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Sensor cleaning. (1 Viewer)

Mark Batten

Well-known member
What are people's thoughts on the above? My canon 7d has provided good service but is 3 years old. Sensor never been cleaned. Results still ok. Advice off net is that sensor should be cleaned every 6 months. If the camera is still giving decent results does the sensor need cleaning?
 

Huntso

Well-known member
If its clean don't bother

Can check by taking a shot of a white background at f/22 then zoom in at 100%

Daresay you will find some spots, but unless you use wide apertures unlikely to notice it.

Quick blast with a rocket blower doesn't do any harm though
 

pimpelmees

Well-known member
What are people's thoughts on the above? My canon 7d has provided good service but is 3 years old. Sensor never been cleaned. Results still ok. Advice off net is that sensor should be cleaned every 6 months. If the camera is still giving decent results does the sensor need cleaning?

when you change a lot of lenses in the field than sometimes cleaning is necessary , otherwise when you don't change lenses in the field cleaning is not regular needed.
 

frinky

Well-known member
If you can't see any dust-spots in your images then it doesn't need cleaning, simple as that. Bird photography doesn't tend to show them up very much, as it typically uses wide apertures where sensor dust is more diffused.

If you use the same camera to take landscapes or (even worse) Macro, which tend to use much narrower apertures with smooth backgrounds you may find more spots are visible. Again, don't worry unless you can see them. All sensors have some level of dirt on them and you always run the risk of damaging a sensor when manually cleaning.

I just perform a similar test to Huntso; take a shot at narrow aperture, fully unfocused, against a light background. Don't worry about slow shutter speeds, the spots are unaffected. There will always be a bit of light speckling but if anything particularly bad shows up then give it a good go using a rocket-blower (I hold the camera upside down and blow upwards, any dislodged dirt should drop out of the camera in theory). It's rare that doesn't shift the worse offenders. If you're careful a thorough manual clean should be a rare "once a year, maybe" thing.
 

jalethbridge

I like sea-watching
I clean my sensor about once every 6-8 weeks. I use a rocket blower and a lens pen. Most of the time it works a treat, I reckon getting it "pro" cleaned with wetwipes or whatever is a swizz. In this country where we all shoot at f2.8 and f4 it has to be supremely dirty to be noticeable. In Morocco, at f8-13, I had to do an emergency clean!
 

kennethwfd

Well-known member
I try and avoid changing lenses in the field after getting dirt on the sensor, preferring to have semi permenant couplings. If I have to chage in the feild, take note of the wind direction and shield the camera. Also point the body down,a bit more awkward with the lens mount at the bottom but this does provide additional shelter from dust.

And as others say "if it ain't broke, don't mend it" (or if you can't see dust specks don't clean it)
 

DaveAitch

Well-known member
I haven't seen this mentioned: apologies if it has.

The 7D has a Dust Delete Data function (page 185 of the manual) which automatically removes dust spots in the Digital Photo professional software that comes with the camera. However, I've had my 7D since December 2009 and haven't had any problems with sensor dirt so I haven't had to use it.
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
I reckon getting it "pro" cleaned with wetwipes or whatever is a swizz. In this country where we all shoot at f2.8 and f4 it has to be supremely dirty to be noticeable.

I don't know about a swizz but it's certainly expensive. You can buy the swabs and cleaner and DIY. Most people are frightened by the fact that it's generally regarded the sensor is extremely easy to damage. Not sure if this is hype to give the camera shops extra revenue but whatever, if you pay them to do the job they take responsibility if it's damaged. If the body is worth a few bob is it worth taking a chance ? On the other hand you would be doing the same cleaning job as the pro for about 10% of the cost.
Most recent bodies that cost a few quid have built in cleaners now so it's not the same issue it once was.

As for "we all shoot at f2.8 and f4". You're joking !
 
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DaveAitch

Well-known member
My old Pentax *istDS was knocking round doing nothing for a few years and the sensor had become very dirty. I had to do a thorough clean - several times - to get it back to being "reasonable". It's okay now, except for when using it on macro or with that clear blue sky with the lens quite closed down. There is no evidence of damage to the sensor in spite of the deep cleaning. I suspect that the necessity for that (relatively expensive) professional clean is somewhat hyped. Maybe the earliest sensors had surfaces less robust and were, like early lens elements, much easier to scratch than more recent types.
 
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