Three spots on randomized photos

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Angel, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Angel

    Angel New to TalkEmount

    Mar 4, 2013
    Hi everyone,
    I recently bought a NEX 5R approximately 3-4 weeks ago and have spent the past few weeks getting familiar with it. Today while shooting some images I noticed three dark spots on the upper left sides of some of my images. In some images the spots are smaller and darker while in others they are larger and fainter and then the next image will have no spots at all. I have attached two images of the spots....has anyone else had this happen or does anyone have any suggestions as to what the issue is?
    Thanks a bunch,

    DSC00611. DSC00605.
  2. kaptnkain

    kaptnkain TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 4, 2013
    That's dust on your sensor. Before cleaning it, please google "How to clean crop sensor". The sensor is easily damaged by pressure.
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    I would start with one of these, which is basically like the bulbs you use to suction a baby's nose except larger and more powerful. In most cases, a few puffs of air directed at the sensor using that, and problem solved without needing to use a sensor brush or "wet clean". Don't use canned compressed air which can contain liquid.
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Yup. This shows up when on the extremes of apertures.
  5. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Yes, the rocket blaster works great and is a must have in anyones gear bag. Hold the camera with the sensor facing the floor and give it several puffs to dislodge the dust and allow it to fall out of the camera body.
  6. Angel

    Angel New to TalkEmount

    Mar 4, 2013
    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I took it in to get cleaned and so far no spots (fingers crossed it stays that way)!
  7. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    It won't. That's just the nature of the beast. That's why investing in a puffer is worth it, you can easily and quickly rid your sensor of dust 99% of the time.
  8. loonsailor

    loonsailor TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    Berkeley, CA, USA
  9. kaptnkain

    kaptnkain TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 4, 2013
    It helps to be aware of what conditions you expose your sensor in. It also helps to keep the camera pointed down with the sensor exposed.

    Generally, using lenses that have moving front and especially rear elements for focusing or zoom contributes to the problem as it forces air into the camera.
  10. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    I notice that dust spots are often much less noticeable at wider apertures. One more reason not to stop down past f/8 unless you really need the depth of field (most of my lenses do their very best between f/4 and f/8 for landscapes).

    Dust spots are definitely more noticeable against smooth areas like a blue sky or a grey backdrop - fortunately that is also where they are usually easiest to retouch!

    I have a few persistent spots on my sensor and now do a lot of my product shots at f/16 so they do show up. I find it is pretty quick to use the "heal" brush in Lightroom on a few spots in one frame, then copy and paste that setting onto a bunch of other frames. Quick enough to justify procrastinating on doing a proper wet cleaning! ;) 
  11. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    as jefanator said, if they are easily fixed in pp then leave them till absolutely neccessary,

    heres a few tips, not my work.

    sensor for dust before cleaning.

    An essential part of sensor cleaning is to expose test images before, during and after cleaning!

    Why is that?

    Well, by exposing some test images you will have a reference that will help you determine:
    a) where and how much dust is present
    b) what cleaning method to use
    c) how effective your cleaning progress is
    d) the location of any stuck particles

    You want a neutral, bright background for specks to be clearly seen. The simplest background, and one of the best, is a clear blue sky.

    However, since there are often clouds in the way, the next best is a piece of white matte cardboard and outdoor illumination. By placing the board close to the lens, at an angle which provides even lighting, you have an excellent controlled background.

    How to set the camera for best result:

    Set the image resolution to the highest setting you normally use.
    Set the camera mode to ‘AV’ (Aperture Priority) and manually adjust the aperture to f:16, or f:22 if you are super critical and need big enlargements.
    Set the lens focus mode to manual (switch off Auto Focus) and zoom in to highest magnification.
    If you use a blue sky as background set focus to the closest distance.
    If you use white cardboard set the focus to Infinity. Do the exposure close to the board (about 10cm) while avoiding casting a shadow.
    Expose a couple of images, then inspect the result in your imaging program at 100% to 200% magnification.

    If your camera has ‘Live View’ you can use this mode for a quick inspection, but it is no substitute for actual test images to provide a progress reference
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