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Thread: Sensor Cleaning

  1. #1
    roberth
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    Sensor Cleaning

    Recomendations please, my sensor has plenty of dust on it and I've never cleaned one before.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I use the Arctic Butterfly system and find it really does a great job.

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    Subscriber Member jaapv's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Just swab it with the Copperhill method, no big deal.
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I agree with Tim
    Arctic butterfly does a fine job - I've got the kit with the swabs as well, and I've used them once.

    Funny thing though, the sensors don't seem to be getting so much dust on them these days

    Just this guy you know

  5. #5
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I agree with Tim
    Arctic butterfly does a fine job - I've got the kit with the swabs as well, and I've used them once.
    +2 on that from me. I only had to use the swabs once, too. And that was right after I got the M8. I think there was a bit of lube on the sensor.

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Arctic Butterfly does the trick for me also. Simple and easy to use.

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Artic butterfly plus the swabs works well. DR

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I just blow it out with a bulb most of the time and use isopropyl or e2 plus swab when that won't work.
    -bob

  9. #9
    roberth
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I'll look for an arctic butterfly then, it seems there are a few methods of cleaning.

  10. #10
    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Robert,

    A more complete answer is to try dry cleaning first, using a brush. The Artic Butterfly spins the brush to rmove any dust from it and (allegedly) to impart a static charge that makes the brush attract and hold dust particles. Sensor crud that adheres to the sensor's glass cover requires a swab with a solution that will allow the crud to be removed when the dry method doesn't suffice. There are various wands made that can be wet with a few drops of cleaner (like Eclipse) and used to clean the sensor.

    Good luck

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I use Eclipse 2 and Sensor Swab pads for grease and spots. Also for just dust I use canned air but I don't recommend that unless you know what your doing. It's a little tricky
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  12. #12
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Robert,

    A more complete answer is to try dry cleaning first, using a brush. The Artic Butterfly spins the brush to rmove any dust from it and (allegedly) to impart a static charge that makes the brush attract and hold dust particles. Sensor crud that adheres to the sensor's glass cover requires a swab with a solution that will allow the crud to be removed when the dry method doesn't suffice. There are various wands made that can be wet with a few drops of cleaner (like Eclipse) and used to clean the sensor.

    Good luck
    The visible dust kit's have both - really excellent swabs (the best I've used), and the brush, which, I can tell you, having tried lots of other techniques, really does work. An ordinary brush is definitely dodgy, as they often have oil on them, Canned air is dangerous because of the propellent (if you must, then CO2 cartridges are safer)

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Even C02 cartidges have lubricant. There is only one that I know of that uses pure air I think it is Recorder??? I will have to check the name when I am home.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I think they do also Tim. I use canned air and and only at half full also and at a certain angle short blasts and into the wall of the camera. i don't recommend it though although i do demo it at the workshops for people.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I'm skeptical about the genuine danger of getting propellant on equipment. I used Peterson Dust-Off for nearly twenty years with nary a problem. Though, now that I think about it, I never did use it on glass, just on everything else, including negatives. Has canned air technology gone to the dirty dogs?

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I think they do also Tim. I use canned air and and only at half full also and at a certain angle short blasts and into the wall of the camera. i don't recommend it though although i do demo it at the workshops for people.
    I used to do it - I wasn't aware that those sparklets cylinders had oil in them . . . still, I've stopped using them nowadays as the Arctic butterfly seems to work so well (have you tried one Guy?)

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Try several rounds with a bulb blower first. If the dust isn't very stuck to the sensor, that will do it quickest, cheapest and with the least chance of damaging anything. If that doesn't work, the Arctic Butterfly is the next thing to try. If the dust is *really* stuck and the Butterfly doesn't get it off (which has happened to me only once), then wiping it with sensor swabs and Eclipse fluid (obtainable at better camera stores) should do it.

    Lisa

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I have yet to try the Artic Butterfly. I have heard mostly good though about them.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I have an Arctic Butterfly, but it seems a redundant step to me if one is armed with wet cleaning supplies.
    I have had only one mishap with it, which was a touch of some oily substance inside a camera contaminated it and caused a mess on the sensor.
    Since I find I cannot eliminate the potential need for wet cleaning, nor can I drop the bulb blower since it solves 80% of my problems, I travel with both and leave the butterfly home.
    -bob

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Funny because I almost never use a wet solution, just a quick sweep with the butterfly when needed and thats it.

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Well, it can frequently work, but unless you travel with a clean spare brush, it takes too long to clean the brush should it become contaminated. BTW, you can't just clean it with water and hotel soap or shampoo, you need completely residue free detergent, and if you just happen to be be carrying some then you are ok, if you have overnight to let the brush dry.
    In its case, it is about as big as a battery powered electric toothbrush.
    I leave mine home and take the toothbrush instead
    -bob

  22. #22
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I also use the Artic Butterfly 1.3x pro kit, and have not yet needed a wet solution.
    Carsten - Website

  23. #23
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    The main reason for having an Arctic Butterfly, for me, is that sensor cleaning fluids are not allowed in airline carry-on baggage (maybe not in checked baggage, either, since they're flammable). At least that's what I heard somewhere once, but I don't remember where, so someone should correct me if I'm wrong...

