Eclipse to clean the sensor? Not anymore

Started Oct 6, 2004 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: Eclipse to clean the sensor? Not anymore

Johnnycb wrote:

This may cost a little more money up front, but I think it is now
the way to go when it comes to sensor cleaning.

I'll be updating my cleaning page when I get a chance, but I think it's worth making a couple of comments now.

Like Rob and few others, I was sent early samples of the Sensor Brush and have been using it. In general, it's a good travel solution and I like it. But...I'm not nearly as gushing about their use as Rob seems to be. I see two primary issues that the brush has:

1. You absolutely must do a compressed air hit on the tip of the brush between passes. It usually takes multiple passes to fully clean the sensor even with the larger brush. In general, I find it takes me longer to use the small brush to clean my sensor than it does to use my swab system. If you're in an environment that has dust in the air, all you're doing is getting more dust in the box, which will eventually find its way to the sensor, and you end up cleaning your sensor more often because of that. Not a big issue, but one you need to be aware of.

2. If you move in and out of big humidity changes, you get what I call "welded dust," which is essentially dust that has had water evaporation over it. It will NOT come off with the Sensor Brush and requires a wet swab cleaning to remove. Thus, you're not going to only ever touch your sensor with the brush--you still need to have a wet swab system handy. But this brings up an issue for me when traveling: I don't want to spend the time looking to see if I've got a welded dust spot before cleaning, I'd rather just clean. And if I'm doing a wet cleaning correctly, I don't need to do a Sensor Brush cleaning afterwards.

So the Sensor Brush isn't a perfect solution by itself. It's just another useful tool in your cleaning arsenal. Using it regularly will help you greatly reduce the number of clones you have to do on your image, but unless you always combine it with a wet clean, you're going to find that you get a few welded dust bunnies from time to time that you will have to clone out.

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Thom Hogan
author, Nikon Field Guide & Nikon Flash Guide
author, Complete Guides to the Nikon D70, D100, D1 series, and Fujifilm S2 Pro

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