Old 03-03-2008, 01:22 PM   #1
KevinM
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Question Changing Lenses and Dust Control

I know this has been touched on before because I've looked at some old threads....

I'd just like an update on what folks are doing to control the sensor dust problem while changing lenses. I bought a Nikon D40x last November and have only been out shooting 3 times so far. Yesterday, an RP Screener picked up a dust bunny on one of my photos. Fortunately, I was able to crop it out and get the shot in, but when I looked, some photos from my last 2 shoots had the same spot.

I was able to get my sensor "apparently" clean with a blower, but now I am paranoid about dust. I have the 18-55mm kit lens and the 55-200 VR zoom, but am considering ditching the lot for an 18-200 VR zoom only to keep the camera sealed up. The pollen this coming spring and summer isn't as likely to come off as easily as the winter dust did.

Suggestions and thoughts on lens changing....and sensor cleaning??
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:32 PM   #2
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Kevin,

There are numerous sensor cleaning kits on the market which will probably be more productive than using an air blower. In the field when you change lenses you may also try doing so with the camera turned off. This kills any electrical charge on the sensor which may attract stray dust while the lens is off (and works pretty well, for me at least).

No matter what you do chances are good that eventually you will encounter a dust spot while editing. Photoshop's clone stamp and/or spot healing brush are quick fixes for any spots that you may find while editing.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:45 PM   #3
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Some things that may help some
1 Role the windows up so there no wind kicking up the dust.
2 Point the Camera down words, mount down, let gravity help out some.
3 Vack out your camera bag and car if you work a lot of gravel roads!
4 blow off the back of the Lenses too
this helps tons
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:53 PM   #4
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On the subject of sensor dust - I recently have noticed dust spots in some photos, despite not having changed lenses! My camera was in a house that is dustier than normal, however I still do not know how it could have gotten in with the lens not having been changed.

Hope there is a way to get rid of dust other than paying a camera place to clean it!
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
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[quote=Somebody in the WWW]On the subject of sensor dust - I recently have noticed dust spots in some photos, despite not having changed lenses!

As zooms move in and out they suck in air and then push it out, Dust to.
A blower bulb, start there . No caned air!!!! gets most of it off, but depends on how bad it is.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:16 PM   #6
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Hmmm....sensor dust even without changing lenses? How long have you had the camera? I understand these things aren't really "sealed", but you'd think not changing lenses would go a long way toward preventing contamination.

My problem is that with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses, I have discovered that I need to change lenses more frequently than I'd like...usually in the field. I do take as many precautions as I can, but when the train is coming, the drive to get the shot overcomes the caution about dust...at least until now.

I've been thinking that the 18-200 VR would solve that problem, albeit with the expenditure of some cash. A less expensive, but similar solution would be an 18-135mm. That lens doesn't have VR, but At least I'd have some overlap in coverage between the "walking around lens" and the 55-200 and the need to change might be less frequent.

I saw Chris' notes about sensor cleaning kits. Of course, the mfr doesn't recommend anything other than a blower, but I sort of gather that a lot of people do use "touch" methods to dislodge the sticky stuff. Is there any method that has more favor than the others?
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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I've never needed anything more than a blower.

Kevin, based on my own experience only, I would say don't worry about whether to change lenses. Don't not change a lens, and lose the better shot, because you are worried about dust! (Unless you are in a particularly dusty environment, mill, sandstorm, whatever, then plan ahead.) It's part of the process.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:09 PM   #8
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Default Vacuum your sensor

I have a 5 year old battered Nikon D100 with a lot of dirty miles on it. Nikon's service rep told me years ago to never use a bulb because you can drive particles further into the camera. Set your camera to hold the mirror up and hold it upside down over your vacuum hose with your hand keeping the two from getting too close. Just a light seal and let gravity and the vacuum do the work. It will get nearly everything off. You can also get a really good artists brush(they sell them down to nearly single strand) and pick off stuborn particles. Works for me! BFN, Kathryn
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
Set your camera to hold the mirror up and hold it upside down over your vacuum hose with your hand keeping the two from getting too close. Just a light seal and let gravity and the vacuum do the work. It will get nearly everything off.
A vacuum!!!

This post reminded me of
http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/methods.html
where I see that vacuum is in fact a considered alternative. Learn something new every day!

But see #16 on the list!
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:42 PM   #10
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Lightbulb

The vacuum is a very interesting idea.

I actually considered doing this even before I started this thread, but I wondered whether it would make the problem better or worse. On the one hand, it would tend to pull the dust/dirt away from the sensor/filter instead of just massaging it around as some types of cleaning techniques might do. On the other hand, there would be a massive amount of air drawn out of the sensor cavity that has to be replaced with equally massive amount of air coming from somewhere......= new dust brought in????

Perhaps the home vacuum might be too powerful for this task? They do make tiny little vacuums for use with instrumentation that might be be very appropriate for this application.

I like the vacuum idea a lot better than putting solution on a swab and touching the filter. Even if I get the dirt off, I can picture that leaving it streaky, dooming my chances of getting any more shots into RP
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM

I like the vacuum idea a lot better than putting solution on a swab and touching the filter. Even if I get the dirt off, I can picture that leaving it streaky, dooming my chances of getting any more shots into RP

Id rather to that than use a vacuum.

The makers of the photography solution's sensor swabs guarentee their product and if it EVER harms your sensor they will fix your camera. I was reading an interview with one of the "head honchos" for the company, I think he said theyve only had to replace 3 cameras ever. The solution that you put on the swabs dry quickly and have never left a streak on my sensor.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:01 PM   #12
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In my pre-digital days, I had two Canon Rebels, which minimized lens changing to a degree. I'd consider that now if I trusted my 300D. But it makes no sense to me not to change lens liberally on a (D)SLR. Why have one if you're not going to do it? I'll take care not to get dust in there, but sometimes your car is a mile away when you need to change lens and nt changing it is dumber than possibly getting the sensor dirty.


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