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09-14-2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Washington State
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Sensor Cleaning Lesson...

Hi,

I recently returned from 2 weeks abroad and was processing my RAW files in Lightroom 4.4

I was disappointed to note consistent marks on many of the pics in the same place. I did not download and preview the files until I got home, so this went unnoticed.

I tried using the built in dust alert and sure enough found the culprit. The dust removal utility just seemed to move it around. Blowing air in did not work either. So I bought a Sensor Cleaning kit (the Digital Survival Kit fwiw) from amazon. That did not appear to work either.

The strange part was the same pattern continued to appear no matter what I tried or how many times I cleaned the sensor. I finally did a search for camera shops that professionally cleaned sensors. One of the links I came across showed me the problem. Here: Do you Clean your Own Sensor?

The second paragraph under item #3Make sure you have a problem says in part: "...point at an evenly lit even color subject such as a white wall or an empty word processing document on a computer screen and take a shot."

I was aiming the camera at a light source for the dust alert utility (my room light). The circular ring and spot in the center that kept showing up was the same shape as the light mount that I was using as a light source. I aimed at a blank wall and poof, my mystery dust when away.

Over all it was a very frustrating experience and hopefully you won't have to go through the same ordeal.

Regards,

Mortimer

09-15-2013, 05:36 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Hi Mortimer,
I had a similar experience after shooting at an airshow with an old Tair 300mm lens; I think the dust dropped out of the lens and onto the sensor when I was shooting vertically! Like you I felt the dust removal utility only redistributed it.
I'm using a K-r and this seems to create it's own white source, against which the dust appears as black spots when checking for dust. I found that pointing the camera downwards with the mirror up and blasting away with a reasonably heavy duty puffer ball (from Microtools) did the trick. What model do you have?
John
09-15-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Washington State
Posts: 15
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Johndav Quote
Hi Mortimer,
I had a similar experience after shooting at an airshow with an old Tair 300mm lens; I think the dust dropped out of the lens and onto the sensor when I was shooting vertically! Like you I felt the dust removal utility only redistributed it.
I'm using a K-r and this seems to create it's own white source, against which the dust appears as black spots when checking for dust. I found that pointing the camera downwards with the mirror up and blasting away with a reasonably heavy duty puffer ball (from Microtools) did the trick. What model do you have?
John
Hey John,
I should have stated that to begin with. My camera is the Kx. I tried the puffer ball as well, but since I was pointing the camera at my ceiling light to use the dust alert utility, it seems not to be working.

I just wanted to share so others would not make the same mistake I made. As it is, I don't know which method worked, due to my not using an evenly lighted surface to point the camera at while using dust alert.

I am looking to get a second body. I have thought of the K5IIs, but the rumors of a new model coming out later this year have given me pause. I'd like to see what comes out prior to making a decision.

Thanks for your response.

Mortimer
09-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mortimer Quote
I tried using the built in dust alert and sure enough found the culprit. The dust removal utility just seemed to move it around. Blowing air in did not work either. So I bought a Sensor Cleaning kit (the Digital Survival Kit fwiw) from amazon. That did not appear to work either.
I have had good luck with the 'Visible Dust' kit. The brush in it does an excellent job, so I have not had to use the wet cleaning kit. I have a K100d, without the dust mapping or shaking sensor, so I do have to clean it pretty frequently. I found that hitting the brush with a ZeroStat gun (have one with my old turntable!) and a bulb gets all the dust out of the brush, and helps dissipate any static in the camera. Point the camera downward when you do this and hope that it falls out.

Unfortunately, living in Northern AZ and spending a ton of time in Southern Utah, dust is a constant problem. It's also incredibly dry, so static accumulates on everything. I figure I accumulate the most dust while changing lenses, as I don't have good cases for everything, and they do get a bit dusty. I have thought about taking the ZeroStat with me and hitting the backs of lenses with it and a bulb before mounting.

Regardless of what I've tried, I seem to get dust spots every 6-8 lens changes (sometimes a few weeks, sometimes in a couple days... I'm a prime shooter and change way too often). I've made it a point to clean the sensor every time my batteries get charged all the way, and every time I come back from backpacking. It's easier to get things clean when there are only a couple spots instead of waiting for things to build up.

I think the ZeroStat has helped a ton, especially with older lenses that are pretty dirty inside and out. Pretty pricey, though...

Amazon.com: MILTY - ZEROSTAT ANTI-STATIC GUN (BLUE): Electronics

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