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Author Topic: Need help with sensor cleaning  (Read 32580 times)
Greg Barnett
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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2008, 11:32:50 AM »
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Bernard,

Iíve experienced the same issue using VD brushes and other products as well. Sometimes it just seems unavoidable. But in the end, Iíve always been able to de-gunk the sensor after smearing it up. The brushes clean up well and Iíve been able to continue to use them with success. What seems to have helped for me is to get set up under a good light source and use a magnifier to make sure Iím keeping the brush on target.

And from personal experience, if you have a cat, donít let it come anywhere near you when cleaning a sensor... ;-)

Greg
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2008, 11:47:32 AM »
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And from personal experience, if you have a cat, donít let it come anywhere near you when cleaning a sensor... ;-)

I was wet cleaning my 20D one day.  I turn to put a drop of eclipse on a swab.  I turn back to find Rushmore with her nose IN the camera.  Keep them far away.  I won't describe the stream of cat hair I pulled off the print heads the other day.
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francois
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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2008, 11:59:18 AM »
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I was wet cleaning my 20D one day.  I turn to put a drop of eclipse on a swab.  I turn back to find Rushmore with her nose IN the camera.  Keep them far away.  I won't describe the stream of cat hair I pulled off the print heads the other day.
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Cats are devils! At least for computers and other electronic equipment.
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Francois
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« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2008, 02:23:11 PM »
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Lets kill the cat.

bernard, use diGiclean, it's the best..
 the brush it's trash.  give to the dog. dog know much better.

good luck


BlasR
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2008, 05:05:11 PM »
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Thank you all for your helpful answers.

Upon closer inspection, there are still many visible patterns on the sensor after a polonged additional session with Sensor clean.

I have decided to take my D3 to the Nikon service Center in Shinjuku this morning...

Cheers,
Bernard
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GregW
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« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2008, 07:54:18 PM »
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The D3 hasn't picked up any serious dust spots, yet but I know it's only a matter of time.  I have some experience with the D200 and D2x.

I have the second generation Arctic Butterfly.  I've had good and bad experiences.  It does a great job on my wife's Canon 350d, but not on the D200 or D2x.  The Canon seems to use a less viscous grease.  It's also slightly easier to get to the sensor making it harder to drag the brush in the grease.

I have found that the brush must be cleaned and dried before use.  I originally purchased the AB because I had hoped it would be a good solution in the field. The concept is great but in my experience I or the tool is not precise enough to get really good, reproducible results with my Nikon gear.

Here is my current workflow.

- Mount the camera using a Manfroto pump cup to make it super secure
- Use a rocket blower to remove any surface dust
- Check with the Sensor Loupe.  If the job isn't good I have second go and if there are still spots I proceed to wet cleaning.
- Clean with Vdust and orange pads
- Check with the Sensor Loupe and repeat.  I've not needed more than 2 cycles up till now.
- Clean with Smear Away and green pads

I've always had great service from Visible Dust and I very much like their wet cleaning products.  I'm also happy to endorse the Sensor Loupe.  The AB is either not suited to my Nikon kit or I am not suited to the AB.

Thanks for explaining your experiences Bernard.  In any event I would have been very careful.  Now I will be doubly careful.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2008, 08:42:30 PM »
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Here is my current workflow.

- Mount the camera using a Manfroto pump cup to make it super secure
- Use a rocket blower to remove any surface dust
- Check with the Sensor Loupe.  If the job isn't good I have second go and if there are still spots I proceed to wet cleaning.
- Clean with Vdust and orange pads
- Check with the Sensor Loupe and repeat.  I've not needed more than 2 cycles up till now.
- Clean with Smear Away and green pads
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184300\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
[/quote]

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2008, 07:18:56 AM »
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A concluding note on this:

- Nikon service center in Shinjuku managed to get rid of all the fluid left overs I couldn't manage to remove.
- They informed that the AA filter had some small scratches, most probably as a result of the usage of VD stabs,
- They proposed a sensor swap for the modest amount of 900 US$ (it takes a week), which I turned down...
- I need to do more test since night has already fallen over Tokyo, but the first samples I took show no sign of any impact of these small scratches. I need to make sure that violent light doesn't result in any light scattering away from the scratches.

As of now, it looks like a happy ending, but the whole experience has changed forever my relationship with sensor cleaning.  

