“Dirty Photography” on Weekly Photo Tips: http://weeklyphototips.blogspot.com/2011/10/dirty-photography.html
Not sure if there is anything more annoying than downloading hundreds of images from a shoot and as you start the review process you see something quite ugly… sensor dirt in frame, after frame, after frame.
The dirt can be cleaned (both off the images and the camera), but for today’s conversation we are going to focus on cleaning the dirt off your camera sensor.
Speaking from personal experience having a sensor cleaned is two parts money and one part time.
The money comes from (part one) the cleaning fee (in the $125 ranger per cleaning) and the fact that while your camera is out being cleaned you are unable to shoot anything (part two of money).
And while the camera is gone all you have is time, unproductive time. Well, I guess you can use it to remove all that sensor dirt from all those images.
I have finally begun doing something I have long resisted and now wish I had not waited soooo long to do it.
My solution? The Delkin Sensorscope System.
The price of the Sensorscope System is only $109 (includes free shipping), that’s less than the cost of a single “pro” cleaning and the kit comes with enough supplies that you can clean your camera up to two dozen times.
Here is our video review of the Delkin Sensorscope System: http://youtu.be/nv05kHUbWNg
“Great product to add to your Photographer’s Toolkit” By Robert G. “Sci-Fi Fan” (Maryland Heights, MO USA)
5 Stars on Amazon
I, like many photographers today, have had to deal with the one drawback of DSLRs versus the traditional (and increasingly old fashioned by today’s standards) film cameras…. that being dust on the sensor. In a film camera, you could open the camera back, wipe down the pressure back-plate with some lens cleaning tissue and cleaning fluid, and blow off dust pretty easily and you were good to go. Today, however, CCD sensors attract dust and can even have some particles bond with the surface so it can’t be easily blown away. These dust particles manifest themselves on your digital photos against a uniform color area as a spot, or blurry area. These can vary from being slightly annoying, to being much more than that, depending on where they are and how large the particle is.
Now, just how does one deal with this problem in today’s cameras? Well, today’s DSLRs have cleaning modes on them, and, very often, upon turning the camera on, or off, cause the CCD sensor to go thru a cleaning cycle of vibrating and/or charging it. This is done in hopes of dislodging any dust particles. Great idea, but, unfortunately, not 100 percent effective. So, what is one to do? Well, you can bring the camera in for a cleaning, and pay the often rather high cost of that service. You can try blowing the dust off with a hand held pump bulb, or, you can use this kit.
This kit is AMAZING! The lit magnifying scope lets you really see every part of the sensor clearly, and easily showing every single spec that is on the sensor plate. The illumination from the built-in LEDs makes sure you can see even the smallest of particles. The kit also includes a vacuum unit that is powered off of either a USB port on a computer, or with a USB connected battery pack, which is included. The battery pack uses 4 AA batteries, and is of compact design with a long enough cord to make use of it very convenient. The vacuum is powerful enough to easily get most dust particles off unless they have electrically bonded with the CCD sensor. I was able to remove 80% of the dust particles on my sensor by non-contact vacuuming with this, and up to 95% by using the brush tip on the vacuum. So, what about the other 5%? Glad you asked! Okay, you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway. The most stubborn particles have to be removed by actually using a cleaning fluid and wand, both of which are included in the kit as well. The solution is applied to the applicator wand tip (which comes in different sizes for different sensor sizes) and you wipe along the sensor to dislodge and de-bond the dust from the CCD sensor plate. Then you switch ends of the wand to wipe the sensor dry. This operation is easy, and left my sensor absolutely clean. I had several larger dust particles that had refused to be vacuumed up, yet the fluid and applicator wands easily took care of them. Topping all this off is the fact that this kit comes in a nice carry case to keep everything organized, and clean.
Just how cost-effective is it? Well, sending your camera off to the manufacturer, or a service center, for most good DSLRs can run over $200, and usually in the $250 range for a cleaning. Sometimes it’s even higher than that. Doing the cleaning locally thru a repair center may be less expensive, but think about the time lost without your camera, and if you don’t have a spare camera, and are a professional, that’s more money lost than just the cost of the cleaning if you need your camera but don’t have it. With this kit you can clean it yourself, and be operational in anywhere from just a few minutes, to up to 20 minutes or so. Using this kit jut once is enough to let it pay for itself. The directions that come with it are excellent, and the quality of the equipment is top notch. You can even use it to clean your camera lenses.
I am very glad I bought this kit! It’s already saved me more than double it’s cost in just one use!
I would like to say, if you have a DSLR, take some basic precautions to keep from getting dust and dirt on your sensor. Eventually you’ll get dust on your sensor, without a doubt, but to help minimize the risk, always tilt your camera body down and change/remove your camera lenses while keeping the camera shielded as much from wind as possible. This basic trick should greatly help keep your sensor from getting more dust on it than it otherwise could.
I highly recommend this cleaning kit. In fact, I now consider this kit as essential to have as the batteries for my camera too!