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Author Topic: Need help with sensor cleaning  (Read 32146 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: March 24, 2008, 06:03:54 PM »
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Dear all,

I tried to remove some dust spots from my D3 sensor this morning using the Artic Butterfly thing. It is the old model, but I hadn't used it for a very long time.

I made it rotate, stopped it and applied it to the sensor, hoping that it would be a 30 sec painless operation... it wasn't, the artic butterfly left some greasy residue on the sensor...

I thought no problem, I can use the smear away thing next to remove the greasy residue left by the artic butterfly... it worked to some extend, but left its own residue on the sensor...

I tried then to clean that residue using the sensor clean thing... still not working.

30 minutes later, I am left with an awfully dirty sensor, 25 less stabs and a situation much worse than it was one hour ago.

The residue do show clearly on pictures, especially in skies.

I am both very disapointed with the Visible dust products, but also extremely worried with the current state of my D3 sensor. I am not even sure that Nikon service center would be able to fix it at this point of time.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,

Cheers,
Bernard
 
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 06:05:51 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 06:32:26 PM »
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Kept doing more of the same for another 30 min... it seems that it solved most of the residue thing... but left many dust spots...

The I tried using for the first time the brush supplied in the Visible dust kit... and guess what... it left some more greasy residues on the sensor...

Another 15 minutes later, I managed to get rid of it. Still some dust though...

What an amazingly frustrating experience.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 06:53:27 PM »
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The D3 has an anti dust sensor?  If so, and if it's like the Canon's (3's) the chamber is coated with "stuff" that's meant to hold the dust once it's vibrated off the sensor, but if you touch the brush to the chamber side then you'll transfer gunk to the sensor.  A royal PITA that I've experienced first hand.  VD has cleaning tablets for their brushes, if you have any tolerance left..  
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2008, 07:06:04 PM »
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I saw someone on DPreview (Louis Dobson?) mention that there is something alongside the D3 sensor that you can stab your brush into that will get all over the sensor.  Obviously it wasn't just his camera.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2008, 07:07:59 PM »
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I've been using my original VD for years, and have never had 'residue' on or from it.  Not sure where you picked it up, but don't blame the company for your dirty brush.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 07:23:49 PM »
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I've been using my original VD for years, and have never had 'residue' on or from it.  Not sure where you picked it up, but don't blame the company for your dirty brush.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184004\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Fair enough, it could be my usage of the gear, but I have hardly ever used it since I purchased it... I don't quite see where it could be coming from.

One hypothesis would be the camera itself, but this would be pretty surprising.

Cheers,
Bernard
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httivals
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2008, 11:12:03 PM »
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Bernard: It's not you -- it's the design of the visible dust products.  I had the same thing happen on my Canon 5D.  I cleaned the brush using alcohol as described by visible dust and it happened several more times before I threw out the visible dust brush.  It happens to many people who use the visible dust products; for some reason, others never have a problem.  There's grease inside the mirror chamber walls.  If you ever touch the side of the walls with any fibres from the brush it gets the grease on it and then drags it across your sensor glass.  The easiest way to clean it off is with Eclipse or E2 (depending on which your sensor requires) and a copperhill spatula and pec pads.   Eclipse is the best for cleaning gunk off your sensor. . . . At this point, I only use a blower and a copperhill spatula and Eclipse for cleaning.  I do not have problems any more and haven't had any problems since I threw out the Vsibile Dust brush.  OTOH, I love the Visible Dust sensor loupe.  If the VD brushes work for you fine, but I would ignore all of the statements on the website about the risk of damage to your sensor glass from other people's products. . .   I've tried most or all products for cleaning sensors and the other ones I like are from dust-aid.

Quote
Fair enough, it could be my usage of the gear, but I have hardly ever used it since I purchased it... I don't quite see where it could be coming from.

One hypothesis would be the camera itself, but this would be pretty surprising.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184008\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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kaelaria
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 11:26:11 PM »
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You HAVE to be kidding - right?

You are blaming the company that made the brush for it not staying clean after you MISUSED it and touched *grease*?

People like you that can't be responsible and mature are the reason Coffee cups have HOT warnings on them.

Unreal.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008, 11:38:52 PM »
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You HAVE to be kidding - right?

