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09-04-2009, 09:23 AM   #1
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Cleaning sensor: Professionally or at home?

Alright while out and around browsing the sensor cleaning stuff at local shops I cant find the rocket blower or any swabs that are under $25 bucks for a small tiny kit. While at a local shop I inquired about a sensor cleaning and they told me $25 and its guaranteed. Now this sounds like a good price to me, since it seems I have some "wet"dust on my sensor and I havent been able to get it off so far. Ive heard on herre that a lot of shops charge about $60, so $25 seems good.

What does everyone else think?

09-04-2009, 10:01 AM   #2
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If "guaranteed" means they replace your camera if they screw it up, great. If it just means you don't pay them the $25 if they can't rid of th dust, I'm not impressed.

Anyhow, even if a rocket blower is not avilable at the stores you've checked, they are incredibly easy to find online. So by all means, pay the $25 to get your camera cleaned today if necessary (assujing the even have same day servce), but also order a blower so you don't have have to pay $25 every few months. Not having a blower is like not owning soap and wondering if you should get yourself professionally cleaned every time you get dirty.
09-04-2009, 09:20 PM   #3
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Well taped a lens tissue on the end of a qtip and wiped the sensor and got a lot of the larger dust off. I think Ill shoot with it like this for a while, then get the rocketblower, and get it prof. cleaned.
09-05-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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I'm not an enthusiast of rocket brushes for cleaning sensors. They tend to launch any dust into the air so it is free to get into the place where it can cause most harm.

I use a piece of flexible tube about 1/4" internal diameter and put about six inches of it into the vacuum cleaner hose to get rid of loose dust. I then use a Pentax cleaner to clean the sensor. It may not be the best on the market, but at least if something goes wrong, you're covered.

I have also heard good things about Arctic Butterflies.

Basically it's one of those jobs that's not that hard if you know what you are doing, but if you get it wrong, you could write off the camera.

Unless you are sure you can do it, get it done professionally and don't go for the cheapest quote, get someone who is good to do it.

09-05-2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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I was giving my sister my old camera and it had some dust on the sensor. My sister said her son had told her she had to have it professionally cleaned or she'd ruin the sensor. When I met her at the beach I showed her how to check for dust and, yep, there was dust. Then we used the blower and some dust was gone but most was still there. Then we did a wet clean with pec pads and Eclipse. When we finished she said, "That's it?" We both laughed and she pointed out I was the family klutz and I could do it.

I would like to add that since that camera, all my DSLRs have had much improved coatings on the sensor covers and I've never had to do anything beyond the blower. Where I live, in Oaxaca, Mexico, we had a lot of dust and a lot of soot.

It's really not a big deal.
09-05-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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Still using canned gas here. No problems so far.
09-05-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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The cleaning kit from Pentax is easy as pie and takes all of about two whole minutes....if you're slow. Try it once and you'll find it hard not to laugh at folks who pay big bucks for somebody else to do it for them.
09-06-2009, 12:18 AM   #8
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Clean it yourself. I bought a Sensor Klear pen, this is what one of the local camera repair/sales store uses:

LENSPEN is The superior Camera lens cleaning system for all fine optics, rifle scopes, camcorder and camera viewer screens, binoculars





Sensorklear Review

09-06-2009, 05:22 AM   #9
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Ok lens cleaning expert is in,

We never use a lens pen in photography, pressuring any particle even dust to the lens will scratch the coating. coatings are as durable as a very soft wood. We need to use a good blower and soft quality brush thats all. (oil painters quality real camel hair brushes with cut handle will fit in your camera bag easily.

How do we clean lens with from greasy remarks like fingerprints? The keyword is isopropyl alcohol (IA), as pure as possible, 99% is the best. we put one drop IA on the lens with a qTip circularly beginning from the center, and immedialty dry the IA with a quality lens paper before IA dries out, in the same manner/circular direction.

We try not to clean lens with IA unless we are helpless, we always use lens caps paranoidly, not the unnecessary crappy UV and such filters for a good resolution.

Again never lenspen ever.

BTW what was the name of the silicon Pentax sensor cleaner, I thought it was like ICK-1 or something..

QuoteOriginally posted by F-Stop Quote
Clean it yourself. I bought a Sensor Klear pen, this is what one of the local camera repair/sales store uses:
09-06-2009, 07:39 AM   #10
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BTW what was the name of the silicon Pentax sensor cleaner, I thought it was like ICK-1 or something..

O-ICK1
09-06-2009, 08:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cbaytan Quote
Ok lens cleaning expert is in,

We never use a lens pen in photography, pressuring any particle even dust to the lens will scratch the coating. coatings are as durable as a very soft wood.
When I was selling cameras for a living, we used to get to go to dog and pony shows put on by the industry. At one such show, the Pentax rep had a 50mm lens sitting on the table that he was inviting smokers to use to butt out their cigarettes (this was back before the hysteria about tobacco).
There were probably 100 smokes butted on the front element of that lens that day, and at the end of the day it was as clean and clear as if it had just come out of the box.
These things are a lot more durable than most people think.
09-06-2009, 08:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
There were probably 100 smokes butted on the front element of that lens that day, and at the end of the day it was as clean and clear as if it had just come out of the box. These things are a lot more durable than most people think.
Ok, but I wouldn't generalize that particular lens, I was speaking for Canon FD lenses which I am more familiar / converted from, we'll never know the exact durability of the coatings. So, I prefer to be paranoid.
09-06-2009, 08:50 AM   #13
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Just a heads up though, Mushroom_Toy is looking to clean the sensor not the lens; Not sure if that changes any reply.
09-06-2009, 09:30 AM   #14
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Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe what the OP wants to clean is the filter/glass on top of the sensor and not the actual sensor itself.

I have used visible dust products before (with a Canon 40D and a Leica M8), specifically the swabs for wet cleaning and have obtained good results. I think the whole set cost $60 (usable for a few times) and is a very straightforward process. The filter/glass is not as fragile as most presume it to be.

Try not to use a lens tissue. Not all lens tissues are the same. Some that claim to be lint free might still scratch your sensor.

Hope it helps.
09-06-2009, 10:06 AM   #15
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Don't use a lens pen for cleaning sensors, there are 2 things you need to get,

1. a sensor brush and blower, this is for the dry stuff

2. a wet dry kit, there are several.

fist blow, then wipe with brush, if the stuff is still there ( shutter oil sometimes ) then wet wipe.

Amazon.com: DustAid Dust Wand Kit: Camera & Photo

Amazon.com: BrushOFF Sensor Cleaning Brush: Camera & Photo

there are tohers but I prefer these, but thats jsut personal use, in emergencies I have done the q tip with lens fluid to.
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