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02-06-2012, 04:46 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by costas60 Quote
Those look really coarse, like camel hair or something. I'd suggest something Very soft, and with a flat edge. I think an art supply shop would be a better bet than Ebay, as you can see what you're getting, but if you can't do that, perhaps something like this?

Nylon should be soft enough, too. You could go that route. Whatever you use, I suggest going real easy with it, just gently using it to loosen any sensor dust that the blower doesn't get, and then repeating with the blower to actually remove it. Once when mine was really bad it took four repeats of brush and blower before it was clean enough.

I've been using an individual brush just a few times before retiring it, and I'm extremely careful not to touch the fibers so as not to transfer oils from skin to the sensor. I may be paranoid, not sure.

02-06-2012, 06:48 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharepointalex Quote
Awesome they look quite promising - did you bother with the can of compressed air too or do they work ok without it?
Sorry I took so long to respond... I use a rocket blower to static charge the brush. (and shake loose old dust in the process.) You always want to blow air through the brush just before you use it with either canned air or rocket blower. Otherwise, it won't attract the dust & lift it from the sensor.
02-11-2012, 11:21 AM   #18
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How do you guys feel about the lenspen?
02-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
A plastic (not rubber) blower is good. Compressed air is bad. That's really crappy advice further up the thread.
As I said, it makes people mental. Now, since you think I've given bad advice, perhaps you would like to elucidate as to why it is bad advice. If you say it is because it can damage the camera, please cite specific instances where this has happened. Please note, it has to be actual damage, not just aping the mantra.
To the OP, I've been using Dust-Off for routine camera cleaning for some 4 decades, including nearly a decade of DSLR cameras. I have yet to damage a camera, and I have yet to hear of a single bona fide instance where a person has damaged a camera, and I did challenge this forum a few years back to come up with examples.
The closest I got was a post where someone told of a friend of a friend who met someone coming out of a camera store who had a friend whose friend thinks that he knew someone who might have damaged his camera with the nozzle.
Or something.
Anyway, I'm sure pholoslothical will come up with several links to prove his point.

02-11-2012, 03:56 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by emulsify Quote
How do you guys feel about the lenspen?
Not used it myself , but have seen plenty reviews to put me off buying one.
02-11-2012, 05:06 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
To the OP, I've been using Dust-Off for routine camera cleaning for some 4 decades, including nearly a decade of DSLR cameras. I have yet to damage a camera
If it works for you, then you are doing it right. There are two issues with most canned air - pressure and propellant.

Get too close especially with a new can, and the air pressure can damage delicate constructions. So long as the pressure is low enough (back up a bit), the pressure is no greater than one of the recommended blowers. Also, anytime a gas rapidly expands, it takes energy with it and chills everything. Unless you back off a bit so that surrounding air is pulled into the mixture, you will treat both the mirror and the sensor to a bit of thermal shock.

Nothing demonstrates this more than filling and emptying a scuba air tank. A full tank is about 200 times normal ambient atmospheric pressure. You can feel the tank warm when compressing the air and chill when the air decompresses. The tank can only radiate so much thermal change. So the faster you compress or decompress the air, the bigger the temperature change. No canned air that I've seen has any sort of regulator so the can noticeably chills in use. The longer the blast, the colder that air is when it hits your camera.

The second reason is the propellant. Canned air is not just air under pressure. Usually some form of very volatile gas is used to add 'umph'. More often than not, this is ether. If you have a sufficient stand off between the can and the object, the ether will dissipate before it gets into the camera. If it does get into the camera two things will happen. First, because the ether evaporates so quickly, it will chill the surface. That takes us back to potential issues with thermal shock. Second, if ether gets into any petroleum based lubricants in the camera it will rob your lubricant of some of it's more volatile components, so the remaining lubricant gets more sticky.

So Wheatfield - I applaud your success. For a lot of people, they will cram that canned air nozzle into the camera and blast away. Many will come to regret that technique. Those people would be far better served using a hand operated mechanical blower.
02-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
If it works for you, then you are doing it right. There are two issues with most canned air - pressure and propellant.

Get too close especially with a new can, and the air pressure can damage delicate constructions. So long as the pressure is low enough (back up a bit), the pressure is no greater than one of the recommended blowers. Also, anytime a gas rapidly expands, it takes energy with it and chills everything. Unless you back off a bit so that surrounding air is pulled into the mixture, you will treat both the mirror and the sensor to a bit of thermal shock.

