Need help on cleaning dust on sensor! :O


elixied

New Member
Aug 4, 2010
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#1
Okay so recently, I bought a used D300 from a fellow CS-er and cavorted around town snapping pictures to test out this lovely body.

However, just few days ago, when I took a picture of the sky, I noticed 3 very obvious grey mini-blobs on that image. I thought it was dust on my lens so I swapped lens and photographed the sky again only the find those 3 exact blobs on the same exact spot on my image again, so I knew it had something to do with the camera's sensor.

Okay spare me for the rant, here's the evidence:


I've already tried blowing the dust off with a 'lens blowing pump' (or however it's correctly termed) but to no avail. Hopefully it's really just stubborn dust on the sensor:(

Just need professional advice from senior CSers on how I should go about getting rid of this pesky problem without doing any damage on the sensor!

And of course, thank you for actually bothering to spend 5 minutes reading my rant and an additional 5 to type out your solution:cool:

(I've already circled those 3 blobs in red for easy identification)
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#2
is your mirror flipped up during cleaning? not sure about N or C systems, but if you clean without flipping the mirror up, you're just...blowing on the mirror.
 

elixied

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Aug 4, 2010
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#3
Oh yes, the mirror was flipped up during the cleaning process. I repeated the process for at least three times already. Dust is really really stubborn :(
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#4
Yup, ditto about flipping up mirror first. But if the spots are still there... there are two ways about it... Either DIY cleaning it yourself with proper cleaning solution and tools or send it to NSC for cleaning (about 20 + plus).

To be safe... bring it to NSC. Nobody can vouch for DIY cleaning - this one you're on your own with the risks. All I can say is I've DIYed and it worked.
 

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elixied

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Aug 4, 2010
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#5
Either DIY cleaning it yourself with proper cleaning solution and tools or send it to NSC for cleaning (about 20 + plus).
Okay so say I resorted to DIY cleaning, any suggestions on where and what kind of cleaning kits I can get at a rather cheap price? (budget probably not exceeding $50?)
 

uranium2k

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Feb 26, 2008
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#6
Okay so say I resorted to DIY cleaning, any suggestions on where and what kind of cleaning kits I can get at a rather cheap price? (budget probably not exceeding $50?)
If blowing can't remove the dust spots, I'll recommend sending it to NSC. Cleaning on your own may damage the low-pass filter of the sensor. Not good... At least, for me, I'll rather be on the safe side. Anyway, a few spots can be easily fixed with post-processing so I'll only get it cleaned by NSC if they become an army.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#7
Oriental Photos (top of SLS) carry the necessary cleaning solutions and tools to do it. (A pack of special lint-free tissue, a bottle of solution and a "spatula"-shaped tool) Can't remember exactly the costs, it maybe slightly over $50 (58?). But the stack of tissue is going to last you two lifetimes (doubt you'll clean your sensor every week/month).
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#8
But I wouldn't recommend it if you're the rough handling kind... it will require extra gentleness on your part. The tissue is to be thrown away after every single pass on the filter (twice if you used the reversed side as well).

However, NSC should be able to do the proper job as they have the nitrogen blower which you can't easily get outside.
 

elixied

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Aug 4, 2010
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#9
If blowing can't remove the dust spots, I'll recommend sending it to NSC. Cleaning on your own may damage the low-pass filter of the sensor.
Umm approximately how long would it take for them to conduct a proper cleaning procedure on my camera? Would it be like a clean-on-the-spot kind of thing or I have to wait a few days?

But I wouldn't recommend it if you're the rough handling kind... it will require extra gentleness on your part. The tissue is to be thrown away after every single pass on the filter (twice if you used the reversed side as well).

However, NSC should be able to do the proper job as they have the nitrogen blower which you can't easily get outside.
Haha, I have gentle hands. Gentle enough, at least, to do a DIY sensor cleaning. I think :/
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#10
Haha, I have gentle hands. Gentle enough, at least, to do a DIY sensor cleaning. I think :/
Well, I did try to ask the sale person to do it once for me on the spot... but he declined - so go figure. It is a risk nobody is willing to take for you. You need to make sure that you're in a dust free environment. At least nothing dusty nearby and no breeze / fan blowing, etc... or else you have new "visitors" on your sensor even after you've cleaned it.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#11
elixied said:
Umm approximately how long would it take for them to conduct a proper cleaning procedure on my camera? Would it be like a clean-on-the-spot kind of thing or I have to wait a few days?

Haha, I have gentle hands. Gentle enough, at least, to do a DIY sensor cleaning. I think :/
Sensor cleaning is around 30 mins while you wait.
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#12
btw.. you might not be blowing it right (no pun intended for any reason). i've helped people with "stubborn dust" on their sensors... and blew them away easily ;)
 

SkyStrike

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Nov 29, 2010
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#13
Is your camera body facing downwards (Lens mount facing ground) when blowing air in?
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#14
btw.. you might not be blowing it right (no pun intended for any reason). i've helped people with "stubborn dust" on their sensors... and blew them away easily ;)
Wait, you blew the people away or the dust? :bsmilie: Well, I've come across REALLY sticky dusts... But gone after I gave them a swipe...
 

elixied

New Member
Aug 4, 2010
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#15
Sensor cleaning is around 30 mins while you wait.
Oooooh, so it's actually wait-able. Alright then.

Is your camera body facing downwards (Lens mount facing ground) when blowing air in?
Yes it is. I positioned it in every possible angle there is after realising my first try didn't resolve it.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#16
Go for it... It's safer with NSC. I didn't have a choice, I discovered my dust problem during a weekend and I needed to shoot coming Monday.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#18
for the peace of mind, just pay Nikon Service Center a visit for sensor cleaning.

you can search in youtube for sensor cleaning, if you are comfortable, can get the sensor clearing kit to clean it yourself... btw, I'm using Lenspen SensorKlear Loupe Kit, you may not like to use lenspen on your sensor, however, the loupe is very useful.
 

elixied

New Member
Aug 4, 2010
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#19
Alrightyyy. Thank you everybody for all ze constructive comments! Very much appreciated :)

I will most probably sent my 'child' to NSC where the problem will be handled aptly.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#20
you OT-ed again! HAHAHA

the dust! the dust!

NSC would be a good choice ;)
Oh for crying out loud! I was merely trying to ascertain whether peeps were blown away by your incredible dust blowing skills?! No OT there! :p

Thanks Catchlights for recommending the loupe. Looks like a really useful tool for those doing DIY. Better to see where the dusts are rather than doing it blindly. Don't think I'll use the lenspen though - may invite more dust than removing it. I'll try fishing for it on Evilbay. :)
 

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