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Thread: Sensor cleaning debacle

  1. #1
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    Mark Cox

    Sensor cleaning debacle

    A quick question about a sensor cleaning that I had done a month ago. I noticed a couple of dust particles on my sensor. I am one to "baby" my equipment, having never needed a cleaning before (I have taken well over 200,000 pictures with several different camera bodies). I took my Canon 1Ds Mark II to an "area" (1 1/2 away from my house) retailer who is certified by Canon to do the necessary cleaning. An hour later (and $50 lighter), I took a few shots and all looked OK on the camera's small screen. The next day I was heading to some amazing country on a family vacation/photo shoot (Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, etc.), so I didn't have a chance to check the shots on my computer. After my first round of pictures were uploaded, I noticed that not only were the same smudges still there, now there were a couple more new ones. As we progressed along our trip, more and more smudges kept appearing (I do a lot HDR shots these days, so post-processing really brings out the spots). It was as if my sensor was now static-charged. By the end, there were more than 20 spots on the sensor and I had to send the camera off to Canon to get it properly cleaned. WHAT HAPPENED with the cleaning at the retailer? Did they do something incorrect? Was it something I did wrong after their cleaning? (BTW, I took over 6,500 shots - many bracketed for HDR - now I have a lot cleaning up to do in PS5!!!). Any advice or ideas would help.

  2. #2

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    Re: Sensor cleaning debacle

    Quote Originally Posted by mctuba View Post
    I took over 6,500 shots - many bracketed for HDR - now I have a lot cleaning up to do in PS5!!!. Any advice or ideas would help.
    Hi Brian,

    If you open the images in Bridge - and then feed them through to ACR at no more than 500 at a time, you can remove the dust spots in one image in ACR and then apply the same changes through to all the other images - so it makes short work of it.

    Works great for HDR brackets - you just have to make sure that the correction it applies works well for all images - still a zillion times faster than correcting each by hand though.

    The other approach is to wait until after you've done the HDR merge - so you only remove them from the composite.

    In terms of the rest of your post - hard to know. Dust bunnies are a fact of life, but only show up at narrow apertures like F16 - F22, unless they're really bad. It's pretty easy to clean a sensor yourself (once you get over the imitial fear), but trying to keep the sensor clean 100% of the time just doesn't work
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 29th July 2011 at 12:20 AM.

  3. #3
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    Mark Cox

    Re: Sensor cleaning debacle

    Colin,
    Thanks for replying. I hardly ever have to do mass edits with my photos and had forgotten about processing in batch format. Thanks! As to the dust bunnies, they were showing up with an f/4, so they were pretty bad (every day after the cleaning, it got worse and worse). And since I work with such high end music equipment (my day gig is a a professional musician/teacher), I always feel that high-end equipment should be worked on by professionals. So as you can see, I am not comfortable working on my 1Ds sensor until a professional shows me how (with my instruments, I have been shown a million tricks from repairmen that I repeat for my students in my music education classes at the university). I will let you know when i get courage up to try it on my own.
    Again, thanks for taking the time to reply,
    Mark

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    Re: Sensor cleaning debacle

    Hi Mark,

    No worries

    The thought of sensor cleaning is something that causes a lot of stress, but it's really not that bad - for starters, we're not actually cleaning the sensor at all - only the glass filter in front of it.

    If it's only your "basic dust" then a wipe or two with an arctic butterfly will more than likely solve the problem in about 3 seconds. A Sensorklear usually makes short work of harder to remove spots.

    Lots of youtube videos on cleaning.

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