Dust on sensor, Sensor Brush = hogwash solution?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by MeMe, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. MeMe

    MeMe Guest

    .... a smart guy, if he knows what he's doing.
    MeMe, Feb 11, 2005
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  2. MeMe

    jean Guest

    Well, count me in the asshole group, for some weird reason, I did not want
    to dunk a swab in liquid and streak it across MY camera's sensor nor did I
    want to use a $2 brush to remove the dust particles the bulb did not remove.
    What you do with your camera and your money is your business, what I do with
    mine is my business. If it didn't work, I would have felt like I was
    screwed, since it works, then I am happy.


    PS Yes, I am from Canada, but my camera is from Japan, probably just like
    yours, does that mean only Japanese can say their cameras work?
    jean, Feb 11, 2005
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  3. MeMe

    Jason P. Guest

    Hahaha... Canada is the second largest country on the face of the planet!
    That's like saying "You're from the USA... you must be working for NASA".

    You want to look at Nikon's own article on cleaning a low pass filter?


    See the part there that says "The use of a blower-brush is not recommended
    as the bristles may damage the filter ... Under no circumstances should the
    filter be touched or wiped."

    How does that tickle you?
    Jason P., Feb 11, 2005
  4. MeMe

    Jason P. Guest

    To this I add, if it is not obvious: do not aim-and-blow. Instead,
    Do you realize how many cameras come back to camera shops with crap all over
    the CCD because some idiot was told to point a can of compressed air onto
    the sensor? You give people too much credit for use of common sense. Telling
    someone blindly to clean the inside of their camera with an aerosol is
    Jason P., Feb 11, 2005
  5. MeMe

    andrew29 Guest

    Lithium Niobate has a hardness of about 5 Mohs, which is a little bit
    less than optical glass or a knife blade at about 5.5. No, I'm not
    recommending anyone attempt sensor cleaning for themselves, but
    "extremely fragile" is going too far.

    andrew29, Feb 11, 2005
  6. MeMe

    Clyde Guest

    If you blow, you move particles around. I understand that. I'm just
    saying that sucking should also move particles around. Any movement of
    air inside your camera would move particles around. Then again, that is
    the point - isn't it? You are trying to move particles off of your sensor.

    You have a creative method to control the amount of air that is moving,
    but I don't see the point. If you blow or suck at different rates, you
    still have to move air to move the particles. High speed air movement
    just does it faster than low speed air movement.

    I'm sure that very low speed air movement (blowing or sucking) will move
    some particles off of your sensor. If you don't move the air fast, those
    particles aren't likely to be moved far. That would protect them from
    going deep into those mythically dangerous places deep into your camera.

    The question is, do they move far enough? Is the air movement hard
    enough to move all the particles, even ones that are semi-stuck on the
    sensor? If you move enough air to move the particles, what is to stop
    other particles from moving back on the sensor? I know that dust doesn't
    settle easily when there is air flow, but at some point the air has to
    stop flowing. (Hum, there's an idea... continuous air flow across the
    sensor.) When it does stop, wouldn't dust resettle?

    Therefore, I still don't see how sucking is any better than blowing. I
    also don't see how either of them removes all the dust particles off the
    sensor. Well, unless you do this in a dust-free environment - which I
    certainly do not have.

    Clyde, Feb 11, 2005
  7. MeMe

    MeMe Guest

    Not quite. Canada's large land mass has nothing to do with its small
    population of 25 million people.
    1) That means you absolutely discourage the use of the Canadian "Sensor
    Brush(TM)" product. Am I right?

    2) How about all the people that find the blower method (recommended by
    Nikon) to be ineffective? What is their solution? A trip to the service

    3) Do you realize that gently drawing fine nylon hairs across a sensor
    is not the same as stabbing a blower brush's bristles into the sensor,
    as would happen if you held a blower brush close to the sensor and
    started pumping on the bellows?
    MeMe, Feb 11, 2005
  8. MeMe

    eawckyegcy Guest

    Do you realize I think you are a FUDster?

    www.google.com: define:FUD

    Do you also realize your claims about the sensor being "extremely
    fragile" are total bunk? Your implicit accusation that someone --
    anyone -- here has "[told] someone [to] blindly [...] clean the inside
    of their camera with an aerosol" is a complete misrepresentation, if
    not a flat out lie?

