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07-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #1
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Dirty Sensor?

Hey, I've noticed recently that in my pictures, I've been getting a bit of a smudge-like defect on them. The dust alert reveals no dust particles, and the lens/filter is clean. Is this becuase of a dirty sensor? And if so, how can I clean it? (Or should I take it in to be cleaned?)

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07-22-2010, 05:59 PM   #2
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Hard to tell from that image. Best way to check is to set your aperture at f22 and take a photo of a clear blue sky (no clouds). Use a low iso and set to manual focus.
07-22-2010, 06:52 PM   #3
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I retook the shot with better lighting and using the settings you recommended (F22, ISO 200).

The defect looks pretty clear in this one =/ What do you guys think it is?
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07-22-2010, 07:29 PM   #4
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Just did a few more dust alert checks against a white piece of paper; the in-camera dust check definitely picks up a few specks of dust approximately where they're showing up on my pictures. And even after multiple shakes from the dust removal, whatever the specks are, they aren't budging. Should I go out and buy a bulb blower? =p

07-22-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
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...I had the same thing in my k200d and it was in behind my focusing screen.The funny thing is that it showed up on my pics at first and then gone,but I could still see it through the viewfinder!.I just put in a new focusing screen and the problem is solved so take it from there~!
07-22-2010, 07:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Electric Eye Quote
...I had the same thing in my k200d and it was in behind my focusing screen.The funny thing is that it showed up on my pics at first and then gone,but I could still see it through the viewfinder!.I just put in a new focusing screen and the problem is solved so take it from there~!
How do I know if it's on the focusing screen or not? I just looked through the viewfinder at a white surface and see nothing there.
07-22-2010, 08:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
I retook the shot with better lighting and using the settings you recommended (F22, ISO 200).

The defect looks pretty clear in this one =/ What do you guys think it is?
It appears to be a hair or something similar. Time for the blower. Use it with the camera mount toward the floor, preferably in some humid area (lowers static electricity). I use my bathroom for the really sticky stuff like this. Lots of blowing, but make sure you don't touch the sensor - although it is actually the filter in front of it.
07-22-2010, 08:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
How do I know if it's on the focusing screen or not? I just looked through the viewfinder at a white surface and see nothing there.
...I took my lens off and looked through viewfinder at a light and could see it more clearly that way.Go too Focusing Screen and there are instructions on how to remove focusing screen and you could blow out behind it.Be very careful as the screens are very fragile and mark easy.Treat it like a bar of soap as it marks almost as easy as that.

07-22-2010, 09:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
How do I know if it's on the focusing screen or not? I just looked through the viewfinder at a white surface and see nothing there.
If you can see it in the viewfinder, it is on the focusing screen and doesn't affect the image. If you cannot see it in the viewfinder, it is on the sensor filter and affects only the image. Check your manual for how to get the mirror to lock up for cleaning (it's in the menus) and then look at the sensor with a magnifying glass. That one is large enough that you should be able to see it. Whatever you do, do not touch the sensor filter with anything. Nothing. Nada. Use a blower, not a compressed air can. The compressed air can can send propellant out if not handled properly and really foul up the innards of your camera.
07-23-2010, 12:16 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Whatever you do, do not touch the sensor filter with anything. Nothing. Nada.
For that dust shown, that is probably good advice, but, as has been discussed on other threads, it is not always possible. There are some kinds of dirt that will not respond to air. Never.
07-23-2010, 06:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
How do I know if it's on the focusing screen or not? I just looked through the viewfinder at a white surface and see nothing there.
If it were on the focusing screen, it wouldn't be in your pictures.

It's a hair or fiber on the sensor.
07-23-2010, 06:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Whatever you do, do not touch the sensor filter with anything. Nothing. Nada. Use a blower, not a compressed air can.
It is perfectly fine to clean the sensor using a swab or sensorpen. The filter is glass, and you'd need to really work at scratching it.
07-23-2010, 09:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
For that dust shown, that is probably good advice, but, as has been discussed on other threads, it is not always possible. There are some kinds of dirt that will not respond to air. Never.
You are correct - I left out that the proper swabs can be used - very, very carefully - following the instructions to the letter.
07-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #14
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Are sensors most perfect on other people's camera or do you just leave it alone unless it gets really bad?

In this picture here, I have one large piece of dust in the lower left corner that is very noticeable. I use the rocket blower but no matter how many times I tried, it will not disappear.

There are also other dust spot as well upon magnification.



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07-23-2010, 11:26 AM   #15
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Personally, I probably wouldn't swab my sensor yet, but everyone's tolerance is different.
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