Do you clean your own sensor?

Started Jun 17, 2013 | Discussions
SteveS58
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Do you clean your own sensor?
Jun 17, 2013

Had a problem several months ago with spots on my sensor (E-30), and ending up sending it in to Olympus for a cleaning.  After a shooting session this weekend, I noticed there are again some spots on the sensor, like small circular condensation marks.  I could send it in to Olympus for cleaning, but wondered if I should try it myself.  Anyone have any familiarity with cleaning an Olympus sensor?  What is the best product to use?  Any pitfalls?

goblin
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Re: Do you clean your own sensor?
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 17, 2013

I've been using a sensor blower for the small stuff and sensor swabs (the brand is Sensor Swab) for the heavier stuff for years, never got any problems.

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Torlang
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Re: Do you clean your own sensor?
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 17, 2013

Its pretty straightforward, if you use the correct swab size for the 4/3 sensor. I use Visible Dust sensor cleaning kit w/ 1.6 swab size which will fit the height of your sensor perfectly (on my 620).

You'll be a little apprehensive the first time you wet-clean, but once you've done it its really no big deal.

One tip I will give you is when putting the solution on the swab, use the amount (drops) that the instruction calls for. When you have used up all the swabs, you can just order extra swabs for the cleaning kit. Other than that, nothing to it.

I only wet-clean if there is a "smudge" that don't come off using air. In other words, I don't use wet-clean that often. But when I do, the sensor show being squeaky clean after the treat.

BTW the E-5 takes a 1.3 kit, if anyone wonders.

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SteveS58
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Re: Do you clean your own sensor?
In reply to Torlang, Jun 17, 2013

Thank you both so much for your suggestions.  Will give it a try.

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SteveS58
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Re: Do you clean your own sensor?
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 17, 2013

By the way, do you know if my E-30 has the same size sensor as the E-620, or the E-5?  I looked on the Sensor Clean website and it doesn't list what size appliance to use for the E-30.

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goblin
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Re: Do you clean your own sensor?
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 17, 2013

It's the same sensor size throughout the whole 4/3 and m43 standard(s), except the Panasonic GH-1/GH-2.

Also, on Oly cameras with image stabilizations such as your E-30, be very, very gentle with the swab. And of course, clean on a fully charged battery, in sensor cleaning mode. You don't want your shutter to suddenly close on your swab.

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SteveS58
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Re: Do you clean your own sensor?
In reply to goblin, Jun 17, 2013

Here's the link to the chart from Visiibledust.com website showing different size swabs for Olympus cameras, so not sure what size to ask for since they don't list E-30:

http://visibledust.com/sensorsizes.php

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goblin
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Re: Do you clean your own sensor?
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 17, 2013

SteveS58 wrote:

Here's the link to the chart from Visiibledust.com website showing different size swabs for Olympus cameras, so not sure what size to ask for since they don't list E-30:

http://visibledust.com/sensorsizes.php

And they did well not to list it, as their table seems pretty strange

I don't know from where they are pulling three different sensor sizes for the Oly range, they recommend once the 16mm swab, then the 13mm for different models. Maybe it's that the sensor being 17.3mm x 13mm, they recommend cleaning along the width for some models, along the height for others.

Then they recommend the 20mm for the E-5 (maybe because there's plenty of space and there's space for a 20mm swab), but 16mm for the E-3, which makes no sense whatsoever.

I'd go with the 13mm swab for your E-30 and clean along the width (left <> right rather than top <> bottom). This way, if anything flies off, it won't go in the AF sensors "pit".

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SteveS58
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Re: Do you clean your own sensor?
In reply to goblin, Jun 17, 2013

Thanks for your help!

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Fox328
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Is it me? Am i the only one....
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 17, 2013

who never cleaned the sensor. SSWF works fine for my E-620 an my E-400. Never saw any spots exept once 1 hot pixel which i "cleaned" with Pixel mapping :-D. I change my lenses quite often but always try to keep it away from dust.

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goblin
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Re: Is it me? Am i the only one....
In reply to Fox328, Jun 17, 2013

Fox328 wrote:

who never cleaned the sensor. SSWF works fine for my E-620 an my E-400. Never saw any spots exept once 1 hot pixel which i "cleaned" with Pixel mapping :-D. I change my lenses quite often but always try to keep it away from dust.

Comment looks quite pointless to me. As good as SSWF is, it's a dust reduction system. Not a grease reduction, condensation reduction, evaporation reduction system. You can care about your gear all you want, those things will happen no matter what in the right conditions.

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IanDavis
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Re: Yes
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 18, 2013

I use a rocket blower and the Sensorklear pen. Used this combination to remove a dust spot that the sswf couldn't, tested all the way to f22.

I will add that the dust spot came when changing lens in a car to get a shot.

