LX100 - Dust on the sensor / a DIY solution ? ! ?

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RoelHendrickx
RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,869
LX100 - Dust on the sensor / a DIY solution ? ! ?
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(Technically, the LX100 is a compact with a fixed lens. But it has a real size µFT sensor and a fast lens and I use it as second camera on many of my shoots (LX100 for standard range; E-M1 for UWA and telephoto).

So you will forgive me for posting this story here.

Yesterday when out shooting, I suddenly noticed a blob in the sky on my photos.

A bird? No, a spot of dust on the sensor of my LX100.

Oddly, the spot was NOT visible while just looking through the EVF, but it suddenly appeared when half-pressing the shutter button to focus. And it is clearly visible on the images.

I checked my images of the day before and thankfully they are not affected (because those of the day before were images for professional use in a faraway location).

I did not work in dusty surroundings in the past week, but I did have an adventure on the Dune du Pyla on the French Atlantic Coast on new year's day. There was a real sand blizzard there.

Here's me there, shot by my wife with her phone (on a moment of less wind):

On that day, I did not swap lenses on my E-M1 because of the amount of sand in the air, but shot with my E-M1 for tele and my LX100 for standard range.

Some particles of fine dune sand must have worked their way into my camera through the pumping action of zooming or focusing. And that sand, over the past two weeks, must have slowly worked itself towards the sensor.

Anyway, how do you clean the sensor of a camera with an attached lens? I googled and found :

a) that the problem is not uncommon - all cameras are in some way "breathing

b) that the sensor can be cleaned by the official service center (takes time and money)

c) that someone posted a DIY method that makes sense to me and that I am inclined to try.

(I am figuring that it cannot really hurt to try. Even if it just dislodges the dust again from the sensor without sucking it out, I can re-use my camera and worry about a real cleaning job later.)

Here is the link (read the reply that is labeled as "most useful answer") :

https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/365733/Can+you+clean+the+image+sensor

It says :

I got this great tip from another member on dppreview. It works great, save $$$ and give me joy with this awesome Lumix LX100 again:

... The dust can be easily removed with a vacuum cleaner, just make an adapter with a plastic bottle and while the vacuum cleaner is sucking the air, turn the camera on and zoom in and out several times .

The adaptor can be made with a small plastic water bottle, cut both sides, one end will receive the vacuum hose and the other end the lens of the camera, the size must allow the lens to fully extend. If your vacuum cleaner is very strong , set it to low power or cut some holes in the adaptor . Did this procedure sometimes and it works like magic even for sensor dust.

I want to try that.

Now before I get my vacuum cleaner from the cupboard and cut a camera cleaner from a water bottle, I want to shout out to anyone who has had experience with this problem and/or this cleaning method.

It may not sound "professional", but I can tell you that the best urgent sensor cleaning that I have ever witnessed, was done by an Iranian camera store owner in the middle of nowhere, who removed an OILY spot from my E-M5 sensor by using the lightly moistened, rolled into a tip, edge of a Kleenex...

The manufacturer would probably not recommend that method, but it worked flawlessly and prevented an Iranian holiday full of spotty images (I still thank our driver for finding the camera store). So I am all in favour of DIY methods.

Here is the Iranian sensor cleaning wizard:

I will report back after my vacuum cleaning, because I am pretty certain that many members here also use fixed lens cameras (compacts) as their second or backup camera, so the tip might be useful for you too.

Please note : I take no responsibility for anything that can go wrong if anyone decides to follow this method. I will be your guinea pig, but I cannot guarantee anything.

-- hide signature --

Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: http://www.roelh.zenfolio.com

Olympus E-M1 Panasonic LX100
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