Considering that the D3 only gathered a very reasonnable amount of dust over some 10.000 to 15.000 exposures in 3 months, I guess that I'll give up completely on sensor cleaning myself and will have the Nikon guys to it for me once every 3 months. That is both going to be cheaper and safer than relying on cleaning solutions..

Living 6 minutes train away from the largest Nikon service center in Japan can be convenient...

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 09:02:26 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Conner999
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2008, 01:06:01 PM »
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Thanks guys.

Sorry to hear about the scratches. I had a 30D once with a god awful gash on it's sensor, but it never reared it's ugly head unless I was REALLY stopped down.
 

Quote
Thanks for the post, very helpful indeed.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 01:08:48 PM by Conner999 » Logged
schrodingerscat
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« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2008, 02:37:48 PM »
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A concluding note on this:

- Nikon service center in Shinjuku managed to get rid of all the fluid left overs I couldn't manage to remove. I am really lucky to live so close to this key facility,
- They informed that the AA filter had some small scratches, most probably as a result of the usage of VD stabs,
- They proposed a sensor swap for the modest amount of 900 US$ (it takes a week), which I turned down...
- I need to do more test since night has already fallen over Tokyo, but the first samples I took show no sign of any impact of these small scratches. I need to make sure that violent light doesn't result in any light scattering away from the scratches.

As of now, it looks like a happy ending, but the whole experience has changed forever my relationship with sensor cleaning.   

Considering that the D3 only gathered a very reasonnable amount of dust over some 10.000 to 15.000 exposures in 3 months, I guess that I'll give up completely on sensor cleaning myself and will have the Nikon guys to it for me once every 3 months. That is both going to be cheaper and safer than relying on cleaning solutions..

Living 6 minutes train away from the largest Nikon service center in Japan can be convenient...

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184378\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I perform an average of four to six sensor cleanings a week at the store I do repairs for.

Every time I get a camera with a streaked up low pass filter it has had a brush type cleaning tool applied to it and I advise the user to avoid them.

My procedure is this - Clean camera externally; use rocket blower to blow out mirror box, including behind mirrors; clean mirror; blow out mirror box again; put camera into sensor cleaning mode and blow off filter; check for stuck on stuff; use Eclipse and swab to remove stubborn spots. Just dampen the swab and never use a dry swab. Only one back and forth swipe with each swab.

DO NOT USE CANNED AIR OR COMPRESSORS.

This advice is based on having done several hundred services, but as the botanists say...

There's lots of snake oil out there as well as misinformation.

As far as preventive maintenance is concerned, perform a sensor cleaning before and after each time the camera is used. As you are just pushing air, there is no way to damage the camera and there's no such thing as too clean. Remember, nothing is getting on the filter while changing lenses. The only time the sensor is exposed is when the shutter is open. What is happening is that junk is getting in the mirror box and at the moment of exposure the mirrors create turbulence and the sensor develops a static charge, causing anything floating around in there to stick to it.

Keep body caps, rear of lenses and their caps, clean. Heck, keep everything clean, including bags and cases.

The self cleaning systems starting to show up are only so effective, so it helps to still blow the thing out manually.

So relax Bernard and with a little practice you can easily keep the spots under control. I've also seen many cameras with small fine scratches on the filter that have no material impact on the image.

Cheers

SC

PS - Are those six local minutes or Shinkansen minutes? There's an excellent, relatively inexpensive, sushi bar just a couple blocks north of the Shinjuku station. Unfortunately the name escapes me as it's been a few years.
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GregW
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« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2008, 03:00:25 PM »
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- They informed that the AA filter had some small scratches, most probably as a result of the usage of VD stabs,

Nikon are obviously experts on their own equipment but unless you used the swabs more than once without fluid I would have thought the Arctic Butterfly was the more likely culprit for the scratches.
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dseelig
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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2008, 04:49:04 PM »
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My 5d streaked a ton of grease on my sensor when I used the sensor brush . There is a reason why the sell the liquid solutions, I used the chamber clean and the sensor clean and my problems went away . That said I love the new canons with the shake the dust off solutions.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2008, 04:53:03 PM »
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My 5d streaked a ton of grease on my sensor when I used the sensor brush . There is a reason why the sell the liquid solutions, I used the chamber clean and the sensor clean and my problems went away . That said I love the new canons with the shake the dust off solutions.
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No visible dust has appeared on my Xti in over a year of use.  The jury is out on my 40D at this point.  Worst case with my 20D was 100+ dust spots.  (After I dropped it.)

