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Photography Question 
Lisa Carpenter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2004
 

Best way to clean 20D??


Is it necessary to routinely clean my camera? Why does it seem that digital attracts more dust? Is it better for someone else to clean the camera...I just don't want to damage...thanks


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8/18/2005 4:43:22 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hi Lisa – you might want to do a search on this topic, there are several different threads already going about this same issue. The quick answer is that digital cameras are more prone to dust spots simply because of where the sensor is located – directly behind the lens. Every time you switch lenses you expose the sensor to dust, even indoors, but particularly in outdoor shooting. As to cleaning your camera’s sensor: you need to check the manual that came with your camera, or I am sure someone else here that uses the same camera will give you instructions. However, as someone who is new to digital I was also a little worried about damaging the sensor by doing the cleaning myself. But, I now do all my own cleaning and it is really quite simple as long as you are careful. You will need a bulb blower and a tool such as Photographic Solutions Sensor Swabs (or a special brush, etc.). Make sure that you clean the sensor in a clean area [in our home that means a room where the animals never go!] and be gentle, but it really does not need a pro, just a little confidence. If you are like me after you do it once you will wonder what the big deal is.


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8/18/2005 7:55:49 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   You might try an SOS pad? (For the sake of your camera, ignore this post. I think I've had too much coffee this morning.)


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8/18/2005 8:00:08 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Or some sandpaper. See the top layer on the sensor attracts dust and its not needed so sand the top layer off and you won't ever need to clean it again!

J/k I use on my camera (film though, not as sensitive) those keyboard cleaners you get at Office Depot. Those little spray cans with the straw on it and it sprays air out of it. Maybe try this. Don't sqeeze super tight though because the air will be so cold coming out, it will instantly condense the water in the air and you will get fog spots on your camera. So just spray a little air at a time.


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8/18/2005 12:37:50 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  YIKES!!! NO NO NO NO!!! Please - never ever, ever, use canned air (spray air) on a digital sensor unless you want to kiss your camera goodbye! Personally, I won't use canned air even on my film camera - except sometimes on the exterior if dust/dirt builds on the exterior (never interior) housing. Using canned air on a lens is dicy IMHO. Spray air can leave a residue that is difficult to remove. If it gets on the digital sensor your toast. You may as well use that SOS or sandpaper!

Irene


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8/18/2005 2:44:30 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I use the copperhill method and I bought their deluxe SLR cleaning kit. I find it great help in cleaning all my equipment, including sensor and lens. The thing about cleaning sensors is practice--and doing it over until you get it actually clean. :-)

http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/image/44814917

DO NOT USE CANNED AIR!!!!!

Karma


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8/18/2005 3:17:57 PM

 
David A. Bliss   Has anyone here actually experienced damage from using canned air?


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8/18/2005 3:20:13 PM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2003
  When Properly Used Canned Air Works Great!The Trick Is Keep The Can Setting Down On Your Desk And Or Work Bench Then Position Your Camera To The Nozzle Do Not Hold The Can In Your Hand And Or Tilt The Can Test The Air Before You Use It Just To Make Sure Some Of The Propellent Isnt In The Nozzle!


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8/18/2005 3:28:30 PM

 
David A. Bliss   I have used canned air, carefully of course, and never had a problem. I think Terry made the correct point, always make sure the can is in a position that will not allow propellant to escape, and blow some air first, to make sure propellant or condensation isn't in the straw. I also use canned air on my lenses, to blow particles away that could potentially scratch the element while it is being wiped. I have never had any success with the bulb blower to remove even small dust particles. Let me say, though, that I live in Colorado, which is a very dry climate, and condensation is not nearly as much of a problem as it is east of here ;-)


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8/18/2005 3:42:09 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  That's an interesting point - I wonder if the issue with canned air is related to air humidity. I have had it drilled into my head - repeatedly - by much more experienced pros than I, that using canned air is a disaster waiting to happen. I understand from my reading that some camera/lens manufacturers are actually advising against the use of canned air for cleaning sensors. My camera manual strongly advises against it, but does not elaborate on why. Here, living almost on the ocean, humidity and condensation are perpetual problems that we have to always keep in mind. The canned air that I use for cleaning my keyboard and other stuff almost always lets loose with a blast of “gunk” when first used. I have learned to make the first blast into a paper towel. I use a large bulb blower that seems to work well, at least for me.


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8/18/2005 4:45:36 PM

 
Lisa Carpenter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2004
  Funny, now I am worried that I have messed something up in my camera. I used canned air from a good bit away and made sure I held it level. I am almost 99% sure no gunk blew in but now I am worried. I live in SC and we have loads of humidity and I worry of that too especially when you go from inside air conditioning to 100 degree heat and all humidity. One of my lenses, less than a year old ALREADY has dust in it!!!! what is that?


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8/18/2005 4:55:18 PM

 
Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Karma is the copperhill stuff available at B&H or in any large phot chain stores - people often don't like shipping to the Bahamas - don't blame them, we have way too many people here bouncing checks! it really makes me mad!


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8/18/2005 6:00:18 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Sorry for the bad info on canned air. Never thought it was that bad, but I don't digity about digital. I always use canned air on my negs before I put them in the enlarger and print them and its always worked. I usually wash the neg, the right before I close clamp I give it a quick, gentle spray on top and bottom to remove possible dirt/dust floating in the air. Completely harmless, but that's some differences between digital and film. oh well.

justin


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8/18/2005 7:07:46 PM

 
David A. Bliss   Throughout this thread there has been differing opinions on canned air. Can somebody give me the specific reason not to use it? I am not being snide here, I would really like to see the chemical and/or technical outline for what damage canned air can do. Is it the propellant? If so, can compressed air be purchased that doesn't have propellant? Is it condensation? I am truly very curious, if anybody has the information.


