Sensor dust/oil/debris, how much can it affect post processing

Started Apr 5, 2013 | Questions thread
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Prairie Pal
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Sensor dust/oil/debris, how much can it affect post processing
Apr 5, 2013

Somewhere else on Dpreview there is a forum that's been abuzz for many months about a certain new camera model that has serious sensor debris issues.  There is a class of users who refuse to acknowledge that a dirty sensor is undesireable, and are using a whole host of excuses, but I will forego the battle-tales and just focus on ONE issue that I think experts from THIS forum are better qualified to address.  I myself am not yet an expert in layers, masking, and manipulating selections.

Not all spots on sensors are visible to the naked eye at all apertures for reasons which I'm sure you're already aware.  But manipulating the curves quickly brings out those nearly invisible spots quite dramatically.  So my question is something like this: Do dirty sensors interfere with masking or making layers with high contrast?  I'm not referring to a couple of spots that can be cloned out, I'm referring to mess across the whole sensor as shown in the image below.

My arguement is that there is are genres within photography that do use small apertures and high contrast artistically and need a good clean file.

I do not wish to bring the war from the "other forum" in here.  I'm only interested in constructive thoughts from experienced Photo Shop and post processing gurus.

Camera's aperture and contrast manipulated to enhance the latent spots in the image.  Enlarge to better see the less obvious spots.

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