15 Responses to “How to Clean a Camera Sensor”

John Luke said:

Get info on the "How to clean a camera sensor" video.
Were can I find the tools used in the video?

THXs, John

LensRentals Employee

Roger Cicala said:

The brushes, cloths, etc. are available at any online camera store of reasonable size. http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/store/camera-lens-cleaning/ stocks everything we use for us. The blower is available at Amazon.com.

Green Office Cleaning said:

It is actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

LensRentals Employee

Roger Cicala said:

Yes, that's the one!

Lee Rothman said:

I can see the sensibility of this approach for cleaning. However you would likely cringe at my method, which quite honestly has served me well now for at least the last dozen years. I have also NEVER had an issue with my method. It fly's in the face of the so called common wisdom that has been spread out there for years now regarding pressurized canned air. But here goes.

*1st I take the camera, place it in cleaning mode with the chamber facing down as is always prescribed. I then take a can of Falcon brand canned air from Costco, with it's extension tube in place, and without shaking or moving it aim it in a angle upward (not near the camera) and expel several puffs of air to make sure no propellant is coming out.

*2nd I then place the canned air's extension tube just inside of the mirror box, and very slowly while pressing for sequential puffs of air move is very slightly to circulate around the entire mirror box area INCLUDING the exterior areas where dust can and will get trapped (not just on the sensor area). I also try to make sure to move slowly across the sensor area from left to right top to bottom migrating slowly until I'm done puffing air (probably no less than at least 20 puffs.

3rd* Then I take a properly sized sensor swab with a few drops of Eclipse cleaning fluid on it and starting at the upper left corner go across the sensor lifting it off when reaching the other sides edge. I start once again lower on the sensor where it has not been cleaned and repeat till all for corners are cleaned.

4th* I then repeat the puffing action marked as the 2nd thing I do.

This has typically resulted in NO FURTHER action when confirming a f22 open sky shot examined in photoshop for debris. I've done this for myself and others with nearly 100% perfect results.

I know this disturbs some folks that don't trust canned air and consider it a NO NO. I have NEVER had propellant expelled due to my care taken. It has also blasted all the crud out and allowed it to be a perfect result. This entire procedure from start to finish takes no more than maybe 4 minutes. I'll stick with this as it works for me with a LOT less fuss than the method shown in this video above. To each his own I guess, and it just works for me every time.

Tom Legrady said:

I can't imagine that LensRentals gets it's eclipse sensor cleaning fluid in the $10 2oz bottles ... $40 a cup, $80 per (US) pint, $640 a (US) gallon. It's much less than that to buy it from the chemical companies, but who needs a gallon, or even a pint? But $10 for 2 oz is an insult

George (Pressure Washing) said:

That loupe is fine for inspecting. You need a good fluid for cleaning. To dissolve any oil and release contaminants safely from the sensor.

Stephanie (Anti-Aging) said:

Thanks for that tip Lee. That seems easier and cheaper than the other methods I've seen and I don't see the harm in trying it. I guess I'll do it first with my d3100 before trying on the d600.

Hylton Spencer said:

I think something important to add at the start is the battery must be fully charged.

You don't want the mirror snapping closed whilst you are busy cleaning.

With wet cleaning, I have two spatulas, one for the wet clean, and the second to do a drying pass to remove any tiny fluid droplets left by the initial wet clean.

I have cleaned over a thousand sensors using the wet cleaning method, but with full frame cameras, I use the wet clean as a last resort. The brush and blower usually get 98% of the dust particles out.

Sashi Malladi said:

Don't you offer sensor cleaning service?

Philip Agur said:

Have you looked at blowing out with ionized air?

Static can play a major role in keeping particles stuck in place and ionized air can quickly dissipate any charge on non conductive surfaces dropping particles free.

More expense than a single photographer like me would invest but you might find it's a big time saver.

Humidity play a big role in controlling static so you might see variations based on geographical location.

Daniel Bliss said:

If you've got junk, e.g. oil, in a VisibleDust brush, how do you clean the brush?

Mike said:

Has anyone tried this? http://www.sensor-film.com/

I purchased some but have not used it yet. Interesting concept but somewhat scary at the same time :)


Bernd said:

I have my doubts in this method.
Sensor brushes are prone to touch the lubricant edges and deploy a nice oily smear across the sensor which is worse than any of the dust particles in a picture.
Furthermore I was never able to remove a particle that did not blow away with the rocket blower with the brush either.
I find a wet cleaning with commercial swabs and an appropriate liquid pretty easy and quick.
I use a different method for checking the cleanliness of the sensor
Simply take a white paper illuminate it, get it in full frame, focus manually to infinity, aperture 22 or higher.
ISO at 100 results usually in a quite long exposure of say 1 sec.
Move the cam slightly when taking the shot.
Now you have a much better picture of the dirt than pointing towards the sky.

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