You are blaming the company that made the brush for it not staying clean after you MISUSED it and touched *grease*?

People like you that can't be responsible and mature are the reason Coffee cups have HOT warnings on them.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184050\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well... it could be me... or it could be that some coffee cups are really too hot, and that some brushes are worse than others at picking up grease.

If I did touch the walls of the chamber of my D3, it is extremely slightly for a fraction of a second... but then again I could swear that I didn't touch the walls of the chamber at all.

Being fortunate enough to be working with bodies that pick up very little dust, I am definitely less experienced than others at sensor cleaning, but I don't have the feeling to be abnormally clumsy. If I am facing these issues, many others must have been facing them too, as some of the answers to this thread seem to testify.

If it is technologically impossible for Visible Dust to prevent accidental grease pick up from camera's chambers, then I would at least expect their very thin manual to convey some of the risks and to provide advice.

It could be that newer versions of their package do contain more details, but I was an early customers of them.

Cheers,
Bernard
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kaelaria
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2008, 03:27:01 AM »
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NO BRUSH should have to be qualified at all on 'picking up grease' any more than resistance to fire after a blundering user accidentally torches it while lighting a cigar.

The VD instructions have always been very clear and up on the website even from the early days.  Funny, how so many others have not had the issue - oh that's right, we clean our sensors correctly.  It's crystal clear that you are ONLY to touch the AA screen (sensor) and nothing else.  They even have nice little videos in case the reading level is too tough.

Hey - I'm going to complain about my MINI tomorrow because when I ran into a tree tonight, the front end was badly damanged.  I suppose it *could* be my fault, but I'm sure other cars would be better.  
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 03:28:08 AM by kaelaria » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2008, 03:42:33 AM »
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The VD instructions have always been very clear and up on the website even from the early days.  Funny, how so many others have not had the issue - oh that's right, we clean our sensors correctly.  It's crystal clear that you are ONLY to touch the AA screen (sensor) and nothing else.  They even have nice little videos in case the reading level is too tough.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184076\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And touching only the sensor is clearly what I tried to do, and I can not have been very far off the mark in doing so... yet I had these problems.

It could be with the D3, I don't know, but I understand that Visible Dust cannot be held responsible for problems with a combination of their product with another one not yet available at the time of release.

Cheers,
Bernard
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2008, 08:15:14 AM »
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NO BRUSH should have to be qualified at all on 'picking up grease' any more than resistance to fire after a blundering user accidentally torches it while lighting a cigar.

The VD instructions have always been very clear and up on the website even from the early days.  Funny, how so many others have not had the issue - oh that's right, we clean our sensors correctly.  It's crystal clear that you are ONLY to touch the AA screen (sensor) and nothing else.  They even have nice little videos in case the reading level is too tough.

Hey - I'm going to complain about my MINI tomorrow because when I ran into a tree tonight, the front end was badly damanged.  I suppose it *could* be my fault, but I'm sure other cars would be better.   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184076\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

He is asking for help not a hard time.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2008, 08:18:56 AM »
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It is a well-documented issue, but not VD's problem.

Most new DSLRS have an amazing amount of lubricants inside the mirror box. More is also thrown around by air pressure shifts due to shutter/mirror movement and the shutter/mirror hardware itself every time the shutter is tripped. It is one of the ways they assure 100,000+ activation shutter life.

Foam pads will also pick it up, but you notice it less because is diluted by the cleaning fluid on the pad.

One trick is to get a brush designed for a sub-FF sensor. It's smaller width makes accidently 'coloring outside the lines' difficult. The accepted way to do it (aside from the obvious):

1. Use a narrow brush and trim off any errant 'bristles' that decided to go off on a tangent and may touch the mirror box walls. Same as trimming errant bristles on a paint brush when painting trim.

2. Use the VD Sensor Loupe - works like a @#$R charm - spot the dust particles on the sensor. Dust stands out like craters on the moon using this sucker. No test shots required.

3. Lightly pass the charged brush JUST OVER, NOT ON the sensor where some dust was seen.
The static 'cling' on the brush will lift the dust off the sensor. Since the brush is not touching the sensor or surrounding mirror box, the odds of goop transfer to any brush threads is low.

4. Take another look with the loupe, charge the brush, and repeat in other areas where necessary.

5. If you even SUSPECT the brush as touched grease, clean it.

I can spot-clean my 1Ds2 in 2 min using this method.



