The ultimate sensor brush...


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hazmee

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May 9, 2004
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#1
...has to be your own DIY stuff! LOL!! Chekkit! Chekkit!

I got bored over the weekend and did a small project called the Make Your Own Ultimate Sensor Brush. First, let's compare with the direct competitor, VisibleDust Artic Butterfly. Weird name, exorbitant price tag, not really that 'high tech' brushes as they claimed it to be. Upon closer examination, I still don't quite agree with their pricing.

I went over to Sim Lim Square and Art Friend at Bras Basah Complex to do some window shopping and here's what I came up with... My very own DIY Ultimate Sensor Brush!! Proven! Tried and tested!



Let me explain the itinery in closer detail. First of all, NYP is no way affiliated with this mini project of mine. Hehe. But I got the tube casing from my younger bro who got into NYP. Inside the casing is the two brushes, safely stored and sealed away from dust. The gray colored 'dildo' like gadget is actually a battery powered fan and the tip is something which I am having a hard time finding its actual name. For easier reference, the dildo like object will be called the Motor Drive in this instruction manual. Moving along...

Here's a close-up of the Motor Drive, and that 'thing'. Where to find the two items? There's this electronic parts shop on the third floor at Sim Lim Square with sassy ladies always there to help you. You also need to poke a hole at the thing. See image below.





*crowd in the back goes ooohhh ahhhh* Presenting my very own, Patent Forever Pending Ultimate Sensor Brushes. Please pardon the thin DOF. As you can see, brushes normally have rather long handles so what I did was I sawed off the rest of the bit. There's no scientific measurement for this but I used all my 5 'senses' and discretion as to how much it needs to be cut. To touch it up, I inserted a rubber cover(can be found at Sim Lim) to give it a more 'professional' look. NOTE: The black brush with short bristles are for stubborn dirt while the green brush with long bristles are for quick cleaning. Ok, now how do we use the damn thing??

Please read my footnote below on how brushes are to be prepared before actual sensor cleaning. Die die must read hor!




Ahh, not too worry. This a video from Visibledust. My very own 'system' incorporates the same sophisticated technique. All you need to do is fit the brush into the tip of the Motor Drive and then turn on the switch and give it a good spin. NOTE: Due to very nature of this sophisticated process required at this stage, a lot of experimentation needs to be done on the user end. For a more detailed explanation, see image below:


(Hand model: My younger bro)


Spin the brush for a several seconds. After that switch off the power from the Motor Drive and remove the brush. The spinning is to remove all dust from the bristles and create a 'static' charge. You can now safely use your brush to clean your sensor. Proceed with caution.

NOTE: The brush must be removed from the Motor Drive before doing the actual sensor cleaning!

That's it folks! Easy right? Let me know what you think. I welcome any comments or ideas as to how this 'system' can be further improved or 'streamlined'.



Here's a summary of the whole project:
Total damage: S$8 (brushes) + S$5 (Motor Drive) + S$1 (accessories) + S$5 (Transport) + S$3.20 (prata egg/kosong + teh halia) = S$22.20. Not bad if you compare the price of VisibleDust set which is going for S$240!

Shopping list
Brushes: Get the Ashley brand, nylon bristles at Art Friend, Bras Basah Complex
Motor Drive + Accessories: #03-69, UF Technology, Sim Lim Square

My personal feelings: Overall, I am quite happy that I am able to find an alternative resources to sensor cleaning without breaking my piggy bank. And the biggest treat of all, it works just as good as the original one!


Disclaimer: If you the paranoid type, please do not attempt this tutorial without adult/professional supervision. However, if you finally got balls...erm I mean guts, please by all means read the instruction carefully and proceed with caution... and also do it at your risk. I will NOT be responsible for any damage done on your sensor.


Footnote: How to prepare your brush?
When you first purchase your brush, it contains dirt and grease because its direct from the manufacturers. Use dishwashing liquid to clean the brush. Clean thoroughly with the brush tip on your palm. Then flush with water thoroughly. Once you're happy with the cleaning, let it dry normally.

After drying, the bristles will stick together and become stiff. Use a lint-free tissue or a micro fibre cloth to snap the bristles. This will then loosen the bristles and its all normal again.

