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08-12-2011, 09:12 AM   #1
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Sensor or lens dust?

On this pic below, there is a streak about 1/3 of the way down in the middle, right by the street light. It comes and goes, on pictures taken with my kit lens, but not on the other two. Is it sensor dust (looks like a hair), or lens dust - I rather think it is sensor dust but I just wanted confirmation from someone who knows more than I do! These streaks have been on some, but not all pictures since I bought the camera second hand. Suppose it is about time I bought a rocket blower . . .

Excuse the crap pic



08-12-2011, 09:26 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by redspecial Quote
On this pic below, there is a streak about 1/3 of the way down in the middle, right by the street light. It comes and goes, on pictures taken with my kit lens, but not on the other two. Is it sensor dust (looks like a hair), or lens dust - I rather think it is sensor dust but I just wanted confirmation from someone who knows more than I do! These streaks have been on some, but not all pictures since I bought the camera second hand. Suppose it is about time I bought a rocket blower . . .

Excuse the crap pic
It looks like sensor dust.
Acctually the dust sits on the AA filter in front of the sensor.
That's why it can hardly be noticed with wider apertures.
The light passes by from the outer edges of the lens.

This photo has a lot of light: snow with sun.
Therefore it is likely taken with a small aperture, hence you see the dust.

To check for dust, put the camera in aperture mode, f22.
Aim for the sky and take a few pictures.
If you see spots on the same location of the pictures, it's dust.

Try a rocket blower.

- Bert
08-12-2011, 09:59 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
It looks like sensor dust.
Acctually the dust sits on the AA filter in front of the sensor.
That's why it can hardly be noticed with wider apertures.
The light passes by from the outer edges of the lens.

This photo has a lot of light: snow with sun.
Therefore it is likely taken with a small aperture, hence you see the dust.

To check for dust, put the camera in aperture mode, f22.
Aim for the sky and take a few pictures.
If you see spots on the same location of the pictures, it's dust.

Try a rocket blower.

- Bert
As I thought. Thanks for confirming. Rocket blower it is (unless there is an alternative that might be lying around the house - probably not, right?)
08-12-2011, 11:47 AM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
Rocket blower it is (unless there is an alternative that might be lying around the house - probably not, right?)
A big blower a couple inches long - not a little quarter-sized bulb with brush. You need to move a lot of air :-)

That is sensor thread or hair or something. Small apertures (f8, f11, f16), such as those used when shooting snow, will make it more visible than with longer lenses and large apertures such as f4.

08-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
A big blower a couple inches long - not a little quarter-sized bulb with brush. You need to move a lot of air :-)

That is sensor thread or hair or something. Small apertures (f8, f11, f16), such as those used when shooting snow, will make it more visible than with longer lenses and large apertures such as f4.
I don't really have anything that fits the bill at home, I don't think, so I shall look into the Rocket Blower, since that seems to be the thing to use.

The only thing I have in the house that can move lots of air is my amp, but I fear it needs to be rather more concentrated than that

Thanks!
08-12-2011, 01:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by redspecial Quote
I don't really have anything that fits the bill at home, I don't think, so I shall look into the Rocket Blower, since that seems to be the thing to use.

The only thing I have in the house that can move lots of air is my amp, but I fear it needs to be rather more concentrated than that

Thanks!
You could clean a soft eye makeup brush from your wife/girlfriend, one with hairs, not with a rubber tip.
Use soft soap, let it dry. Try it out on a mirror. Clean it again after the trial.
Then, turn the camera opening down, do the shutter up, blow inside the camera with your mouth from a distance.
Then very, very gently swipe the sensor. Use a magnifying glass.

- Bert
08-12-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
You could clean a soft eye makeup brush from your wife/girlfriend, one with hairs, not with a rubber tip.
Use soft soap, let it dry. Try it out on a mirror. Clean it again after the trial.
Then, turn the camera opening down, do the shutter up, blow inside the camera with your mouth from a distance.
Then very, very gently swipe the sensor. Use a magnifying glass.

- Bert
Just about everything about this is asking for trouble. Especially the highlighted portion. Just get the blower and in the meantime, clone it out.

08-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Then, turn the camera opening down, do the shutter up, blow inside the camera with your mouth from a distance.
In a post sometime ago, someone suggested blowing into the camera, and others said it was impossible without spitting. It got heated...Oy... I am of the type who can exhale without spitting, but I do not use it as a sensor cleaning method.

