Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

Started Jul 14, 2013 | Discussions
AFil New Member • Posts: 4
Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

Hello all!

Please see the attached photo, I took it deliberately showing a white ceiling so that you can better see the problem.

Some grey spots appear on the photo.

These spots are also seen in the LCD display even before taking the photo, so I believe it is a problem of the lens (but I am not expert, it could even be something else). This did not happen years ago.

So, I cleaned them well (with water) but still the same problem.

A friend of mine also cleaned them very well (water) some other time but nothing solved. EVERY photo has these stains.

We believe that the "dirt" is from the inside of the lens, can this be the case?

If yes, how did it go there?! Could it be humidity or something like that?

What is the solution? Can the lens be detached by me and cleaned from the "inside" (how?) or I need to send it to Panasonic?

Could it be something else though?

Thank you!

Aris

Jerry045
Jerry045 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,226
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?
1

Aris:

You did not mention what camera you are using.

Those spots definitely look like debris in the lens assembly.

A lot of the cameras with extending lenses like the ZS series have seen this problem. When the lens extends, a vacuum is created and can suck in dust. One must be careful when turning on the camera in a less than clean environment.

If you are very brave, Graham Houghton has a you-tube video showing how to disassemble a ZS type camera to clean the internal lens elements.

Is your camera still under warranty?

One should be able to ask for an estimate for a repair cost to see if it is worth it to you to have your lens assembly professionally cleaned.

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Jerry

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Darrell Spreen Forum Pro • Posts: 10,993
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

AFil wrote:

Hello all!

Please see the attached photo, I took it deliberately showing a white ceiling so that you can better see the problem.

Some grey spots appear on the photo.

The spots definitely look like dust on the sensor to me. As Jerry said, dust can be sucked into the camera when the lens is extended. It's often the result of carrying the camera in a pocket (there's always pocket lint) and then turning it on before blowing off any lint.

Sometimes the problem can be fixed by tapping the camera lightly on your hand while turning it off (while the lens is closing back into the camera). In that case, air is being compressed onto the sensor and a light tap (very gentle, please) can cause it to fall off. I'd try this before considering any more drastic steps.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51642985

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Darrell

John McCormack
John McCormack Veteran Member • Posts: 6,742
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?
1

Definitely looks like dust on the sensor. Send it in if it's still under warranty.

Jayflite Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

Had the same problem with my FZ40. Probebly dirt on the sensor. I read somewhere that possible cure was to stand camera on washing machine during spin cycle.

Worked for me.

John

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Erik Ohlson
Erik Ohlson Forum Pro • Posts: 22,377
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

Darrell Spreen wrote:

AFil wrote:

Hello all!

Please see the attached photo, I took it deliberately showing a white ceiling so that you can better see the problem.

Some grey spots appear on the photo.

The spots definitely look like dust on the sensor to me. As Jerry said, dust can be sucked into the camera when the lens is extended. It's often the result of carrying the camera in a pocket (there's always pocket lint) and then turning it on before blowing off any lint.

Well stated.

I recommend carrying the camera in a loose [not sealed - moisture can get sealed in] plastic bag to keep the ever-present lint out.

Sometimes the problem can be fixed by tapping the camera lightly on your hand while turning it off (while the lens is closing back into the camera). In that case, air is being compressed onto the sensor and a light tap (very gentle, please) can cause it to fall off. I'd try this before considering any more drastic steps.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51642985

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Darrell

If your camera is out of warranty, YouTube is full of videos of cleaning sensors [and even one about disassembling the LENS], for cleaning.

-Erik

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JoshuaCM New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

pardon me, i see that this is an old thread. i have a canon rebel dslr. i wil have to take a look at it to see which model. the generic lens that came with the camera has spots on it that cause a similar problem with every picture that i take for me. i may have had problems with another lens caused by dust. for me it is not the sensor.

So, how might i resolve the issue if it is the camera? You see, it is two or three spots that show up in the same areas of the photo, that tend to only be visible in certain lighting. However, due to that factor, i have to edit them out every time. I think that a couple of spots on the lens had some of some protective "film" damaged.. there is a discoloration on the lens in a couple of spots.. Is this something that can be repaired, or do i need to replace the lens?

I had actually looked at the lens, and i had noticed this...

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Canon EOS 400D Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II
prk60091 Regular Member • Posts: 332
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

AFil wrote:

Hello all!

Please see the attached photo, I took it deliberately showing a white ceiling so that you can better see the problem.

Some grey spots appear on the photo.

These spots are also seen in the LCD display even before taking the photo, so I believe it is a problem of the lens (but I am not expert, it could even be something else). This did not happen years ago.

