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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Sensor/lens cleaning?...This is going to sound a bit silly but..... i was wondering how everyone cleans there DSLR sensor?-i know you ...
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:11   #1 (permalink)
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Question Sensor/lens cleaning?

This is going to sound a bit silly but..... i was wondering how everyone cleans there DSLR sensor?-i know you can send them in and get it done but have heard there are products available where this can be done yourself, my question is do many of you clean your own? and what products do you use/recommend as being the best way?-also to add to this i would like to know how most of you clean your camera lens?, i do not have much luck with this and nearly always end up with streaks on my lens/filters after cleaning-i would love to know how to clean expensive lens and filters safely and end up with a clear clean result without streaks/haze etc?

* I have been using lens cleaner and lens tissues from a camera shop!
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:05   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

So far I have only used the cleaning program of the camera (its about 1 year old). I think that the best practice is to avoid dust in the first place by thinking when changing lenses and storing the camera in a low dust environment.

On lenses dust is best blown off, I use those blower brushes. Occasionally, when something splashes the lens, I also use the cleaner fluid and tissues, but it always seems to leave a few streaks. There are less streaks if you use less fluid and don't try to clean the whole lens (just lift the dirt off). Also always move the tissue towards the outer edges of the lens.

Thanks for raising the topic, as I would also be interested in knowing what others do.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:49   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

For my Sigma SD10 I bought a SensorBrush as the Sigma has just a "naked" sensor with no antialias filter stuck on the front, like most other cameras - and that's served me very well over the years. For the more stubborn dust (pollen's a particular villain which seems to get glued on), I have used (and continue to use on my 350D) Pec Pads and Eclipse fluid as per CMOS - CCD Sensor Cleaning - Canon EOS 10D Digital SLR

BTW, there were suggestions that sensor dust sources included the card and battery accesses, as well as through the more obvious lens route. Personally, I've never worried about it (I'm no intention of modifying my shooting habits for fear of a bit of dust)
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:33   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Thanks fgates, its nice to know im not the only one left with streaks after using lens cleaner as a rule i seam to be very good at getting my lens an filters very dirty an wet-often i am out in the rain or wind and also shoot alot of sea coast shots (like about 2hrs ago when i covered my polarizer with salt sea spray an rain!) i am wondering if a lens cloth like people use on there glasses would be a better option for me?-i am just about at the point of burning my lens tissues as i can never get clean clear results from them-i also use a blower brush before using them, i do seam to have most of my problems with filters-i just cant for the life of me get them nice an clear again and i only buy good(expensive!) filters as i am of the opinion you should only cover good optics with other good optics!, anymore advice or suggestions from others about this would be greatly appreciated...
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:43   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

For lenses/filters (which are pretty tough) I use water..... and a lens cloth, with a dry cloth to wipe away any smears. Works for me in wind, rain, snow and dust!
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:53   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Thank you also Mark for the link i think i will look into getting some of those products and cleaning my own sensor (its dirty as well!) i think i am a bit hard on my gear sometimes and tend to ask alot of it-i always try to keep lens clean (but never manage to!) i will confess that when i was using film on my minolta system i would just clean the lens with the bottom of my shirt and never really worried about it because the lens would "look" clean after it....since i moved to canon and digital and have started buying L lens and good filters i have been forced to have a rethink about my cleaning habits as i have no wish to damage lens coatings or ruin filters by improper cleaning methods......this is something i am struggling with but need to learn how its done properly
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:57   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Water?....well thats something i have not tryed.....i will give that a go, thanks mark!
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:58   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Have a look at the Copperhill site. I always use Sensor Wand, Pecpads and Eclipse.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:12   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Cheers stepheno-i will take a look...(is that you in your photo?)
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:18   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

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Originally Posted by mountain wilderness View Post
is that you in your photo?
Yes......it's been a hard life
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:26   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

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Yes......it's been a hard life
Starting to wounder about this place.....

Last edited by mountain wilderness; 02-07-2008 at 08:36.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:50   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

You've been a member since March 2007 and you are only STARTING to wonder about this place???