08-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Just about everything about this is asking for trouble. Especially the highlighted portion. Just get the blower and in the meantime, clone it out.

I shall indeed go with the blower. In the meantime I can always shoot wider open, as it doesn't seem to show up in those pictures.

Just to be sure, it's this: Giottos Rocket Air Blower - (Medium) 6.6" AA1910 B&H Photo that I'm looking for, right?
08-12-2011, 03:15 PM   #10
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I'd go with the large -- it isn't that much bigger than the medium, costs less, moves more air per squeeze: Giottos Rocket Air Blower - (Large) 7.5" AA1900 B&H Photo

In RED: Giottos Rocket Air Blower - (Large) 7.5" AA1903 B&H Photo

These http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/82375-REG/General_Brand_NP11182_Lipsti...ens_Brush.html are useful to flick small fibers that blower doesn't move from AA filter (sensor) surface.
08-12-2011, 08:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by redspecial Quote
I shall indeed go with the blower. In the meantime I can always shoot wider open, as it doesn't seem to show up in those pictures.

Just to be sure, it's this: Giottos Rocket Air Blower - (Medium) 6.6" AA1910 B&H Photo that I'm looking for, right?
That's basically what you are looking for. If whistling on the sensor works for some, by all means, have at it. There are a lot of things people do that I wouldn't recommend. I just know what would happen if I tried to blow on the sensor

08-12-2011, 08:32 PM   #12
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Bymy's makeup brush scenario is probably similar to a sensor brush that is sold by micro-tools.com. I would have a make-up brush that is dedicated to sensor cleaning of get the micro-tools one. Sometimes you get a piece of dust that just doesn't want to blow off and the brush will take care of it without having to use a sensor swab. Of course you should always use a blower instead of blowing with your mouth. I have a friend with a repair shop who got a camera in where somebody was trying to show how to blow and ended up sneezing into the camera. Apparently a real mess.
08-12-2011, 08:34 PM   #13
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If you blow on the sensor with your mouth, just be sure to eat a whole bag of potato crisps first.
08-12-2011, 10:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
Try a rocket blower.
Actually I am not a fan of these blowers. Firstly, they don't reliably remove the dust and secondly if they do they just re-locate it somewhere else into the mirror box when it will re-appear again on your sensor the following week by virtue of turbulence created by the mirror slap and and pumping zoom lenses.

But here is another reason why I don't like or use these blowers;
Consider this: With every pump action of the blower you blow out and suck in air. It is sort of a throughput of air. Now, the air sucked into the rubber chamber of the blower is the air available to it from the surrounding area. Is this air free of dust? No of course not.

With regular use you will not be surprised to learn that actually quite a bit of dust can/will accumulate inside the rubber ball, and you know what happens when you blow the sensor with it. (I do have personal experience of this). It has also be known that the rubber of some blowers start to deteriorate over time and particles of rubber when you blow find themselves deposited on the sensor. (A really serious problem). Imagine where all these rubber particles will go inside your camera. This is not a made up story to scare you, it has actually taken place. It only needs to happen once but it will put you off using these little buggers for life. But if you absolutely need to buy a blower make sure it is not made from rubber. Also you cannot be sure that the manufacturer (mainly Chinese these days) have done the right thing and provide you with a totally clean blower. Some use talcum powder, and even the tiniest amount of that is deadly. I have heard of people who have washed out their brand new blower before use because they had detected dust being blown out from it. So all in all, I find Blowers less than ideal for this job. My opinion based on personal experience.

These are not made up stories to scare you, if you search for this on this forum I bet you find references to this.

Finally, sensor cleaning will be with you from now on as long as you will use DSLRs, it is just a fact of DSLR live and changing lenses. Better get used to it and hone your skills in dealing with it. (Learn how to clean the sensor because sending it in will send you broke).

Check this out and go to post #10
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-technical-troubleshooting/154197-...-x-sensor.html

Greetings

P.S. I have just returned from a visit to Chicago, I liked it, very nice city. I also enjoyed the guided walking tour hosted by the architectural society. Great stuff, and all those lovely building. My favorite was the Rookery.

Last edited by Schraubstock; 08-12-2011 at 10:08 PM.
08-12-2011, 10:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
If you blow on the sensor with your mouth, just be sure to eat a whole bag of potato crisps first.
Just be sure they are Mackies Haggis flavor potato crisps for best results.
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