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SENSOR CLEANING WOES: what do I do when wet cleaning isn't enough?


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OK, I've been having a problem with dark areas on images taken with apertures of about f11 and smaller for a while.

There are at least 2 very noticable areas of dirt on the sensor, but despite my best efforts to clean it on several occasions using a wet cleaning kit (swabs, sensor fluid etc. - you probably all know the drill) but unfortunately the dirt seems to be encrusted on the sensor and will not budge.

Does anyone have any thoughts on other techniques that I couls use to remove the dirt that may be more effective?

Thanks in advance.

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Sounds like time for a professional cleaning.  There are "pens" that you apply directly to the spots on the sensor using an lcd illuminated loupe to guide you, but I wouldn't invest in this equipment unless you need to clean these stubborn areas frequently. 

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Yeah, I was starting to come to that conclusion myself. I may have to go into town to get my camera serviced tomorrow.

Just for reference, when you talk about cleaning pens are you talking about this sort of thing https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenspen-SensorKlear-Angled-Sensor-Cleaning/dp/B001QUIEIS

If so, do you tend to get better results than wet cleaning with this sort of thing?

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Yeah, I was starting to come to that conclusion myself. I may have to go into town to get my camera serviced tomorrow.

 

Just for reference, when you talk about cleaning pens are you talking about this sort of thing https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenspen-SensorKlear-Angled-Sensor-Cleaning/dp/B001QUIEIS

 

If so, do you tend to get better results than wet cleaning with this sort of thing?

Yes, I have never used one and have some reluctance to press anything like that directly on the sensor..my cleaning has been limited to just blowing and a rare wet cleaning.  Never had any issues either with resistant dirt or damage to the sensor from my applications.  At some point I would let a professional clean when ordinary measures fail.

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Guest Jaf-Photo

I suppose the spots stay in the same place when you use different lenses? If not, cleaning the lens might help. Apart from that, I've never had sensor dirt that survived a clean. Do you have any idea what it may be that got stuck on your sensor?

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I suppose the spots stay in the same place when you use different lenses? If not, cleaning the lens might help. Apart from that, I've never had sensor dirt that survived a clean. Do you have any idea what it may be that got stuck on your sensor?

Yeah, it was definitely the sensor. I could see the dirt very clearly even without the help of my loupe.

 

I ran out of time looking for a DIY solution and bit the bullet. On the plus side the folks at my local camera shop did a really good job and they were super friendly.

 

It's a bit pricey to do regularly though.

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Yes, I have never used one and have some reluctance to press anything like that directly on the sensor..my cleaning has been limited to just blowing and a rare wet cleaning.  Never had any issues either with resistant dirt or damage to the sensor from my applications.  At some point I would let a professional clean when ordinary measures fail.

I gave in this afternoon and paid someone to clean it. They did a great job but it was pretty expensive, so it might be time to invest in one of these pens for the future.

 

I'll let you know how it goes when I eventually get around to using it.

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I gave in this afternoon and paid someone to clean it. They did a great job but it was pretty expensive, so it might be time to invest in one of these pens for the future.

 

I'll let you know how it goes when I eventually get around to using it.

Points out the advantage of being careful as you switch lenses (lens portal down, dust and dirt free environment) and routinely use a blower to dislodge loose dust.

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Guest Jaf-Photo

Not always possible when you're shooting mirrorless out in the field I'm afraid.

It's entirely possible. That's the only way I change lenses and therefore I never need sensor cleaning.

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If your camera's on a neck strap, you can practise the two-handed swap. Press the lens release and rotate the lens a short distance. Grab the new lens in your non-dominant hand with the mounting spot oriented towards where it will go when the lens is fitted. Grasp the lens on the camera with your dominant hand, rotate it, and pull it away at exactly the same time as moving the new lens into place on the camera. One little twist and your done. It can take less than a second with practice.

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Whilst I definitely appreciate the advice, this is a thread about what to do after you have some stubborn dirt on your sensor as opposed to how to prevent it. 

Prevention is important, but people who have the same issue and are coming to this thread for advice are people who already have dirty sensors.

If your camera's on a neck strap, you can practise the two-handed swap. Press the lens release and rotate the lens a short distance. Grab the new lens in your non-dominant hand with the mounting spot oriented towards where it will go when the lens is fitted. Grasp the lens on the camera with your dominant hand, rotate it, and pull it away at exactly the same time as moving the new lens into place on the camera. One little twist and your done. It can take less than a second with practice.

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Guest Jaf-Photo

I'm sure most of them will appreciate advice on how to keep the sensor clean after cleaning it. Wet cleaning is not something you should do regularly.

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