Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

Started Jul 18, 2014 | Discussions
Plasmatico Regular Member • Posts: 110
Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

Can anyone recommend a good (safe) product to clean the sensor? I have an NEX-6 and 5n and both have spots on the sensor, one of downsides of using legacy and changing lenses in the field. They are more noticeable in low light or when stopped down.

Thanks in advance!

MJC

www.flickr.com/photos/plasmatico

PVCdroid
PVCdroid Veteran Member • Posts: 4,396
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

Plasmatico wrote:

Can anyone recommend a good (safe) product to clean the sensor? I have an NEX-6 and 5n and both have spots on the sensor, one of downsides of using legacy and changing lenses in the field. They are more noticeable in low light or when stopped down.

Thanks in advance!

MJC

www.flickr.com/photos/plasmatico

Copper Hill Images is apparently one of the best. They have many different kits. I've heard to avoid the gel sticks and do a wet cleaning but obviously only when required. I have personally used a small lenstip to clean isolated spots on my 5N, N7 and A7R. I have not had to do a wet clean yet. I would like to get their electrostatic sensor brush and think that would take care of most of my needs unless I accidentally spill some type of fluid on the sensor. The articulating lenstip is also something I'd like to get. Once you buy those two separately you might as well get the mega kit.

Oddly DPReview has banned the link to Copper Hill. Weird.......

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ninjapimp Contributing Member • Posts: 524
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

I got this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281206404394?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

its a very simple effective sensor tool.

comes with two tools, one for corners which can be hard to get and a larger for main area.

you basically sticky stamp the dirt off sensor like a fly trap than peel that dirt off with a 3rd tool all provided in a small sealed case. very resuable, simply use water to clean it.

there are some good reasons to use a gel tip, you dont need liquids, hence spilling or putting too much on sensor. Using a bright light and proper tip, you'll be able to more accurately pin point the affected area and clean it.

using sensor wipes is the old way. I visited the Sony repair center at photoplus and this is what they used. If its used by the MFG its good enough for me.

I simply use a rolling motion to press down the gel tip from one side to the other, than peel off dirt and repeat, than use tip for corners.

All this for $25, you dont need to buy liquids, you get a lot more use plus its compatible with any sensor. sensor wipes require you buy the exact size for your sensor.

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R_U_Q_R_U
R_U_Q_R_U Contributing Member • Posts: 680
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?
2

Check out the sensor stick here:

Sony Sensor Stick

This sensor gel stick is designed specifically for Sony SLT and Alpha mirrorless cameras.

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OP Plasmatico Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

Very interesting, I had never heard of this gel stick. I wonder what's the deference between the regular gel stick and the "for Sony cameras"?

PVCdroid
PVCdroid Veteran Member • Posts: 4,396
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

R_U_Q_R_U wrote:

Check out the sensor stick here:

Sony Sensor Stick

This sensor gel stick is designed specifically for Sony SLT and Alpha mirrorless cameras.

Shoot. That looked exciting until I read this on the Sony blog. I'm sure they're being ubber cautious with their comments but it looks like are working with their vendor to fix the foumula for the gel stick for mirrorless cameras:

http://community.sony.com/t5/Alpha-SLT-DSLR-Cameras/Sensor-GEL-cleaner-Stick-quot-sticks-quot-to-ONLY-SONY/td-p/292092

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Reb1026 New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

Have you used it on the Sony NEX or Alpha cameras?

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Reb1026 New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

I think they develop this specially to be used for the Sony cameras. It is pre-ordered and will be delivered ~ 7/24. The previous one didn't quite work.

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Mike Fewster Veteran Member • Posts: 7,323
Re: I don't know what is best, but this is great
1

Plasmatico wrote:

Can anyone recommend a good (safe) product to clean the sensor? I have an NEX-6 and 5n and both have spots on the sensor, one of downsides of using legacy and changing lenses in the field. They are more noticeable in low light or when stopped down.

Thanks in advance!

MJC

www.flickr.com/photos/plasmatico

Bright Arctic Butterfly. Weird name but it has worked very well for me and doesn't have anything sticky. I have the 788 model. I cleaned my sensor when I was at my wits end with dust spots.

