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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:18 pm 
Hi guys. I've been reading the forums for several months now. I finally felt compelled to register today. I am just looking for your experiences.
It may seem like a silly question, but it seems my camera is a dust magnet. I've been shooting with my Sony A300 since February. The first dust spots began showing up in my photos after only two months. I had removed the lens once to replace it with a new unit and the camera was always stored in my camera bag when not in use. A Giotto socket blower quickly solved that problem, so it was no big deal....

Since that time I've used the rocket blower with good result. The problem is that lately the dust is getting more stubborn. At the end of June there were multiple spots which the blower could not remove. I brought the camera to a local camera repair shop for cleaning. All was great for the last two and a half months, however my sensor is filthy again. I suppose it's to be expected since I do own more than one lens now and do change them out somewhat frequently. The problem is that like my experience in June the blower method is of no help. This time I will buy a swab kit and do it myself. Can't see the harm in it since the camera shop managed to put a long scratch on the sensor filter which does not affect any of my images.

I really enjoy this camera but this dust battle is very frustrating. Do you guys find yourself cleaning the sensor of your camera very often? Have you found that certain cameras are simply more prone to getting dust onto the sensor? I apologize for getting so long winded about such a simple subject. I'm just curious what your experiences have been. Is it something I just need to suck up and deal with? Feel free to tell me to stop whining if that's the case. :idea:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:29 pm 
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I've only given it a good blow with a Rocket Blower once, since I got it in Februari 2008. I might not have the cleanest sensor though, hardly ever check for dust. I don't see it on my photos, and as long as I don't, I don't see any need to check for dust.

You can expect dust coming in, obviously, when changing lenses. Make sure you change quickly, should keep the issue down to a minium.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:30 pm 
I've had dust issues and the blower does work. Not as bad as you described though.

Could you go over how you change your lens? Maybe that's where the problem lies? The easiest way to clean dust is to not get it in the first place.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:11 pm 
I check for dust frequently, it happened a lot more with my Maxxum 5D than it ever has with my A700. The A700, like the A300, has a static coating that reduces dust magnetism of sensors. I have cleaned my A700 twice in almost 2 years, and I change my lens freqeuntly. Sounds like you are doing it a lot more often, my only guess is that you are in high dust areas when you do change your lens. When you do clean your sensor, make sure you are in a clean room, put the camera on a tripod and point it down so that when you do blow into it, the dust falls out, rather than being spread around.

The two best ways to check for dust - photograph a clear blue sky, or, photograph a white sheet of paper, keep the camera out of focus so you dont confuse a wrinkle or a spec on the paper as dust.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:43 pm 
I have never cleaned my sensor and I've had my camera over a year and i use it a lot. I've always just been scared I'll make it worse. So far I don't have any substantial spots on my sensor. But I rarely shoot past f/11 so maybe i just haven't seen it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:53 pm 
I have only cleaned my A300 once using the blower since having it for almost 2 years now. I have few lenses that I keep swapping a lot. I do try to be quick and I also try to keep the camera pointing down when swapping lenses. I do not think that the A300 is sealed properly against dust and moisture as the A700 & A900 are.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:01 pm 
you say the spots got worse after june and were gettin more stubborn to remove, at a guess this sounds like pollen which has a habbit of sticking to the sensor.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:16 pm 
Tomis - Canons dust removal is a bit more effective than Sony's. In the DSLR days without static coating, dust removal was a common neccesity, with dust removal sensors out now though - its a very rare occurrence.

I wouldn't worry about 'making it worse'. Put on a tripod, point the camera downwards completely, use a clean dry duster and blow the dust off, its a very simple procedure, refer to your manual if you have some anxiety about it. If you are really that nervous about it, a local ma/pa camera shop usually has a repair center and they will do it for you. The dust shows up regardless of what f-stop you shoot, it will show up and look the same wether youre shooting f/1.2 or f/32. When I calibrate daily for my work, I shoot an out of focus white board to detect dust, the focus doesn't matter, that happens within the lens, dust is right on the sensor. I make it out of focus so that the wrinkles, specs or dust on the white board wouldn't be confused as dust on the sensor.

My guess is that the dust problem may be happening inside your bag. Get a good weather seal bag, or better yet - get a pelican (which has an air tight air pressure seal).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:28 pm 
Anbesol wrote:
Tomis - Canons dust removal is a bit more effective than Sony's. In the DSLR days without static coating, dust removal was a common neccesity, with dust removal sensors out now though - its a very rare occurrence.


Whoa! I didn't realize I'd vered off into the sony thread! Does sony have any built-in sensor cleaning technologies?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:40 pm 
Tomis wrote:
Anbesol wrote:
Tomis - Canons dust removal is a bit more effective than Sony's. In the DSLR days without static coating, dust removal was a common neccesity, with dust removal sensors out now though - its a very rare occurrence.


Whoa! I didn't realize I'd vered off into the sony thread! Does sony have any built-in sensor cleaning technologies?

Yes they do, and they work pretty well. Canon's just been reviewed as having better dust resistance, according to Imaging resources labs which speaks on darn good authority. At least that was the case with Sonys A700 and Canons 40D

Of course, the whole built in SSS of the Sony may also contribute to dust removal. Who knows, maybe its a cats tail, but it doesn't matter much anyway since they both do very well, and cleaning isn't very hard.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:28 am 
Thank You for the responses. I purchased a "Digital Survival swab kit". It was very easy to use and results are very satisfactory. The dust spots were beginning to show in shots where apertures as small as f6 were used.

When swapping lenses I try to be very quick and always make sure the camera is pointing down. Often times I will ask a companion to hand me the lens i intend to use as soon as i remove the lens in sue so the process is rather efficient. I try to keep my backpack as clean as possible as well.

One thing that I have overlooked at times when in a hurry to change lenses is that on a few occasions I have fogotten to power the camera off. Could this be a source of concern? Could the sensor be attracting more dust when the camera is on?

Thanks for your help.

Tom


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:43 am 
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I only clean it when I notice dust in the photos.

Usually just the blower. Just few days ago I used the SensorKlear II which works pretty well.

If you are planning on cleaning yourself, you might want to get a Loupe so you can see if there's any dust left on the sensor.

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