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Fox328
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Re: Is it me? Am i the only one....
In reply to goblin, Jun 19, 2013

goblin wrote:

Fox328 wrote:

who never cleaned the sensor. SSWF works fine for my E-620 an my E-400. Never saw any spots exept once 1 hot pixel which i "cleaned" with Pixel mapping :-D. I change my lenses quite often but always try to keep it away from dust.

Comment looks quite pointless to me. As good as SSWF is, it's a dust reduction system. Not a grease reduction, condensation reduction, evaporation reduction system. You can care about your gear all you want, those things will happen no matter what in the right conditions.

I don't see what's pointless about the comment. It sure seemes you are using your dslr in other conditions as i do. I seldom use my camera in the rain or extreme humid conditions or in situations where it can become greasy. I try to change lenses as clean as possible. So maybe that explains why i haven't cleaned the sensor during the 5 years that i use dslrs.

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goblin
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Re: Is it me? Am i the only one....
In reply to Fox328, Jun 19, 2013

Fox328 wrote:

...So maybe that explains why i haven't cleaned the sensor during the 5 years that i use dslrs.

I totally agree with you, and I am happy for you that you don't have to. But the OP asks, quote, "...Anyone have any familiarity with cleaning an Olympus sensor? What is the best product to use? Any pitfalls?..." - the harm was already done. His sensor is dirty. Knowing that you never had to clean your sensor might cheer him up, but not help him.

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dave gaines
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Pollen, oil and water spots, cleaning your sensor
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 19, 2013

http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/index.html

Here's a link to a tutorial on cleaning sensors. I have bought the kit but didn't use it because the spot dissappeared before I could use it. I understand that spots from pollen do not come off without cleaning. I imagine water spots, or mineral deposits from water, would not come out with the Olympus dust removal system.

Has anyone tried cleaning the mirror or the mirror box area in front of the sensor just before cleaning the sensor? It seems logical to clean the area around the sensor if you are about to clean the sensor.

Someone here alluded to the test for spots on the sensor. I believe it is to shoot an overcast grey sky or a grey card with the aperture set to f/22. Set focus manually to infinity? Is that right? When I've had dust spots I notice them in blue sky areas.

Before changing lenses I use a bellows or squeeze blower to clear the lens mount area of any dust, hair or lint (we have cats). I also blow off the lens mount of the lens I'm going to put on before removing the previous lens. I always carrry the blower bulb along with lens cleaning tools like the lens pen and cloth lens wipes. I try to change lenses in a less dusty place or at least when the air is still. So far, so good.

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Fox328
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Re: Is it me? Am i the only one....
In reply to goblin, Jun 19, 2013

goblin wrote:

Fox328 wrote:

...So maybe that explains why i haven't cleaned the sensor during the 5 years that i use dslrs.

I totally agree with you, and I am happy for you that you don't have to. But the OP asks, quote, "...Anyone have any familiarity with cleaning an Olympus sensor? What is the best product to use? Any pitfalls?..." - the harm was already done. His sensor is dirty. Knowing that you never had to clean your sensor might cheer him up, but not help him.

I still don't see what's wrong in asking why i don't need to clean a sensor and the posters do have to clean their sensor. In my opinion the forum is here for helping and informing each other. Now i know that i should keep my dslrs out of humid and greasy condition to avoid cleaning. At the same time i wonder why i didn't need to clean the sensor when i used it during the rain.

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SteveS58
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Cleaning sensor follow up
In reply to goblin, Jun 19, 2013

Just to follow up, I bought a rocket blower at Adorama last night, which I don't think is the solution, but in the long run good to have on hand.  Also, I spoke to a tech support person at Visible Dust who told me on the E-30 to use the 1.6 applicator and to brush across the sensor horizontally.  Once I confirm it's not dust, I'll order the cleaning kit.

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goblin
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Re: Cleaning sensor follow up
In reply to SteveS58, Jun 19, 2013

SteveS58 wrote:

...but in the long run good to have on hand.

It will be priceless, for example every time you return from the beach or from any dusty shootout. Sand and dust have to be removed from the outside of the camera and lenses before moving anything (like zooming), otherwise you're in for scratches.

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dave gaines
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Re: Is it me? Am i the only one....
In reply to Fox328, Jun 19, 2013

Fox328 wrote:

goblin wrote:

Fox328 wrote:

...So maybe that explains why i haven't cleaned the sensor during the 5 years that i use dslrs.

I totally agree with you, and I am happy for you ...

I still don't see what's wrong in asking why i don't need to clean a sensor and the posters do have to clean their sensor. ... i wonder why i didn't need to clean the sensor when i used it during the rain.

Hey Fox,

Maybe it's because everyone knows you only have one lens?  LOL, just kidding.

There's very little dust, pollen or oil when its raining. I assume you didn't let any rainwater in when you changed lenses and rainwater is soft water, without minerals that might leave spots.

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