    With this in mind, please excuse me if I do not initially believe it
    when you suggest "many cameras come back to camera shops with crap all
    over the CCD" and so forth. Maybe this is true, but you are in
    "MeMe"'s position now: you'll have to document your claims before I'll
    consider accepting them. Actually, that is a bit of a slight of
    "MeMe", since at least there is some cogent physics on his side...
    eawckyegcy, Feb 11, 2005
  9. MeMe

    Sheldon Guest

    They also acknowledge there are wipes and fluids available to clean the CCD,
    but if you damage the sensor it will void your warranty. Think about it.
    How do you think Nikon cleans the camera when you send it in? They use
    wipes and fluids. You just have to be confident that you can do it
    yourself, and understand the liabilities of doing this yourself. So far,
    all I've had to use is a hand blower, but I'm prepared to do more, within
    reason, if I have to.

    This a bit like owning a car. The owner's manual will tell you to take the
    car to the dealer to do pretty much anything except put gas in it. Some
    people do, many people maintain their car by themselves. Obviously, most of
    us would never attempt an engine overhaul, but plugs and filters are not
    that difficult if you have good instructions. And yes, you could scratch
    the windshield and paint if you don't know the basics of how to wash a car.
    Sheldon, Feb 11, 2005
  10. MeMe

    eawckyegcy Guest

    The technique works fine for me. In fact, this is what Canon itself
    apparently does -- after one cleaning I had them do, I could see (at
    f/64) some just barely perceptible evidence of streaking on the sensor.
    But "MeMe" (and myself) still reserve the right to laugh at suckers.
    And after reviewing some of "Visible Dust's" promotional materials, the
    "snake oil" alarms were going off fairly loud. $50 (or whatever) for a
    nylon brush? Seriously?

    Unlike "MeMe" though, I'm not laughing yet because first someone has to
    prove you are a sucker. My sensor has a few blobs on it (slightly
    visible at f/8) ... maybe a walk to the local art store is in order.
    eawckyegcy, Feb 11, 2005
  11. MeMe

    Scott Belyea Guest


    Well ... in the interest of accuracy, between 32-33 million, actually.

    And not all of us are small. :)

    Scott B
    Scott Belyea, Feb 11, 2005
  12. MeMe

    Frank ess Guest

    I use a blower with a bulb about 1.5 inches in diameter. I've been able
    to do the squeeze part (blow) with snoot in a position to blow on the
    sensor, and the release part (suck) away from the field of operation. It
    takes quite a bit of time/squeezing to make me believe I've done as much
    as I can with that tool/technique.

    I also enlist gravity, holding the camera with the gaping hole facing
    down. Every little 32 f/s/s helps.

    Works good so far. I anticipate with anxious angst the day it becomes
    necessary to (shudder) _touch_ the sensor with Plan B's $200/inĀ² brush,
    and may never come to terms with Plan C, using a Copper-something
    _fluid_ to *scrub* the sensor (aaarrgh!).

    By the way: Does anyone know for certain what method the Factory
    Technician will use when I chicken out completely and send it in for

    Frank ess

    "Because of the Swiss Cheese nature of everyone's life experience and
    education, the Whoosh Bird can drop a load on anyone's head, without
    warning." -Albrecht Einstein
    Frank ess, Feb 11, 2005
  13. MeMe

    Alan Browne Guest

    Yep, but particles that fly up the hose are gone.
    particles blown around the sensor chamber are still around.

    Just do the work in a low dust environment which anyone can create reasonably.
    A clean room is not required.
    Who said it has to be high speed? Read what I posted at the link above and
    adjusting the airflow for a low rate. Gentle. The airflow at the small nozzle
    will be low, and airflow coming into the camera to replace much lower.
    "Mythically dangerous?" Go talk to some old photogs and old repair guys about
    where they find dust in cameras and how it eventually gobs up the mechanics.
    As I say above, the small vacuum nozzle will have a low flow. The air replacing
    it coming into the camera will be much-much lower.
    I sincerely suggest that you're making this more complicated than it need be.
    As the Nikon site suggests, use a brushless blower and good luck. Add that to
    the doohickey I describe above and you will have very little dust in the camera.
    As I said, a vacuum and a brush. One dislodges, the other removes. Nikon say
    "don't use a brush" so you goota decide what is the right thing to do.

    Nobody has a dust-free environment. Even clean rooms have so many particles per
    m^3. Put your camera in a small closed room over night. Let the dust settle.
    Go in gently and clean it. Buy a precipitator to move most of the dust to the
    floor. If the room has forced air heating/air, shut the vent off.

    Use common sense, IOW. Which, as another poster suggests, includes a regular
    cleaning out of the camera bag.


