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Thread: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

  1. #1

    Default How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    I'm still undecided if I should buy a "wet" pad sensor cleaning solution or brush (dry method). They are certainly not cheap. Just curious, how often do you all need to clean your sensors before they get dirty again?

    I've been using blower brush and it's minimally effective only. Can't quite get rid of some other dirts. Was thinking of getting the brush but have heard it's not effective for stubborn ones.

    Anyone can help or any comments? Thanks!

    (I'm using a Canon 20D so I mentioned CMOS. Pls feel free to comment if yours is CCD! )

  2. #2

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    heh ive had my camera for 3 months.. havent cleaned it yet.. so far there is a couple of dust spots if i do a test shoot, but not so that they appear in the pictures i hve been taking. dont plan to clean it until it really gets noticeable.

  3. #3
    Member smtan24's Avatar
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    I sent it only once to the service centre for cleaning. So far no problem. If the camera is still under warranty get the service centre to clean.

  4. #4
    vince123123
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    It's prob less risk to use a dry method as compared to a wet method. The dry method should be used for most dust problems and the wet ones only for serious stains or stubborn dust bunnies.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    My 300D is old, but never been sent in for cleaning. There's no dust on the sensor which causes problems in the image. If something gets in I just use a blower and it flies off.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    In the past, when I see a black spot in my image, I'll use the blower and it goes off. I always used this method and believed my sensor was clean. What's with people making a fuss out of cleaning it and all that. How wrong I was!

    I was surprised to find a lot more little black dots when I did a test shot to reveal the dust on my sensor. But this is obvious only at small apertures and if you blow up your images with contrast adjusted to quite an extreme amount.

    For those who haven't tried it, do so. Nevermind even if your cam is only a few months old. You'll be surprised. But then again for some, I believe it won't bother u for as long as you don't see dust spots on the actual image. Problem is, dust is everywhere and I believe even if you clean the sensor, it will settle down real soon again. Have to clean it fairly regularly I believe.

    I haven't gotten down to removing the dust. I guess at the end of the day, it boils down to peace of mind. But it's definitely good to clean the sensor. I'm scouting around for a good product. Yes, they are expensive as mentioned in the post.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    I check the sensor in my DSLR for dust about once a month or so. If I find nothing to be worried about, I do nothing. But when I do find a few dust spots, a good blower is usually enough to take care of the problem. Unless you change lenses and shoot a lot in dusty/dirty environments, try to avoid excessive cleaning as it might do more harm than good.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    I recycle the sensor swabs stick and replace them with lint-free lens tissue to clean the sensor every two weeks or sometimes every month. I am using the 1Ds btw and its a dust sucker. If you're not careful, you might get tiny oil stains on the sensor but for me it works like a charm.

    If you have butterfingers, its better to send it to Canon service centre to get it cleaned.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    More than 8 months, none. Not even a single dust (touch wood). First thing I will do if I have a dust problem is blowing the sensor using hand air blower. But, first to buy external power for camera to avoid possibility static electricity build-up at sensor. Mirror Lock-up for sensor cleaning. Blow the air blower few times before blowing the sensor.

    Nikon D70s.

    Regards,
    Arto.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artosoft
    More than 8 months, none. Not even a single dust (touch wood). First thing I will do if I have a dust problem is blowing the sensor using hand air blower. But, first to buy external power for camera to avoid possibility static electricity build-up at sensor. Mirror Lock-up for sensor cleaning. Blow the air blower few times before blowing the sensor.

    Nikon D70s.

    Regards,
    Arto.
    Really ah? Hmm, to have no dust at all sounds too good to be true, unless u hardly shoot or change lenses?

    I believe the sensor is prone to dust. How do you check for the dust? If u have not done so, maybe u can shoot into a plain background at smallest aperture, then use a photo-editing shotware to adjust your brightness/contrast levels. U should be able to see the dust specks. It's a matter of how many.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Priscilia
    I'm still undecided if I should buy a "wet" pad sensor cleaning solution or brush (dry method). They are certainly not cheap. Just curious, how often do you all need to clean your sensors before they get dirty again?

    I've been using blower brush and it's minimally effective only. Can't quite get rid of some other dirts. Was thinking of getting the brush but have heard it's not effective for stubborn ones.

    Anyone can help or any comments? Thanks!

    (I'm using a Canon 20D so I mentioned CMOS. Pls feel free to comment if yours is CCD! )
    If the sensor is that dirty, bring it down to Canon service center (Harborfront or Funan) for a major thorough cleaning first, then, you can DIY afterwards. I bring it to Canon once a year, and for the rest of the time, just use a blower (the hand squeeze kind) without the brush though. Works well for many years.
    deadpoet
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    I am going down to Canon later to clean my CCD
    寒冰不能斷流水 枯木亦會再逢春

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    I just got my done at Canon (Harbour Front) for $21 with GST. On top of that they also do a "service and functional test". Now, as good as just out of the box.
    Cheers
    Sky

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by David
    Really ah? Hmm, to have no dust at all sounds too good to be true, unless u hardly shoot or change lenses?

    I believe the sensor is prone to dust. How do you check for the dust? If u have not done so, maybe u can shoot into a plain background at smallest aperture, then use a photo-editing shotware to adjust your brightness/contrast levels. U should be able to see the dust specks. It's a matter of how many.
    If you don't see a dust, there is no dust problem .

