Cleaning your image sensor

Richard Charpentier Digital Cameras 7 Comments

So, many people are scared about attempting a cleaning of their image sensor.  I totally understand the worry.

You’ve got an expensive camera.  You don’t want to destroy it.  Maybe having someone else clean it is your best option.  If you feel that way then you’re right, don’t do it yourself.  Send it in to an authorized cleaning center.  For me, Tempe Camera is nearby, and they do it well.

The other day I noted some junk on my 5D’s sensor that had been there since day one.  I broke out my Arctic Butterfly and attempted to clean the sensor.  I made things worse.  Normally it wouldn’t make things worse.  Don’t get all worried if you’re considering doing your own cleanings.

What happened in my case?  There was some type of grease / oil on the sensor.  It happens with new cameras.  How do I know?  Read the following thread:

Unfortunately the brush on my Butterfly now has grease on it.  I’ll need a new brush.  This experience hasn’t dissuaded me from doing my own sensor cleanings, but it has bummed me out.  Sensor cleaning isn’t rocket science, but if you’ve got something that’s not dust on your sensor be cautious!

Comments 7

  1. My Nikon D80 has dust spots on its sensor. My husband has cleaned his D2X in the past and will clean the D80. I had to order an A/C power adaptor for the D80 as one is supposed to use this while cleaning the sensor. This might be a Nikon thing.

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  3. Rich, Ain’t no question about it, you’ve got some real winners. I think bird photography is tough, particularly with such cautious species as the Great Blue Heron. You need a little luck finding a good situation, but then you need the skill to capitalize on it, and seems you had both!

  4. Thanks for the post richard…I think I’ll take it into a camera shop…the time and risk isn’t worth it since I can spend that time learning more about web/graphic design. 🙂

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  6. Richard,
    You don’t need a new Artic Butterfly. Just clean the brush in rubbing alcohol and dry with a lint free cloth.

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