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Thread: Sensor cleaning (D800)

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    Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Hello,

    I am not sure if this thread fits best in here but since I am using a D800, I thought I put it in the Nikon section. Of course it applies for any other DSLR.

    After I bought the D800 (coming from the D700) I honestly was a bit disappointed how quick dust gets on the sensor or better (which is somehow logical since you have more or less 3 times more pixel per mm2), that small dirt spots are much clearer/more prominent.

    So I have been through a kinda odyssey of different methods and products. My latest "level" is using the Arctic Butterfly Dust Brush, the Sensor Scope kit from Delkin Device with a small vacuum cleaner and finally Green Clean wet+dry swabs/sweeper.

    However, after all that efforts, there was sometimes still a small spot here or there. Moreover, I am living in Dubai and sandy air is a frequent thing.

    So I browsed the internet and found a product called "Sensorfilm" which looks/sounds quite promising. They have a website Sensor-Film: Next generation sensor cleaning and there you find a video that explains in detail how it works. Just to mention that - I have nothing to do with the company.

    Today now I started trying it on a CD first as recommended and approx. 30 mins ago I applied it.

    If this test works out well, I will try "the real thing" and apply it on the D800 sensor. I will report about the outcome.

    Greetings, Jurgen






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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    After 2 hours the film starts showing some matt surface at the edges. The website mentiones a drying time between 30 and 180 minutes.

    (this shot was taken with the 105/2.8 Nikkor and Reynox 250 lense attached)


    So I applied the paper strip, normal 100g paper, and let it dry completely.



    Greetings, Jurgen

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Update,

    after a bit more than 4 hours (just came back from the mall, so maybe it would have been ready earlier) the film was completely dried. I could pull it off from the CD in one piece, nothing was left behind on the CD. The dirt you see on the photo was -of course- outside the test area. The film itself has an elastic but strong consistency - a bit like adhesive film but much stronger.





    The paper strip was unfortunately torn, so maybe the paper is not strong enough. The set comes with a small sheet of paper for that purpose but it feels pretty much like the one I used (normal printer paper). However, maybe I will try to find some plastic like these folders from a stationary shop.

    The small brush I used for applying the film can easily be cleaned unter hot water so it can be used again.

    The result however, is encouraging.

    Greetings, Jurgen

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Thanks very much Jurgen! It is very helpful.
    Please update how it works with the actual sensor.
    Cleaning the MFDB is much easier.
    Pramote

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    This just scares me to death. Not sure I want anything to dry on the sensor than pull off. I would just use a sensor swab and eclipse2 but that's me. I'm also a canned air guy , which no one recommends. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    "This just scares me to death."

    And imagine explaining what you did if anything goes wrong.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    This just scares me to death.
    +100

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    One immediate worry is pulling off the cover glass. Not sure I want to mention the second . But you could also pull the sensor out of alignment. Honestly I would avoid this like the plaque. Just my thoughts and certainly you can ignore me.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Agree this absolutely scares me to death and seems like a risky solution to a problem that is easily solved by other more proven means. I mainly shoot with Leica M9s, which have no automatic sensor cleaning, so manual cleaning is required on a regular basis. Visible dust swabs and cleaning solution for me. One thing I really don't like about the above method is that you must pour the liquid on the sensor, and as dust tends to collect in the corners you would need to cover the sensor completely. I have no idea how you could contain the liquid and keep it from pouring off the edge.

    Remember what you are actually cleaning is the cover glass and not the sensor itself. There have been report of sensor failures due to the cover glass separating or cracking. Pulling on the cover glass is a procedure I cannot imagine is ever recommended.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Besides all of the above mentioned concerns it strikes me that you would have to have your D800 sitting with the shutter open for three hours with a piece of paper coming out the front. You will probably collect even more dust inside the camera while cleaning it than what is removed by the sticky gum.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    I agree, this freaks me out....I use, on all my sensors, first the Visible Dust rotation electric brush, and if I still have spots I wipe using Digiclean solution B ( from Phase One) with an eclipse sensor swab. The Digiclean (only solution B) is the best solution I have found. Eleanor

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Thanks Eleanor ...The "Visible Dust rotation electric brush" looks very promising.
    Do you use the Digital Clean A too? Or just B.
    Guy... Do you really use canned air? How many sensors did you damage?
    Pramote

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    None been doing it for 20 years. Lol

    You use a half empty can hold can in one spot and move body. But big trick is aim at one side wall as it blows across. I never had a issue but no one will ever recommend to do it even though a lot do anyway. You really think camera techs actually use a build blower. I know I wouldn't. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    I read all your concerns and believe me, I had/have them as well. I can't just blow US$ 3000 (don't think anyone else can...). The cleaner is a gel-like substance, not like water. Once applied, it sticks there and doesn't float away. The peel-off procedure was easy, so not much adhesion between film and sensor/filter, much much less than adhesive tape for example but enough to remove the dirt which is encapsuled in the gel.
    Anyway...that makes me most likely a pioneer in sensor-cleaning-science here - so I will report whatever happens. At the moment the sensor is still clean and I am not planning to use the sensorfilm every time, only for nasty dirt.

    Greetings, Jurgen

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Thanks a lot Guy! I believe you and may try. How far is it from the tip of the canned air to the sensor?

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    No goo never.

    It might work but the possible side-effects are too horrible to imagine.

    Rocket blower or one of those filtered ones. canned air sometimes but I never really need it.

    After that only if needed it is a swab and eclipse or phase one solution B for me.
    One bottle of solution B looks like about two lifetimes worth.
    New cameras seem to need a swabbing after 1000 shots or so to get out the residual oil and leftover manufacturing cruft.
    -bob

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    Thanks a lot Guy! I believe you and may try. How far is it from the tip of the canned air to the sensor?
    do not blow directly at the sensor glass, the point is to create turbulent airflow in the chamber, so direct the blast at the side walls.
    Actually if you are brave, go ahead and aim it at the glass, just sometimes there is a bit of goo in that canned air.
    -bob

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Exactly as Bob said about 6 inches. I do before I start turn can upside down and try to clear any propellant first . Why I use a half can usually it clears most of it out but go for the side walls. Go through the routine and hit the outside of body as practice
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Thanks Bob & Guy! It's always very useful to hear different options.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    I use part-chewed gum on mine - it works and the camera smells minty fresh for weeks afterwards!

    ;-)
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    Having owned a D3X, sensor dust was always a problem so I invested in "Visible Dust" and it worked quite well but it's expensive.

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    Re: Sensor cleaning (D800)

    I can vouch for this advice, but the guy at lenrentals.com offers some thoughtful words on sensor cleaning, and he does it every day.

    LensRentals.com - How to Clean a Camera Sensor

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