Sensor cleaning in a pinch

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ajm80031, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. ajm80031

    ajm80031 TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 16, 2013
    Proper sensor cleaning is done with a lint-free cloth (like a PEC-PAD), the right cleaning fluid, and a spatula-like device. I've got those at home but hadn't brought them on my recent vacation and ran into a serious need for them. While changing lenses on my NEX-6 by the coast I got quite a bit of gunk on the sensor (probably sea-water mist condensing on the sensor which then got dust to stick) even though I was trying to be careful. Being at a remote location, there wasn't any place I could reasonably go to try to get the sensor cleaned or get the right supplies to do it myself. For stills one could do a lot of spot retouching, but as I was also using the camera for video this presented a major problem -- the camera was pretty much unusable for this.

    Being somewhat desperate, I decided to try cleaning the sensor with some Nikon Lens Cleaner cloths I did have with me. These are pre-moistened, individually wrapped lens cleaning cloths with a fluid that evaporates very quickly (too quickly, some people think). Being careful not to touch the sensor with my finger, I wiped it off as best I could. After two passes I could no longer visually see specks on the sensor, so I put a lens on and tried it out. The results weren't perfect, but were very much improved.

    So, while prevention would be best and having the proper cleaning supplies on hand would be next in line, these Nikon cleaning cloths can be used in a pinch.
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    There has been a whole mythology created around how delicate sensors are, but for years now sensors have been protected by hardened glass. These days, there's very little chance of damaging your sensor unless you go after it with steel wool. When traveling, I carry one of these LensPen sensor cleaners win me, and should I manage to get something stuck on my sensor that a blower can't dislodge, a couple of swipes will do the trick. It takes up no more space than a ballpoint pen, and has worked flawlessly for me in lots of difficult environments.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. John D.

    John D. TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 7, 2013
    Ummm... I can tell you that desperate times call for desperate measures... I've BTDT - and any NON PROPER sensor cleaning is not recommended, but....

    When I was on location last year - I had a similar problem. I was shooting wildlife in FL for a client's catalog. When I downloaded the pics from the camera (Nikon D600) mid-day on day one, there were too many spots to even work with for even the bravest of souls to fix. Soooo....

    Next time, don't use your fingers as the holder of the pad. Rather - go to the hotel lobby and ask for a book of matches and a pair of scissors. Open the matchbook and cut the full length of the matchbook cover into strips (about 1/2" or so), and then double a strip over to form a swab - and THEN attach a cleaning pad wrapped around it. For me? I used ROR and Kodak Lens Cleaning Paper... Not for the feint of heart, but for the next few days - it worked fine. When I arrived home - I did a real sensor cleaning, but..

    Anyway - just my $0.000002

    I'm certain others have similar experiences - or so I hope ;)

  4. Selten

    Selten TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Rhineland, Germany
    Same methods as WoodWorks mentioned work for me too. So far the Sensor seems to be alright :)
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.