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danielandrewclem

cleaning the sensor on a Canon 20D

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I just got a used 20D and used it extensively in New Zealand for topside photography. On most of my shots featuring lots of blue sky I got about twenty round spots on the images, which I've since learned are due to having dust or droplets on the camera's sensor. It looks like I can take it into an authorized shop to have it cleaned, or I can do it myself. Various suggestions for DIY sensor cleaning are on the web; I'm wondering what you all might suggest, or if anyone has done much sensor cleaning on their own.

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I've used the Visible Dust products such as THIS in the past and it works well. Sometimes just blowing the dust particles off the sensor merely relocates them within the chamber, only to settle back on the sensor. The little battery powered whirling brush in the kit does a great job of removing dust.

The kit also contains some chemically treated swabs to remove stubborn spots and droplets. Take your time and follow the instructions (that's right, guys DO know how to read directions) and it's pretty easy to clean. Sensors are somewhat delicate and if you are a little nervous about swabbing droplets off of it yourself, you maybe better off to take it to a shop to have it cleaned.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by dmoss

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i just did my first sensor cleaning on my d200 w/ swaps. Very easy, great results, but I was a bit nervous and was very careful to follow the directions.

 

No need to send it in, just be careful.

John

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We have cleaned our D70 many times of dusk specs using a Scuba Tank with a vary air nozzle on the LP inflator hose. Works a treat. :wacko:

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Love wagsy's idea with the tank - a bit scary - I did try a brush and blower once but ended up in a worse mess than when I started.....

 

FWIW I have used this system with quite a bit of success.

 

Sensor Clean Stuff

 

Paul C

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I got my sensor cleaning stuff from Copper Hill and followed the steps of his excellent tutorial.

First time my heart nearly stopped, but these days I can do it without the stiff drink :-)

It's not that hard..

 

Good luck

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First of all, I would NEVER use compressed air to clean the sensor, you risk serious damage if any particles get blasted onto the sensor - like a sand blaster. Not sure if Wagsy was being sarcastic but that sounds ludicrous.

 

I clean both my canon 1dmkii & nikon D200 sensors regularly and here's a couple tips:

 

Always make sure to use the sensor cleaning or mirror up command on the camera, not the bulb setting to expose the sensor (with a fresh battery).

 

I use Photographic Solutions swabs and solution (make sure to get the right type for your camera - my 1dmkii & d200 use different ones).

 

i put 2 drops on each side of the swab, 1 per corner, 4 drops per whole swab.

 

Get under good light, open the mirror, and wipe in a continuous motion from one side of the sensor to the other, using just enough pressure to keep the swab flush with the sensor.

 

Also keep the swab at an angle relative to the sensor (not perpendicular - i.e. when mopping the floor, one keeps the mop angled while sweepeing, not straight up). the angle should be pulling the swab face, not pushing it.

 

this puts the dirt on one side of the swab, so then reverse using the other side of the swab, to wipe back, covering any area not wiped on the first pass. (b/c the swab is slightly smaller than the width of the sensor).

 

turn the camera off to close the mirror when done & i like to use the same swab for a quick swipe of the mirror. then throw it away

 

hope this helps,

 

Chris

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Well thats what we do :wacko: of course it's gentle puffs of air we aim onto the sensor using the vary nozzel on the LP Hose. We live in a very dusty area so dust specs are always getting in there.

 

The thing you have to watch out for using swabs is that when you wipe it you could drag that tiny spec of dust across the surface scratching it.

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To each his own i guess. hehe. I hear your point about potentially dragging dust particles.

 

To prevent that senario, start at the beginning of the sensor with the swab at an angle as described above, and sweep so that by the end of the sensor, the swab is straight up i.e. perpendicular to the sensor.

 

This happens naturally due to the confined space your working with and means you never drag the exact same part of the swab along the sensor.

 

I must admit, the thought of blowing compressed air onto the sensor give me goosebumps. Whatever works for you as long as it means less cleaning and more shooting!

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