m43 dust shakers actually not all that awesome...

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael J Davis
Michael J Davis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,624
Why include the lens in the equation?

kenw wrote:

TL;DR - m43 dust shakers work just as well as any other dust shaker. What actually makes us not see much dust in m43 cameras is that the filter stack is so thick compared to other systems.


Based on the above then we expect dust that is visible on m43 only at say F/32 is going to still be visible on a Z7 at F/16 because the m43 dust is held more than twice as distant from the image plane in the m43 camera. Unfortunately we are also likely to use the Z7 at apertures nearly twice as small (two stops) than m43. So the FF system will make any given dust particle way more frequently visible in normal shooting than in m43.

[more snip]

Shooting F/32 for m43 is pretty ridiculous. I rarely shoot even at F/8 myself (F/6.3 tends to be as small as I go). And in the F/8 m43 shot we can see the dust is entirely invisible. Yes the dust shaker left dust behind but it was small enough and far enough from the sensor to not matter in practical shooting.

For the Z7 though because the dust is held closer to the sensor it is quite visible at F/16 and being a FF system shooting at F/16 isn't crazy at all. My default for landscape shots on the Z7 is F/11 in fact.

So again the dust shaker in m43 isn't magic at all. It works just as well (or bad) as any other dust shaker. The big difference is the filter stack is so thick that that remaining dust is held much further from the sensor surface and so the left over dust has less impact on photos in m43 than in other systems.

It was some years ago that I realised how much dust was in the system, when we had a 'pinhole camera' challenge at our club.

I used extension tubes (c.36mm IIRC) and covered the end with Al foil, pierced that with a fine needle. I was AMAZED at how much dust was visible on the resulting image. I estimate the effective aperture was 1/160 - providing a point source of light to cast shadows of the dust on the sensor.

But the fact is that I rely on the dust remover in the cameras (both Oly & Panny) and only when I see shadows in the sky do I inspect / blow / inspect / clean the sensor.

But then for 10 years I haven't used other than MFT.

My point being that dust on / in the lens may confuse the results from the sensor alone.


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Mike Davis
Photographing the public for over 60 years

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