The problem is that there are many things that can dirty the sensor. 90%+ of the time it is just dust with static charge. The Butterfly is perfect for this. If you have more serious measures, it can get complex and tricky. The mob who make the Butterfly have a whole range of products, including kits specifically for the Sony emount cameras. The full deal costs a lot of $ but covers just about everything you can imagine for precision inspection of the sensor and dealing with the various problems you might have. I think just the Arctic Butterfly on its own is all that is needed. If your problems are worse than this, I wouldn't buy the whole kit, I'd be sending it to a specialist. I have never had an issue however (and I have had a few that I thought were serious. I tend to change lenses a lot in very dusty central Australian conditions) that the Butterfly couldn't quickly fix.

http://www.visibledust.com/index.php

Here's a review from Luminous landscape

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/accessories/arctic-butterfly.shtml

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Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

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PVCdroid
PVCdroid Veteran Member • Posts: 4,396
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

ninjapimp wrote:

I got this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281206404394?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

its a very simple effective sensor tool.

comes with two tools, one for corners which can be hard to get and a larger for main area.

you basically sticky stamp the dirt off sensor like a fly trap than peel that dirt off with a 3rd tool all provided in a small sealed case. very resuable, simply use water to clean it.

there are some good reasons to use a gel tip, you dont need liquids, hence spilling or putting too much on sensor. Using a bright light and proper tip, you'll be able to more accurately pin point the affected area and clean it.

using sensor wipes is the old way. I visited the Sony repair center at photoplus and this is what they used. If its used by the MFG its good enough for me.

I simply use a rolling motion to press down the gel tip from one side to the other, than peel off dirt and repeat, than use tip for corners.

All this for $25, you dont need to buy liquids, you get a lot more use plus its compatible with any sensor. sensor wipes require you buy the exact size for your sensor.

I'm going to try this after seeing the videos for it. It looks simple and doesn't leave any residue. I mostly have problems with stuck bits of dust and would use this just to pick it up off the sensor. Brushing it away could cause a scratch and I really don't want to deal with wet cleaning. I also struggle with dust on the LA-EA4 and think this will work well for it used lightly and only for visible dust.

Here's a video showing how it works for another product from FStopper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fetJfPILU3o

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Reb1026 New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?
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PVCdroid
PVCdroid Veteran Member • Posts: 4,396
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

Reb1026 wrote:

This seems to be the same cleaner set from Amazon. Review is not very good.

http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-SSC-10-Reusable-Cleaning-Cameras/dp/B004YD7VHY/ref=pd_sim_sbs_p_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1TWF0JH80BSYQ8WFRWKZ

Well Crap!

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MrT-Man Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

The Arctic Butterfly hasn't worked well for me. It's a well made product and I like the principle of it, but the problem is that there's some oil, chemicals or gunk in the periphery of my NEX-7's sensor (as part of the manufacturing process?), and when I try using the Butterfly, it scoops up some of it and then leaves streaks on the sensor. Not sure if this is specific to my camera, to all NEX-7 cameras, to all Sony cameras, or what. So basically I can use it *very* carefully in the center but not anywhere close to the edges for fear of getting it gunked up.

My approach is to a) use a blower; b) failing that, use the Arctic Butterfly in the center part of the sensor; c) failing that, use a SensorKlear pen; d) failing that, do a wet clean using the fluids and swabs from VisibleDust.

I should mention that somewhere along the way I have ended up with a couple of scratches on my sensor, or rather the anti-aliasing filter (which is what you're really cleaning), although thankfully I haven't been able to notice any discernible impact on image quality.

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Brian_Smith
Brian_Smith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,228
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?
2

Plasmatico wrote:

Can anyone recommend a good (safe) product to clean the sensor? I have an NEX-6 and 5n and both have spots on the sensor, one of downsides of using legacy and changing lenses in the field. They are more noticeable in low light or when stopped down.

Thanks in advance!

Hey there,

Check out the last 3 things on this list: http://briansmith.com/sony-a7-a7r-accessories-guide/

Start with the first and move down only if needed...