So, I cleaned them well (with water) but still the same problem.

A friend of mine also cleaned them very well (water) some other time but nothing solved. EVERY photo has these stains.

We believe that the "dirt" is from the inside of the lens, can this be the case?

If yes, how did it go there?! Could it be humidity or something like that?

What is the solution? Can the lens be detached by me and cleaned from the "inside" (how?) or I need to send it to Panasonic?

Could it be something else though?

Thank you!

Aris

sensor issue.... moisture/condensation formed on the sensor --  i just had a leica c go through that

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JoshuaCM New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

in my case, i believe my camera cleans the sensor whenever i turn it off. I have two lenses. But one lens, whenever i take a picture, it is just like the example. But i have one lens, that has two spots that can be seen on the outside of the lens.

I am wondering if those spots might also be the issue. i did not know before how to clean the lens, and i think that i caused those spots. by the way, i can see more spots on the lens now, and i don't know where they came from. both of my lenses seem to have spots on them. how do i clean the inside of the lens?

if the camera is on auto-sensor clean, and it still is showing spots in the same area every time, could it be the lens? my old camera had a damaged mirror. i don't think the new one does, but the lenses have spots on the outside, and dust on the inside.

(then the pictures on at least one have those spots like the example).

prk60091 wrote:

AFil wrote:

Hello all!

Please see the attached photo, I took it deliberately showing a white ceiling so that you can better see the problem.

Some grey spots appear on the photo.

These spots are also seen in the LCD display even before taking the photo, so I believe it is a problem of the lens (but I am not expert, it could even be something else). This did not happen years ago.

So, I cleaned them well (with water) but still the same problem.

A friend of mine also cleaned them very well (water) some other time but nothing solved. EVERY photo has these stains.

We believe that the "dirt" is from the inside of the lens, can this be the case?

If yes, how did it go there?! Could it be humidity or something like that?

What is the solution? Can the lens be detached by me and cleaned from the "inside" (how?) or I need to send it to Panasonic?

Could it be something else though?

Thank you!

Aris

sensor issue.... moisture/condensation formed on the sensor -- i just had a leica c go through that

 JoshuaCM's gear list:JoshuaCM's gear list
Canon EOS 400D Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Jerry045
Jerry045 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,226
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

JoshuaCM wrote:

in my case, i believe my camera cleans the sensor whenever i turn it off. I have two lenses. But one lens, whenever i take a picture, it is just like the example. But i have one lens, that has two spots that can be seen on the outside of the lens.

I am wondering if those spots might also be the issue. i did not know before how to clean the lens, and i think that i caused those spots. by the way, i can see more spots on the lens now, and i don't know where they came from. both of my lenses seem to have spots on them. how do i clean the inside of the lens?

if the camera is on auto-sensor clean, and it still is showing spots in the same area every time, could it be the lens? my old camera had a damaged mirror. i don't think the new one does, but the lenses have spots on the outside, and dust on the inside.

(then the pictures on at least one have those spots like the example).

prk60091 wrote:

AFil wrote:

Hello all!

Please see the attached photo, I took it deliberately showing a white ceiling so that you can better see the problem.

Some grey spots appear on the photo.

These spots are also seen in the LCD display even before taking the photo, so I believe it is a problem of the lens (but I am not expert, it could even be something else). This did not happen years ago.

So, I cleaned them well (with water) but still the same problem.

A friend of mine also cleaned them very well (water) some other time but nothing solved. EVERY photo has these stains.

We believe that the "dirt" is from the inside of the lens, can this be the case?

If yes, how did it go there?! Could it be humidity or something like that?

What is the solution? Can the lens be detached by me and cleaned from the "inside" (how?) or I need to send it to Panasonic?

Could it be something else though?

Thank you!

Aris

sensor issue.... moisture/condensation formed on the sensor -- i just had a leica c go through that

If the debris was on your sensor, it would have a very sharp image, as that is the plane that everything focuses to.

So a fuzzy out of focus spot means the debris is in the lens assembly, rather than the sensor itself.

If your sensor really cleans itself, that only means it changes the charge on the surface in hopes that the debris falls off. That action will have no effect on crap up in the lens assembly.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Sony RX10 IV +2 more
JoshuaCM New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

Jerry045 wrote:

JoshuaCM wrote:

in my case, i believe my camera cleans the sensor whenever i turn it off. I have two lenses. But one lens, whenever i take a picture, it is just like the example. But i have one lens, that has two spots that can be seen on the outside of the lens.