Seriously, the one thing you must NOT do is believe all the scare story hype that the camera companies put out there to convince you that if you clean your sensor you'll destroy the camera, invalidate the warranty and cause World War 3! Cleaning the sensor is a VERY EASY job. You approach it with the same common sense you would use for any other job (except the washing up which we men do deliberately badly so our respective partners will not bother asking us..... errrr..... we do all do it don't we guys? ) and follow the one key rule that IS important: make sure you have a freshly charged battery as you don't want the shutter suddenly closing on you.

Follow the guidelines you can find on Copperhill, Sensor Wand, Pecpads, etc websites and it is a two minute job. There are a couple of tutorials here on Pixalo as well so you might like to check those out.

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Old 02-07-2008, 09:29   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Rob beat me to it regarding the sensor cleaning tutorials (in the Tutorials Forum), but for lens cleaning I use a blower and/or a proper lens cloth and some Hhhhrrrr which is freely available after taking a deep breath!

My cloth of choice is a Selvyt, but I think there are microfibre cloths produced by camera accessory companies and others.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:37   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Cheers Rob-i have been a member since then, but only really refound this site early this year after a major computer crash destroyed everything on my hard drive last year (yes i lost alot of photos!) needless to say i have a BETTER system for backing up my shots now!-think i will order some of those products and do as they say rather than follow my impatient instincts and take to the camera with a cotton bud and some methanol-as far as washing up goes you should try dating an American lady who spent half her life in Hawaii.....i wont go into details suffice to say it does my head in!

"You've been a member since March 2007 and you are only STARTING to wonder about this place???"

Sounds like i have come to the right place then!
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:56   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

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Rob beat me to it regarding the sensor cleaning tutorials (in the Tutorials Forum), but for lens cleaning I use a blower and/or a proper lens cloth and some Hhhhrrrr which is freely available after taking a deep breath!

My cloth of choice is a Selvyt, but I think there are microfibre cloths produced by camera accessory companies and others.

Thank you Dabhand16 i will have a look at those tutorials and i think i will invest in some good lens cloths as well
maybe i should have a good look around this site before starting a thread...
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:08   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

I haven't gone near any of my sensors as yet (and after well over a year with my 400D it is still not showing any evidence of a problem) but for lens cleaning I have a nice big microfibre cloth. Just like the ones you get for cleaning your glasses but it is almost the size of a sheet of A4 paper. Originally it came from the Euro Photo Centre in Uxbridge (now deceased) and I must have had it a good 10 years or so. It is without doubt the most useful cleaning tool I have (and it works well on my spectacles as well).
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:20   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

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I haven't gone near any of my sensors as yet (and after well over a year with my 400D it is still not showing any evidence of a problem) but for lens cleaning I have a nice big microfibre cloth. Just like the ones you get for cleaning your glasses but it is almost the size of a sheet of A4 paper. Originally it came from the Euro Photo Centre in Uxbridge (now deceased) and I must have had it a good 10 years or so. It is without doubt the most useful cleaning tool I have (and it works well on my spectacles as well).


Thanks Larne.....now thats what i am talking about!-i need me one of those, nice big cloth i can clean my lens/filters with without fair of using something not designed for the job....so the general consensus so far is huff on your lens/filter then rub with a nice (clean) big lens cloth-i just thought now maybe a eye glass shop might have a better selection of cloths for lens?, think i will investigate this in town in the morning-
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:50   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

When I used to work in the optical industry we never used cleaning fluids. For stubborn marks a slightly moist cleaning cloth (1-5% washing up liquid in water and used very sparingly to moisten a cloth) will probably do the trick if huffing failed.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:47   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

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When I used to work in the optical industry we never used cleaning fluids. For stubborn marks a slightly moist cleaning cloth (1-5% washing up liquid in water and used very sparingly to moisten a cloth) will probably do the trick if huffing failed.
Thank you very kindly...i have learned something, i was of the opinion that cleaning fluid SHOULD be used when cleaning lens and am happy to here your coments
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:53   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

The only reason to use cleaning fluids is if you have something greasy or sticky on the lens/filter and water won't dissolve it. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is generally safe on most materials (including plastics) and can be bought cheaply. I think it's the main ingredient of most proprietary (and more expensive!) lens cleaning fluids.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:00   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Thanks Silkstone i have learned alot by all of these posts-now i will be changing the ways that i clean my lens, i am also looking forward to cleaning the sensor on my camera with the right products as well.....Thanks to you all
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Old 02-07-2008, 16:23   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

A handy little tool for sensor cleaning is this...

