Beware of VisibleDust products.

Started Oct 17, 2007 | Discussions
PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Beware of VisibleDust products.

Some months ago I bought an Arctic Butterfly (AB) from an German online vendor, at quite a steep price.

I had been cleaning my cameras sensors with Eclipse but, reading about the problems with using it with some sensors, I was anticipating the arrival of my MKIII and considered the AB has an alternate cleaning method.

It arrived in pristine conditions, still factory sealed in a plastic wrapping. Upon the very first use in my previous owned 30D it produced a mess on the sensor that put me in an almost panic state, until I was able to clean it by reverting to the PacPads + Eclipse.

I sent their "costumer support" a couple of emails and got 2 bogus replies on how their product was wonderful and how the brush must have been contaminated with some "in-camera" grease. They also instructed me on how the brush could be cleaned.

I took their dodging with a BIG grain of salt but, as there was in fact a tiny possibility that the camera could be the culprit (...it was over 1 year old). I cleaned the brush as per their instructions and waited for the moment when it would be needed on the newly arrived MKIII.

Well, some days ago I did use it on my MKIII, with the very same results, in spite of following every single VD recommendations and procedural steps to the letter.

This is the kind of mess the brush produces:

I now believe this is a poorly designed gadget that actually ATTRACTS floating dust during the pre-use spinning runs, instead of "enhancing the fiber charges" as claimed.

I sent another email to VD, asking for a refund and they just ignored it.

If you're planning to go this way for your sensor cleaning needs, be advised that, as far as I am concerned, this is just a bogus product tantamount to borderline fraud.

PK
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brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,916
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products.

I had the same problem with my 5D using Visible Dust. Had to wet clean, then use a SensorKlear pen to finish the cleaning.

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Alekhine Senior Member • Posts: 1,417
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products.

Same problem.

The sensor brush worked pretty well on my 1dmkII until I washed it, despite the use of the tablets. Now I won't use it again on my new mkIII.
How did you wash the brush?
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Joe Sesto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,084
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products...VD's warning on 5D

VD's site did have warnings about the excessive mirror lube on the 5D's mirrorbox sides. It is fairly easy to drag the lube onto the sensor as I also found out. I even used the brush designed for the 1.6 sensors and thought I was being extra careful.

Think I washed the old-style brushes in alcohol.

I've got a number of their very expensive products as I travel by air so Eclipse is not an option. (As does the OP, obviously.)

I think SensorKlear is the best bet in the long run until you get one of those moist globs that gets fried on the sensor filter.

brianric wrote:

I had the same problem with my 5D using Visible Dust. Had to wet
clean, then use a SensorKlear pen to finish the cleaning.

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Joe Sesto

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OP PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products.

Alekhine wrote:

How did you wash the brush?

By using Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol) as they recommended.

I also rinsed the inside of the clear plastic cap with distilled water and mild soap, as specified, to ensure there was nothing inside it contaminating the brush.

Bogus, bogus...

PK

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stefeb Regular Member • Posts: 112
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products.

Same thing happened on my 5D. Haven't used it since.

Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 39,698
Brushes and 5D

I used to use brushes for cleaning (OK, I did buy into the Sensor Brush, but obtained other more reasonably priced ones too). But when it came to the 5D, they were often contaminated by what seems to be shutter lubricant.

And earlier to this I was prompted to clean the sensor because there was a haze and oddity in the images. . . looking at the AA filter, my first impression was that on the last cleaning I might have coughed into the lens cavity. But it turned out to be a few globs of lubricant.

FWIW.

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chunin Regular Member • Posts: 165
Re: Brushes and 5D

I tried the VD sensor brushes a long time ago when it came out and have never used them again. It did not clean well and was worse than using Q-Tips. So I use sensor pads instead.

Marko Torvinen Regular Member • Posts: 410
Same thing 1st time, then better

Same thing happened to me with my 5D and Arctic Butterfly. I got severe smearing and had to clean several times with Eclipse and Pecpads. I thought I was pressing AB too much against sensor cover and that was why the smearing.

Since then, I have only touched very gently the sensor glass and no smearing at all. AB is working very well

Marko

John-G Veteran Member • Posts: 4,931
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products.

