...Dust to dust...

Started Aug 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
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...Dust to dust...
Aug 24, 2014

Cleaning the sensor.  Nikon D800E and D800, 2 years old each, 100,000 images each.

Took a dozen stormy sunset photos last night with the D800E.  Big, dark storm out of nowhere and when the rain stopped the light was spectacular.  Shooting at f16 and f22 to get long exposures to try and catch the lightning.

To the meat of the story:  dust spots, lots and lots.  I fixed at least 60 dust spots.  Time to clean the sensor, which I did today.  I don't like cleaning sensors.  There is the opportunity to damage the camera.  It's time consuming and not easy.  I have been doing it since the Nikon dust magnets also known as the D100 and D2X.  It's not fun.

I use a Giotto blower every day.  Today, I used Sensor Swabs and Ecclipse and Pecpads.

Three swabs later the sensor is much dirtier than before I started.  I now have streaks (from the Ecclipse smearing dirt over the sensor?) and more and darker spots.  Too much fluid?  Too little fluid? Could I be knocking dust off from inside the camera?  It's hard to work in there.  Could the blower bulb be shedding rubber particles?  I test it on other glass like the lens surface and my eye glasses and see no rubber particles.  Another three swabs and not much headway being made.  I use the sensor cleaning Pen.  It never gets the corners clean.  Two more swabs.  It doesn't look too bad.  Almost as good as before I started.  My spirits are soaring.  Two more pads and maybe it's a little better; time to quit while I'm ahead.

As a customer of Nikon and Canon and Olympus, here is my request:  I don't want to see dust particles in my images.

To be honest, I have never cleaned my 5D3 sensor (don't use it much though and never at f16), nor have I seen any dust on OMD EM1 images (only 9 months old) and rarely at apertures smaller than f5.6.  The Nikon is my f11 and f16 landscape camera; hence the dust spots.

Three comments:

I do not want to clean sensors.

We do not have a great way of cleaning sensors.

There is likely an engineering solution to sensor dust.

Evansville, Indiana

 maljo@inreach.com's gear list:maljo@inreach.com's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
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