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I just got an email from Fixation (Nikon and Canon authorised repairers in London) that they are offering half-price sensor cleaning next week (beginning May 9th). This works out about £30 for a full-frame camera. I had a few sensor cleans last year and the sensors came back spotlessly clean. This can make a huge difference in terms of time spent spotting images. Of course, you may be brave and dexterous enough to clean your own sensor but I'm not. I have no association with Fixation but I do know that they are very good and very well regarded by many photographers - just thinking somebody may find this useful.

 

http://www.fixationuk.com/sensor-cleaning/

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I do believe that Fixation is now owned by your favourite retailer WEX.

 

Allan

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If you go along to a Calumet open day (if you have one near you) they will do it for a charitable donation. I now do it my self now after summoning the courage to have a go.

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 I now do it my self now after summoning the courage to have a go.

 

I wish I had the nerve. Maybe I should have a few beers first...

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 I now do it my self now after summoning the courage to have a go.

 

I wish I had the nerve. Maybe I should have a few beers first...

 

 

All you need is a little elbow grease and a ball of steel wool.

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It is really not that difficult, you need a sensor loupe and some swabs, I would suggest the Visible Dust ones. 

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 I now do it my self now after summoning the courage to have a go.

 

I wish I had the nerve. Maybe I should have a few beers first...

 

 

All you need is a little elbow grease and a ball of steel wool.

 

Make sure the steel wool is dipped in engine oil, or similar lubricant first to prevent scratches.

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Steel wool? Engine Oil?? I've had five pints of Stella and I'm going to give it a go...

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Steel wool? Engine Oil?? I've had five pints of Stella and I'm going to give it a go...

 

You'll never have to clean it again. Guaranteed.

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Actually, I find a fingernail scratches it off quite nicely.

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Come on!

We all know dishwasher is the secret solution of choice isn't it.

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The first time I tried a bicycle pump. That's why I have a cleaning kit.

Seriously though, Digipads come with 5 pads and a bottle of Eclipse fluid for about £13. Once you get up the nerve it's fine. I don't think there's any  great damage you can do, but this is on Sony. Plus a rocket blower. But I'm out of practice now I have the SLT.

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Looks like I am being lucky. 

My camera dealer does it for free twice a year.

The free sensor cleaning coincides with their "internal fairs", where Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, Nikon  - you name it - show all their stuff. 

One has to be early though and it may take an hour or two - which makes people stay and look at the products. 

Guess it must pay off for them somehow. 

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The snag there is that it needs doing when it needs doing, not when the show is on

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Or you can just memorize where all the dust boogers are, to speed up cloning them out. You can give them all names if you like.

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Sensor cleaning is no real challenge unless you have bad eye site or shaky hands,  in most cases it is just dust statically stuck to your sensor nothing more, i use the Arctic Butterfly by Invisible Dust, no wet solutions and swabs that can get messy,  another tip is to shoot with open aperture around 2.8 to 4,  of course for the landscaper with skies and small apertures cleaning can be a daily chore if you are changing lenses.

 

Give it a go, providing you don't use finger nails, steel wool, vacuum cleaners and high pressure hoses , you will be ok.

 

Paul.

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Sensor cleaning is no real challenge unless you have bad eye site or shaky hands,  in most cases it is just dust statically stuck to your sensor nothing more, i use the Arctic Butterfly by Invisible Dust, no wet solutions and swabs that can get messy,  another tip is to shoot with open aperture around 2.8 to 4,  of course for the landscaper with skies and small apertures cleaning can be a daily chore if you are changing lenses.

 

Give it a go, providing you don't use finger nails, steel wool, vacuum cleaners and high pressure hoses , you will be ok.

 

Paul.

 

 

Don't blow on it either, spittle is the devils own to get off after it has dried. ;)

 

No I have not done that, just a warning added to Paul's'.

 

Allan

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Steel wool? Engine Oil?? I've had five pints of Stella and I'm going to give it a go...