I had the exact same thing happen with my 1DMkII. I abandoned the brush and now stick to the Sensor Clean solution and swabs -- no further issues.

I was convinced my problem was because my sensor had never been cleaned since I've owned the camera (2 years) and had collected some type of greasy film. But if you have been cleaning your sensor all along that should not have been the case.

requindiver Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products.

My AB worked well until it grabbed some lube? and dragged it onto the sensor. Then I had to wet clean anyway, and I am not happy about dragging the lube onto the sensor. I have used it since with no problems, but there is always that possibility that the AB will grab something and pull it onto the sensor. It's tight going in there.
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toto le robot Regular Member • Posts: 483
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products.

your pictures show grease, not dust. so you made something wrong while cleaning the sensor or it could be that there is too much grease in your DSLR and if you go on clean mode with the camera upward, grease will fall on the sensor. it happens to me once, I get rid of the grease using lenspen products. I never use eclipse or any liquid on my sensor, too much risks of trouble. AB works fine with me and sometime I add a bit of sensorklear. your problem is not the AB.

OP PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Sorry Toto, but you're wrong...

Your reasoning is the same VD used to try and get away with it in the first replies.

This is NOT any kind of liquid, grease or lubricant. This is some some form of, tiny micro-particles blobs gathered together by any form of micro-tensile force like, most probably, static electricity.

How do I know?

Because, if I keep passing the brush over them they displace easily from one part of the sensor to the other. They just fail to stick to the brush or come off until a "wet" cleaning is done.

I don't know of any liquid, lubricant or not that behaves like this.

Also, before cleaning the MKIII and because their initial claim was this "Lubricant/grease" one I throughly inspected the sensor chamber looking for any such substance. I saw none.

Since the cleaning was made very, very carefully (because of the nasty 30D experience) I can assure you the brush was nowhere near anything than the sensor itself.

What I really believe is that the recommended 3 5-second spins to be done before using the brush actually COLLECT micro particles from the air and cling them to the brush hairs. Later, when already over the sensor, a stronger static-electricity field attracts those tiny particles as blobs over the sensor.

PK
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Eric Sorensen
Eric Sorensen Veteran Member • Posts: 4,641
Those sensor swab things work good, though (nt)
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toto le robot Regular Member • Posts: 483
Re: Sorry Toto, but you're wrong...

OK! I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure you are too:) (oh and i don't work for VD)

if your theory was right than no particles would stick to the brush because the static-electricity field on the sensor would be superior to the one of the brush and every particle would stay on the sensor and the brush would never work. don't you agree?

the fact that the brush collect dust during the spin seems to be strange when you feel the force of the air pulled out by the brush when spinning, I think that it's a bigger force than the static electricity field induce at that time, and the hairs spread quite evenly due to centrifuge force, at least on mine, so the fact that the brush collect the dust is a bit surprising, and considering that you are the first one to encounter the problem I don't think you are right with this explanation as other people would have had the trouble.

one possibility I see would be that after you stop spinning, some particles are attracted by the statis electric field and they charge, and for some reason they drop on the sensor, then having the same charge than the brush they are repulsed by the brush. but I don't know what kind of particle it is, try cleaning the sensor in another environment with some better air and see if it happen again.another possibility is that their is dust stuck deep in the roots of the brush and they drop on the sensor with the same charge than the brush. then try cleaning vigourously the brush and let it stay vertically while cleaning it for the dust to drop.

what you are saying is that those tiny particles don't react to static electricity field, that's very strange maybe some matters react like that, I don't know which one, maybe it's better to call the national security;)

it's all the reason I can see now. and i'm not even sure of it .except that it's not 3-5 sec but more likely 15sec of spinning that is needed to charge the brush, at least that was on the old version.

the problem is that you are the only one to have the problem and many thousands of other don't, so the AB might work in a way and are not the bad product you depict here. contrary to people who really had big problems with the eclipse fluid. as you are already aware of.I'm not saying eclipse fluid are bad product but I never would use one on my sensor.

that's very strange i hope you will find what's wrong there and tell us about so that we can all learn from this situation.

mr 321p New Member • Posts: 1
now with canon pro center

Hi all,
wish I had read this sooner!

