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Old 18-09-2008, 08:54   #1 (permalink)
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Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

I returned from a recent trip and noticed quite a few images with dirty great goobers on them so it obviously time to do a sensor clean - my first on the D3 and the last time I did one was on my old D70 which was some while ago.

After researching and talking to various people I decided on the Arctic Butterfly kit which included a loupe with some built in LED's - at just over £100 it wasn't cheap but then again the camera isn't cheap and I wanted the job done properly. How wrong could I have been! I followed all the instructions and did two passes with the brush whilst remembering to charge it up in between. A quick check with the loupe showed no difference so I did it again. What I hadn't noticed was that the pristine white brush had picked up what looked like a bit of grease or crud in one corner and I promptly smeared it all over the surface. Bugger! As you can imagine I was none too pleased and the air was a tad blue.

I decided to give the swabs a go and finally settled on a company called Camera Clean who supplied me with a pack of 24mm sensor swabs (I think that was the size - for a full frame sensor) and a bottle of E2 cleaning fluid which turned up today. It was with some trepidation that I attempted this and three swabs later my sensor was like new! PHEW!!

If you are going to clean your sensor give the Arctic Butterfly a wide berth although I must admit the loupe is a very handy bit of kit. I have since spoken to Peter Brogden who is the Director at Camera Clean and found him very informative and extremely helpful, so a big thumbs up from me for some great service and easy to use products.

Anyone want to buy an Arctic Butterfly - hardly used!
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Old 18-09-2008, 09:04   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

Thanks for that Colin, I may give then a go. I have some dust on my 5D which won't shift with my usual method.
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Old 18-09-2008, 09:16   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

I hate it when you invest what you think is the best solution, only to find it doesn't work I would have lost it
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Old 18-09-2008, 09:21   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

I've found that newish cameras can deposit tiny oil or grease specks on the sensor - probably from overenthusiastic lubrication of the shutter or mirror mechanism. You really need to use the wet (methanol) cleaning method to remove this, or else they just smear.

I'll have another rant about people selling simple nylon brushes at inflated prices. Yes, they work for non-sticky dust, but so does something like a Daler-Rowney SY21 that costs less than £4.

The LensPen SensorKlear is also very good, although again that's aimed at dry dust.
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Old 18-09-2008, 13:41   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

The mirror box and chamber on the D3 has a fair amount of lube on it when new and tends to dislodge fairly easily - hence many, many reports of D3's with dust/grease spots when they've been only out the box a few days or weeks

The same company that makes the Arctic Butterfly also makes decent swabs and very good cleaning solutions. Their new VSwab series is best suited to cameras like the D3 since it minimises the amount of swab material that comes into contact with anything but the sensor.

Other useful products are their lens cleaning and chamber cleaning fluids, as well as dedicated swabs for cleaning focusing screens too.
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Old 18-09-2008, 15:36   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

Touch wood, my Arctic Butterfly has been fine. Not used it on the 1D yet, but it was fine on the 40D. When I've done wet cleaning on mine, I've used the intemos swabs and fluid as it seemed to put less fluid on the sensor and dry it off well too.
I did initially try pec pads, but found they didn't work too well for me, they left lint on the sensor.
I need some more swabs, so I'll try Camera Clean when I next buy. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 18-09-2008, 17:17   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

Hmmm, to date I have never had to do anything more than use a blower, holding camera face down , to dislodge any dust ..... phew
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Old 18-09-2008, 18:44   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

Quote:
Originally Posted by silkstone View Post
The LensPen SensorKlear is also very good, although again that's aimed at dry dust.
Yep i use it aswell, seems decent enough so far, touch wood!
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Old 18-09-2008, 19:43   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

I've always been a very keen supporter of VisibleDust (who make the Arctic Butterfly) and bought a couple of their very first SensorBrushes years ago, direct from their Canadian source (manned in those days by only a couple of people who proved very helpful).

Having invested in not too cheap gear I was keen to ensure it kept working (and it was somewhat more sensitive than most cameras) and the SensorBrush performed very well. Having said that, grease and (I think) pollen doesn't come off easily - and I've had the welded-on-pollen which took careful application of the Copperhill method to remove (but only once in 3 years tho' it could do with another thorough clean now!)
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:49   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor cleaning - the lows and highs

Well I have tried with my blower, but it doesn't work. So I just forked out on a intro cleaning kit from camera clean. Very helpfull man. I hope it works ok.
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