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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Sarah Baker
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/6/2008
 

Cleaning My Camera


 
 
Recently, I started noticing a spot on all my pictures and it was always in the same spot. I looked at the mirrors on the camera body and saw some dust. I have never cleaned anything but the lens on my camera, and I don't want to ruin the mirrors! What should I do? I am leaving to go on vacation in a week and the only camera store around my house takes two weeks for the cleaning. HELP!!!

6/12/2008 6:35:02 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings Sarah. The mirrors on SLR cameras are fine-tuned and somewhat easily knocked out of alignment especially by putting pressure on them while cleaning. While it can be done, it requires great care. Most of the time, dust can be knocked off using a small burst of compressed air from a can of something like DustOff or a air bulb with a camel hair brush on it. It doesn't require cleaning with lens cleaner or lens tissue.

A CLA (cleaning, lube and adjustment) is always good once in awhile, but I wouldn't do that just before you leave on a trip unless you get a chance to test drive the thing before you go. Besides, dirty mirrors aren't usually the cause of dust on a photo although yeah, it can be a distraction when shooting. Still all in all, harmless if you can just look past it.
Bon voyage. ;>)
Mark

6/12/2008 9:06:10 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Oops, a Nikon digital camera? That's not a mirror, it's a sensor and for cleaning those, I defer to someone who's got one.
M.

6/12/2008 9:08:17 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/27/2004
  Hi Sarah first, do you mean mirror or sensor? Im guessing you mean sensor correct me if Im wrong. Okay, going on this guess, dont let anyone tell you that cleaning a sensor has to be scary or highly difficult. It isnt either of these things, at least not after the first time. I clean my sensor a lot mainly because I end up shooting in some fairly dirty/dusty environments. I use a bulb syringe and the Arctic Butterfly by Visible Dust. I also use the sensor cleaning fluid and swabs when needed. I just got the sensor loupe and already love the thing. I shoot with a Canon 5D most of the time, so am not really familiar with your particular Nikon; however, your user manual will have step-by-step directions for accessing the sensor which is always protected by a cover. Two points Ive learned: make sure you do the cleaning in a clean area no stray animal hair, etc. (weve got dogs, cats, horses, etc.) Make sure you use the bulb syringe first to remove any large particles. Other than this, you shouldnt have any real problems. However, if you still cannot get the sensor clean, you will need to consult a local expert who can see what is causing the problem. Thankfully, I have yet to encounter anything that I could not clean myself well, after getting good advice here once or twice or five hundred times! LOL

Now, if you really are concerned about dirt on your mirror the experts will tell you (correctly) that even touching the mirror is a very BAD idea. Of-course, they are right; however, I have used the bulb syringe to blow dust particles from the mirror surface and have never had a problem. If you do use this method, go very carefully and try not to touch the mirror itself. If there is some sticky dirt on the mirror well, Ive cleaned my mirror with the same stuff I use for my sensor, but, in all honesty, this is really not something Id recommend! Ive only done it in a real pinch, but BTW: dirt on the mirror will not affect the image. It can make focusing tough under some conditions, but will not "write" on the image.

6/13/2008 7:21:18 PM

 
Sarah Baker
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/6/2008
  im sorry... the sensor has dust... thank you for all the help!

6/14/2008 8:35:03 PM

 
Bernard 

member since: 3/25/2005
  For very detailed instructions go here.
http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/cleaning.html

6/16/2008 12:12:54 AM

 
Bernard 

member since: 3/25/2005
  And Sarah How did you ever find the time to visit so many diverse places, you must be wall versed in the Arts, as page one of your gallery clearly documents.

6/16/2008 12:30:24 AM

 
Daniel O

member since: 5/30/2006
  I can't improve on Irene's awesome answer, but I can emphasize one thing: I have corrected ALL of my dust-on-the-sensor-and-mirror problems with a few air bulb puffs. That's no guarantee that it will cure all YOUR problems, but by all means try it first.

6/17/2008 5:52:25 AM

 

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