New artic brush, installed battery, all excited as I was about to banish dust forever, well at least for a while.

Never gone anywhere near the sensor other than with rocket blower which did nothing.

Followed instuctions carefully, second pass of the brush and I could of cried, grease all over the place. My attempts to put right only resulted in more smears!!!!!

Result my 5D is now in a Canon repair centre waiting on estimate to put things right.

The brush is going in the bin, and will be advising anyone thinking of getting one not to bother.

Arttic brush is not fit fo purpose, feeling some ripped off and angry that I ended up in this situation.

Expensive mistake, but a valuable lesson learned.

TLD
TLD Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Mine works really well - No problems at all (nt)
Bryan
Bryan Senior Member • Posts: 2,488
VisibleDust was not the problem.............

like many others I had an excessive amount of oil on my sensor and took 5D to Lehmann's at Stoke-on-Trent where they, as usual, did an excellent cleaning job getting rid of the oil. Since then dust has appeared (as it will, changing lenes in draughty bird hides) and used Visibledust to remove it. Each time the CMOS was back to it's "Lehmann's Magic" pristine and spotless cleaning.

Sorry but you are blaming the wrong company:

1. You should have realised it was oil and not dust - (I did)

2. Maybe, as my D30, 10D and 20Ds have never so suffered, Canon is at fault as well as you??

Visibledust dust not advertise their product for removing oils - only dust!

to move oil around a sensor using an expensive brush makes no sense IMHO.

Yes I think Visibledust is expensive in UK especially, and having just cleaned a colleagues 20D, first time in 2 years (had tomato plants growing in it I think) and my 5D with Eclipse and VisibleDust system it certainly worked for me.

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Bryan
Bryan Senior Member • Posts: 2,488
Re: now with canon pro center

I am surprised that you people don't look before you leap! i looked and saw what appeared like oil bubbles not dust and that was removed first before going anywhere near it with a brush.

Strange lot and then you blame everyone else for your stupidity - get real!

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Bryan

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andym107 Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: Beware of VisibleDust products.

PhotoKhan wrote:

Some months ago I bought an Arctic Butterfly (AB) from an German
online vendor, at quite a steep price.

I had been cleaning my cameras sensors with Eclipse but, reading
about the problems with using it with some sensors, I was
anticipating the arrival of my MKIII and considered the AB has an
alternate cleaning method.

It arrived in pristine conditions, still factory sealed in a plastic
wrapping. Upon the very first use in my previous owned 30D it
produced a mess on the sensor that put me in an almost panic state,
until I was able to clean it by reverting to the PacPads + Eclipse.

I sent their "costumer support" a couple of emails and got 2 bogus
replies on how their product was wonderful and how the brush must
have been contaminated with some "in-camera" grease. They also
instructed me on how the brush could be cleaned.

I took their dodging with a BIG grain of salt but, as there was in
fact a tiny possibility that the camera could be the culprit (...it
was over 1 year old). I cleaned the brush as per their instructions
and waited for the moment when it would be needed on the newly
arrived MKIII.

Well, some days ago I did use it on my MKIII, with the very same
results, in spite of following every single VD recommendations and
procedural steps to the letter.

This is the kind of mess the brush produces:

I now believe this is a poorly designed gadget that actually ATTRACTS
floating dust during the pre-use spinning runs, instead of "enhancing
the fiber charges" as claimed.

I sent another email to VD, asking for a refund and they just ignored
it.

If you're planning to go this way for your sensor cleaning needs, be
advised that, as far as I am concerned, this is just a bogus product
tantamount to borderline fraud.

PK
--
“Loose praise may feed my ego but constructive criticism advances my
skills”
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http://www.pbase.com/photokhan
(Pbase Supporter)
-------------------------------------------------

Canon states that they put more oil in their higher-end camera mechanisms so that they last longer. It seems to splash on trhe sensor, and the brush smears it.It should settle down after a period, and you should then just be faced with the issue of dust. Well, so goes the theory. I was shocked at the amount of oil on my sensor - not at all happy. My advice. DON'T touch your sensor untill you have had it professionally cleaned (a one-off for free from canon), first.

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