I am wondering if those spots might also be the issue. i did not know before how to clean the lens, and i think that i caused those spots. by the way, i can see more spots on the lens now, and i don't know where they came from. both of my lenses seem to have spots on them. how do i clean the inside of the lens?

if the camera is on auto-sensor clean, and it still is showing spots in the same area every time, could it be the lens? my old camera had a damaged mirror. i don't think the new one does, but the lenses have spots on the outside, and dust on the inside.

(then the pictures on at least one have those spots like the example).

If the debris was on your sensor, it would have a very sharp image, as that is the plane that everything focuses to.

So a fuzzy out of focus spot means the debris is in the lens assembly, rather than the sensor itself.

If your sensor really cleans itself, that only means it changes the charge on the surface in hopes that the debris falls off. That action will have no effect on crap up in the lens assembly.

what is the best way the clean the lens itself? i have purchased lens wipes.. how about inside the lens? how about if there are actual spots on the lens, and not dust? is there some way to fix that? some professional repair? i can provide a sample image too.

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Canon EOS 400D Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Jerry045
Jerry045 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,226
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

JoshuaCM wrote:

Jerry045 wrote:

JoshuaCM wrote:

in my case, i believe my camera cleans the sensor whenever i turn it off. I have two lenses. But one lens, whenever i take a picture, it is just like the example. But i have one lens, that has two spots that can be seen on the outside of the lens.

I am wondering if those spots might also be the issue. i did not know before how to clean the lens, and i think that i caused those spots. by the way, i can see more spots on the lens now, and i don't know where they came from. both of my lenses seem to have spots on them. how do i clean the inside of the lens?

if the camera is on auto-sensor clean, and it still is showing spots in the same area every time, could it be the lens? my old camera had a damaged mirror. i don't think the new one does, but the lenses have spots on the outside, and dust on the inside.

(then the pictures on at least one have those spots like the example).

If the debris was on your sensor, it would have a very sharp image, as that is the plane that everything focuses to.

So a fuzzy out of focus spot means the debris is in the lens assembly, rather than the sensor itself.

If your sensor really cleans itself, that only means it changes the charge on the surface in hopes that the debris falls off. That action will have no effect on crap up in the lens assembly.

what is the best way the clean the lens itself? i have purchased lens wipes.. how about inside the lens? how about if there are actual spots on the lens, and not dust? is there some way to fix that? some professional repair? i can provide a sample image too.

A lot depends upon what type of camera you have and what risks you are willing to take.

A number of folks with a travel zoom style camera like the ZS series have extended the lens in a vacuum cleaner hose and managed to dislodge dust particles. Other brave souls have disassembled the camera and removed the lens assembly and cleaned it that way. There are a number of You Tube videos on that.

On larger cameras, I have seen folks remove the front lens to get at debris. That usually means peeling off the logo ring and a couple of screws holding the lens in place. Again, there are You Tube videos. Any debris further back probably should be left to a professional.

All of these methods have a risk for further damage if you are not careful or might be mechanically challenged.

I suggest searching You Tube for videos on your particular camera model for ideas as a starting point.

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JoshuaCM New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

I have a Canon Rebel EOS 400D. I have listed the approximate lenses. I probably would prefer something not very risky. I am wondering if there are tools which suck the air out (like something to blow air in/suck it out). and what I c an do without damaging it. other than that, if I need to, I may take it to a professional repair shop if these things don't work.

By the way, do email updates work here?

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RumN New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

Hello, I’ve got the same problem with two Panasonic travel cameras - GM1 and GM5, with 12-32 and 14-140 lenses on them.

My wife and I made some experiments picturing the clean blue sky. Surprisingly, when the camera is reverted top-down, the same spot appears at exactly the same place! How is it possible? Shouldn’t the spot revert together with the sensor and lense?

I think maybe a software problem in the picture cleaning code?

Please, try the same and post results

PC Wheeler
PC Wheeler Forum Pro • Posts: 17,902
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

RumN wrote:

Hello, I’ve got the same problem with two Panasonic travel cameras - GM1 and GM5, with 12-32 and 14-140 lenses on them.

Remove the lenses and clean the sensors. Very easy with the correct tools on any interchangeable lens camera. Post in the m4/3 forum https://www.dpreview.com/forums/1041 for more help

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Phil

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RumN New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Grey spots (stains) on every photo I take. Solutions?

PC Wheeler wrote:

RumN wrote:

Hello, I’ve got the same problem with two Panasonic travel cameras - GM1 and GM5, with 12-32 and 14-140 lenses on them.

Remove the lenses and clean the sensors. Very easy with the correct tools on any interchangeable lens camera. Post in the m4/3 forum https://www.dpreview.com/forums/1041 for more help

Could you please do read before answer?

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