Sensor cleaning (DSLR)

Forums Kit Chat Sensor cleaning (DSLR)

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of KEN LAST Anonymous 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #9641
    Profile photo of Paul Hill
    Paul Hill
    Participant

    Has anyone ever cleaned their sensor ? I’ve done it once on my D70 and it went fine but a week later my shutter packed in !!! I’m sure it was just a coincidence but it put me off doing it again. I currently use a Nikon D600 which has famously had issues with oil-spots. It has been returned to Nikon twice now and cleaned free of charge (after they admitted there was an issue – albeit with a massive lawsuit pending). They will now clean the sensor free of charge for the life of the camera but unfortunately it is away for approx. 3-4 weeks. I’ve noticed a large clump of oil-spots at the top of the images after my recent landscape photography session, and there are way too many to clone out. With a holiday to Dorset in 3 weeks and photographing a friends wedding early June and the ‘macro season’ has already started there isn’t a window of opportunity to send it back. After checking Lehmann’s in Stoke they charge £50 + VAT so I am tempted to do it myself. I was wondering if anybody has any advice i.e. which products to use. I know of Visible Dust but wondering if anyone can recommend any other products or places that will clean it. Isn’t it really the Low-pass filter that I would be cleaning and not the actual sensor ?

    I’ve added a crop from an image showing the ‘clump’ of oil-spots

     

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Profile photo of Paul Hill Paul Hill.
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    #9644
    Profile photo of KEN LAST
    Anonymous

    That sounds very unhealthy, best done properly ultra sonic .Holiday and wedding—if of help you can borrow my Leica V-Lux –30mm to 450mm Bridge camera. About seven years old but dust cannot get in and could see you through your hols and wedding.Since getting my Samsung the Leica rarely gets used. There if you want it.—–Sailor boy last August with Leica at quite a distance–he would never have known till his Mum saw it first in Crewe Guardian.

    #9647
    Profile photo of John Royle
    ajroyle
    Keymaster

    Hi Paul, you must be feeling really frustrated by this problem. I’ve never seen an example before and didn’t realise how extensive it was – wow!

    I have no experience of sensor cleaning myself but Simon gave us a talk (I’m afraid 10 years ago, but these thing don’t change much!) and produced an excellent guide which I have just put back on the website under RESOURCES>POST PRODUCTION. I hope that is of some use to you.

    Calumet would clean your sensor, the nearest place is Manchester, also in Liverpool. Rigby’s in Bollington is now closed now but Brian Law may know a contact there who is still able to undertake work.

    Afraid that is all I can think of. Very kind of Ken to make that offer but you do have the Fujifilm.

     

    #9648
    Profile photo of Peter Robinson
    Peter Robinson
    Keymaster

    I know how annoying it is to have a dirty sensor. I bought the ‘Digital Duster’ cleaning kit from 1stCameras in Newcastle for about £20 which has some solution and about 6 double ended cleaning pads. It was a 24mm size which is for a smaller sensor. I don’t think they had one for my full size sensor at the time so I bought the smaller one as I was in a hurry too.

    I’ve had mixed results with it. It worked well for light marks, but not for the heavier stains. I ended up taking it to Lehmanns and paying up to get it done.

    You could also try:

    PJ Camera Repairs ltd, 10B Watlands View, Porthill, Newcastle-under-lyme ST5 8AA   01782 711990

    They charge £38:40 and have a growing reputation.

    You’re welcome to borrow and try my kit if you want to.

     

    #9649
    Profile photo of Paul Hill
    Paul Hill
    Participant

    Hi Ken, that is very kind of you but as John rightly says I do have my Fuji XT-1 that I can use for general holiday shots and the wedding but it’s the Landscape images that I’ll struggle with because I only have the 35 and 18mm lenses, unless I can convince my wife that I need to buy the Fuji 10-24 !!!! I have the LEE Filter kit for my Nikon.

    John, it is definitely the worst my sensor has been and is obviously more pronounced when shooting at f16 which I do for all my landscape images. It is hardly noticeable on the Nature shots at f5.6-f8. It is frustrating because all my landscapes from my weekend trip to Norfolk have the oil-spots on them.

    I’ll have a read of Simon’s tutorial and watch more You Tube videos then make my decision. Clean it myself for approx £40 (and have enough for 3-4 cleans) or have it professionally done for £60.

