and am a little confused about how to go about cleaning it. Some people say don' touch it... send it to Canon ( how much would that cost out of interest??). Some say use a blower, but never touch the sensor.. and yet some say use a swab and alcohol solution...

Very confused....

what do all of you do????

Matt
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Old 04-12-2006, 21:09   #2 (permalink)
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Re: sensor cleaning confusion....

There is tons of info on this site, i have used the "Copperhill" method which there are threads about, in total cost me 16quid fr all eqipment and i'll be able to clean my camera 60ish times.
I'd say use this method, be sensible and careful and nothing will go wrong and will save you heaps. Once you've done it you'll wonder why you ever doubted if you could (assuming you did).
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Old 05-12-2006, 07:27   #3 (permalink)
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Re: sensor cleaning confusion....

Agree with Lolyton. I use Copperhill too and bought my kit from here. It is daunting first go but then you wonder what all the fuss is about. By the way, you are not cleaning the sensor - there is a screen in front of it.

PS Canon will provide one free clean during the first year warranty but the catch is you'll lose your camera for about four weeks.

Last edited by stepheno; 05-12-2006 at 07:29. Reason: added text
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:59   #4 (permalink)
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Re: sensor cleaning confusion....

There is an awful lot of hysteria surrounding the sensor cleaning issue and most of that has been put out by people who have something to gain. Do I mean the service centres? No, not really. Believe it or not i mean the companies who sell cleaning equipment at absolutely ludicrous prices.

When you buy a kit to clean the sensor, which you DO have to do as this is NOT something you can do with a lens cloth and a quick breath on the sensor, look at what they are actually selling you: a bottle of liquid: costs them about 1 to produce, sells for 12.99. Then you need a pack (notice, you can't buy these in ones!) of 10 plastic wipes: a simple plastic wand (cost less than a penny each to mass produce) and a bit of lint free tissue wrapped around it... cost another few pence. result? You pay 15 for them! Ok, I know they claim to put those tissues on in a dust-free environment but don't get images of a NASA Clean-Air room with masses of microfiltration systems and a double entry door system. it is just a machine that is dust-sealed and with a filter for the air that goes in, much like the HEPA filter on any decent vacuum cleaner.

So, this is an area at the moment where these rip-off merchants have got us over a barrel. They know we have paid huge sums of money for our cameras and they know dust is something we hate having to clone out and they know we would have to pay stupid amounts of money to Canon for them to do the exact same thing us with no guarantee that they will get it perfect, so we'll all say 'well, it's got to be done' and leave it at that.... a wallet lightened under the strain to have a bit of dust cleaned off our sensors!

So, how can we at least save?....

Well, don't go throwing those pads away after one wipe for a start, that is pointless. A soft tissue does not become a hard tissue after one wipe. Ah, but what about that grain of sand that was on the sensor? that could be wiped over and scratch the sensor. Well, as has already been mentioned, it isn't the sensor it's the sensor cover/filter. But more to the point: if there is a bit of grit on your sensor, you will know before you start: you can see it clear as day. That should be blown off if possible anyway as it is heavier particulate and will not therefore be blowing about inside the camera like dust. if it is only dust on your sensor, you will not scratch that cover with a bit of dust!

You need two pads for each clean: one to put a SINGLE drop of liquid on (Eclipse fluid really is the best stuff despite the stupid price) and one dry wipe to polish it up. You don't need to wipe all the liquid off, most will evaporate in seconds. But if you don't dry-wipe it, you'll get tide marks and this will be worse than the dust.

So, keep your old pads, recover them with much cheaper sheets of pec*pads and you will be fine. it is NOT rocket science but you SHOULD take necessary caution and be sensibly careful (don't ban every person within a 100 yards from breathing!)

This is something you should read the simple ;how to' instructions at the site linked in previous post and then go for it.

By the way, one thing you MUST do: have a freshly charged battery in the camera. if your shutter closes with your swap in the way, that WILL cause serious damage.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:34   #5 (permalink)
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Re: sensor cleaning confusion....

I can fully understand you wanting to keep your sensor clean but to be honest I wouldn't worry if it's only 3 or 4 specs showing........unless they are really bad.
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: sensor cleaning confusion....

Thanks for your advice people. It is only 3/4 specs at the moment, and if I do see them it is easy enough to clone them out. I know that I will only get more of them as time goes on and was just wondering how easy it would be to deal with them when the time arose.....
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Old 05-12-2006, 14:04   #7 (permalink)
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Re: sensor cleaning confusion....

If you keep your aperture wide enough you probably wont see them anyway.
I had been using mine at F8 or wider for months and never say a spec of dust. Then I tried stopping it way down to blur some moving water, and was amazed at just how much dust there actually was. There was way too much to clone it out, and I'd never even noticed it!

I've since bought a blower.
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