Dust on sensor

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Lars Ritterhoff, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    who already had dust on the sensor? How did you remove it?

    Dust should get easily onto the sensor.
    It is bad if you have dust on the film, but since you do not exchange
    the sensor, it must be worse with digital SLRs.

    My local dealer told me, I had to send the camera to the respective
    manufacturer to clean the sensor?


    - yet without digital SLR -
    Lars Ritterhoff, Jan 5, 2005
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  2. Lars Ritterhoff

    C J Campbell Guest

    Dust inevitably gets on you sensor. You blow it off with a rubber bulb. If
    it does not come off that way, you can take it in for cleaning, or you can
    attempt to clean it yourself (and at your own risk) with swabs and denatured
    C J Campbell, Jan 5, 2005
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  3. Lars Ritterhoff

    Ken Davey Guest

    A Yahoo search "sensor cleaning" results in

    Ken Davey, Jan 5, 2005
  4. Lars Ritterhoff

    paul Guest

    Ugh, I've got a big hunk of dust *inside* my lens. I wonder if that's
    paul, Jan 5, 2005
  5. Right. But I am more interested in how much hassle dust on the sensor is

    Lars Ritterhoff, Jan 5, 2005
  6. Thank you. But tutorials ar only part of the answer I am looking for: I
    am rather interested in how much of a problem dust on sensors is. E.g.
    how often do you have to clean it? How difficult and risky is it? Anyone
    damaged his sensor, yet?


    Lars Ritterhoff, Jan 5, 2005
  7. Lars Ritterhoff

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that (Lars Ritterhoff) stated that:
    It's totally dependant on how often you change lenses, how careful you
    are about it, & how dusty an environment you do it in. I've only cleaned
    my 10D sensor once, so far (about a year), but it's picked up a few
    small specks since then. Still, I'll probably need to clean it again
    before the next time I do any outdoor shooting. (Dust tends to be most
    visible in blue sky.)
    Moderately. Again, it depends a lot on the individual.
    Not that I've heard of, but I imagine that many people would be too
    embarrassed to admit to it. ;)
    Lionel, Jan 6, 2005
  8. Well, if you suffer from an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, it
    could be quite a problem. If you are a go with the flow type, it's no
    problem. I just blow the big chunks off with an ear syringe and call it
    good enough!
    Charles Schuler, Jan 6, 2005
  9. Lars Ritterhoff

    Will D. Guest

    I'm told by an acquaintance who claims lots of use of a 10D, including
    outdoor lens changes, that the single biggest preventative factor is
    turning off the camera before removing the lens. He says the second is
    always holding the camera with the opening down (back up) while changing

    He says that sensor dust can be a problem for those with sloppy lens
    changing habits. Maybe that means he doesn't have sensor dust problems,
    I don't know, didn't ask.

    Any comments about this?

    Will D.
    Will D., Jan 7, 2005
  10. Lars Ritterhoff

    C J Campbell Guest

    It is baloney.
    C J Campbell, Jan 7, 2005
  11. Lars Ritterhoff

    Ken Davey Guest

    I would tend to agree that turning off the camera has absolutely no bearing
    on the 'dust-on-sensor' problem.
    It just makes good (electronic) sense to power down when changing lenses.
    As to pointing the camera down - might help, marginally, depending on the
    I have had my 10D for a year and a half and have yet to clean the sensor. It
    is due, I know, but that will have to wait until I get back home in April
    and I can order the appropriate cleaning system (not obtainable here in
    Cleaning system you ask?
    From the reviews this seems to be the answer (for me).
    Your mileage may vary.
    Ken Davey, Jan 7, 2005
  12. Lars Ritterhoff

    Will D. Guest

    Interestingly enough, the site you cite states that a sensor's
    protective cover will generate a mild charge while in operation. The
    physics involved are pretty well known, I think. If there is no
    specific mechanism to drain this charge while the camera is in
    operation, ie, powered up, I'd be hard put to understand how a glass
    plate can avoid being charged. After all, we're not talking AC here.

    So I think the assertion that "It is baloney", without supporting
    evidence, is simply an opinion, nothing more. It's worth noting,
    perhaps, that such summary declaratives are classic flame bait, and do
    not contribute to the discussion.

    Took a look at visibledust.com. Some of the statements sound like they
    might hav a basis in fact, don't know. OTOH, assertions that the
    manufacturers simply want to extort extra money for sensor cleaning
    services sound like smoke and mirrors to me.

