Help, did I screw up my sensor?

Started Jan 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
I've been cleaning sensors for years.

mactac wrote:

So I had a bunch of dust on my sensor of my d800, and decided to use the visibledust vswabs.

I've been cleaning my cameras sensors for years (D2x, D700, D800E). For wet cleaning I use Copper Hill Images swabs, QuikStrips, and Eclipse liquid. They are effective and much less expensive than Visible Dust products.

QuikStips is a package of PEC PADs cut into swab-size strips for the pad on the swab. You use the swab over and over, but with a different QuikStip (one pass on each side and then change). Use 3 drops of Eclipse for each pad.

Don't scrub. Just use a lot of pads and the right amount of liquid.

When you are done with the pads there maybe lint left behind. This can easily be removed with a Nylon bristle cosmetic brush that has been properly prepared.

Clean the bristles very very thoroughly with dish soap.

Do the final rinse in distilled water.

Allow to thoroughly dry in a place where dust wont settle on it.

Test it on a very clean filter. If it leaves a smudge, wash it again.

See the Pixel Sweeper page for a complete discussion and instructions for selecting and preparing a brush.

I used one, and it left streaks & marks all over my sensor, and almost a 'film' all over it, like i had breathed on it.

When you have oil on the sensor it can take quite a few passes to remove it all. This is why changing pads is helpful.

I tried again (finally using all 4 that came in the pack), and still have the same problem. I now have most dust specks, and streaks on my sensor.

I've not used the VD swabs, but you may be able to replace the pads with strips cut from PEC PADs, or QuikStips.

Have I screwed this up?

Probably not.

I feel like I just need to get in there with a microfiber cloth or something & clean it up, but I'm obviously reluctant to do that.

Resist that urge.

How delicate is the sensor in a d800 really? How can I get this thing clean? I don't live anywhere near a place that could clean it for me.

From: Nikon USA web site

As you can see above, you are cleaning the first low-pass filter. It will have an anti-reflection coating. Some such coatings are oil-loving and difficult to clean. I don't know the specifics of the D800 OLPF coatings, but it seems oil-loving.

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Robin Casady
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
— Bertrand Russell

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