 
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And touching only the sensor is clearly what I tried to do, and I can not have been very far off the mark in doing so... yet I had these problems.

It could be with the D3, I don't know, but I understand that Visible Dust cannot be held responsible for problems with a combination of their product with another one not yet available at the time of release.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184078\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 08:19:50 AM by Conner999 » Logged
kaelaria
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2008, 08:21:45 AM »
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He is asking for help not a hard time.
Marc
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184107\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Read it again.

He's asking for help and at the same time ranting about a company and a product.

I'm defending such company and GREAT product against such baseless remarks so others don't get the wrong idea based on his ignorance.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2008, 08:36:06 AM »
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It is a well-documented issue, but not VD's problem.

Most new DSLRS have an amazing amount of lubricants inside the mirror box. More is also thrown around by air pressure shifts due to shutter/mirror movement and the shutter/mirror hardware itself every time the shutter is tripped. It is one of the ways they assure 100,000+ activation shutter life.

Foam pads will also pick it up, but you notice it less because is diluted by the cleaning fluid on the pad.

One trick is to get a brush designed for a sub-FF sensor. It's smaller width makes accidently 'coloring outside the lines' difficult. The accepted way to do it (aside from the obvious):

1. Use a narrow brush and trim off any errant 'bristles' that decided to go off on a tangent and may touch the mirror box walls. Same as trimming errant bristles on a paint brush when painting trim.

2. Use the VD Sensor Loupe - works like a @#$R charm - spot the dust particles on the sensor. Dust stands out like craters on the moon using this sucker. No test shots required.

3. Lightly pass the charged brush JUST OVER, NOT ON the sensor where some dust was seen.
The static 'cling' on the brush will lift the dust off the sensor. Since the brush is not touching the sensor or surrounding mirror box, the odds of goop transfer to any brush threads is low.

4. Take another look with the loupe, charge the brush, and repeat in other areas where necessary.

5. If you even SUSPECT the brush as touched grease, clean it.

I can spot-clean my 1Ds2 in 2 min using this method.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184110\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is a great example of a helpful post.
Thanks
Marc
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2008, 09:29:24 AM »
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I have been fortunate in that I haven't (yet) screwed up the sensor on my 5D with my Arctic Butterfly. But I must agree with Bernard that VB's documentation is extremely scanty. Connor999's post is a vast improvement on their instructions.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2008, 09:35:44 AM »
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He's asking for help and at the same time ranting about a company and a product.

I'm defending such company and GREAT product against such baseless remarks so others don't get the wrong idea based on his ignorance.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184111\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I might have been too harsh on VD but I believe that the best way you can help others is to be objective about this issue.

Calling me an ignorant is your prerogative and doesn't hurt my feeling the least bit, but are you really sure that you are not downplaying a real situation that others should know about?

Whether the issue is purely usage related, or whether it is product dependant is IMHO not that relevant. The bottom line is that the process is clearly not as idiot proofs as some have advertised. I am glad to play the role of the idiot if it can help preventing others from running into the kind of troubles I have faced this morning.

I'd love to hear about other Nikon D3 users experience with the VD products. You aren't one, are you?

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2008, 09:38:46 AM »
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It is a well-documented issue, but not VD's problem.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184110\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the post, very helpful indeed.

Cheers,
Bernard
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n1r0t
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« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2008, 09:47:48 AM »
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I've used my Arctic Butterfly for years without a problem on my 20D. I for one am glad you posted Bernard because I would have assumed similar use would work when I upgrade. At least I'm now aware of the risks. This post has been very enlightening.
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seanw
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2008, 10:12:46 AM »
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Hi Bernard,

I too have had issues with using brushes for sensor cleaning - both the grease issue and just not getting all the dust in general. I know this does not help your current situation, but maybe this will be of use for future cleanings. Here's a link to the product I now use to clean my cameras.

http://www.sensor-film.com/

I think they have a short video on the site showing the cleaning procedure.

It is by no means a quick procedure because you have to let the film dry. But after the film has been applied and dried you can blow out all the dust in the chamber and then peel off the film. It works great and has been the best cleaning solution I have found. Leaves nothing behind. Works much better than brushes, swabs and solutions.

Sean
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