Dust in Sensor

posted on 20th of may, 2013

© Vtr (Help)
In one of my recent trips I have end up having some dust in my sensor and my attempts to clean this had caused more damage than help. I tried the local canon service center but they would not help as my EOS 350 D is too old and is no longer supported. The only option that seems left out for me is to go for a new camera. I also visited the canon store to check out some new camera, I liked Canon 5D MarkIII and Canon 6D but this is going to burn a huge hole in my pocket. I am sure this is not only going to burn my pocket but the whole pant too..

This left me wondering the (D)SLRs are usually designed to support multiple lens and while one is travelling its hard to find a dust free environment to change the lens. Why wouldn't Camera manufactures keep this mind and have a protective layer of glass between the lens opening and the sensor. Wiping this off would be more easier than touching the sensors which are more delicate in nature.

I am sure a lot of you here would have faced similar challenges and I would like to hear out from you guys how you manage to tackle this issue. I guess your response would help me be careful the new camera and also to many out there who would be benefited.

Comments (11)

Posted by Frinz on May 23, 2013
this is true: my Nikon D3s is necessary to clean the sensor much more often than my old d50 but it may also depend on the size of the sensor and its characteristics. As I wrote, the powder is something that we have to get used to living and I believe that it is precisely for this reason that the photo editing programs have tools dedicated to remove stains from the early versions. the first time I cleaned the sensor I was very scared, today is just one annoying thing!
Posted by Bradcalkins on May 22, 2013
I used to run into dust from time to time and had to clean my sensor once or twice when a blower wouldn't do it. I switched to Olympus last year and haven't seen dust since. They must be doing something right with their sensor cleaning (which the Canon had too)...
Posted by Adeliepenguin on May 22, 2013
My local full service camera store (not a service center) always cleans my sensors at no cost, even on my old camera. (Since it is a camera store, and they would like my repeat business on photo equipment and supplies, they very happily clean the cameras.) Have you tried any camera stores? Even if you buy a new camera, it would be nice to have the dust off the sensor of the old one:)
Posted by Vtr on May 22, 2013
Thanks for all those positive comments.

I have been having this camera for around 6 years now and really feel the need to upgrade my self. I do use DarkTable for post processing and there is a spot removal tool which I often use to remove those obvious dots created by the dust in sensor but somehow feel annoyed at times. I also both some sensor cleaning stuff a bulb like air blower which I tried using I guess I need to master the art of sensor cleaning as its evident from the comments its a regular activity every now and then a photographer has to do.

I might probably buy a new one and still keep this camera as a spare camera.
Posted by Suyerry on May 22, 2013
Good Blog and useful comments, thanks for sharing! Hope you can get your camera back up and running. Good luck.
Posted by Frinz on May 21, 2013
I clean the sensor regularly with products dedicateded, and I never damaged the sensor; the dust is inevitable and you have to get used to his presence. is also visible at f / very closed, and you can quickly eliminate with LR...CS or another programs
so I do not worry much about it :-)
Posted by Igordabari on May 21, 2013
You're totally rigth about why camera designers don't take this into consideration for all cameras.

But... My friends, they do. Sensor is well protected in all the cameras by at least (1) protection glass and (2) IF filter.

Honestly, I see no subject to speak of.
Posted by Egomezta on May 21, 2013
You're totally rigth about why camera designers don't take this into consideration for all cameras.
Posted by Igordabari on May 21, 2013
1) Changing from 350d to 5 III Mark with dust on the sensor as THE ONLY MOTIVATION seems to be great. :) It is like buying new cool BMW only because the ashtray in old car is filled by cigar-butts...

2) In fact, THERE IS a protective glass in front of sensor. Moreover, there is also an IR-filter between sensor and this glass.

3) It is not difficult to clean sensor (or, more precisely - the protective glass) by means of special photo-syringe that contains an anti-dust filter. For more serious pollution there is a set of special things for serious cleaning which can be bought in any photo-shop (rather expensive, though).

4) When I started to use my DSLR (the same 350d) I took much care about the dust and performed cleaning at least once per month. But then I realized that the dust is not a problem. It is visible only if F is very closed (f/16, f/22 or so) which is used not too often. And even in such cases spots can be easily removed with any graphic editor. So, last year I did not...(More)
Posted by Imagerybycharly on May 20, 2013
I have cleaned my camera numerous times to remove dust from the sensor. It's a fact of life they will get dust on them. Not sure why any camera shop would say they wouldn't clean it due to the age of the camera.... That makes no sense and sounds like a sham to sell a new camera. Usually using the in camera cleaning mode and blowing it out does the trick with a bulb especially for this which only blows, does not suck back in particles.

If that doesn't work, there are a few good video tutorials that explain in detail how to clean with specific cleaner and swabs. Very important to use the correct items or you could ruin your camera! My advise would be research numerous videos, read manual and give it a go. If you're very careful, you can get all dust spots off and be good to go for minimal cost.

It is a scary thing to do for some, but many of us photogs clean our own cameras without any trouble many times throughout the year. Good luck! :)
Posted by Colette6 on May 20, 2013
Big step between 350D and these two cameras!
There are cheaper choices then 6D and 5DMarkIII. Both are fullframe and need high quality lenses too! And perhaps some of your lenses can not be used anymore on a full frame camera, because they don’t fit. New lenses will not only burn your pant, but your shirt and shoes too! :-)

I bought a special, for sensors designed, soft brush and clean my sensor with that brush carefully on a regular base. Allways dry. There are also camera stores that can clean the sensor for you, but wet and dry ceaning can be done at home too with special cleaning sets.

The 350D has allways been a very good camera, so if its good functioning you don’t have to throw it away when you buy a new camera.
Good luck with your choices!

Comments (11)

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Photo credits: Ravi Kumar.

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