Test your brush on your spare UV filter. (I bet you kiasu folks would have one.) Stroke the brush to and fro about 100 times and then see the result. If you see long streaks on the surface on the UV, that means you did not clean the brush properly. Repeat the cleaning step above. If you see no streaks, the brush is good to go!

Additional reading materials: Go here.
 

eow

Senior Member
Jun 22, 2004
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#2
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

smutpow

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Mar 20, 2007
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#3
Very innovative indeed, but if you've checked invisibledust's website thoroughly, their "motor drive" unit is the only thing I would try to skimp on - they're charging about US$40 for that.
Whereas their brushes cost almost US$100 for the set of 2. No matter how you do the equation, no company would be crazy to sell a set of brush that cost less than US$10 at US$100 unless there's something very different/special about those brushes.

You're risking a $1,000 sensor (depending on which camera you have) with a brush that's been given away for free.........I personally won't want to risk that; thank you very much.

Tell you what, keep cleaning your sensor with that brush for the next few months and come back and tell us there's nothing wrong with your sensor and maybe then I'll think about considering.
 

nuxnewbie

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Nov 2, 2006
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#4
Whereas their brushes cost almost US$100 for the set of 2. No matter how you do the equation, no company would be crazy to sell a set of brush that cost less than US$10 at US$100 unless there's something very different/special about those brushes.
The price of a product is determined by what the consumer is willing to pay, not by its worth.

Off the top of my head I can think of products such as magnetic mattresses and fuel 'ionizers' as examples of products backed by pseudo science and a low cost / high price ratio.

In the field of sensor cleaning, it is fear and ignorance that allows nylon brushes to be sold at US$100.
 

wainism

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Apr 15, 2004
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#5
Very innovative indeed, but if you've checked invisibledust's website thoroughly, their "motor drive" unit is the only thing I would try to skimp on - they're charging about US$40 for that.
Whereas their brushes cost almost US$100 for the set of 2. No matter how you do the equation, no company would be crazy to sell a set of brush that cost less than US$10 at US$100 unless there's something very different/special about those brushes.

You're risking a $1,000 sensor (depending on which camera you have) with a brush that's been given away for free.........I personally won't want to risk that; thank you very much.

Tell you what, keep cleaning your sensor with that brush for the next few months and come back and tell us there's nothing wrong with your sensor and maybe then I'll think about considering.
if i am not mistaken, there is a piece of filter on ur sensor. so in the event that you really screw up, it is the filter that requires changing, and i doubt it will be at a high cost of $1000. and unless u clean ur filter with the strength u brush ur teeth, if not i highly doubt u will even scratch the filter.

pls correct me if i am wrong :)
 

hazmee

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May 9, 2004
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#6
Very innovative indeed, but if you've checked invisibledust's website thoroughly, their "motor drive" unit is the only thing I would try to skimp on - they're charging about US$40 for that.
Whereas their brushes cost almost US$100 for the set of 2. No matter how you do the equation, no company would be crazy to sell a set of brush that cost less than US$10 at US$100 unless there's something very different/special about those brushes.

You're risking a $1,000 sensor (depending on which camera you have) with a brush that's been given away for free.........I personally won't want to risk that; thank you very much.

Tell you what, keep cleaning your sensor with that brush for the next few months and come back and tell us there's nothing wrong with your sensor and maybe then I'll think about considering.
I bought an LCD protector from Daiso which only costs S$2 while Cathay sells the same damn thing for S$10. Photographic LCD screen protector?? Sounds like vapourware to me.

To me its all about customer perception on how much they're willing to pay for a product. If you actually read and scrutinize Visibledust's website, the brushes they use are actually trade secrets?? How different can a brush be?? I think they're all made in China. Probably the brush manufacturer folks are having stomach cramps from laughing and watching end users pay exorbitant amount of money for something that's not really that high-tec. LOL! I did my own rigourous testing before using it on my sensor. My multi-coated B+W UV has survived even with rigourous brushing for 500 times. Almost the same like the one mentioned in Visibledust.

