Anyone clean their own DSLR sensor?


Andreq

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Jul 12, 2007
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#1
It has never crossed my mind to do it myself until I realized recently how easy it is to get dust on the sensor despite any auto sensor cleaning in the camera or blowing it away with a blower. And when it shows on the images, it can be such a pain!

I've read some reports online and it seems there are mixed reviews out there. Some say it's not too difficult. But there are others which cautioned that it could leave streak marks or even scratches (YIKES!!) if not done properly.

Just want to get feedback how many of you here actually do regularly cleaning directly on your DSLR sensor, especially with the wet alcohol swab kind of fluid. So far how is it and do you have any good sensor cleaning brands to recommend?

Thanks!
 

spree86

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2009
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#2
I do clean my sensor with sensor swabs and yes, they do leave streaks. After cleaning the sensor with the swab, I just use a cotton bud to remove any streaks that's left on the AA filter.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#3
It has never crossed my mind to do it myself until I realized recently how easy it is to get dust on the sensor despite any auto sensor cleaning in the camera or blowing it away with a blower. And when it shows on the images, it can be such a pain!

I've read some reports online and it seems there are mixed reviews out there. Some say it's not too difficult. But there are others which cautioned that it could leave streak marks or even scratches (YIKES!!) if not done properly.

Just want to get feedback how many of you here actually do regularly cleaning directly on your DSLR sensor, especially with the wet alcohol swab kind of fluid. So far how is it and do you have any good sensor cleaning brands to recommend?

Thanks!
I have been cleaning my own DSLR sensors since buying a DSLR... Quite a few years ago lol

You should ALWAYS have a rocket blower in your camera bag IMHO.
 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#4
No streaks, using Copperhill kit. :)

Doing it for close to 7 years now. Used cotton buds, sensor swabs, etc before. I think the latest kit is the best for me, though more pricey than cotton buds, but much easier.
 

Aug 21, 2012
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Singapore
#5
I used to use those SensoKlear pen (something like a lenspen but for sensors) on my old D70 with good results.
I'm thinking of the same for my D90...
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#6
I used to use those SensoKlear pen (something like a lenspen but for sensors) on my old D70 with good results.
I'm thinking of the same for my D90...
Sensorklear is ok but do note that it probably would not help very well with welded dust (i.e. dust adhered to the sensor with moisture). Wet cleaning would still be needed to clean off such welded dust effectively.

Also, I don't like the idea of reusing the tip over and over for a while. It is a very slim chance, but having abrasive material on the tip and not knowing it, then rubbing it all over the surface may produce horrible results. There is also a chance with Copperhill method but lesser (fresh pec pad strip used everytime), and for sensor swabs that come individually packed even less so (at a price). :)
 

Jun 5, 2011
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#7
No streaks, using Copperhill kit. :)

Doing it for close to 7 years now. Used cotton buds, sensor swabs, etc before. I think the latest kit is the best for me, though more pricey than cotton buds, but much easier.
Hi, where do you buy this copperhill kit in singapore? i tried to search, it seems we can only buy online? TIA
 

Aug 21, 2012
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Singapore
#8
Reason I didn't go for Swabs is because of the streaks It leaves behind. Maybe I should give it a shot.
My friend cleans his sensor with alcohol and a cotton bud.

What about using just compressed air?
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#9
Hi, where do you buy this copperhill kit in singapore? i tried to search, it seems we can only buy online? TIA
I bought mine online from the Copperhill website (that's why it's called the Copperhill kit!). :)

I don't think you can find it in Singapore. An alternative is to buy one sensor swab, reuse the spatula from the swab and replace it with pec pads. But the Copperhill kit already breaks it down for you - the tool they have is sized for the sensor you ask for, it's more sturdy (the spatula can break with prolonged use), and they have an option to get already cut pec-pads (as opposed to cutting it yourself). It's just more convenient. Alternatively you can get the pec pads, cut yourself, and find an appropriately sized thing to wrap the pec pad strips around. Heh.
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#10
Reason I didn't go for Swabs is because of the streaks It leaves behind. Maybe I should give it a shot.
My friend cleans his sensor with alcohol and a cotton bud.