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8/18/2005 7:14:05 PM

 
David A. Bliss   Justin, I have a question for you. What did you use to wash your negatives?


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8/18/2005 7:15:41 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I've heard it can actually freeze your equipment if you're not very careful. I've also heard that the propellents are not good to get get into your electronics. A computer tech told me that when I use it on my computer to be VERY careful as she's seen lots of disasters because of it. I'd love the power of canned air, but because of this advice I've always avoided it for my camera. The copperhill method seems to work fine for me.

Elisabeth, I don't know of it being available anywhere else. Sorry!

Karma


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8/18/2005 7:55:02 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  I use Kodaks Photo Flow when I'm done developing and rinse for about 10-20 minutes. Sometimes the water at the lab is pretty hard so I get mineral deposits on the negs so sometimes I come home and use distilled water and a soft sponge, then press dry with a cotton cloth, and then use a hair dryer, no heat. I don't develop or have a dark room at home so my home techniques are a little umm..can't think of the word, crappy, not so great. oh well.


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8/19/2005 4:25:59 AM

 
Lisa Carpenter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2004
  I have checked out www.pbase.com and the copperhill cleaning kit looks great. I am going to order but I want to know how do I use the sensor swipe. The option on the camera where it says to clean sensor and it hold up the mirror, is it behind that ?


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8/19/2005 6:16:42 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
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  I have used canned air without any ill effects. I sprayed a mirror before the inside of the camera to be sure nothing but air was coming out. I don't use canned air anymore.


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8/19/2005 6:20:56 AM

 
Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Thanks anyway, Karma! At least B&H will ship to me! I see most often that cleaning kits for digital cameras usually come with a small bulb blower, and read somewhere that this was the safest method for cleaning the sensor. I haven't had to change lenses yet, as I still only have the kit lens, but all this has me concerned because everything I've read about the sensors in camera manuals says they are so sensitive.


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8/19/2005 7:20:45 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hi Elisabeth -

I have to warn you that the small blowers that are included in many kits are too small to be useful - or, at least that has been my experience. I have one of those brush/blower thingies and it is useless for blowing anything. I have a Gitto Rocket Blower that is fairly powerful and does a great job of cleaning my sensors and my lenses. It cost me about $6 at a local photo store. Also, I don't know what type camera you have, but despite being somewhat terrified the first time I cleaned my digital sensor (on my Konica-Minolta 7D) I was surprised and relieved to find out how easy it really is - not frightening at all after the 1st time. I clean mine just about daily since I shoot outdoors and often times in dirty conditions. I've yet to have a problem using the Eclispe sensor wipes and my blower and have never had to reclean my sensor after the first pass.


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8/19/2005 7:37:51 AM

 
David A. Bliss   I was searching this on the internet, and I found an article right here on this site!



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8/19/2005 8:50:47 AM

 
David A. Bliss   Ok, here is the link. The html didn't work.

http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?ID=91


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8/19/2005 8:51:57 AM

 
Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Thank you Irene and David - I have the Canon Digital Rebel 300D. I'm hoping to buy a zoom-telephoto lens soon, and I've been quite worried about the idea of having to clean the sensor on this expensive camera - especially as there is nowhere here in the Bahamas to get cameras serviced!


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8/19/2005 11:32:20 AM

 
Rene P.    I just thinking out of the box here. If the blower brush does not put out enough air to remove the dust, probably you can try to use a Nasal aspirator that they use for babies (buy a new one and JUST use if for cleaning your camera no more, no less)


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8/19/2005 1:22:36 PM

 
Kimberley Matheson  
 
 
In response to David's question asking for a specific reason not to use canned air - please see the attached photo. Yesterday I tried to clean my sensor with canned air at the instruction of a professional photographer. As you can see, it didn't work so well. Funny thing is (if there is anything funny about this situation) that my husband was reading information to me off the internet saying not to use canned air just as I got the air splat!! After much crying - I decided to do some reading and 90% of the information on the internet recommends products by a company called Photographic Solutions. They sell Sensor Swabs and Eclipse optic cleaning system liquid to clean dirty sensors. I've ordered the products and am going to attempt to clean it myself. Wish me luck :)

Kim
www.kamphoto.ca


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9/19/2005 10:06:29 AM

 
Kimberley Matheson  
 
  Air Splat
Air Splat
The reason not to use canned air to clean a dirty sensor :)
© Kimberley Matheson
Canon EOS 10D Digi...
 
 
In response to David's question asking for a specific reason not to use canned air - please see the attached photo. Yesterday I tried to clean my sensor with canned air at the instruction of a professional photographer. As you can see, it didn't work so well. Funny thing is (if there is anything funny about this situation) that my husband was reading information to me off the internet saying not to use canned air just as I got the air splat!! After much crying - I decided to do some reading and 90% of the information on the internet recommends products by a company called Photographic Solutions. They sell Sensor Swabs and Eclipse optic cleaning system liquid to clean dirty sensors. I've ordered the products and am going to attempt to clean it myself. Wish me luck :)

Kim
www.kamphoto.ca


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9/19/2005 10:14:14 AM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2003
  Looks Like Improper Use Of The Can To Me Kim!Its Imperative Not To Hold The Can And Or Tilt It In Any Way As Was Described Above I Have Cleaned My Camera Numerous Times This Way With No Problems,Sorry About Your Luck:-(


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9/19/2005 3:47:18 PM

 
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