    Regards,
    Arto.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by sharkspin
    I just got my done at Canon (Harbour Front) for $21 with GST. On top of that they also do a "service and functional test". Now, as good as just out of the box.
    Cheers
    Sky
    for the amount of money we already "dumped" into the camera, I really think the $21 for cleaning and check up is well worth the money. Actually, last time I bought my 20D in for cleaning and check up, they found a problem with something, and fixed it right there, for free too. The camera was no longer under warranty.
    deadpoet
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  16. #16

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    IMHO, I think every photographer should learn how to clean the sensor (actually not quite the sensor but some filter in front of it).

    It's a simple few seconds job. $21 sounds ok if it's a 1-off thingy but really, if you shoot fairly often, dust is going to fall there again very soon. Check back in a couple of weeks or 1-2 months later.

    The reason why manufacturers like Canon or Nikon don't advise self-cleaning is probably that they don't want to be liable in case some funny people use all sorts of methods to clean the sensor in rough way. Of course it might be damgaged that way. Contrary to what is adviced in the manuals, a blower brush is almost ineffective except for the most superficial dust.

    Right now there are some good products out there, though they may be expensive, at least it's cheaper and more convenient than going over to the service center.

    It's really not that difficult. I use the sensor swab and I find it effective.

    Of course to each his own. If the dust don't bother u then u might not do anything about it.

    I was like that too until recently when I did a proper test and discovered Yuks! There is a lot of dust on my sensor! I guess I've been deceiving myself by thinking there isn't any dust. I never know when they will show up on my images. Definitely will, if I use very small apertures and plain subjects.

    Just me.
    Last edited by kiwi2; 7th July 2006 at 12:11 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2
    IMHO, I think every photographer should learn how to clean the sensor (actually not quite the sensor but some filter in front of it).

    It's a simple few seconds job. $21 sounds ok if it's a 1-off thingy but really, if you shoot fairly often, dust is going to fall there again very soon. Check back in a couple of weeks or 1-2 months later.

    The reason why manufacturers like Canon or Nikon don't advise self-cleaning is probably that they don't want to be liable in case some funny people use all sorts of methods to clean the sensor in rough way. Of course it might be damgaged that way. Contrary to what is adviced in the manuals, blower brush are almost ineffective except for the most superficial dust.

    Right now there are some good products out there, though they may be expensive, at least it's cheaper and more convenient than going over to the service center.

    It's really not that difficult. I use the sensor swab and I find it effective.

    Of course to each his own. If the dust don't bother u then u might not do anything about it.

    I was like that too until recently when I did a proper test and discovered Yuks! There are a lot of dust on my sensor! I guess I've been deceiving myself by thinking there isn't any dust. I never know when they will show up on my images. Definitely will, if I use very small apertures and plain subjects.

    Just me.
    I clean my 10D CCD myself with Sensoe SWAB (width of 1.6 crop) and Eclipses Optic Cleanning Solution. But CP did not sell the SENSOR SWAB size for my another camera which is 1.3 crop factor.

    Was thinking of using this http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=206388
    but so far no one seem to be able to advise me thus for the time time, I just let Canon do the job till I find the right Sensor Swab.
    寒冰不能斷流水 枯木亦會再逢春

  18. #18

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkForce
    I clean my 10D CCD myself with Sensoe SWAB (width of 1.6 crop) and Eclipses Optic Cleanning Solution. But CP did not sell the SENSOR SWAB size for my another camera which is 1.3 crop factor.

    Was thinking of using this http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=206388
    but so far no one seem to be able to advise me thus for the time time, I just let Canon do the job till I find the right Sensor Swab.
    oic... Hmm, CP should stock up for other sensor sizes.

    I've read about the Brushoff. I'm not sure how good it is too. Think solarii is doing an MO now.

    Have you considered the Visible Dust? I thnk that's good too but very ex.

    Just wondering, what happens if u use a smaller swab to clean a larger sensor? There will be overlapping. It will leave streaks?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2
    oic... Hmm, CP should stock up for other sensor sizes.

    I've read about the Brushoff. I'm not sure how good it is too. Think solarii is doing an MO now.

    Have you considered the Visible Dust? I thnk that's good too but very ex.

    Just wondering, what happens if u use a smaller swab to clean a larger sensor? There will be overlapping. It will leave streaks?
    By the way the another camera that I wasing refering to is 1D Mark II N. I had though of using a smaller swab too but still dare not try loh.

    Later if anything happen to the CCD then I sure heart attack die liao

    Edited : Don't think CP will stock up just for one camera type loh cos not many camera is having 1.3 crop.
    Last edited by DarkForce; 7th July 2006 at 12:17 PM.
    寒冰不能斷流水 枯木亦會再逢春

  20. #20

    Default Re: How often do you have to clean your CMOS sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artosoft
    More than 8 months, none. Not even a single dust (touch wood).
    Huh.... Not even a single dust?? Are you living in planet earth or some other planets??
    What aperture do you usually shoot at? U have any slightest idea of checking dust spots?

    If that's really true, I'll be glad if you can share with us the method to 'prevent' dust from getting into your CCD.

    As for me, the dust only disturb me when i shoot anything from f8 and above. Seriously, most of the time, i don't even bother.

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