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Thread: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

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    What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Hi all -

    I just can't seem to get this right.

    I"m using the Phase One kit, and following the instructions closely, but I keep ending up with streaks across the width of the sensor following application and evaporation of the second fluid.

    What I do is this -

    1. Wrap two of the cloths around the black scraper, then wet the edge with solution A.

    2. One firm, relatively quick swipe across the sensor, holding the scraper at an angle of around 45 degrees to the sensor, and just firm enough that it bends ever so slightly.

    3. As per (1), but with fresh cloths and solution B.

    4. As per (2).

    I've watched this video - Cleaning kit | Phase One P+ digital camera back - YouTube but am a little confused because it doesn't appear to follow the instructions on the box.

    Any help gratefully received!

    Kind regards,

    Gerald.

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Solution A tends to leave a residue on the glass that takes a few solution B cleanings to remove. They recommend using solution B before the solution A dries; good luck with that. I usually avoid solution A unless cleaning with solution B alone doesn't do the job.

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Agreed. Skip A unless you have something especially grimy. If you have to use A only use it once and resign yourself to the fact you'll need to do B several times in a row to clean up the resulting soap residue.

    The Leaf wipes are a bit more absorbant than the Phase wipes. Though I use the Phase wipes several times a week (rental, demo, research, testing) and they work just fine as.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Thanks chaps. So the streaky residue is from Solution A then?

    I'll have a good go at it tomorrow using just Solution B, and let you know how I get on

    Kind regards,

    Gerald.

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    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I usually only use Solution A once in a while, when the sensor really needs a good cleaning, and then it usually takes 3 or 4 swipes with Solution B to get rid of all the residue and streaks.
    Bryan

    “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” — Ansel Adams

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Gerald, this sounds like the same stuff Visible Dust sells. I don't use it anymore--it certainly gets rid of the dust (and replaces it with something worse). I would look for the Eclipse solution. It is really easy to use and leaves no residue whatsoever.

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Solution B is the same as eclipse solution. Solution A should rarely if ever need to be used. Only if a couple of cleanings of B fail to get something. Once you use A, it may take 3 or more cleanings with B to get everything off.

    A few comments about the video. Make sure you use a fresh cloth for B, from the video I get the impression they are putting it on the same one. If you hold the cloth in the right way, you can actually "roll" it around the edge a fraction, thus exposing a clean part of the cloth. When you use solution B, after each swipe, you can do this. Also as you get close to the edge, you can "straighten" and move completely into the edge of the sensor, if you don't you will frequently see issues at that side.

    Finally I don't like leaving the sensor on it's back, as dust can fall on it. I hold it on it's side. Also if you have a good bright LED light you can shine it across the sensor and see how clean it is. No need to ever shoot a frame to tell if it's clean.
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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Use E wipes... no A or B solutions, dries fast. Just remember to use only one side per wipe to avoid dragging dust across sensor.
    When you use the word "scraper" when describing a sensor cleaning , makes one cringe. Hasselblad recommends these for cleaning sensors, and even supplies a few with new products. Here's a link...



    e-wipe box of 24 packets - Digital Camera Cleaning - Photographic Solutions

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Solution B is great, works just like Eclipse and and both are essentially the same fluid as used on E-Wipes (an E-Wipe is a PecPad pre-soaked with Eclipse). The trick to using solution A (only when absolutely necessary) is to then do 2 wipes with pure, distilled water -- not tap water, not bottled drinking water, but actual store-bought distilled water. (Even better is de-ionized water if you can find it.) Anyway, then follow up with a final swipe with solution B and you should be good as new.

    PS: Note that Eclipse, Solution B and E-Wipes are all hydrophilic, which means they will suck water right out of the atmosphere and into them in a hurry. So the longer the "wet" pad stays out, the more water it absorbs, the more water it absorbs, the more likely you are to get streaks.
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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Never had a problem with e-wipes.

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Gotta say I use the Visible Dust Butterfly nine times out of ten. Works perfectly for dust - the liquid cleaning is only needed if the sensor has been exposed to "other than dust". (Like I breathed on it once - baaaad!)
    Bill

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Thanks for all the advice - got the sensor nice and clean just using the B solution, and also applying a little more pressure.

    Bad news though is that what I thought was a very small fiber stuck to the glass, is actually underneath the glass. Goodness only knows where it's come from, or how it got there.

    I'm assuming this will be a "back-to-base" fix?

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    i have just ordered Vswab 30-33mm from visibledust... i will used them with Eclipse solution... i have heard that "alcool isopropylique" should work also... ?

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I'm getting bad vibes with all this sensor talk. I have never cleaned my h4d-50 sensor properly. . Looks ok except for one or two dust spots.

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Never had a problem with e-wipes.
    True enough . Never had any trouble with e-wipes either .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I use Eclipse , Leaf pads and the scrapper ( bad name) for digital backs . Always worked great.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Buy regular pec pads from B&H.

    I had a problem all the time until I'm running out of my cloth. I open my new pec pads and 1 cloth cleans the sensor without any streak!!!

    So in my opinion the problem is the cloth is too thin.

