Have you cleaned your sensor?

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bleirer

Well-known member
Thanks guys for all your posts.
Now I'm getting confused because no idea what I'm having here :unsure:

Did try a couple more times with 3 swaps, like Warren said, the spots seems to move place when I clean, not being able to remove them.
This is how my sensor looks like. Comparing with the image I uploaded in my first post, spots moved place.

View attachment 17351

I then took Bleirer and Rassie advise and took an image with the lens cap on. And this is what confuses me since I get a different set of spots.

View attachment 17352

I live in Portugal so the air blower Palouse mention is not available in Europe.
Did look at Amazon but the customs I would need to pay for it, I would buy 3 of them o_O

I ended up ordering one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07LFV6QW6/ which has also an air filter.

I will look at the Eyelead Sensor Gel Stick that Woodpecker mention, and also that technic of holding a vacuum cleaner near while we blow air might work, pulling any air particle away... I hope

I did on youtube some people using this also https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001B9RI5O/ . It amazes me how all this stuff can be expensive.
I can't say I know much about it to offer advice. It makes sense that if the lens cap is on no dust or dirt could be recorded, so I'm assuming those are dead or hot pixels which apparently is normal to a degree. Do you always use the same lens? In other words any chance the spots are on the rear element? Be interesting to see the actual picture of the white cardboard. Article I'm sure you've read.


 
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Nando

New member
Thread starter
Yes, always the same lens.
When I removed it to clean the sensor did clean the lens too.

Here is the white cardboard.
Below is the full size where we can see clearly that big spot, the other 3 are not really visible.

full per.jpg


Below is 100% zoom, we can that big spot and other 2 in the same area.
At 100% we can see 4 other spots.

100 per.jpg


Strange thing, that big spot was not visible 2 days ago when I compare with a image taken at the time. I did not removed the lens ever since.
Can it be I have dust flying around inside the camera :eek:
 
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bleirer

Well-known member
Yes, always the same lens.
When I removed it to clean the sensor did clean the lens too.

Here is the white cardboard.
Below is the full size where we can see clearly that big spot, the other 3 are not really visible.

View attachment 17357

Below is 100% zoom, we can that big spot and other 2 in the same area.
At 100% we can see 4 other spots.

View attachment 17358

Strange thing, that big spot was not visible 2 days ago when I compare with a image taken at the time. I did not removed the lens ever since.
Can it be I have dust flying around inside the camera :eek:
Interesting. Maybe swap lenses just to make double sure it is not the lens.
 

DRwyoming

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Can it be I have dust flying around inside the camera
That definitely happens, I've gotten dust or small hairs on a sensor that move around and sometimes aren't visible at all but then come back.

Did you stop your lens all the way down for your testing? If not, that can make dust and hairs much easier to spot. Doing that might not work indoors without a ton of light but for field checks without a sensor loupe I'll stop a lens all the way down and shoot a patch of clear blue Northern sky to check for things on the sensor.
 

bleirer

Well-known member
That definitely happens, I've gotten dust or small hairs on a sensor that move around and sometimes aren't visible at all but then come back.

Did you stop your lens all the way down for your testing? If not, that can make dust and hairs much easier to spot. Doing that might not work indoors without a ton of light but for field checks without a sensor loupe I'll stop a lens all the way down and shoot a patch of clear blue Northern sky to check for things on the sensor.
 

Woodpecker

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thanks guys for all your posts.
Now I'm getting confused because no idea what I'm having here :unsure:

Did try a couple more times with 3 swaps, like Warren said, the spots seems to move place when I clean, not being able to remove them.
This is how my sensor looks like. Comparing with the image I uploaded in my first post, spots moved place.
Forgetting about the fact that you have white dots on black background , this would be a clear indicator that there is indeed something on your sensor, because effects of a mechanical or electronics would hardly be possible to move - providing the lens was clean.
If it would be dirt, this is something that asks for being pulled off the sensor rather than pushed aside until it either sticks to the swabs or falls off at the end.
If you get a chance, you could try one of these Gel Sticks, they really work great. The only thing you might encounter that in the beginning it feels really strange to push something quite thoroughly on your sensor, where you would normally try to avoid anything touching it at all :).

