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08-16-2009, 08:19 AM   #1
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Sensor dust blower

My first lens swap, with the newly acquired DA70, and I've manged to get dust on the sensor, visible f8 and up and against bright, featureless background. There are only three spots and repeated sensor-shake attempts can't seem to dislodge any. I have a bulb type pharmacy blower that I was going to use, but I'm not sure that the air coming out of it is any cleaner. I'm probably better off getting one of those Gitzo rocket-blowers that's supposed to be equipped with filters, though I don't like the size of any of those. Any other suggestions?

I should also be exploring 3rd party dust mapping/removing software apps on JPEGs. Any ideas? I'm using PPL and RawTherapee for JPEG conversion.

Wasim

08-16-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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Rocket blowers have always worked well for me, they aren't expensive, try one first and see if does the job.
08-16-2009, 09:34 AM   #3
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I just use canned gas, but the thought of that seems to make a lot of people cringe.
08-16-2009, 10:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I just use canned gas, but the thought of that seems to make a lot of people cringe.
You mean compressed air like dust-off? There is a lot of force behind it. I think that's why people don't like them. I use it a lot to blow dust off my vinyl records. It tends to leave a layer of condensation too, if not sprayed properly.

You got me thinking, however. I have a can of this sitting around at home: Amazon.com: Oenophilia Private Preserve Wine Preserver: Kitchen & Dining. Not as compressed as dust-off and should be safer, I guess.

08-16-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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I just purcahsed the "Super Giant Blower" from Promaster yesterday to remove dust from my sensor. My camera's sensor shake would not dislodge it after several attempts. The hand held pump removed the dust just after a few short blasts.
08-16-2009, 11:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wasim_altaf Quote
My first lens swap, with the newly acquired DA70, and I've manged to get dust on the sensor, visible f8 and up and against bright, featureless background. There are only three spots and repeated sensor-shake attempts can't seem to dislodge any. I have a bulb type pharmacy blower that I was going to use, but I'm not sure that the air coming out of it is any cleaner. I'm probably better off getting one of those Gitzo rocket-blowers that's supposed to be equipped with filters, though I don't like the size of any of those. Any other suggestions?

I should also be exploring 3rd party dust mapping/removing software apps on JPEGs. Any ideas? I'm using PPL and RawTherapee for JPEG conversion.

Wasim
I don't think the Gitzo rocket-blower is equipped with filters, however the description states that it has a valve on the back to prevent it from breathing in dusty air through the nozzle. I purchased a bulb blower with the name "hama" on the side that looks like the rocket blower sans the rocket fins. It works fine for dust removal, and has a good strong air blast to blow the dust out of the camera. I was specifically advised against using "canned air" for cleaning the sensor since the contents is not air but a gas mixture that could harm the sensor. good luck with your project.
08-16-2009, 02:56 PM   #7
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BTW, the "valve" on the back is what some of us sometimes refer to - perhaps inaccurately (?) - as a "filter". In any case, it has *something* to help trap dust on the way in, whereas your basic dime store bulb doesn't.
08-16-2009, 03:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
BTW, the "valve" on the back is what some of us sometimes refer to - perhaps inaccurately (?) - as a "filter". In any case, it has *something* to help trap dust on the way in, whereas your basic dime store bulb doesn't.
Point taken. I understand your meaning.

08-16-2009, 03:52 PM   #9
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I would use a blower on a lens but not on a sensor. Blowing dust and particles around the inside of a camera seems like a bad idea to me. I use an Arctic Butterfly, which has received raves from Luminous Landscape and elsewhere. It works.
08-16-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I would use a blower on a lens but not on a sensor. Blowing dust and particles around the inside of a camera seems like a bad idea to me. I use an Arctic Butterfly, which has received raves from Luminous Landscape and elsewhere. It works.
Seems like a pricey way to go when a blower move dust "out" of the camera not around inside of it.
08-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimH Quote
Seems like a pricey way to go when a blower move dust "out" of the camera not around inside of it.
It does? How can it get all the dust to go in the one direction? Little fairies pushing it out?
08-16-2009, 07:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
It does? How can it get all the dust to go in the one direction? Little fairies pushing it out?
If you blow air into the camera, where do you think it goes, in behind some wall? It goes back out of the camera in the opposite direction that it went in and it carries the dust with it. Trust me.
08-16-2009, 10:43 PM   #13
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It's certainly possible the dust will land somewhere else inside the camera, even though blowing air in does indeed mean it must leave as well. But given that new air with new dust is also constantly entering the camera on every lens change, and also leaving the camera, I don't personally worry about where the particular speck of dust I blow off my sensor goes. Dust come, dust goes, and all we *ever* really do is move it around. I suppose there would be some advantage in making sure the dust on your sensor leaves the camera, but it definitely doesn't make blowing worthless.

BTW, most Pentax DSLR's also supposedly have a dust trap of some sort in them, don't they?
08-17-2009, 04:02 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimH Quote
If you blow air into the camera, where do you think it goes, in behind some wall? It goes back out of the camera in the opposite direction that it went in and it carries the dust with it. Trust me.
I could trust you or I could trust what a lot of other people who study airflow say.

The problem is not where the air goes, since obviously the pressure must stabilise. The problem is where the particles are deposited while the air flows. This may not be so much an issue for "dust" but it is for larger particles.

A tool that electrostatically picks up the particles without a) smearing them all over the sensor or b) sending them random places inside the camera makes a lot of sense to me. You may not think your camera is worth it, but I don't see how you can argue it is a worse solution.
08-17-2009, 06:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I could trust you or I could trust what a lot of other people who study airflow say.

The problem is not where the air goes, since obviously the pressure must stabilise. The problem is where the particles are deposited while the air flows. This may not be so much an issue for "dust" but it is for larger particles.

A tool that electrostatically picks up the particles without a) smearing them all over the sensor or b) sending them random places inside the camera makes a lot of sense to me. You may not think your camera is worth it, but I don't see how you can argue it is a worse solution.
I suspect that if Pentax thought it necessary use an electrostatic tool to remove dust from the CCD sensor they would have included those instructions in the Pentax operating manual. However the instructions in the manual do state "Use a brush-less blower to remove dirt and dust from the CCD. Using a blower with a brush may scratch the CCD. Do not wipe the CCD with a cloth." Under the caution section it states: "Do not use a spray type blower." This I assume to mean the canned air used to blow dust out of computer keyboards and the like

The Digital cameras are precision tools, however they do have a certain amount of durability. If they were as sensitive as you indicate, it wouldn't be practical to take them outside. However if you feel compelled to spend over $100 for a dust removal system, I guess that is your prerogative. I'd rather put that money toward a new lens.
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