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Why I use the Leaf cloths they are just the right amount of thickness. Most likely DT and CI sell them. I got mine from CI
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I also use the Leaf pads. There is an issue with a phase back where the edges can "grab" a thread from a pad and then you have a real problem trying to pull it free (we're talking loupe and plastic tweezers). The leaf pads are thicker and seem to be a different type of material. I've never had an issue with one of those. I clean my sensor frequently when in the field, often each night if the previous days conditions were dusty (slot canyon, sand dunes, beach, etc).
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I used soln A when I had some oily substance, presumably from the DF shutter or sucked in via focusing old lenses. Otherwise B has been fine for spots etc.

    Also had the same problem Wayne mentions with a small trapped thread.

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    The trick that I found is to do wait for it to dry up a bit before cleaning or shake to get rid fo the excess fluid.

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I agree with Bill, the visible dust butterfly works for me most of the time. For difficult spots I use a sensor swab with laboratory grade ethanol. The ethanol dries almost immediately compared to alcohol and 1 liter costs a little more than $30, which is relatively cheap compared to the eclipse solution.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Gotta say I use the Visible Dust Butterfly nine times out of ten. Works perfectly for dust - the liquid cleaning is only needed if the sensor has been exposed to "other than dust". (Like I breathed on it once - baaaad!)
    Bill

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Hi,
    after some years of cleaning problems with the P1-Kit I found an answer:
    I clean it exactly as described in the manual. Except for solution B, I use 2 wipes
    on top of each other. I don't know exactly why, but it works perfect. Try it out.
    Regards,
    Ben

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I have found that for solution B you use 2 wipes, and go VERY VERY SLOW and smooth, and you will see that as you are going slowly, solution B will dry as you move without leaving streaks. I have got it to the point where I only need 1 try now and its perfect.

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    Member Douglas Fairbank's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    When I was employed to do this my preferred method was a medical wipe folded around a fabric cushioned plastic spatula and a spray of alcohol on the wipe, not the filter. Then the wipe was stroked across the filter one way.
    Sometimes a sugar deposit was on the filter (soda drink spray etc) and this would not be removed by alcohol, the best thing I used was a citrus oil based solvent reduced 1:5 in pure water and using the same technique as above, then repeat the alcohol stage.
    I had 100% success and it passed every Hasselblad inspection.
    Classic V, support for Hasselblad V system cameras.
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    a lot of good advices here, The key point is you need to know what's going on while cleaning. Use a loupe with LED light(I attached some sensor protection sponge on loupe_this is a good tool for the lens cleaning too) to see the sensor. I use the newer Visible Dust flat! LED loupe which was modified with small sponge to protect sensor. You don't want to damage sensor while using the loupe. I like, a blower with hepa(!!) filter(the other blowers are useless for sensor cleaning since it adds dust while removing the dust), butterfly brush( clean the brush itself often_this brush is good for medium digital back only. For the small camera, I don't recommend this because of oils near the sensor.), (sometimes) solution B or Eclipse, or E-wipe. And following Jack's advice long ago, I use fresh very small piece of optical cleaning cloth(leica brand for now) to remove any residue on the edge of sensor for only one-time use. You can make about 10 small pieces from one cleaning cloth.You don't need to be a Master of sensor cleaning to clean a sensor : ) Leaf_mamiya wipe pad sounds better than phaseone or B&H's. I'll try it next time. The key is the fact that you need to see what you are doing without guessing. Good luck! It sounds like complicated, but it is a kind of fun and a good lesson To solve a problem, you need a thorough understanding... And of course, peace of mind finally. With a thorough understanding, it's easier to compromise some. It's ok to use 95% clean sensor as long as you know that it's 95% and you can make it 100% if needed. I know...it's not cheap..
    Last edited by studio347; 17th November 2012 at 12:02.
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I got DigiClean kit from a friend. The kit never been used, but the problem is we have no idea when it was purchased. It's time to clean my P30+ for the first time. Is there expiration date for the cleaning liquid or am I good to use it? I probably sound paranoiac.
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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Sorry to say, but this permanent cleaning does more harm than usefulness.
    And - avoid wet cleaning solutions.
    I have used digital backs now for 19 years. And all I do is taking a microfibre cloth (that has to be CLEAN! not something you used for your glasses) and do a bit of breathe on, then wipe carefully-1-2 times in opposite direction. That´s it.

    I never had any problems with that. It just works.


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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Although I suspect that the age of the normally used cleaning solutions shouldn't be a problem, I didn't want to say so, not wanting to mislead someone unless I was sure.

    Should you brush your teeth or use mouthwash before breathing on the back?

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    ....
    Should you brush your teeth or use mouthwash before breathing on the back?
    I guess it depends on the relationship that you share with your equipment.

    I love my IQ180.... so I also floss.

    I've heard others take showers with their Cubes....
    Last edited by kdphotography; 7th March 2013 at 09:55.

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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I would even go further and say putting liquid on the chip is even dangerous. If there is any liquid going into the electronics that could do greater harm than any dirt or dust that´s only on the surface.

    Regards
    Stefan
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I have never seen it suggested that liquid be put on a chip.

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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: What am I doing wrong with my sensor cleaning?

    I have an old Junair graphics compressor that I use for all my digital cameras. it has a double active coal filter to prevent any oil or water to come from the pressureized air, it has some bar to remove even ugly stuff from inside of my bodies. Am using this for over 20 years now. Perfect. Costs nearly nothing and works in seconds.

    Regards
    Stefan
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