That said, another way to find out more exactly whether or not it is something ON the sensor itself, would be taking a "meta-photo" ;). If you have the chance, take the problem body to cleaning position, give it a lot of light and then shoot a macro of the sendor with another body. If you can't see something in these pictures, you can be sure your problem is something else.

Considering that you have bright dots on black background, another thing that comes to my mind is that you could check on the camera settings when doing these tests.
Try to do this kind of test with manual settings kept constant and your camera forced to base ISO. When I was doing tests in relation to low light noise I discoverd that the camera was producing different dot patterns depending on the ISO level I chose. The general trend was an increasing number of dots overall, but not only the number of dots in the dark picture changed, their size changed, even their colour changed and when I say their size changed, I mean not only getting bigger but some of the dots got more visible with increasing ISO value, while others disappeared. And - to my surprise - when going back to an ISO value I had tested before, the camera did not always reproduce exaclty the same pattern as before !

Don't know whether this makes sense to you, it's just an idea. Good luck (y)
 

bleirer

Well-known member
Forgetting about the fact that you have white dots on black background , this would be a clear indicator that there is indeed something on your sensor, because effects of a mechanical or electronics would hardly be possible to move - providing the lens was clean.
If it would be dirt, this is something that asks for being pulled off the sensor rather than pushed aside until it either sticks to the swabs or falls off at the end.
If you get a chance, you could try one of these Gel Sticks, they really work great. The only thing you might encounter that in the beginning it feels really strange to push something quite thoroughly on your sensor, where you would normally try to avoid anything touching it at all :).

That said, another way to find out more exactly whether or not it is something ON the sensor itself, would be taking a "meta-photo" ;). If you have the chance, take the problem body to cleaning position, give it a lot of light and then shoot a macro of the sendor with another body. If you can't see something in these pictures, you can be sure your problem is something else.

Considering that you have bright dots on black background, another thing that comes to my mind is that you could check on the camera settings when doing these tests.
Try to do this kind of test with manual settings kept constant and your camera forced to base ISO. When I was doing tests in relation to low light noise I discoverd that the camera was producing different dot patterns depending on the ISO level I chose. The general trend was an increasing number of dots overall, but not only the number of dots in the dark picture changed, their size changed, even their colour changed and when I say their size changed, I mean not only getting bigger but some of the dots got more visible with increasing ISO value, while others disappeared. And - to my surprise - when going back to an ISO value I had tested before, the camera did not always reproduce exaclty the same pattern as before !

Don't know whether this makes sense to you, it's just an idea. Good luck (y)
I believe the white on black is Lightroom's spot detection tool. The OP posted the actual shots further down.
 

Amadeo Arts

New member
Are you using a sensor loupe when you clean with a swab? It illuminates the interior body cavity allowing you a better chance of seeing spots on the sensor.
 

Nando

New member
Thread starter
I am not using a loupe. But I will probably going to buy one because it seems the only way to pinpoint where the spots are since the swap are just moving them around and not really picking them up and remove them.


Are you using a sensor loupe when you clean with a swab? It illuminates the interior body cavity allowing you a better chance of seeing spots on the sensor.
 

realspeed

Active member
I always clean my own sensors and it is well worth getting the right kit. First and formost is get yourself a "loupe"
_DSC4696.JPG



Not exactly cheap but a lot cheaper than keep sending a camera away for cleaning. With the Loupe switched on and placed over the lens camera opening you can see direct onto the sensor. No messing about with double checking every couple of times. then I use either a spade or round tip swab to clean. if using a fluid best put a spot on a clean surface and dip the swap into that. This way you won't flood the swab. I also use a Articbutterfly which is really good. NO WAY WOULD I EVER USE A BLOWER, THAT STIRS UP ANY OTHER DUST/DIRT IN THE CAMERA BODY, AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE


_DSC4699.JPG
 
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Calson

Active member
When I was photographing weddings I would clean the sensors the day before each and every time. With sky in the image and apertures of f/8 or smaller there will be dust spots visible in the images. The self-cleaning sensor devices work somewhat but are not perfect.

With full frame cameras I use V-swabs from Visible Dust competitors as the price is far less. I do use the VD 1/4" "corner" swabs at times. For normal cleaning I use Eclipse cleaning solution. The Visible Dust smear away is good for removing oil but then I need to use the Eclipse to remove any smear away cleaning residue.

