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Thread: Dust inside lens - self clean?

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    Dust/oil on sensor - self clean?

    I just noticed some dust inside 2 of my CV lenses --- is there any way to self clean it? Or do I need to send it somewhere for CLA?

    thank you!
    Last edited by edmund; 10th March 2011 at 17:28.

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Personally, I wouldn't bother unless it shows up in your images.
    If it does need cleaning, I would just send it in.. I'm not an expert in taking apart and putting together lenses.
    Scott

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Thanks ---

    It just started showing up in some photos, as I was shooting the sky.

    With CS5's content aware setting, they should be easy to clean up --- still a pain though!

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Quote Originally Posted by edmund View Post
    Thanks ---

    It just started showing up in some photos, as I was shooting the sky.

    With CS5's content aware setting, they should be easy to clean up --- still a pain though!
    Typically, dust spots showing up in images means there's dust on the sensor assembly, not in the lens. Do a test:

    - fit one lens, set to f/22, shoot blank sheet of paper
    - fit another lens, set to f/22, shoot blank sheet of paper

    If you compare the two exposures and see the same dust spots, clean the sensor.

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Thanks Godfrey --- did the test.

    Results: FLICKR DUST TEST

    And you are right!

    Now the question --- should a brand new M9 have so much dust?!
    Last edited by edmund; 10th March 2011 at 15:47.

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Was just reading on another forum that this could be oil droplets from the shutter --- apparently this goes away after a few months of use...

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    The oil won't go away. Once you clean it really well, eventually new oil won't be deposited. It may take a little while for this to happen, though.

    I cant tell from the images if this is oil or not, but I personally wouldn't accept a camera loaded with oil droplets from the factory. Dust is no problem, but the oil may be depending on the cleaning system you use.

    You will need to know how to wet clean the camera, as the M9 is by far the worst in keeping clean of any digital camera I've used.

    Look at the visible Dust cleaning system, swabs and the Sensor Clean product. Most people use the 1.3x swabs because there is very little room for the full frame swabs in the hole surrounding the frame.

    If you have oil problems, think about getting the Smear Away solution. If you have only dust, the Sensor Clean. I said 'what the heck' and bought both, and have used both on the camera. At some point, the Sensor Clean will be all you need probably.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Quote Originally Posted by edmund View Post
    Thanks Godfrey --- did the test.

    Results: FLICKR DUST TEST

    And you are right!

    Now the question --- should a brand new M9 have so much dust?!
    I've both seen and heard of many cameras (pro to consumer, new out of the box, etc) with horrendous amounts of dust on the sensor.

    Unless it's actually oily stuff, which is hard to remove and should go back to Leica service for cleaning IMO, you're going to have to clean the sensor of dust occasionally anyway. Just clean it and don't worry about it.

    (I don't believe oil residues on the sensor will ever go away by themselves.)

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Thanks for the info.

    I know dust will definitely be a problem.

    My only concern is -- should it be oil - do I need to send it in for cleaning? or just do it myself?

    Looking at the photos again, that sensor is pretty filthy. I never had such a problem with my Nikon!

    Godfrey - sorry about that, what I meant was that the shutter should stop spraying drops on the sensor after a few months... hopefully.

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Quote Originally Posted by edmund View Post
    Thanks for the info.

    I know dust will definitely be a problem.

    My only concern is -- should it be oil - do I need to send it in for cleaning? or just do it myself?

    Looking at the photos again, that sensor is pretty filthy. I never had such a problem with my Nikon!

    Godfrey - sorry about that, what I meant was that the shutter should stop spraying drops on the sensor after a few months... hopefully.
    I would try cleaning the sensor myself, presuming the schmutz to be simple dust from packaging, etc. If I could not remove all of it, or saw signs of smearing as in there being oil residue, I'd send the camera to Leica service and have them clean the sensor and the shutter blades properly.

    There's no reason, IMO, to have to hope that oil being flung off the shutter blades will likely stop being flung at some unspecified time in the future, or maybe have to have the sensor cleaned of it a second time. Not with a $6000 camera body ... or ANY camera body, really. In other words, to me it's all right that perhaps a little excess lubricant was used in the assembly of a particular shutter, but I, the user, shouldn't have to deal with cleaning up the mess or hoping that it just goes away over time.