What about using just compressed air?
I don't think there are streaks if you use the correct cleaning fluid. Eclipse works fine, and it evaporates very fast so it doesn't have streaks. E2 (some watered down version that they produced when there were concerns over the Eclipse solution being too strong for new sensor coatings - can't remember exactly but think it was tin oxide for anti-dust function?) did prove to be a bit of a problem, but now it's been proven that Eclipse will work for all, so just get that.

The cotton bud method is alright, I used it for the longest time until I found Copperhill kit.. But it has disadvantages -

1) Possibility of having lint
2) The bud head is small, so you do spend a lot of time fiddling around to mop the sensor

You should not use compressed air on the sensor for sure. There are propellants inside, which are not good for your sensor! Plus if the blast of air is too strong, it will knock particles into deeper places which can be a problem in the long run. :) Just use the usual blower for non-welded dust.
 

Aug 21, 2012
80
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Singapore
#11
anyone wants to provide me sensor cleaning service? :p
I dont think i need 100 pads in the kit :)

I havent cleaned my D90 sensor since i got it when released.
 

Aug 21, 2012
80
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Singapore
#13
Yeah I start to see some spots if I shoot at F8 onwards.
Guess it is time to get my sensor cleaned :)
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#14
anyone wants to provide me sensor cleaning service? :p
I dont think i need 100 pads in the kit :)

I havent cleaned my D90 sensor since i got it when released.
Many such shops, and your own service center, provide sensor cleaning services.
 

Andreq

Deregistered
Jul 12, 2007
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#15
Actually what is the main diff between the Copperhill kit and the Eclipse one that can be found here:

Cleaning Digital Cameras - Photographic Solutions, Inc.

Bcos I noticed the Copperhill also uses Eclipse cleaning solution and PecPads. Is it that Copperhill is more customized in that their pads are already cut suitable for the size of the camera sensor?

Anyone tried the vibrating brush that charges up to stick the dust to it? Can't remember the name... But I think for stubborn dust, the wet method is still the way to go. I hardly change my lenses in dusty environments and blows it regularly but it's amazing how much dust can be attracted inside the sensor.
 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#16
Actually what is the main diff between the Copperhill kit and the Eclipse one that can be found here:

Cleaning Digital Cameras - Photographic Solutions, Inc.

Bcos I noticed the Copperhill also uses Eclipse cleaning solution and PecPads. Is it that Copperhill is more customized in that their pads are already cut suitable for the size of the camera sensor?

Anyone tried the vibrating brush that charges up to stick the dust to it? Can't remember the name... But I think for stubborn dust, the wet method is still the way to go. I hardly change my lenses in dusty environments and blows it regularly but it's amazing how much dust can be attracted inside the sensor.
The artic butterfly from Visibledust works well for non-welded dust. It is way too expensive given that a blower would do the same job. I bought it, used it for a while, and never used it again. It's a nice gimmick if you ask me.

Yes, Copperhill cuts the PecPads for you. The PecPads are huge. And the Copperhill tool is much more sturdy than a Sensor Swab spatula, as I mentioned earlier.
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
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#17
I scared I will wreck the sensor leh. :(
 

Jun 5, 2011
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#18
I bought mine online from the Copperhill website (that's why it's called the Copperhill kit!). :)

I don't think you can find it in Singapore. An alternative is to buy one sensor swab, reuse the spatula from the swab and replace it with pec pads. But the Copperhill kit already breaks it down for you - the tool they have is sized for the sensor you ask for, it's more sturdy (the spatula can break with prolonged use), and they have an option to get already cut pec-pads (as opposed to cutting it yourself). It's just more convenient. Alternatively you can get the pec pads, cut yourself, and find an appropriately sized thing to wrap the pec pad strips around. Heh.
Noted bro. I saw their website already. Thanks! :)
 

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