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Image Preparation Full Frame Sensor

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I changed over to M43 about 5 years ago for a variety of reasons and sold most of my FF gear  except a couple of small primes which I hung on to.  I'm prompted to ask about image preparation for FF sensors by a post in a recent M43 thread asking about visible dust spots.  My abiding memory of shooting with a Nikon D700 was the amount of time I spent cleaning up dust spots especially on blue skies, even though I had the sensor cleaned regularly.  I had several irritating QC fails when I missed one from large batches.  Since changing over, I almost never have any dust spots to clean and now that Olympus bodies auto correct for fringing, I almost never have any CA to clean.  This my my image prep very quick simple.


At the time, I remember reading in several places the reason for the lack of visible dust spots was that M43 can be shot at smaller f numbers with ample depth of field and dust spots only a problem at higher f numbers - which you often need on FF to get sufficient depth of field to avoid SOLD fails on QC.  I usually shoot around 5.6 with M43 and have been pushing that to F4 recently with the Olympus 12-40 and there is plenty of sharpness/depth of field to avoid SOLD fails.  I rarely shot below F11 on the D700, often f16 on busy street scenes.


Am contemplating a full frame camera again for some personal projects.  If I took it out on local shoots for stock - can I expect to return to dust spotting and de-fringing on most images?  Or was my FF technique below par in what was then my early days on Alamy and thus the cause of the time spent de-spotting and de- fringing?



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Hi Chris


I had/have the D700 and used to get dreadful spots, I am sure the mirror was flinging oil around with reckless abandon. Attempts to clean myself just did not work, despite cleaning previous sensors successfully. Had to return it to Nikon eventually.

I now use the D750 nowhere near the problems. There are a few spots, not many, which are not visible in most shots, in some shots I might have 3 or 4 to clean. I have been using for approx 2 years now, never been cleaned.


To sum up: go for it!



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I moved from a D300/D800 to mFT (Olympus)   -  I usually had heavy dust spots on my first vacation. Olympus  cleaning is pretty good compared to these 2 models. Any CA in Olympus raw files disappear when I tick the box in Lighroom  to remove them, only in seldom cases I need to manually adjust CA.

Shooting with a D800 had its issues, wouldnt go back to high MP  count again if not mandatory. Read couple of people downgraded to a D750.

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My D800 is at times a nightmare for dust spots, but it's a case of preparation, if I get lazy and not clean the sensor before a trip or shoot I can only blame myself. Changing lens frequently when out in dusty or windy places usually does it.


I am a stickler for cleaning dust spots in LR or PS, I use the "visualise spots" in Lightroom. Alternatively I used to just push Contrast and Clarity to 100% and that showed most spots.


I bought a "sensor gel stick" which is very fast to clean it. No more liquids and pads, just dab round the sensor and 99% of the dust is gone in a minute. My stick has lasted me years, so the initial cost isn't so bad. Now I can just quickly clean before heading somewhere.

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I have a D810 & don't have any big sensor spot problems. If I've been shooting with a zoom lens on a windy day, I may notice a couple of spots here & there, but I just clean the sensor. I use Photosol swabs & eclipse fluid. My wife's D610 gets less spots, but she generally uses primes. My sensor cleaning process takes about 20 mins with before & after test shots - not a big deal. I have to clean about every 6 months or so.


Interestingly, a friend has a Nikon J5 & she managed to put a finger print on the sensor while changing lenses. It seems easier to do on a mirrorless if you're not careful. The fingerprint was pretty hard to clean.

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