I do whatever I can to avoid changing lenses in the field and if I need to do so I minimize the exposure of the camera's internals. Adding or taking off a teleconverter I remove the TC and camera from the lens and then remove the TC from the camera as I can do this more quickly and I am far less concerned about dust on the rear of the lens or the front of the teleconverter.

When I was using shoulder bags a great deal I would periodically vacuum out the insides. I figured that dust inside could then get on the camera and lenses and might get into the lightbox of the camera. I have a Rocket blower and although I use it with the sensor it seldom is enough to get the sensor completely clean.

Avoiding the sky or shooting at f/5.6 or larger apertures will greatly minimize the problem with your images. I prefer to keep the sensors as clean as possible as much as possible. With regard to wildlife photography on trips, I clean the sensors before leaving and then in country I use two cameras and make very few lens changes outdoors. So far this has been enough.

When it is windy I get inside a vehicle to change lenses. If I shot a lot in windy dusty conditions I would consider using a changing bag for film cameras which would be 99% effective in keeping dust out of the insides of the camera.
 

Amadeo Arts

New member
I am not using a loupe. But I will probably going to buy one because it seems the only way to pinpoint where the spots are since the swap are just moving them around and not really picking them up and remove them.
This is the loupe I have. It's very bright and allows the sensor to be cleaned without removing the loupe. It can swivel off to the side. The link has a video showing how it works.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0091SS310/?tag=backcogaller-20

I don't know if posting YouTube links is allowed here since I'm a new member, but this is the video that someone shared with me when my D600 had repeated problems with the oil spot issue.


 

BillNaiman

New member
My approach is similar to those stated:
- Sensor loop for inspection
- In camera "Clean Sensor Now" function
- Inspect, if necessary then
- Rocket blower
- Inspect, if necessary then
- Artic Butterfly Brush, might take a couple iterations
- Inspect, if necessary then
- Sensor Gel Stick (applied very lightly to the offending area. I tilt the gel stick to break the adhesion when removing.
- Inspect, if necessary
- Wet cleaning.

I have never had to clean my Z cameras with a swab with one exception. When I had a Z6 converted to full spectrum, it case back with 2 tiny spots that necessitated using a wet swab.
 
Hi all,

Last week I did a pretty stupid thing. Was in a woodland taking some flower photos. Decided to use my extension tubes and removed my lens from my Nikon Z6 II without switching it off.
I had my camera on the tripod, 20 centimeters from the ground and there was a bit of wind.
Apparently, the static that existed on the sensor due to not switching the camera, pulled some dust.

I bought VSGO sensor cleaning swaps to clean it.
Already used 5 swaps. Every time I clean the sensor, I remove some spots but others appear which is really frustrating me. I just can't remove them all and the spots are visible in my photos.

Have you guys done this? How did you resolve the situation?

See attached image using the Lightroom Spot Removal, Visualize Spots.
Those lighter spots are visible in the photos.
If I use another swap, I will most certainly remove those but will place new ones :(
This is a photo I shoot at a white card board.
Nando,

Once I had the same problem using VSGO products. Just use Dust Patrol stuff and you will succeed to clean your sensor.
Just thoroughly read this: Cleaning Digital Cameras - Guide to cleaning DSLR and Mirroless cameras. - The Methods & Tools
 

Dan291

Member
Supporting Member
I don’t have to wet clean often, but I have a lot of supplies. I bought the large Copperhill cleaning kit before they closed shop as I had a D600 at the time. I still have the plastic slinky that came with it. After adding a gel stick, I have enough supplies for quite a while.
 

Nando

New member
Thread starter
Thank you @Takatanaka for the link. I will use it next time I'll need to clean the sensor.

I bought this brush https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001B9RI5O/

With it I was finally able to remove those nasty spots that the wet swabs were not able to remove. They are being pushed from side to side.
True, there are still 2 or 3 spots visible when I take the test shot but very small, not visible in the photos, so I really not going to be bother with them.
Sooner or later I'll have more spots in there, visible ones, I take care of them at the time.
I cleaned that sensor so many times I started to think I would scratch it.

Thank you all for your help. Much appreciated.
 

Maurie

Member
I use the Kenair Air Duster aerosol with its vacuum attachment. Sucks most stuff off the sensor and out of the body - much better than just blowing the dust around inside the camera.
 
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