Nothing demonstrates this more than filling and emptying a scuba air tank. A full tank is about 200 times normal ambient atmospheric pressure. You can feel the tank warm when compressing the air and chill when the air decompresses. The tank can only radiate so much thermal change. So the faster you compress or decompress the air, the bigger the temperature change. No canned air that I've seen has any sort of regulator so the can noticeably chills in use. The longer the blast, the colder that air is when it hits your camera.

The second reason is the propellant. Canned air is not just air under pressure. Usually some form of very volatile gas is used to add 'umph'. More often than not, this is ether. If you have a sufficient stand off between the can and the object, the ether will dissipate before it gets into the camera. If it does get into the camera two things will happen. First, because the ether evaporates so quickly, it will chill the surface. That takes us back to potential issues with thermal shock. Second, if ether gets into any petroleum based lubricants in the camera it will rob your lubricant of some of it's more volatile components, so the remaining lubricant gets more sticky.

So Wheatfield - I applaud your success. For a lot of people, they will cram that canned air nozzle into the camera and blast away. Many will come to regret that technique. Those people would be far better served using a hand operated mechanical blower.
If they are that clumsy, they are going to do as much damage banging a rocket blower around inside the mirror box. That's the nice thing about canned gas, you don't actually need to be inside the mirror box to do the job.
Anyway, I have yet to read anything other than the typical FUD on the subject (including the post I quoted above).
People keep saying that canned gas will wreck the camera, but never come up with any legitimate citations regarding cameras that have been damaged by canned gas.
BTW, do read the MSDS on some of these products.
02-12-2012, 09:49 AM   #23
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To add to what JimJohnson said, there are two more issues I see. One, you don't have a clue about the familiarity of the person you're suggesting this to with the products in question. If they do it wrong, they'll squirt liquid propellant into their camera. I don't see you warning of that.

Two, and a lot more likely to cause issues, I have seen the results of using this stuff on glass and other electronics. Some of them spray a fine white dust along with the gasses, and if you spray your sensor with one of these, you're in a lot more trouble than the dust you started with. What the stuff is, I have no idea. It's whitish, very fine, sticks on contact (probably due to the propellants) and is annoying to clean on surfaces you can scrub. Perhaps you can enlighten us as an expert on this method of sensor cleaning.

02-12-2012, 10:48 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
To add to what JimJohnson said, there are two more issues I see. One, you don't have a clue about the familiarity of the person you're suggesting this to with the products in question. If they do it wrong, they'll squirt liquid propellant into their camera. I don't see you warning of that.

Two, and a lot more likely to cause issues, I have seen the results of using this stuff on glass and other electronics. Some of them spray a fine white dust along with the gasses, and if you spray your sensor with one of these, you're in a lot more trouble than the dust you started with. What the stuff is, I have no idea. It's whitish, very fine, sticks on contact (probably due to the propellants) and is annoying to clean on surfaces you can scrub. Perhaps you can enlighten us as an expert on this method of sensor cleaning.
I've heard of talc like dust and small particles blowing out of rocket blowers and other squeeze bulbs too.
1) Don't use no name products, it's entirely possible that they aren't packaged to the same standard.
2) Use a modicum of common sense.
3) I have yet to see any of what you talk about blowing out of a can of name brand cleaners (as I said, I use Dust-Off exclusively).
4) If you want to fall into the FUD trap, by all means, pay for professional cleanings, or keep sticking the nozzle of a squeeze bulb into your camera and pray you don't whack something with it.
5) I still haven't heard any citations from anyone who has managed to trash the inside of a camera using Dust-Off, but I have read of rocket blowers spraying junk onto sensors.
02-12-2012, 05:40 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Anyway, I have yet to read anything other than the typical FUD on the subject
BTW, do read the MSDS on some of these products.
You hate losing don't you? My background? I have been doing professional level computer tech support for about 30 years, minored in chemistry in college, I was a hospital risk manager for a couple years - I know how to read a material safety data sheet. I have yet to see a MSDS discuss mechanical issues using canned air beyond duplicating the instructions printed on the cans themselves. Oh, and I am a certified compressor operator for refilling scuba tanks. Given the pressures this sport deals with, even minor contaminents can cause injury to divers at depth.

I don't happen to have a can of Dust-Off brand on the shelf at the moment, but I do have another highly regarded brand. Listed contents (aside from filtered air) are 1.1.1.2 Tetrafluroethane and Dimethyl Ether. Perfectly safe for most surfaces at the proper stand-off distance - harmful to other surfaces, especially if misused. I use a lot of canned air.

I've seen people back off a bit with a hand operated blower, simply because they can't hold it steady during compressions. I have seen the same people stick the tube from canned air up close to the subject surface because they feel more in control - - not thinking about the much higher pressure out of a new can - nor about contents other than filtered air - and blast away.