I like the sensor shaky shaky.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 04:53:34 PM by DarkPenguin » Logged
stever
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« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2008, 08:29:52 PM »
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i can't say i've been overwhelmed by the performance of the Visible Dust brushes

based on my experience, and some reading about sensor cleaning, i think the key factor is getting rid of the oil deposited on the sensor during the first few thousand exposures by regular cleaning with Eclipse or the Visible Dust Smear Away (i find that Smear Away seems to leave a residue and should be followed by cleaning with one of their other products).  if not removed regularly, this oil collects dust, hardens, and becomes more difficult to remove - perhaps resulting in scratches

the camera manufacturers tried to ignore the sensor cleaning problem initially, and now we have ultrasonic cleaning --- which is probably near useless until the manufacturing lubrication is cleaned off the sensor manually

with the initial gunk removed i'd guess that the sensor brushes and built-in ultrasonics will give comparable results, i just wouldn't use the brush or trust the ultrasonics until the camera has 5-10k exposures with regular manual cleaning
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2008, 09:20:03 PM »
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A concluding note on this:

- Nikon service center in Shinjuku managed to get rid of all the fluid left overs I couldn't manage to remove.
- They informed that the AA filter had some small scratches, most probably as a result of the usage of VD stabs,
- They proposed a sensor swap for the modest amount of 900 US$ (it takes a week), which I turned down...
- I need to do more test since night has already fallen over Tokyo, but the first samples I took show no sign of any impact of these small scratches. I need to make sure that violent light doesn't result in any light scattering away from the scratches.

As of now, it looks like a happy ending, but the whole experience has changed forever my relationship with sensor cleaning.   

Considering that the D3 only gathered a very reasonnable amount of dust over some 10.000 to 15.000 exposures in 3 months, I guess that I'll give up completely on sensor cleaning myself and will have the Nikon guys to it for me once every 3 months. That is both going to be cheaper and safer than relying on cleaning solutions..

Living 6 minutes train away from the largest Nikon service center in Japan can be convenient...

Cheers,
Bernard
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Silly question but can't they change the lowpass filter only?....for less money?
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2008, 11:32:09 PM »
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Silly question but can't they change the lowpass filter only?....for less money?
Marc
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Not silly at all, I asked the same to the Nikon person, but his answer was that they had no choice but to change the whole sensor.

Regards,
Bernard
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kbolin
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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2008, 11:56:03 PM »
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Bernard,

Maybe talk to someone like MaxMax or Lifepixel to replace the filter.  I don't know if Lifepixel does that but their service is remarkable and I highly recommend them.  They just converted my 5D to IR and I can't speak highly enough of them.  

www.lifepixel.com
www.maxmax.com

Hope that helps.

Kelly
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2008, 09:26:25 AM »
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Bernard,

Maybe talk to someone like MaxMax or Lifepixel to replace the filter.  I don't know if Lifepixel does that but their service is remarkable and I highly recommend them.  They just converted my 5D to IR and I can't speak highly enough of them. 

www.lifepixel.com
www.maxmax.com
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Thanks Kelly,

I guess that I'll probably just try to forget about this waste of time right now.

Cheers,
Bernard
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francois
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« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2008, 10:50:49 AM »
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Ö
- They proposed a sensor swap for the modest amount of 900 US$ (it takes a week), which I turned down...
Ö
I friend of mine smeared his 5D sensor with a VD brush. He sent his Canon for cleaning to the Canon repair center (in Switzerland). It took 3 weeks and cost him $300Ö So $900 for a sensor replacement is reasonable.
If you don't see any ill effect caused by the micro-scratches, then I see no reason to do the swap.
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Francois
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« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2008, 02:15:06 PM »
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I too have had challanges with the visible dust. The company is very aware of the problem and promptly send me a new brush at no charge when I called (nikon D3/D300).

I just got it today and maybe I can avoid touching the oily parts next to the sensor. I do micro surgery for a living so I think if I have problems with the brush most people will also.

Art Morris at Birds are Art has a excellent and very inexpensive system for cleaning sensors that works better than any other system with the exception of the Green Machine vacum system.

http://www.birdsasart.com/lenspens.htm

Sincerely
Dr. Joel Murphy
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