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Thread: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

  1. #1
    shreds's Avatar
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    Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    These gadgets although pricey, come highly recommended from a number of Pros/Experienced amateurs I know. Indeed some of them swear by them rating them better than all the other gadgets on the market for similar tasks.

    Has anyone here had any experience of using them to clean the innards of your DSLR? The kit version includes a mirror cleaning attachment.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    I have had an arctic butterfly for two years now, and it's without a doubt the best piece of cleaning gear I own. Yes, it's pricey, yes, you have to be careful with it, don't bend the brush hairs, don't get any oil or grease on it, etc, but it does an outstanding job. Highly recommended.

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    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Just put a brand new (unused) spare one I had on ebay, here:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=230305361851

    if anyone is interested?

    It is the deluxe brush with one brush head and integral LED light and travel pouch.

    Although postage stated for UK, I will post worldwide at cost.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    I've been having a look at different products recently (Christmas!) and I'm leaning toward the Delkin system as it also offers a "wet" option (with the loupe) along with the minivac. Having said this I would really appreciate some guidance as I've never done this before. Would I be better off with the butterfly?

    Cheers

    Mark

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Visible Dust who make the Arctic Butterfly offer both wet and dry options, with some additional swabs. They have a video on their website:

    http://www.visibledust.com/

    Use the wet option only for stubborn stains/marks, but there is a whole arsenal of bits and pieces within the range to use. To date however I have found that the Butterfly antistatic device has been all that I needed.

    I had wondered what all the fuss was about until I used one and was suitably blown away. (By the way I have no connection with them whatsoever, other than as a very satisfied customer)

    The mini vac has its fans; I tried one a few years back and was disappointed by its level of suction and the fact that it didn't resolve the static issue.

  6. #6

    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Avoid the Delkin kit entirely ! The pads are stiff and rough and may scratch the low pass filter, the vacuum is completely useless and the loupe light switch doesn't work half the time. Oh, and did I mention that the vacuum power switch stuck in the on position the first time I used it ? If you want a wet kit, check out Copper Hill Images.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    @briancorll

    Cheers for the post mate. I'm still (seriously) undecided.

    Mark

  8. #8

    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    I just got the complete Arctic Butterfly kit and used it once. First Lesson: There is a brush supposedly for both the focusing screen and the mirror. Never use the brush to clean the focusing screen and then the mirror, especially on a relatively new camera, without washing the brush first in dish detergent and rinsing it thoroughly. If you clean the focusing screen first, the brush is likely to pick up lubricant inside the mirror box, which will then transfer to the mirror if you brush it without first cleaning the brush. In certain light you will see thin rainbow-colored areas, similar to oil slicks, on the surface of the mirror. That's the lubricant you've picked up on the brush. Disturbing, but it has no effect on anything, except you know it's there, which makes you want to clean it...it goes on and on. I have found out that using the standard sensor cleaning swabs and lens cleaning fluid will shine up a mirror very nicely. They key is to be very gentle. There is a coating on the surface of the mirror to protect the silver, so it is not quite a fragile as the old SLR mirrors which I was long ago warned never to touch. Criminees, you'd think by now they'd have come up with a reflective surface that is *tough*. They do exist...

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Quote Originally Posted by briancorll View Post
    Avoid the Delkin kit entirely ! The pads are stiff and rough and may scratch the low pass filter, the vacuum is completely useless and the loupe light switch doesn't work half the time. Oh, and did I mention that the vacuum power switch stuck in the on position the first time I used it ? If you want a wet kit, check out Copper Hill Images.
    Agree pretty exactly, though the 'sensorscope' is good for seeing the dust and non-alcohol based liquid OK with copperhill technique.

    Arctic Butterfly (I have 724) is quite good or better than anything else for removing small loose dust, or at least much faster than other methods for re-arranging it

    My scientist friends say that problem arises from static electric charge, which is reduced by slightly humid atmosphere. The Arctic Butterfly creates an 'attractor' higher in static attraction hierarchy than the sensor, so correctly used does take some of the fine dust away.

    My kit does seem particularly bad for dust - D80 with frequent changes between 18-135kit and 80-400VR lenses and nothing like getting every cloud edge and nuance of skies for also showing up dust. Nikon knew this and provide 'dust reference' photo and corresponding 'dust off' in Capture NX2. Using that + Arctic Butterfly roughly weekly is effective and painless.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    For me the arctic butterfly (a 724) is more than worth it's price. Normally I get the sensor wet cleaned once a year by a pro. and after starting using the arctic butterfly I really think this won't be necessary anymore.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Add me to the (ever growing) list of satisfied Arctic Butterfly owners.

    Interestingly, my Arctic Butterfly arrived with some kind of contamination on the brush (probably somebody in the camera store ran it over a finger to "feel how soft it was") - luckily I tested it on a glass filter first (and saw a small smear). I contacted the manufacturer who advised cleaning the brush with isopropyl alcohol (AKA IPA / "rubbing alcohol"), and as a result of this I learned a number of things ...

    1. I feel that it's a good idea to test it on something like a clean glass filter prior to use EVERY time.

    2. The easiest way to clean it is to pour a little IPA into the cap - insert the brush - and give it a few "whizzes".

    3. After cleaning via "2" above, remove from the cap and allow to dry naturally for a few hours - don't activate the motor whilst it's still wet with IPA as it leaves the brush all splayed out.

    4. Make sure that the unit is thoroughly dry before letting anywhere near the sensor (I'd suggest testing it as per "1" above first, just to be sure).