As I previously said ... you seem to have mastered the way to use canned air. Few do. And as such they are safer using a mechanical blower.
02-12-2012, 06:35 PM   #26
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Again and again, the naysayers about canned air are spouting myth as the gospel truth. I have not used canned air quite as long as Wheatfield has but I have used it to clean lenses, blow dust off the sensors and to blow the dust off the prism and screens during focus screen change. I have never had any problems or damaged any equipment because of using canned air. The problem I have with the rocket blowers is that violently squeezing the bulb throw off the trajectory of the air being blown at the surface, and the fact that the rocket blower nozzle is moving about at random, I am hesitant of sticking the nozzle inside the mirror box and squeezing the blower bulb too hard, lest I bump the nozzle against the parts inside the mirror box. A canned air nozzle can be placed much more precisely to direct the airflow and there is no chance of bumping the nozzle against any parts inside the mirror box.

I shouldn't be doing this with my dwindling supply of canned air but I wanted to see the can spewing out the propellant. I stepped outside, shook the can violently for about 10 seconds and activated the spray. For a split second I saw some liquid spray out but after that initial spurt, just invisible air came out through the nozzle. I shook the can again and sprayed it against a glass window (tip of the nozzle was about 3 inches from the glass surface), the propellant caused the glass to fog which slowly started to dissipate. I did this outside, spraying room temperature, canned air against chilled screen door glass, maybe the circle of propellant would have dissipated much quicker if the glass happened to be at room temperature as well but I wasn't about to breathe in the propellant. A quick swipe with a tissue paper dampened with lens cleaning solution took care of the dwindling circle of propellant and touching the tissue paper or the glass with my finger tips, I felt no solid residue on either surface. I repeated the process but with the tip of the nozzle about 6-8 inches from the glass, one or two drop of the propellants did hit the glass but dissipated quickly.

Here are my conclusions from my impromptu test of canned air (Dust-Off):

1: Propellants don't shoot out as easily as some people think, and when it does it's only for a split second.
2: Propellants can fog glass surface but it does evapourate in time.
3. Propellants don't contain any solids, and is easily cleaned using common cleansing product.

I did what the manufacturers of these canned air warns against to have the propellants visibly shoot out, but except for that single spurt of propellants shooting out, subsequent spray was as normal as could be. If the user keep in his/her mind that there are propellants inside these cans and follow the manufacturers' instructions to prevent the propellants from shooting out, I don't see how these low pressure blasts of air could damage anything.
02-14-2012, 08:34 PM   #27
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Hi guys,

Just to give you an update on this, I took some shots without the lens attached and no dust showed up at all. This led me to believe that it was on or in the lens somewhere. After some thorough cleaning it seems the dust was on the glass on the side of the lens that attaches to the camera. I cleaned it with some lens cleaning fluid and a microfibre cloth.

I then took some more shots with the lens attached - mostly at max aperture at for about 1 - 2 seconds against a white piece of paper - inspecting the images showed no dust.

However I did take some sunset shots at the weekend and I can see a few specks still there, any suggestions on how to clean the glass bit? I guess the microfibre cloth is leaving little specks. Also is 1-2 seconds with max aperture ok for checking or should I be shooting with different settings? figured it would be best to let us much light in as possible to easily see the dust.

Cheers

Alex
02-14-2012, 10:09 PM   #28
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Dust on the rear element of a lens won't be focused spots on your pictures like sensor dust causes. When you say you shot at max aperture, you mean the largest, correct? The way to show dust is to shoot at the minimum aperture, f./22 or f./32, whatever your lens will support. That will show any dust specks as nice focused dots on the picture. It doesn't need to be a long exposure. The way I like to do it is to open a new browser tab, hit F11 for full screen, and shoot the entirely white screen so that it fills the frame. It's a nice even light. The screen does not need to be in focus, you could shoot it from a few inches away.
02-14-2012, 10:12 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
our lens will support. T
Ok thanks - I was clearly shooting at the wrong aperture will try some at the smallest I can tonight. I'm sure the dust is definitely on the rear element as cleaning it made most of the spots in my pictures disappear. Any tips for cleaning the rear element of the lens?

Also when using my zoom lens I don't get any spots at all so thats why it leads me to believe that the dust is on the rear of the kit lens.

Cheers

Alex
02-14-2012, 10:21 PM   #30
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Oh meant to mention I am currently using this kit - Giottos Lens Cleaning Set CL1011 B&H Photo Video together with my Giottos blower to clean my lenses.

Cheers
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