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09-24-2006, 11:28 AM   #1
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Sensor cleaning: Pec-Pads or Sensor Swabs

I need to order some cleaning supplies from Micro-Tools to clean the sensor on my K100D. I noticed that there are two different ways to do the "wet" method. One way involves wrapping a Pec-Pad around a spatula, and the other way is to buy the single-use Sensor Swabs at $3.00 EACH . What do you guys use/recommend? Thanks.

09-24-2006, 02:26 PM   #2
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I prefer using the rocket blower- it effectively removes most/all dust from the sensor. I haven't tried using swabs, though, so I'd like to know a little more about them as well.

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09-24-2006, 02:43 PM   #3
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Sensor Cleaning

Hi guys,
I use the rocket blower for most dust, but I do use the Pec Pads and recomended wet solution. I will say this, and I will say it over and over.
BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN USING ANYTHING THAT TOUCHES THE SENSOR AND ONLY USE THE RECOMENDED SOLUTIONS FOR THE WET REMOVIAL, AND VERY, VERY LITTLE OF THAT. IF YOU DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE DOING IT DON'T. TAKE IT TO A REPAIR SHOP AND HAVE IT DONE BY THEM. IF YOU SCREW IT UP, IT WILL COST YOU A VERY EXPENSIVE SENSOR OR CAMERA. IF THEY SCREW IT UP THEY REPLACE AND FIX IT FREE. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN TOUCHING THE SENSOR DON'T PRESS VERY HARD.

Ok rant over. the reason for this rant is I lost my first DL and sensor because of my stupidity. It cost me a new camera of two weeks. since then I'm very, very careful.

Good Shooting.
Cheers: David
09-24-2006, 04:21 PM   #4
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Belive me, I'm nervous about doing it! I tried using a blower first, but the spec I see in my pictures didn't budge. I cleaned both ends of my lens but that didn't change anything either. From what I've been reading, sooner or later everyone with a DSLR will be doing a "wet" cleaning. I plan to use the Eclipse cleaning solution and either a Pec-Pad or the Sensor Swabs. I'm just not sure which is best. I guess the swabs are probably the best, but I don't want to spend that much if it's not necessary.

09-24-2006, 05:25 PM   #5
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Although I've never done a cleaning solution (or dust blower for that matter) I always hear good things about Pec Pads.
09-24-2006, 06:45 PM   #6
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I use pec pads (with the tool from Copperhill), the sensor swipes are a ripoff IMHO..
09-25-2006, 05:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
I use pec pads (with the tool from Copperhill), the sensor swipes are a ripoff IMHO..
Thanks. Yeah, I kinda figured they might be. The cheapest I've seen them is $36 for a box of 12 and they are single-use only! I can get an entire kit with the cleaning solution, the spatula tool, and 100 Peck-Pads for that price.
09-25-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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There has been a new devlopment. I returned the camera for a replacement. Although I'm 99% sure the spot was a simple spec of dust on the sensor, it bothers me that it was there from day one. It also bothers me that it didn't budge when I used the air puffer. Sure, I could order a "wet" cleaning kit and probably get it off. But by the time the cleaning kit would arrive and I'd try it, if it didn't work for some reason, it would be past the grace period to return the camera. Beach Camera was really nice about it. I called and explained the situation. They said, "No problem. Just return it and well ship out a new one."
I know I'm going to get dust on the sensor. I also know that sooner or later I will have to do a "wet" cleaning. I just didn't want to do it on a brand new camera.

09-25-2006, 04:41 PM   #9
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Just my 2 cents. I have been afraid of the sensor cleaning for a long time, but one day, after a hiking trip which included several lens changes in a rather dusty environment I had dirt on the sensor of my DS. The usual Rocket Blower cleaning didn't work.
I ended up doing a lot of reading about the issue and ended up with an Artist's Brush (from the local Michael's Store) and the Sensor Cleaning Kit from Micro Tools.
The Brush works 90 percent of the time. The few times when I still found a spec on my sensor (testing with MACRO lens on closest setting and smallest aperture pointed toward white background or sky) I used the wet cleaning method.
You are basically cleaning a glass filter in front of the sensor not the actual sensor. It does take a little practice, but after the second time it goes really easy. Always keep the camera on a tripod - that works really well during cleaning with the wet method.

Here a good link: http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/index.html
09-26-2006, 05:25 AM   #10
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Thanks Red Hawk. I'll save that link for when the day comes that I have to do the wet cleaning.
09-26-2006, 07:44 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RedHawk Quote
...................

Here a good link: http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/index.html
That link should be made sticky and mandatory reading by every DSLR owner / user. I read it late at night and am going to reread it when I am fully awake.... Lots of VERY good advice.
09-26-2006, 01:53 PM   #12
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I've only needed to wet clean once. I used the swabs with Eclipse fluid. 1 swipe in each direction and done. Worked well. My rocket blower has suficed since then, but I would not hesitate to use the swabs again if needed.

-Rosco
12-09-2006, 09:10 AM   #13
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This link is a great wealth of information. There should be an addition of "how/when to clean the sensor" and what to be careful of in an FAQ somewhere.

Thank you all that posted information above. It helped me out.

Jeff
12-09-2006, 10:34 PM   #14
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If you really want to see the dust...

take a Pentax body cap drill a small hole in it (1/4" or so) tape a piece of aluminum foil over it with a #10 sewing needle hole in the middle. You have now made a pinhole camera. It is about F180! Normally, to see dust you have to take a pic at f22 of the sky and magnify the image on the lcd during review. This takes time. With the pinhole you will see the dust without magnifying the lcd. It sticks out in almost 3D clarity. You may be surprised at how obvious dust is.
Pentax has a new sensor cleaning tool almost ready for sale. This is what they use at the repair center. Supposed to be some kind of grabby urethane rubber. Don't think it needs liquid. This is the first time I have seen a company say what they actually use. I am waiting for this to hit the market. What small dust I have is Rocket blowered off. The dust that isn't can be cloned out untill the Pentax tool arrives. MAKE SURE THE BATTERIES ARE AT FULL POWER BEFORE STICKING ANYTHING NEAR THE OPEN SHUTTER!
thanks
barondla
PS
the pinhole can also be used to take some moody artistic photos. Chaepest LBA fix around.
12-09-2006, 10:52 PM   #15
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This might be helpful as a resource.

ShutterFreaks -- Sensor Cleaning
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