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Thread: Dust on sensor help

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  1. #1
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    Dust on sensor help

    Hi all,

    I have a bit of an issue. Recently on a trip to New Caledonia I took a few shots. They looked great so I got some prints done. They all turned out well except a few seemed to have dust particles on the sensor which turned out on the image. They're easy enough to remove in Lightroom though.

    So, I paid to have my sensor cleaned at one of the best shops we have here in Sydney, Australia (won't mention the name as I believe some of the staff may be members on this site).

    Anyhow, the dust was originally in the centre of the image and up a bit (so basically when you take landscape shots it's in the middle of the sky and pretty noticeable). There was no dust around the edges at all. So, I went to this shop and they cleaned the sensor and charged me a pretty penny (which is fine). I took a few test shots and the dust in the centre of the sensor is gone, but now there's a lot on each side of the image at the top and bottom, much more than was ever in the centre of the image). I've taken it back now 3 times to get the dust removed, took a few shots this morning and... bam, still there.

    I'm not going to take it back again because every time I do I'm made to feel like I don't know what I'm talking about. They've used a loupe and can't see the dust at all, but it was never this bad until I had my sensor cleaned by them, and when we use the loupe with lights we literally can't see it, but it's definitely there in the image.

    Is there something I'm missing? Is there somewhere else the dust could be that would show up on the image? I've got a fairly new 24-70 2.8 and notice it has some dust in the rear elements that can't be removed but the same dust pattern also occurs on my other lenses. I can shoot at F9 and barely noticeable, but anything past that and it shows up big time.

    My stress is that I'm shooting a wedding for a couple who are really down on their luck financially (and i'm doing it for free) in 2 weeks and even though it's free I still want to give them the best image quality I can (not only that but I'm worried about all my other future images).

    So, long winded story, but what else can I look at to get rid of it? They've used blowers, swabs and god knows what else so far

  2. #2
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    I clean mine with swabs when needed.
    Most likely they are just moving the dust from side to side.
    The way I clean is swab a few times then go take a few test shots at a clear sky.
    Then review on the computer the test shots and repeat the swabs based on what I see.
    It is hard to see the small particles with the loupe, I always rely on a monitor.

    if you are not comfortable doing it yourself and you have a lap top take it with you to the shop. The image doesn't lie if you have dust. Check their work and have them re do it. Likely most of their customers wouldn't notice small dust particles. That is not an excuse for doing poor quality work.

    if you think it is your lens, switch lenses. If it is on the sensor it will appear on shots from both and it will be at the same spot in picture.

  3. #3
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    Just ordered up the whole enchilada.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
    Just ordered up the whole enchilada.
    I would definitely keep enchiladas well away from your sensor

  5. #5
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    I had a similar problem with my 5Dc & 7D a few years ago. The 1st shop did an okay job, but for the price I expected perfection. I tried a 2nd shop that charged more money, took less time and did a truly shitty job.

    Then I tried the Sensor Gel Stick. https://photographylife.com/product/sensor-gel-stick Haven't had problems since.
    ---
    Way too much gear and even more lighting equipment.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    The gel stick is a very good solution. I used a similar one, made by Toshiba, and it works great.

    Fortunately for a wedding, you are probably shooting with a wide aperture and dust specks will likely not show up (unless they are really huge). Dust specks tend to jump out when you go f/8 or smaller.

    Good luck and keep us posted on how you solve this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Huyer View Post
    The gel stick is a very good solution. I used a similar one, made by Toshiba, and it works great.

    Fortunately for a wedding, you are probably shooting with a wide aperture and dust specks will likely not show up (unless they are really huge). Dust specks tend to jump out when you go f/8 or smaller.

    Good luck and keep us posted on how you solve this.
    Now that I am at least a temporary member of the 1 club - I was surprised when I tested the new body (to me) that w/ less than 3k frames it had a bunch of spots about equal w/ my 5dIII which has 40k frames.

    So my question is the gel stick works for you? I will try it vs. sending off the body for cleaning etc, etc.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  8. #8
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    Has anyone used a tethered macro rig to eval the front of the sensor? I would think my 200 w/ extension tubes would give me the working distance I would need. Thoughts?

    Mike
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  9. #9
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    Got all the pieces and parts today. I had one spot on the each the FFs that needed the lens pen. The 1D seemed have a bunch of fibers in the mirror box, had to tweeze them out - what a pain. All clean now.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  10. #10
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    It should work, probably better than the loupe. The kind of dust Squidy is talking about might be hard to see even that way. From what he described they probably did a wet clean and pushed the dust to the side. Particles break down with the moisture and are harder to see. One of my 5D II's was real nasty when I bought it new. I went through a box of swabs before I got all the dust off the edges, and you couldn't even see it with the loupe.

    It makes a good point, if you are cleaning a sensor you should use the blower as much as possible. Most methods other than the blower have the chance of making large particles into smaller ones.

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