Sensor cleaning

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Musty, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Musty

    Musty Guest

    Hi All,

    I am about to embark on cleaning my 20D sensor (got a few dust bunnies at
    f/22). I already made some posts about this on r.p.d (but not a specific
    question). My first plan of attack is to use the Rocket blower (which I
    ordered from B&H). My plan is to have my significant other hold a vacuum
    cleaner close (but not too close), while I use the rocket to shoot air on
    the sensor (hoping that the vacuum will suck up the disturbed dust). Has
    anyone tried this? Has anyone actually successfully cleaned their sensor
    without resorting to physical touching techniques??

    Also, how long can I expect the camera to stay in the sensor cleaning mode
    when using a fresh battery?

    Thanks
    Musty.
     
    Musty, Dec 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. Musty

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    The vacuum is overkill. I'd actually be afraid it would stir up more dust
    than it would eliminate. Don't bother.
    Yes, I use a compressed-CO2 blower to clean mine. It takes care of all
    but major problems. I've even done it in the field once or twice, and
    it takes all of five seconds. I'm sure you'd never get compressed CO2
    cartridges onto a commercial plane, though, but I prefer to drive
    anyway.

    Physical cleaning isn't as big a deal as it might seem. It's intimidating
    at first because of everything you've read and the knowledge that messing
    up the sensor would be Really Bad, but once you try it (with the right
    tools!) it's not especially difficult.
    Long enough.
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Dec 29, 2004
    #2
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  3. Musty

    Ryan Robbins Guest

    Yes, I use a compressed-CO2 blower to clean mine.

    Do NOT use compressed air.
     
    Ryan Robbins, Dec 29, 2004
    #3
  4. Musty

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Of course not, but clean compressed CO2 is fine.
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Dec 29, 2004
    #4
  5. Musty

    Musty Guest

    Do you have a web link to a store which sells this compressed CO2? I could
    not find it. I tried CO2, carbon dioxide etc etc.
     
    Musty, Dec 29, 2004
    #5
  6. Musty

    Ron Lacey Guest

    I've never had a problem cleaning my sensor using a rubber bulb on
    either my D60 or 20D. I'd be wary of using any kind of compressed
    gas, air or CO2. Page 37 of the 20D manual clearly states "Never use
    canned air or gas to clean the sensor. The blowing force or the spray
    gas can freeze on the sensor."

    Ron

    Ron Lacey
    Murillo Ontario
     
    Ron Lacey, Dec 29, 2004
    #6
  7. Musty

    Ron Lacey Guest

    That should read...

    Never use canned air or gas to clean the sensor. The blowing force
    can damage the sensor or the spray gas can freeze on the sensor.

    ron

    Ron Lacey
    Murillo Ontario
     
    Ron Lacey, Dec 29, 2004
    #7
  8. Musty

    Musty Guest

    My Rocket bulb blower should arrive tomorrow. I will try it out and let the
    group know. It would be nice if it worked. I am happy to hear that it worked
    for you. Do you have any suggestions (eg vacuuming the surrounding area in
    the room prior to "blowing"). Should the bulb be prep'ed in any way before?

    BTW, I took a shot of white paper yesterday @ f/22 followed by CS autolevels
    so I can make a comparison. If people are interested, I will post the before
    and after. What is the best "free" website to post images?
     
    Musty, Dec 29, 2004
    #8
  9. Musty

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Here's one (long link, oh well):

    http://americanrecorder.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=10&osCsid=1db8b9fe648af073c2e3bfa71fe9d48e

    What you really want, generically, are the kind of CO2 cartridges that are
    used in food preparation. They don't last very long and they aren't very
    strong (which for this purpose is actually a good thing) but they are
    clean. There's a "user review" on that page saying something like "some
    users have reported residue when used to clean camera sensors", but I've
    never had any problem with it and I blew a whole cartridge testing for
    that before I let it near my camera.
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Dec 29, 2004
    #9
  10. Musty

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Compressed air cans, and some other forms of blowers, have propellants
    and/or lubricants mixed in. Those are a problem. Since basically all
    of what you'll find if you look for "compressed air" will fall into that
    category, it's wise to tell people to avoid it.

    But since no one wants residue in their whipped cream or seltzer any more
    than you want it on your sensor, there's definitely a market for clean CO2.
    I doubt there is anything called "compressed air" that you can safely use,
    though.
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Dec 29, 2004
    #10
  11. Musty

    Ron Lacey Guest

    Other than doing the cleaning indoors in my reasonably clean computer
    room I take no extraordinary precautions.