 

 

What I find most alarming about that statement is that so many Brits have switched to lager. Yeah yeah, Stella is a pilsner . . . but that's lager(ish). When I lived over there, everyone was drinking bitter. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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Don't worry, Ed, lots of us have kept the faith. I subsidise my real ale consumption with regular licences of pictures of it.

a-pint-of-black-gold-dark-mild-ale-on-a-

Even my favourite German beer is actually a top-fermented ale- they just serve it cold with CO2 in tiny 200ml glasses so you have plenty of room for more.

a-glass-of-reissdorf-klsch-ale-on-a-bar-

Edited by spacecadet
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Maybe we should segue back here, Mark? Can you use beer to clean a sensor? And which would work better -- real ale, larger or IPA? 

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Maybe the gin out of my gin and tonic, but that dark mild is going to give everyone a healthy tan.

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We had a long discussion on this last year in a thread I initiated, though I have to say that thread had fewer amusing diversions than this one. You can find it here http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/4324-dealing-with-a-dusty-sensor-on-a-canon-60d/?hl=%2Bsensor+%2Bcleaning.

 

I tried various approaches and the one which worked for me, at the finish, was the Digipad wipes suggested by Spacecadet. It took several  goes though as each time I tried, however careful I was to follow the instructions, it seemed to just move the dirt about or introduce new specks from goodness knows where. It was satisfactory in the end though.

 

Although the beers recommended here  would be a welcome relief to the anxious mind, I am  by no means sure they would  help provide the steadiness of hand required for a good job. Perhaps a pint of Boddingtons afterwards to celebrate? (the real cask stuff, not the widdle which comes in cans).

 

Edit to add:  Yes, I know cask Boddingtons is no longer brewed, it is now a draught keg beer. It is  a bit of nostalgia and wishful thinking on my part, remembering happy days in the 70s and 80s when real Boddingtons tasted so good.

Edited by Joseph Clemson

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Pleased it helped. In fact you can re-use the pads a few times. I just re-seal their little plastic bags with Sellotape and mark up the number of uses. With SLT I hardly ever need to do it. You don't clean the pellicle, though.

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Living in the middle of nowhere without a sensor cleaning centre in sight I've been self cleaning for 10 years now. What I've established is different cameras require different cleaning methods. Pec pads, Digipads, Visible Dust, Eclipse etc; I've used them all. They all work fine but I don't need them anymore. The real key is prevention as opposed to cure. It's amazing how much crud and dust gathers in the rear lens cap which obviously will find its way onto the sensor. We clean lenses and sensors, but who pays attention the the cap! I pay a lot of attention to keeping this clean using an anti-static rocket blower on both the cap and rear element. After every shoot, I blow out the sensor, cap and rear lens element with the above blower. Note "anti-static". This type of blower has a valve in the nozzle preventing the blower from sucking in the dislodged dust which of course will just get blown straight back in. My Leica M240, being mirrorless, is a dust magnet, but the above discipline has prevented a wet clean for the 2 years I've been using the camera, and I change lenses a lot!

 

Just a thought.

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Living in the middle of nowhere without a sensor cleaning centre in sight I've been self cleaning for 10 years now. What I've established is different cameras require different cleaning methods. Pec pads, Digipads, Visible Dust, Eclipse etc; I've used them all. They all work fine but I don't need them anymore. The real key is prevention as opposed to cure. It's amazing how much crud and dust gathers in the rear lens cap which obviously will find its way onto the sensor. We clean lenses and sensors, but who pays attention the the cap! I pay a lot of attention to keeping this clean using an anti-static rocket blower on both the cap and rear element. After every shoot, I blow out the sensor, cap and rear lens element with the above blower. Note "anti-static". This type of blower has a valve in the nozzle preventing the blower from sucking in the dislodged dust which of course will just get blown straight back in. My Leica M240, being mirrorless, is a dust magnet, but the above discipline has prevented a wet clean for the 2 years I've been using the camera, and I change lenses a lot!

 

Just a thought.

+1 - so true! 

 

I also change lenses as quickly as possible and have adopted the following technique; 

Put the camera on its back on a flat surface, lens pointing upwards.

Then release but do not remove the current lens, turning it only half of the full way. 

Next I take the to-be-mounted lens in my right hand, remove the cap which goes next to the camera. 

Then I remove the lens with my left hand and put the new lens on with my right. 

Before I put the lens cap back on with my right hand, I also blow it out. 

This exposes the open camera only for a jiffy and also I hardly ever have anything on my sensor. 

 

(NB: This technique does not work well with a large lens, which requires the camera to be mounted to the lens, rather than the lens to the camera) 

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