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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Have I destroyed my sensor?
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06/04/2020 08:07:55 PM · #1
Yesterday, on one of the rare occasions when I was shooting at f/22.0 I suddenly became aware of a bothersome spot of sensor dust.

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I tried to clear it with a blower without success.

Last night I stumbled upon a YouTube video about cleaning sensors. If the blower didn't work it suggested trying a brush, so I did that. However every time I tried the dust got worse and worse until I ended up with this disaster.

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I have an old sensor cleaning kit which I tried using about 10 years ago without success, and I've never tried cleaning my own sensor since. However I haven't been anywhere during lockdown, which is why I tried to do it now.

So I'm left with a few questions:

1. Is it worth trying to find that kit or will the solutions have dried a long time ago?
2. Is it worth ordering a new kit or is this too bad to do myself?
3. If I go to Canon (difficult right now as I don't even have a working car battery) will they be able to clean it or have I destroyed my sensor?

(Note: differences in colour and settings are because the first shot was taken outside with the lens pointed towards the sky while the background for the second was a white wall, shot at night.)

I'm really embarrassed by this post, but the stress of lockdown is leading me to do some really foolish things.

06/04/2020 08:23:12 PM · #2
I had a similar spot on one of my cameras for some time. My cleaning kit wouldn't work on it. I had almost given up, figuring I'd gotten a drop of saltwater in it when changing lenses, causing permanent damage. But I tried once more and ordered a different make of cleaning kit. The new kit took it right off.

So either my first kit was poor quality or just innefective from being old. Im leaning towards the latter, as the older kit was a well regarded brand.
06/04/2020 08:53:42 PM · #3
Should certainly be cleanable. It will definitely require wet cleaning, and several passes at that. If you're not really familiar with the methods, better off leaving it to a shop that does a lot of them. If Canon is a no-go, is there a local shop that you'd trust?
06/04/2020 09:01:00 PM · #4
Originally posted by kirbic:

Should certainly be cleanable. It will definitely require wet cleaning, and several passes at that. If you're not really familiar with the methods, better off leaving it to a shop that does a lot of them. If Canon is a no-go, is there a local shop that you'd trust?


My problem is that I don't want to go ANYWHERE. I live with my elderly Mom and I don't want to expose her to Covid-19.

Before I take a chance on going out (requiring buying a new car battery first), I guess I should try ordering a new kit. The one plus compared to my last attempt is that my current camera is mirrorless so cleaning the sensor shouldn't be as difficult as it was on a DSLR.
06/04/2020 09:03:53 PM · #5
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

Originally posted by kirbic:

Should certainly be cleanable. It will definitely require wet cleaning, and several passes at that. If you're not really familiar with the methods, better off leaving it to a shop that does a lot of them. If Canon is a no-go, is there a local shop that you'd trust?


My problem is that I don't want to go ANYWHERE. I live with my elderly Mom and I don't want to expose her to Covid-19.

If there's actually a shop open for business perhaps they'd be willing to come pick it up -- it might be worth a phone call ...
06/04/2020 09:20:35 PM · #6
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

Originally posted by kirbic:

Should certainly be cleanable. It will definitely require wet cleaning, and several passes at that. If you're not really familiar with the methods, better off leaving it to a shop that does a lot of them. If Canon is a no-go, is there a local shop that you'd trust?


My problem is that I don't want to go ANYWHERE. I live with my elderly Mom and I don't want to expose her to Covid-19.

If there's actually a shop open for business perhaps they'd be willing to come pick it up -- it might be worth a phone call ...


There is, but the cost of collection and delivery is going to be really high. If I can work out how to do it myself it will save me a lot of trouble going forward too, because the only shop I know which offers a sensor-cleaning service if over a half hour drive from here. And I'm not sure they'd do it anyway because according to their website:

Originally posted by :

We offer a sensor clean that is a sensor and mirror box housing blowout (can be done while you wait), with test pictures taken and digitally analysed to confirm the success of the sensor blowout.

This sensor clean is only suitable for DSLR’s that are in a relatively clean condition, where you are experiencing problems with only a handful of spots appearing on your pics.

06/04/2020 09:37:34 PM · #7
I would say give it a try again, cleaning tool these days are pretty good and that you can order from Amazon. I got this from Amazon and have been using this and so far all good.
06/04/2020 10:04:33 PM · #8
Originally posted by pgirish007:

I got this from Amazon and have been using this and so far all good.


Same one I got that worked so well, other than mine is narrower for a 4/3 sensor.
06/04/2020 10:41:38 PM · #9
This is the one I was considering. It seems to be the same thing in a different size, so it looks like I'm on the right track.
06/04/2020 11:04:43 PM · #10
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

I had a similar spot on one of my cameras for some time. My cleaning kit wouldn't work on it. I had almost given up, figuring I'd gotten a drop of saltwater in it when changing lenses, causing permanent damage. But I tried once more and ordered a different make of cleaning kit. The new kit took it right off.

So either my first kit was poor quality or just innefective from being old. Im leaning towards the latter, as the older kit was a well regarded brand.


Take it to the experts. Check your yellow pages for Camera repair companies. They
have the technology to deal with sensors.

I had my sensor done and from memory it was about $70 for a full clean they also gave
the sensor box a blow over as well
06/04/2020 11:04:50 PM · #11
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

This is the one I was considering. It seems to be the same thing in a different size, so it looks like I'm on the right track.

That brand seems to have been effective for several of us. Please update afterwards and let us know how it did for you.
06/04/2020 11:06:15 PM · #12
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

This is the one I was considering. It seems to be the same thing in a different size, so it looks like I'm on the right track.

That brand seems to have been effective for several of us. Please update afterwards and let us know how it did for you.


Thanks. I will.
06/05/2020 06:44:35 PM · #13
I've placed my order and the kit is due to arrive on June 11. Given how bad my sensor is I'm not sure I'll be able to get many usable photos until then. It's going to be a long wait.
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