D3 Sensor Cleaning

Started Jul 24, 2008 | Discussions thread
Zorpie Senior Member • Posts: 2,837
Re: D3 Sensor Cleaning


The D3 sensor filter IS a nightmare to keep clean. I believe I am qualified to make that statement having come through sensor cleaning from the D100, D70, D200, D2X and now, a D3.

I suffered with tiny circular semi transparent spots on the filter - visible only with an F22 blue sky test. It wasn't dust. Nor oil. Nor silicon gunk. (I've had all of those too) After changing my swabs from the Copperhill version (which was great with every other Nikon DSLR I had owned) to the Visible Dust Green swabs - the problem lessened. Now - after watching the Dust Aid video on sensor cleaning liquid residue after the cleaning fluid has evaporated - I know what the tiny semi transparent circles are. They are residue left behind by the E2. Watch the Dust Aid video and see for yourself. I have only just received their own 'rapid evaporate' sensor cleaning solution and will try that on the next swabbing session I have - instead of the E2. If it is successful with the green swabs - I will then revert to the Copperhill swab and PecPads to see if it works with that as well.

I don't agree that using a blower - is a solution at all. It might blow dust off the sensor filter - but will only deposit it somewhere else in the sensor chamber and it will come back to haunt you. A blower can only be a temporary 'fix' in the field perhaps. The only lasting solution is to get the dust out of the sensor chamber as best as you can. This means using a wet swab to get it off the sensor filter - or any other product that takes dust out of the sensor chamber. I have the Green Clean aerosol suction device and the Dust Aid dry clean kit (neither of which I have used just yet) But I have spent a small fortune on sensor cleaning options and kits from different manufacturers so far for my D3. As yet - I have not found a 100% fix first time (like I used to have with my previous Nikon DSLRs - none of which required more than 2 passes with a swab to clean them 100%) but I am persevering. So far it is the Visible Dust green swabs and E2. But next try is with the green swabs and the Dust Aid rapid evaporate solution. Meantime I will also use the Green Clean aerosol vacuum and the Dust Aid dust remover dry clean platinum version (or the Copperhill sensor brush) to shift dust OUT of the sensor chamber before I wet clean.

I aim to find a technique that does it 100% first time. And by the way - as I have said before - the loupe magnifier is a waste of time IMHO. These spots are so tiny - you cannot see them with a loupe and the sensor filter looks clean - until you do an F22 blue sky test and then examine the image at 200%. THEN you see the problems !! I would suggest that if a dust bunny is so large that it can be seen with a loupe then it can be lifted off the filter with an Artic Butterfly, charged sensor brush or any other dry filter cleaning option. Blow it away with a blower and it only ends up somewhere else in the sensor chamber.

Dust and wet/dry sensor cleaning is something that simply CANNOT be avoided on a D3. If you don't believe me - do the F22 blue sky test and view at 200%. You might just get a surprise if you think your sensor filter is clean.



If it seems too good to be true - then it isn't. If you cannot believe your eyes - then don't.

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