    I believe that if a camera is returned for a third time to Nikon they will offer to replace with the D610

    #9650
    Profile photo of Paul Hill
    Paul Hill
    Participant

    Hi Peter, from what I’ve read regarding the oil-spots on the D600 they can be stubborn to remove so with you saying that also, I’m thinking about having it done professionally. I hadn’t heard of PJ Camera’s they’re definitely worth checking out, thanks for that. I did Google ‘Sensor Cleaning’ Stoke because I was sure there was another one apart from Lehmann’s but only found one that looks a bit dodgy.

    #9651
    Profile photo of John Royle
    ajroyle
    Keymaster

    I think Nikon owe you compensation. It is clearly a design or construction fault which will not get sorted now. As you say, being without the camera, repeatedly, is just not acceptable. I would make strong representations to Nikon for compensation, saying that it is making landscape work (which you depend on) impossible.

    Fujifilm may be offering a further improvement to focussing speed on the XT1 soon, and the flash limitations can be overcome, the new telephoto lens is very good – you know what I’m leading to! You will realise the pros and cons.

    Finally there is the “guarantee” factor – If you do it yourself and run into problems it gives Nikon a get-out, using an approved repairer will not. This is why it costs so much I suppose.

    #9652
    Profile photo of John Royle
    ajroyle
    Keymaster

    Paul, before doing anything – I set Ian Whiston on this one and he came up with a reference to the fact that Nikon have promised a solution for you.

    Have a look at

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/nikon-issues-service-advisory-d600-owners-will-fix-sensor-dust-problems-free/

    #9653
    Profile photo of KEN LAST
    Anonymous

    That looks promising for you Paul. I was about to suggest an option from my experience. With high end optical equipment DIY and down town shops are ill advised. Would you take a BMW into Kwik Fit to tinker with the engine. To pay for high quality service and fast turn around there is the finest northwest company at Liverpool.Newton Ellis &Co.0151-236-1391. Arguably the elite optical specialist around here. I bought an old Werra off ebay,, it did not take kindly to WD to free up the jammed mechanism. They returned like a brand new camera .Paid by phone at 4.30pm and delvered by special courier 10.30.am next day. Digital camera work warranty three months.
    admin@newtonellis.com———-worth a chat for a quick resolve to problem.—————–Another point intrigues me-my Samsung NX 300 has a sensor cleaning mode—-do all high end cameras have this option–or is it no use anyway?????

    #9661
    Profile photo of Paul Hill
    Paul Hill
    Participant

    Hi Peter, I contacted PJ Camera repairs and I’m taking it in next Thursday for a clean. £30. So very happy with that price. Thanks for the recommendation. They actually informed me that Nikon were cleaning D600 sensors for free which also impressed me because they could have been turning down work.

    Ken, the Nikon has a sensor cleaning option but it isn’t really any good with these oil-spots

    #9662
    Profile photo of Paul Hill
    Paul Hill
    Participant

    John, after carrying my whole kit around in one rucksack last weekend (including 500mm F4.5, 80-200mm, 150mm Macro, 85mm F1.8, 16-35mm F4 and 50mm F1.8 plus my manfrotto tripod I’ve been experiencing very uncomfortable back pain since yesterday (coincidence ??) I seriously need to consider switching most of my kit to Fuji. I’ll still use the Nikon for my 500mm lens.

    #9663
    Profile photo of KEN LAST
    Anonymous

    You could lose a lot of that weight with the Leica V-LUX 4—-SUPERZOOM—-25—600—2.8 constant—put it in you lunch pack.An improved version of my V-LUX 1 (sailor boy) fine Leica lens.Macro–remote–great features.

    #9666
    Profile photo of KEN LAST
    Anonymous

    I will not say which camera -which will be obvious. I have discussed with the USA Director who established the 3d forum to which I subscribe and become virtual friendly.Most of the models suffer the problem and N—- Tokyo are coming up with a fix. Seemingly the problem is that debris is coming from scratching off the mirror box and there is a gap through which the lubricant and debris pass through. The company will do an interim clean of the SENSOR and SOURCE OF THE LUBRICANT. This is free and they will send a Bar Code to pay for postage.I had the impression he was saying Ken–we will swap it for a new one–but no point me pushing that. So we know. Best I can explain as lot of technical stuff we would not understand.

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