    Lisa

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Lisa

    Maybe I have just lucked out but I always travel with both the Butterfly and a couple of sensor swabs and eclipse 2 fluid. I have never been challenged but as I say, maybe lucky

    Woody Spedden

  25. #25
    roberth
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    thanks everyone. I'll try the bulb blower, then buy an arctic butterfly and if that has not done it go the swab route.

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Well, (sort of tongue in cheek), I tried looking it up from authoritative sources...
    According to the faa, materials that may be carried in checked baggage are regulated by US DOT regulations recorded in cfr 49 sections 101-172.
    According to the eclipse msds taken from the photosol web site, Eclipse is classified as a UN1993 hazardous material. According to the dot in cfr 49-172.101 (department of transportation hazardous materials table) UN 1993 decodes to a "flammable liquid n.o.s." which can be carried aboard a passenger aircraft in under 1 Liter quantity.

    Of course, that is according to the manufacturer's classification. E2 is not listed with its un code, instead it is accorded an iata id8000 which merely identified it as a class 9 misc hazardous material. Class 9 is the lowest hazard level and is carried by many (most) international carriers usually with some quantity limit far more than that contained in a single small bottle.

    On the other hand, almost everyone in the transportation business takes the most conservative interpretation if left to their own devices which would be to classify it as a dot "alcohol, flammable, toxic, n.o.s" which is forbidden unless packaged in accordance with exception 202 which extends that to 1 Liter.
    If the toxic element were removed, then the above forbidden moves up to a liter.
    Of course, all of this can be changed through application and approval of a shipping exception (aka a license) which would have its own restrictions.

    To sum it all up... Nobody will admit that you can carry a liter of this stuff in checked baggage because of the liability of interpreting the regulations incorrectly or possibly because of the way that it is packaged or boxed...I am willing to personally risk carrying half an ounce in my checked baggage.

    Don't even think of carrying it aboard the aircraft. It is prohibited not so much because it is flammable, but because it is poisonous. The same dot table specifies a limit of 5 liters of alcoholic beverages in checked baggage.
    So, will somebody please check up on this to see if I did it right
    -bob
    Last edited by Bob; 18th December 2007 at 16:12.

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Bob

    Looks like you have done your homework well.

    Perhaps the reason i am getting away with it is that I carry the eclipse 2 in a bottle of less than one ounce!

    Thanks for the clarification and as a personal note have a very merry Christmas.

    Best

    Woody

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Woody,
    Have a Merry Christmas yourself!
    I am all ajitter in anticipation. We will be traveling to Munich tomorrow where we will rendezvous with my daughter and granddaughter.
    The picture is getting to be nearly five months old now.
    Maybe over the next two weeks we will be getting a few newer shots.

    -bob

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    "It is prohibited not so much because it is flammable, but because it is poisonous." And this makes good sense: if you were to tie the pilots down to their seats and force them to ingest a sufficient quanity of Eclipse, you could make them sick and endanger the aircraft.

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Guy turned me on to the sensor loupe. It works great but a little expensive, B&H has them. You can see every speck of dirt and you don't have to shoot at the sky three or more times to see you got everything so the time you save is worth the price . I use a Arctic butterfly for dust and sensor swabs and elipse for the stubborn stuff.
    Merry Christmas
    Mike

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    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    My GF just got me a 7x Sensor Loupe for X-mas, and I'm loving it!
    It is my favorite present, and the fact that it was the only present that is related to photography had nothing to do it with!
    The fact that all my other presents were shirts, did.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    I got a money clip , problem is trying to find what goes in it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Hey Guy,

    I use mine to hold business cards of people I've met on Photography workshops!
    Think of it as a portable FiloFax/Rolodex.

    (at least this way it doesn't go unused!

  34. #34
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    In regard to sensor loupes, I fail to see why a plain old 10x or 7x jeweler's loupe wouldn't work as well and is very cheap.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    John

    Sensor Loupe has six LED lamps which illuminate the sensor so you can see what you are doing. This is the main reason to buy this instead of just a passive jewelers loupe.

    Woody

  36. #36
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    late to the thread...

    one habit i found quite helpful in preventing anymore particles from settling on the sensor is to change lens while the camera body is pointing downward.

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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    the other helpful trick is to be sure the camera is turned off before taking the lens off! Static electricity is a real culprit in bringing dust and dirt to the party.

    Woody

  38. #38
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    when using a safe solution to clean the sensor, does it matter if there are some residue streaks on the sensor? i've gently wipe the sensor until most of the streaks are gone.

    any input if the streaks matter or not, or should the sensor's surface look perfectly without streaks?

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