My findings are only meant to serve an alternative solution to an expensive product. That is all. If you feel otherwise and trust the 'original', 'designed for photographers' and using 'space-age' technology sensor brush, go ahead.

Oh btw, I've been using this method for the past two months using 'cheap' goods. No scratches so far. :sweat: Again, if you read Visibledust's disclaimer, its no different from mine. LOL!
 

hazmee

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#8
if i am not mistaken, there is a piece of filter on ur sensor. so in the event that you really screw up, it is the filter that requires changing, and i doubt it will be at a high cost of $1000. and unless u clean ur filter with the strength u brush ur teeth, if not i highly doubt u will even scratch the filter.

pls correct me if i am wrong :)
I don't know about other brands but Canon does put a AA filter and a IR-UV filter on their sensor. I am not sure how much the filter replacement costs. Need to check with Canon Service Centre.
 

madmacs

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Dec 13, 2002
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#9
if i am not mistaken, there is a piece of filter on ur sensor. so in the event that you really screw up, it is the filter that requires changing, and i doubt it will be at a high cost of $1000. and unless u clean ur filter with the strength u brush ur teeth, if not i highly doubt u will even scratch the filter.

pls correct me if i am wrong :)
pls feel free to try :bsmilie:
 

megaweb

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Jan 17, 2002
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#10
Initially I thought the spinning brush is for cleaning the sensor directly :sweatsm:


After watching the video, it is for removing the dirt from the brush. I think you should add a warning note ;)
 

hazmee

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May 9, 2004
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#11
Initially I thought the spinning brush is for cleaning the sensor directly :sweatsm:


After watching the video, it is for removing the dirt from the brush. I think you should add a warning note ;)
That's what I thought too when I first saw the VisibleDust product from Cathay. LOL!

Ok sir, I've added the warning note and also changed the instructions a bit to make it more clearer.
 

yanyewkay

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Sep 22, 2004
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#13
Whereas their brushes cost almost US$100 for the set of 2. No matter how you do the equation, no company would be crazy to sell a set of brush that cost less than US$10 at US$100 unless there's something very different/special about those brushes.
you'll be surprised. I'll bet you the costs of the brushes is less than 1USD and most likely made somewhere cheap to manufacture. You haven't seen what the business world world is capable of doing.
 

Tetrode

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Dec 29, 2002
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#15
Typical Sgrean reaction. tsk tsk.:nono:

Here we have someone who out of the kindness of his own heart, taken the trouble to tell others of his discovery and yet we have some people dissing it. Hazmee could have kept this all to himself and we would have been none the wiser.
 

RtOaNn

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Mar 3, 2004
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#16
I'm gonna give this a try after my exams, hunt for the Motor Drive at SLS & brushes at Art Friend.;p

Looks good to me, thanks for the idea Hazmee!:D
 

kcuf2

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Dec 29, 2005
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#17
Typical Sgrean reaction. tsk tsk.:nono:

Here we have someone who out of the kindness of his own heart, taken the trouble to tell others of his discovery and yet we have some people dissing it. Hazmee could have kept this all to himself and we would have been none the wiser.
who knows? those dissing it might be from visibledust :dunno: :bsmilie:

anyway, its really innovative... u actually can think like that.. cool!
 

airforce1

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Aug 18, 2003
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#18
Thanks for your innovations. It work the same whether it is $1 0r $100 brush.
All sensor has a layer of anti liasing filter to protect the sensor.
This is innovation at a lesser cost for the consumer.
 

hazmee

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May 9, 2004
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#20
Hey all... thanks for the support! Really appreciate it.

I just called up Canon Service Centre and requested them to quote me the prices for repair for the Canon EOS 5D. Here it goes:

1. In the case of CMOS sensor failure - S$1606 (CMOS sensor) + S$120 (labour charge)

2. To replace scratched or damaged filter only - S$170 (filter replacement) + S$120 (labour charge) For this servicing there is slight problem though. They mentioned about dust might be on the actual CMOS sensor itself so they cannot guarantee that even if they replaced the filter, the CMOS sensor would be 100% dust free.

I think you guys can roughly estimate how much the repairs for your type of camera will costs.

Hope that helps!
 

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