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ninjapimp Contributing Member • Posts: 524
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

my experience with the Matin Gel tip is as follows:

being a skeptic i tested this on my ND filter, it picked up the dirt just fine but YES, it let a smudge, some sort of residue.

no need to panic, i washed the gel tips and the gel pad under warm water with dish soap, rinsed in cold water and let it dry.

i repeated test and worked perfectly, no smudges or residue.

the product should come with a disclaimer - stating to wash before using for first time.

Using it out of the box for first time will most likely cause a smudge.

However with such items, always use caution - Test on a Filter first, only use on sensor when you know product works and is clean and in proper location.

For $25 I'm very happy with it. those who left bad reviews were dumb, they used it first time on sensor - never do that - test on filter. some common sense goes a long way and saves lots of money.

You can pay double but you'll get exact same thing.

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Mike Fewster Veteran Member • Posts: 7,323
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

MrT-Man wrote:

The Arctic Butterfly hasn't worked well for me. It's a well made product and I like the principle of it, but the problem is that there's some oil, chemicals or gunk in the periphery of my NEX-7's sensor (as part of the manufacturing process?), and when I try using the Butterfly, it scoops up some of it and then leaves streaks on the sensor. Not sure if this is specific to my camera, to all NEX-7 cameras, to all Sony cameras, or what. So basically I can use it *very* carefully in the center but not anywhere close to the edges for fear of getting it gunked up.

My approach is to a) use a blower; b) failing that, use the Arctic Butterfly in the center part of the sensor; c) failing that, use a SensorKlear pen; d) failing that, do a wet clean using the fluids and swabs from VisibleDust.

I should mention that somewhere along the way I have ended up with a couple of scratches on my sensor, or rather the anti-aliasing filter (which is what you're really cleaning), although thankfully I haven't been able to notice any discernible impact on image quality.

As I said in my recommendation for the Arctic Butterfly. Almost all sensor spot problems are statically charged dust which the butterfly deals with beautifully. If it is anything else I think it is a job for a specialist. If the Butterfly didn't work and I really really insisted on doing the job myself I'd get the whole kit from Visible dust so I could check the surface very carefully and try to decide exactly what the issue was before I proceeded  further with their various products.

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Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

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OP Plasmatico Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

Now it makes sense why they'd have a Sony specific version. I will order it as soon as I see it back in stock. Anybody know the actual name and manufacturer of the product? Is photographylife.com the only seller? I like the concept, simple and economical.

PVCdroid
PVCdroid Veteran Member • Posts: 4,396
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

ninjapimp wrote:

my experience with the Matin Gel tip is as follows:

being a skeptic i tested this on my ND filter, it picked up the dirt just fine but YES, it let a smudge, some sort of residue.

no need to panic, i washed the gel tips and the gel pad under warm water with dish soap, rinsed in cold water and let it dry.

i repeated test and worked perfectly, no smudges or residue.

the product should come with a disclaimer - stating to wash before using for first time.

Using it out of the box for first time will most likely cause a smudge.

However with such items, always use caution - Test on a Filter first, only use on sensor when you know product works and is clean and in proper location.

For $25 I'm very happy with it. those who left bad reviews were dumb, they used it first time on sensor - never do that - test on filter. some common sense goes a long way and saves lots of money.

You can pay double but you'll get exact same thing.

It's on it's way from Korea so I'll check it out. Thanks for the tips on washing. I've watched the Leica video and the one for Fstoppers and don't really intend to use it that way unless I sneeze on the sensor someday. I just want to be able pick up visible specs/dust that I can't get rid of by blowing. I'm comfortable lightly using a clean slightly dampened utility lenstip on sensor glass and have been using that method until now so this should make things a bit easier from what I can see. I do agree that the bad reviews for the Opteka version seemed to be from those those that might have been challenged. It will just be another tool available for me and it didn't break the bank. I've got 30K actuations on my NEX-7 in one year with lots of lens changes and haven't had to do a wet clean so far. Moderation with this stuff goes a long way I think. Also, Brian Smiths recommendations look like the way to go for a wet clean when needed.

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Nikolausz
Nikolausz Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

I use dust-aid platinum kit (nex-5 and a100). I wrote a short review on my blog:

fiberstrobe.blogspot.com/2013/04/dust-aid-platinum-kit-review.html

Cheers

Marcell

doracapi Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Best product or brand to clean the sensor?

I agree, it seems to be the best solution. It worked for me.

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