How do you clean your sensor?

bulldogg7

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My new Canon came with a little dust on the sensor from the factory, now there's a speck inside the pentaprism somehow:-|
I could get it cleaned under warranty but it might take 2 weeks, just a little perturbed about the sensor. Anyone tried "visible dust sensor swabs" or the lenspen? The local ripoff shop would charge $75 for an hour's labor to clean the sensor for 5 minutes:rolleyes:
 

rallysman

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I've never had to clean my sensor, but the lenspen on a sensor is a big no-no.
 

bulldogg7

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Tried blowing it off, might be lube from the shutter. Ordered some of the premoistened swabs, if they don't work I'll ship it to Canon, but I've heard stories of them sending the camera back dirtier than it was to begin with:-/ The swabs are supposed to get the oils off, so I'll give that a try first.
It's not noticeable except at small apertures, easy to photoshop out, but now that I know where to look it just really stands out.
 

stratusfearrr

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hmm. tell us how the swabs work out. and can you show us an example? im just curious.
 

shad0w

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since it is under warranty why don't ask canon to clean it for you? I'm newbie, so I preferred let the professional handle it.
 

bulldogg7

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The swabs worked. First swab smeared grease everywhere:-/ took about 4 swabs to get the grease off. Stupid me did it outside so I could see what I was doing, sure is dusty and polllen(y) out there:redface: Blew everything out the best I could, but now I had a couple of darker spots. Finally just ended up using a flashlight, big magnifying glass and a tiny brush to get the remaining dust off.
Time to invest in a sensor brush now that the grease is gone. Hopefully the rocketblower will be enough from now on.

missed a couple of small spots, but at least they don't jump out at me when I have some sky in a pic.

@F32
 

PixSell

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Oct 28, 2007
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Nice work! If you want to see the the spots more clearly, shoot the ski like you're doing (w/minimum aperture) and underexpose the image by a stop or two. I shoot a blank white paper with the camera on auto exposure. Shooting the white on auto, produces a middle gray image. Perfect.

I've cleaned a lot of sensors over the years and have to say, if you can't blow it off, wet swabs are the way to go. & it's not as scary as everyone seems to think it is. Remember that the dust & grunge is not on the sensor, it's on the cover over the sensor and you are never actually touching the senor during cleaning.

Couple drops of sensor cleaning liquid on the swap, sweep across one direction then sweep back the other way and (usually) you're done (and so is the swab, chuck 'em after each use).

Visible Dust makes some good swabs & liquid. There is another manufacturer that I used a lot and really liked, but don't remember the name. the box is blue and red and has a star graphic on it.

Swabs are sold in different widths based on camera model. I was maintaining a lot of Nikon D100 & D200s which should (theoretically) use the 1.6 size as that's the size of the sensor. However the sensor cover is larger than the sensor itself and I was able to use the 1.3x size to clean more area with a margin for error so accurate with the sweeping. The same may be true for other camera models. Have a look at your camera and if you can use a bigger swab, it'll be easier.
 
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