    Alan Browne, Feb 11, 2005
  14. MeMe

    Doug Payne Guest

    Doug Payne, Feb 11, 2005
  15. MeMe

    Alan Browne Guest

    And then the Minolta 7D manual, (Same sensor as D70, not sure about
    anti-aliasing filter), p110.

    "Clean the CCD in a dust-free environment. Use a blower brush to remove the dust
    - compressed air can damage the camera."
    Alan Browne, Feb 11, 2005
  16. MeMe

    MeMe Guest

    Gawd! Another Canadian sock puppet pointing us to a site that encourages
    the use of the criminally overpriced "Sensor Brush"(TM).

    Methinks someone is panicking about losing his lucrative franchise!
    MeMe, Feb 11, 2005
  17. MeMe

    Sheldon Guest

    By the way: Does anyone know for certain what method the Factory
    I've seen some tech manuals on the Net. It looks like Nikon uses something
    like wooden chopsticks and a pad and fluid. They work in a circular pattern
    from the center to the outer edges. I'm guessing the kits they sell for
    cleaning the CCD is about as close as you can get to how the factory does
    it. And the small rubber spatula you wrap the pad around would seem to be
    far safer than using something stiff like wood.

    And, for my two cents, I doubt a vacuum is as good as a blower. The vacuum
    would have to be very close to the sensor and the particle would have to be
    very loose for the vacuum to pull it off. A blower will dislodge the
    particle with a puff of air, and hopefully blow it completely out of the
    camera. In a perfect world, you would use both at the same time; a blower
    to knock the particle loose, and a vacuum to get it out of there.
    Sheldon, Feb 12, 2005
  18. MeMe

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    The discussions of the various cleaning methods and the
    associated problems has set me to thinking. As a result, I have been
    considering fabricating a special device for the function which does
    combine the two functions in a single device.

    It would consist of a pair of concentric tubes, with a vacuum
    pulled on the inner tube, and (lightly) compressed air in the outside.
    The ring at the end would be drilled with multiple holes at an angle
    towards the center.

    The idea would be that the particles dislodged by the gentle
    airflow would be blown towards the center of the pattern by all of the
    converging air jets, and be picked up by the vacuum in the central tube.

    The incoming air would go through a small HEPA filter such as is
    used in medium sized disk drives (also *very* sensitive to dust
    particles) prior to being directed down the outer tube. The air, before
    the HEPA filter would be split into two paths, one to the HEPA filter
    and the outer tube, and the other through a venturi to generate a
    vacuum. The venturi's vacuum port would be connected to the inner tube.
    There would be a pair of needle valves to adjust both airflows.

    To set the two needle valves, you would first adjust the one to
    the outer tube to give the desired airflow for a gentle brush-off. Then
    a balloon would be slipped over the outer tube (with a bit of a leak so
    the balloon would not fully inflate and burst. Then the needle valve to
    the venturi would be adjusted so the balloon would hold a given slack
    size, even if the neck is pinched tightly around the outer tube. This
    would assure that the net flow into and out of the camera body through
    the device would be zero, so you would not be drawing dust-laden air
    into the camera body while cleaning.

    Obviously, the end of this device would have to be made of a
    material soft enough to be unlikely to damage the sensor covering, and
    neutral enough to not contaminate it. At first thoughts, I think that
    Teflon would be a good choice for that. The total diameter of the probe
    would be 1/4" or perhaps 3/16" (6mm or 4.75mm roughly, for the
    metric-inclined among you).

    Any opinions about this device?

    DoN. Nichols, Feb 12, 2005
  19. MeMe

    Sheldon Guest

    Any opinions about this device?

    Will it fit through the door?
    Sheldon, Feb 12, 2005
  20. MeMe

    Etruscan Guest

    Do you realize I think you are a FUDster?

    Do I care what you think? If I happened to instill fear and uncertainty in
    you, I sincerely apologize. Crazy what one persons information will do to
    Again... I couldn't care less what you feel, let alone MeMe... after
    laughing for nearly a day about being told I must work for such and such
    dotcom because I'm in Canada... I've lost interest in what both of you feel.
    The fact of the matter is... people come to this forum looking for advice.
    Cleaning the filter over the sensor with a can of compressed air and a nylon
    brush is basically not good advice. Can it be done? I'm sure it can. Can
    anyone do it? I wouldn't trust anyone with a can of compressed air and a
    nylon brush to get anywhere near my D2H or my D70.
    Again, I don't ca... well, you get the picture. You believe what you want to
    believe and I'll keep spreading my FUD.
    Etruscan, Feb 12, 2005
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