    Ron

    Ron Lacey
    Murillo Ontario
     
    Ron Lacey, Dec 29, 2004
    #11
  12. Musty

    John Francis Guest

    I suspect the stuff I compress myself would be no worse than using
    a bulb blower; I've got a compressor+tank for use with various items.
     
    John Francis, Dec 29, 2004
    #12
  13. Musty

    Bob Guest

    I'd suggest you get a large clean plastic bag and work in that... if it's big
    enough - crawl in too!!

    alt.binaries.photos.original

    is good...
     
    Bob, Dec 30, 2004
    #13
  14. Musty

    Larry Guest

    Im lucky in that I have a source for "dried" air.. The compressors where I
    work run the high temerature compressed air through a cooler (water jacket)
    then through an air dryer that removes moisture down to a VERY low humidity
    (in the area of 2% humidity).

    That way we dont have to go on a daily treck throughout our plant and drain
    the "water traps" on out air operated equipment, as they never have anything
    in them.

    Its a simple matter to construct a small air canister equiped with a Shraeder
    valve for filling, and an oulet for blowing out equipment.

    A simple air dryer can be made using a canister filled with the desicant
    found in those little "desicant packs" that come in your electronic
    equipment.

    That desicant can be purchased in one pound cans at my local hardware store
    for preventing mildew in basements and closets. I can fill my 4 quart size
    with air at 120 psi about 20 times from a 2 horsepower compressor in my
    basement before the desicant needs to be dried (several hours in the oven @
    150 deg F) or replaced.

    In conclusion, if you are at all handy with tools, and have a small
    compressor you can make canisters of pure, dried air to use to clean things
    out.

    For my part, I went to the expense of putting a regulator on the outlet of my
    portable canister, so I can reduce the pressure down to 10 or 20 psi for
    cleaning delicate items.
     
    Larry, Dec 30, 2004
    #14
  15. Larry, you have to be very careful with the desiccant you buy at the
    hardware store that is used for drying basements since there is a 99% chance
    it's calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is very hydroscopic and will suck
    huge amounts of moisture from the air but has the major disadvantage of
    dissolving into a liquid when fully saturated. This is what makes it a
    great and cheap ice melt that is sold in 50# bags. I would hate to have
    calcium chloride, which is highly corrosive, running through my air lines
    and equipment.

    Unless you know you are buying "Silica Gel" I wouldn't use it. Also, silica
    gel won't dissolve in water.



    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 30, 2004
    #15
  16. Musty

    ZONED! Guest

    Your idea is correct, please allow some clarification:
    Techincally it is not hyGroscopic, but deliquescent. That is tending to
    undergo gradual dissolution and liquefaction by the attraction and
    absorption of moisture from the air.
     
    ZONED!, Dec 30, 2004
    #16
  17. Musty

    ZONED! Guest


    Your idea is correct, please allow some clarification:
    Techincally, calcium chloride is not hyGroscopic, but deliquescent.
    That is tending to undergo gradual dissolution and liquefaction by the
    attraction and absorption of moisture from the air. Also "highly
    corrosive" is a subjective term, calcium chloride is slightly more
    corrosive than table salt. I have handled it often with bare hands
    (although I do not recommend this) and have never had any problems. I
    also would never want salt water inside of any camera or electronic
    gear.
     
    ZONED!, Dec 30, 2004
    #17
  18. Musty

    ZONED! Guest


    Your idea is correct, please allow some clarification:
    Techincally, calcium chloride is not hyGroscopic, but deliquescent.
    That is tending to undergo gradual dissolution and liquefaction by the
    attraction and absorption of moisture from the air. Also "highly
    corrosive" is a subjective term, calcium chloride is slightly more
    corrosive than table salt. I have handled it often with bare hands
    (although I do not recommend this) and have never had any problems. I
    also would never want salt water inside of any camera or electronic
    gear.
     
    ZONED!, Dec 30, 2004
    #18
  19. Thank you very much for the correction, I'll make note of it for future
    reference. I do realize you were very excited and wanted to be the first
    person to correct me, but in your haste and bliss you posted three messages
    on the subject when only one would suffice. Thank you again.

    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 30, 2004
    #19
  20. Musty

    Larry Guest

    Actually I tend to use the same dessicant we use at work,(it looks like
    brownish purple sand, and never seems to break down or gel, probably a type
    of silica-gel. We change it out on a semi-anual basis) but I have used the
    "store bought" stuff a few times..

    If you use "store bought", you need to keep it visible, so you can see its
    state. If it even begins to clump, get it out and dry it, or replace it.

    Silica gel is BEST but not always easy to come by.
     
    Larry, Dec 30, 2004
    #20
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