    I've read, in this newsgroup, accounts stating that Canon service
    centers are very likely to perform routine cleaning for no charge, and
    that sounds quite reasonable for a company that is interested in
    maintaining a reputation. Don't know about Nikon, or the rest.

    So, given that the people at visibledust acknowledge that sensors
    develop a charge on the protective covering during operation, such that
    is likely to attract dust, I think I'll continue to expect that powering
    down to change lenses is a good thing, specifically for keeping crap off
    the sensor. As far as not leaving the body cavity up during lens
    changes, that makes sense for any camera, not just digitals.

    Will D.
    Will D., Jan 7, 2005
  13. Lars Ritterhoff

    Colm Guest

    It's an annoyance when shooting large areas of a single colour at small
    aperture. Shoot a clear blue sky or a plain white wall at f16 or smaller and
    dust on the sensor will show in the image. If you always shoot wide open or
    thereabouts, you'll never notice it.
    Colm, Jan 7, 2005
  14. SNIP
    Turning off the camera, doesn't immediately drain the charge from the
    coverglass, but the dust that could enter while changing lenses,
    cannot reach the coverglass untill the shutter curtain opens. So as
    for dust being attracted by residual charge *while* changing lenses,
    it seems impossible to me.
    I agree. Pointing the lens cavity down while changing, won't prevent
    dust from floating up the opening (and it's that type of dust that
    causes problems), but it will prevent 'stuff' falling in.

    Bart van der Wolf, Jan 7, 2005
  15. Lars Ritterhoff

    Will D. Guest

    Good, some explanations!

    So what is happening, presumably, is that what dust *is* inside the
    camera gets attracted to the sensor cover when the shutter is open.
    Now, I wonder if the charge from the sensor cover glass is strong enough
    to pull dust into the cavity, even though it's behind the shutter.
    Presumably, the shutter is one of those vertical types with carbon fiber
    blades. One would think that would definitely interact with an
    electrostatic field, though just how is just as definitely unclear.
    Instead of shielding the sensor cover field, it might shape it somehow.
    Don't know.

    I think that, given the speed with which the 20D boots, powering down to
    change lenses is a reasonable default procedure. Except when a lens
    change is needed quickly, and the buffers are still transferring to the
    memory card... I really don't want to hear that such a change is not
    possible ;)
    In point of fact, I try to keep both the camera and lens more or less
    level, as both the cavity and the rear elements need to be kept clean.
    But you're probably right that it is the floating stuff that is most
    likely to wind up on the sensor cover, I would think.

    Thanks for the reasonable response.

    Will D.

    Another thought: Are long exposures more likely to allow dust to get to
    the sensor cover? That would seem likely, I think.
    Will D., Jan 7, 2005
  16. Lars Ritterhoff

    C J Campbell Guest

    Man, you can really do that? Your hands must be incredibly fast!
    C J Campbell, Jan 7, 2005
  17. SNIP
    Yes, after the mirror starts some turbulence as it swings out of the
    optical path, the shutter races out of the way, there is most likely
    to exist an airflow towards the sensor. As it builds up charge, some
    of the dust from the cavity is likely to wind up in the wrong place.
    So all we can do is try and keep the dust out of the cavity (and make
    sure the lens mount and cap is clean), which is not an easy thing.

    Bart van der Wolf, Jan 7, 2005
  18. Lars Ritterhoff

    Will D. Guest

    Okay, thanks for the response!

    Another thought: Having read somewhere that the 1Ds MkII has really bad
    dust susceptibility, I wonder if there is some connection between that
    and the number of pixels (total charge?). In other words, perhaps the
    20D is apt to be discernably more vulnerable to gathering dust on the
    sensor cover than the 10D. The more pixels, the more dust? Not good.

    I guess the identification of proper and effective sensor cover cleaning
    equipment, etc, is a good thing to pursue before I get one of these

    Thanks again,

    Will D.
    Will D., Jan 8, 2005
  19. Lars Ritterhoff

    Will D. Guest

    One of the reviews complained that one cannot pull the memory card
    before the buffers have down loaded. If that really is a problem
    (waiting for the writing to conclude before removing the card), then
    maybe lens changes during that time might also be. I can remove the
    lens from the body a lot faster than I can remove the memory card, I

    Lots of unknowns, and having already been burned by precipitous purchase
    of a digital camera, I'd rather do all the investigation before I
    consider buying one.

    Will D.
    Will D., Jan 8, 2005
  20. Lars Ritterhoff

    andrew29 Guest

    andrew29, Jan 8, 2005
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