    (I've purchased eight different digital cameras with interchangeable lenses and focal plane shutters since 2003, from consumer to pro grade.

    Two of those camera bodies were delivered with a good deal of incidental dust from packaging and shipping on the sensor (the Canon 10D and one of the Pentax *ist DS bodies), which a moment with a SensorBrush Arctic Butterfly eliminated completely. That's perfectly acceptable.

    I've never yet received one that included excess shutter assembly lubricant spattering the sensor assembly that I had to clean up and hope that the problem didn't recur. I don't consider the Leica M9 anything special in this regard ... it's an expensive, pro-grade body with a focal plane shutter which should be delivered in proper condition to start using it immediately ... and if it isn't, warranty service should make it so without any question. )

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    My Olympus DSLR camera, an E3, had oil on the sensor that developed soon after purchase, and clearly oil because the industry leading dust busting Super Sonic Wave Filter (SSWF) couldn't get rid of it. So I wasn't surprised when I saw it again on my M9 soon after purchase.

    I'm not one to say 'considering what it cost' when the option is to send it back to Leica for cleaning (and be without the camera) or just do it with the materials I have around me anyway. Dust is something you have to expect and learn to deal with without blaming Leica, so cleaning a bit of oil off doesn't seem so different considering as soon as you put a lens on the body YOU could be introducing dust anyway through no fault of Leica.

    So just get on and clean it. I use a Visible Dust wet cleaning kit for removing oil and sticky dust, followed by their Arctic Butterfly brush. The Arctic Butterfly brush can be used on its own for intermediate cleaning sessions as soon as the oil subsides, otherwise you contaminate it with oil. But either way sticky dust will eventually appear so you will always need a wet cleaning kit, and a dry cleaning brush. I do not like Rocket Blowers other than for cleaning dust out of the throat of the body and before opening the shutter for cleaning. Open the shutter and blow dust around and you have no idea where it has gone, out of the camera, or did it go into the camera? You will never know and may find you need to clean tha same bit of dust out more than once. So just remove it first time.

    But the need for cleaning will subside in most peoples experience as the camera beds in and the shutter stops shedding the odd drop of lube. Think of it this way, Leica specified that Copal put some lube on the shutter mechanism to increase longevity, so did Olympus in my experience, so if you never had a lube splash with another make what does that say? But really, many cameras have lube spashes, but they just get cleaned without the angst of thinking 'considering what it cost'.

    Steve

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Thanks for all the advice everyone.

    I spoke with Leica this AM, and explained that this was a brand new camera. They insisted I sent it in rather than cleaning it myself.

    I also tried blowing some of it out with the rocket blower and it did nothing. Definitely must be oil.

    In any case, it is on the way to Leica.

    In the meantime, Ill have to get a wet cleaning kit for the eventual dust that will get in there.

    Thanks again -- I definitely learned a lot!

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    ... Think of it this way, Leica specified that Copal put some lube on the shutter mechanism to increase longevity, so did Olympus in my experience, so if you never had a lube splash with another make what does that say?...
    Consider that in 1987 to 1990-ish, Nikon did an un-announced complete re-work of the FM2n model which eliminated *all* need for lubricants by changing all such components that would traditionally need lubricant to self-lubricating materials. They did this because the Nikon FM2n was being sought out by professionals working in extreme climates, both hot and cold ... where in the hot climates, lubricants would run, splash and cause (mechanical) shutter timings to drift to the short end, and in the cold climates lubricants would become firmer causing things to stick and shutter times to get slow. And in all climates, a lack of lubricant in the camera got away from attracting dust, dirt and such into the precision works, meaning less required services... The overhaul increased reliability and durability of the FM2n model, and they used the same bits on F3, F4, F5, F6 and presumably all the current pro models.

    The fact that a modern shutter uses any lubricant at all is a thing of wonder to me.

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    Re: Dust inside lens - self clean?

    After 3 weeks without my new M9 ... I got it back from Leica today.

    It was an awesome day of heavy fog here in Chicago, so naturally I went out to shoot.

    I came back and with the first 3 frames -- I can see oil spots in the photos!!

    It seems like it got worse as the day went along.

    Having just been cleaned by Leica, I am a little surprised the problem returned so quickly.

    Anyone else experience this?

    So I need to just get used to cleaning the sensor frequently?

    Thanks everyone -

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