7dayshop.com - Online Store

It works like the LensPen and is easy to use. Again it won't remove sticky deposits, but works with normal dust and is cheap.
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Old 02-07-2008, 23:28   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

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A handy little tool for sensor cleaning is this...

7dayshop.com - Online Store

It works like the LensPen and is easy to use. Again it won't remove sticky deposits, but works with normal dust and is cheap.
Thanks silkstone-that does look like a handy gadget...i am going to order some supply's today over the internet as i live near a rural town and don't have main supply shops for these sort of things they do a lens pen also by the sound of it
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:39   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

I use the lenspen. It's superb. I take it everywhere and it works great. Even for stubborn watermarks on a lens you need only breathe on the lens a bit and use the pad end (circular motions). When you replace the lid you twist it a quarter turn as there's also a pad inside the lid which helps keep the pen pad clean and clear from lint
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:12   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

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I use the lenspen. It's superb. I take it everywhere and it works great. Even for stubborn watermarks on a lens you need only breathe on the lens a bit and use the pad end (circular motions). When you replace the lid you twist it a quarter turn as there's also a pad inside the lid which helps keep the pen pad clean and clear from lint
Thanks LJR69 i am going to try some of these products-i have already got a couple of new lens cloths and what a difference they have made! my next step is to get some sensor cleaning gear for my camera-dose the pen give you clean/clear results on you r lens/filters? with out streaking?
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:38   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

The pen gives absolutely pristine cleaning without any smears at all. Better than the lens cloths I had been using. Really is quite a neat tool. Retractable soft brush one end, and the, seemingly felt, pad on the other. I've used it when photographing motorcycle trials, fountains on a windy day (loadsa spray), dusty conditions. I've only ever had to use this and the giottos blower and that's it. Never used any solutions yet. Note also that the pen is for lens cleaning - I wouldn't recommend touching the sensor with it.
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Old 04-07-2008, 13:19   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

The SensorKlear pen actually seems to have the same material as the LensPen, but in a smaller, triangular shape to reach the corners of the sensor. I suspect that you could cut down a LensPen and it would work, but it's not worth it given the low price of these things.
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Old 04-07-2008, 14:22   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

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Originally Posted by silkstone View Post
The SensorKlear pen actually seems to have the same material as the LensPen, but in a smaller, triangular shape to reach the corners of the sensor. I suspect that you could cut down a LensPen and it would work, but it's not worth it given the low price of these things.
My local camera shop dose not sell these items-and i am having trouble finding a new zealand dealer-but i will keep looking, i cant be the only person here wonting to try these products-in any case i will keep looking until i find something that will do the job and let you know how i get on-thank you all for your help and understanding
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Old 04-07-2008, 15:26   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

Not sure if either of these are any use - the first does ship to NZ but postage seems expensive...

MELB Lenspen Lens pen Cleaning Kit D80 40D 5D 400D D300 - eBay, Camera Body Parts, Photographic Accessories, Cameras. (end time 12-Jul-08 20:17:43 AEST)

Lenspen Lens cleaner | Other Accessories | New Zealand Photo Supply
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Old 04-07-2008, 16:46   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Sensor/lens cleaning?

I clean my sensor on my EOS 20D as needed (about 3 or 4 times a year). I use the Giotto Rocket Blower initially and if that does not clean it then I use Digipads from Warehouse Express with Eclipse cleaning fluid. The instructions come woth the digipad. Initially I found that the rocket Blower was sufficient but it is rarely sufficient now.

While I would not change a lens in an obviously dusty environment, I usually change lenses at will and suspect I change lenses much more often than the average photographer.
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