    In practice, the unit has worked EXCEPTIONALLY well - I tested it first time - dust bunnies went from 88 to 3 (and even the 3 were only small). Although I haven't got the illuminated loupe, I suspect that it would be advantagious in spotting any "orphans" left over.

    As a first line of defence against the dust bunnies, I've never found anything faster, safer, nor more effective. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but (a) it's a 1-off investment, and (b) it's miniscule compared to the cost of all the equipment we accumulate.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th December 2009 at 01:01 AM.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Canon's sensor cleaning system in combination with a rocketblower seems to work pretty good.
    I 've purchased and used the Arctic Butterfly 724 recently and it removes nothing. So i need a wet clean.
    I wonder if Arctic Butterfly make any sence if you own a Canon with sensor cleaning system.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Visible Dust, Arctic Butterfly's manufacturers, produce an array of wet cleaning pads and fluids to compliment the Butterfly for the odd occasions that the AB cannot get marks off the sensor.

    The sensor loupe (esp x7 version) is phenomenal for spotting marks and dust. I previously used a jewellers eyeglass, but that doesn't have the advantages of the led illumination though.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Quote Originally Posted by d3debian View Post
    Canon's sensor cleaning system in combination with a rocketblower seems to work pretty good.
    I 've purchased and used the Arctic Butterfly 724 recently and it removes nothing. So i need a wet clean.
    I wonder if Arctic Butterfly make any sence if you own a Canon with sensor cleaning system.
    There seem to be 2 types of sensor dirt, dry, which the Arctic butterfly is good for and condensation-stuck to the surface.

    The Canon system should entrap loose dry dust, so maybe you have condensation-stuck dirt that does need a wet remover first. But as Shreds says, have a good look first. The actual Sensorscope is the only thing I now use from the Delkin kit - a magnifying glass tube with built in light. Also check correct liquid for your sensor.

    The AB instructions do however say repeat until effective, so unles there is an obvious core+circle splodge, I would try AB a time or two more before going wet.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    d3debian wrote: "I wonder if Arctic Butterfly make any sense if you own a Canon with sensor cleaning system."

    It sure does! In a recent test I did my Canon 1Ds3 (complete with Canon's ultrasonic dust management system) had accumulated a total of 88 spots that I had to removed from my images each and every time - after using an Arctic Butterfly 724 that number had been reduced to exactly 3 - and they weren't particularly big ones either.

    If you're not convinced that the electrostatic principle of the Arctic Butterfly works, tear off a small piece of paper (few mm square) and watch it lift that off a flat surface - so long as you give it a whizz after each stroke then it should work well for loose and semi-loose type dirt (I mention semi loose because it's not just electrostatic attraction at work here - it's also good old fashion physical brush contact).

    However - it's certainly possible to have bits stuck on even tighter - and for that one can use a wet clean. Again, I've stuck with Visible Dust products which - although expensive - none the less work well for me. (I've yet to purchase their sensor loupe, but that's high on my list for next year).

    Just a word of caution - prior to using Visible Dust Sensor Swabs I tried to do a clean "on the cheap" using some long-stem cotton buds from the local chemist. To cut a long story short, I had to return the camera to Canon (twice) who had to disassemble the camera and remove the sensor (twice) to get it clean. If that hadn't of worked, I'd have been looking at around a NZD $7000 repair bill (approx USD $4000). So let's all be careful out there!

    Merry Christmas / Bah Humbug everyone!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th December 2009 at 01:02 AM.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Colin,

    Don't wait until next Xmas for that sensor loupe.

    I had been using a jewellers eyeglass until I got one of the x7 loupes. the performance with the inbuilt LEDS is phenomenal. Problem is you do see a lot more junk on the sensor!

    Highly recommended.

  17. #17

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Thanks for that. My sensor is in need of a clean again (gosh, where does a day go to when youi've having fun!).

    I just fired off an eMail to one of my suppliers to see if they can get them.

    Fingers crossed.

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 18th March 2009 at 06:32 PM.

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Have been postponing a good clean until feeling a bit stronger, but attacked yesterday.

    To my surprise and slight consternation, the Arctic butterfly did little or nothing but re-ararrange and add great lumps I was temped to use tweezers for, pec pad and fluid made so much mess I wondered if I would ever get it off without using shampoo and the shower.....but the Delkin pre-assembled pads with Delkin non-alcohol solution did a pretty quick and effective job.

    This suggests to me that maybe there is only a 'best method' for the particular humidity and conditions on the day. Any other thoughts?? It was a sunny day and humidity levels in our house are generally low.(40% now even with light mist outside)

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Hi Chris,

    Very puzzling - my Arctic Butterfly generally removes about 98% of dust bunnies. I've even shown people how it can pick up pieces of paper that are several millimeters square (so the static should have no problem with anything smaller). Might be worth doing a test to see if yours will do the same?

    Not sure how much humidity comes into it - I usually clean my sensor in the workshop where humidity is probably quite low as I run a dehumidifier 24 x 7 to keep canvas / paper (and just things in gemeral) very dry (plus I just prefer a dry environment).

    Have you cleaned the AB at all? How long do you whizz it up for? cap on or off?

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    Re: Arctic Butterfly Sensor/mirror cleaning kit / brush

    Indeed Chris, does sound strange? Do you have a sensor loupe to see these wonderful 'blobs' in more detail?

    I rarely need to use the pads or fluid as the AB does such a good job.

    Tell us more.

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