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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Dusty 20D CCD and one day of hell
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05/14/2005 01:07:06 PM · #1
I never realized how much I love my camera until yesterday. I had to drop it off at the camera shop to have the CCD cleaned. I can't believe that there is already dust on it after only 2000 exposures.

The camera shop showed me how dust can easily enter the camera body and sensor. Take the lens off your dslr and rotate the lens body (zoom in and out). Put a hand by the hole in the rear of the lens, and you will actually feel air blowing out of the hole, and ultimately (if the lens is attached), sucked into the camera body. I never realized how easy it is to get air (and dust) in there.

Sensor dust is not a major issue with film cameras, because the "sensor" (emulsion) is not static-the exposures are made on a "clean slate" (new film section) each time (unless you shoot multiple exposures on one section of course). Compact digital cameras do not suffer from CCD dust (normally) because the lens is sealed in the camera body. I took 10,000 exposures with my compact Nikon Coolpix 4500 and NEVER had dust on the sensor.

In the future, I hope that lens/camera manufacturers will address this mounting issue with DSLRs.

My one day of hell is almost over. I get to pick up my 20D at 4pm today, hopefully dust-free. :)

Message edited by author 2005-05-14 13:12:00.
05/14/2005 01:11:41 PM · #2
how much did they charge you ?
05/14/2005 01:13:05 PM · #3
Originally posted by TLL061:

how much did they charge you ?


$50.00. They said they would clean the CCD and the interior of the body as well. A small price to pay in my opinion, although I did shell out over $1500 for the camera.
05/14/2005 01:15:10 PM · #4
thats not so bad of a price , I though it would have been more than that
05/14/2005 01:17:22 PM · #5
Originally posted by TLL061:

thats not so bad of a price , I though it would have been more than that


Yeah, I was definitely happy with the price, and the shop is right down the street from me. I dropped it off yesterday, so turnaround was only one day. Could have been a lot worse, considering I have a trip to Florida scheduled first week of June, and I need a camera for that. I will let you know the results of the cleaning once I get the camera back tonight.
05/14/2005 01:19:23 PM · #6
You can easily clean your sensor yourself. It is not very practical sending the camera in every 2000 shots...Changing lenses will inevitably introduce dust on your sensor.
05/14/2005 01:21:56 PM · #7
Originally posted by doctornick:

You can easily clean your sensor yourself. It is not very practical sending the camera in every 2000 shots...Changing lenses will inevitably introduce dust on your sensor.


It costs a lot more money to order the cleaning equipment and do it myself. I'm not a professional camera repair shop, and I trust them much more than I trust my own hands inside my expensive piece of equipment. I read about using artist brushes and swipes, but I don't trust that the results would be adequate.

$50.00 for piece of mind is a lot better than trying to do something I've never been trained to do.

I actually only have one lens, that I rarely take off of the camera body. So dust not only occurs with the lens off, but with the lens on as well.

I don't plan on cleaning the sensor every 2000 shots. I plan on cleaning the sensor when it gets dirty, which hopefully won't be every 2000 shots. :)

Message edited by author 2005-05-14 13:28:05.
05/14/2005 01:27:50 PM · #8
2 visits to the shop will get you the sensor brush...Like I said it is not practical sending the camera in every 2000 shots. Read This Review
05/14/2005 01:28:23 PM · #9
Originally posted by doctornick:

2 visits to the shop will get you the sensor brush...Like I said it is not practical sending the camera in every 2000 shots. Read This Review


I don't plan on cleaning the sensor every 2000 shots. I plan on cleaning the sensor when it gets dirty, which hopefully won't be every 2000 shots. :)
05/14/2005 01:53:53 PM · #10
Same thing as happened to me this weekend... and in the middle of a shoot!! ARG!

You can see a big black spot on every single shots... i was so mad... Thank god for fotoshop... damnit.

i heard its very complicated to clean the CCD? any good tutorials on that?
05/14/2005 02:08:05 PM · #11
Originally posted by RedOak:

Same thing as happened to me this weekend... and in the middle of a shoot!! ARG!

You can see a big black spot on every single shots... i was so mad... Thank god for fotoshop... damnit.

i heard its very complicated to clean the CCD? any good tutorials on that?


It's happened to a lot of people. I am hoping engineers will come up with ways to eliminate/minimize the issue.

I don't know about good tutorials. I've read a few, but they all say that they don't guarantee you won't cause damage to the sensor. So I can't recommend any to you. Well you're not actually cleaning the sensor, but the cover over the sensor, as if that makes it less volatile, which is what some tutorials seem to think. :) I guess nothing is guaranteed in life. I'd suggest bringing it to a reputable camera shop and having it cleaned.

Message edited by author 2005-05-14 14:10:16.
05/14/2005 02:16:51 PM · #12
20d doesnt have a ccd.... its a cmos sensor. for the record ;)
05/14/2005 02:24:59 PM · #13
Originally posted by Fetor:

20d doesnt have a ccd.... its a cmos sensor. for the record ;)


well ya learn something new every day. Didn't even know there were different types of sensor. thanks. ;)
05/14/2005 02:44:15 PM · #14
Seems like a good deal of dust is not actually dust. I think a lot of what falls on the sensor is actual paint/metal from the lens gringing on the body when the lens is attached to the camera.

Message edited by author 2005-05-14 19:04:44.
05/14/2005 07:39:08 PM · #15
Originally posted by nfessel:

Originally posted by Fetor:

20d doesnt have a ccd.... its a cmos sensor. for the record ;)


well ya learn something new every day. Didn't even know there were different types of sensor. thanks. ;)


welcome
05/14/2005 07:46:36 PM · #16
Originally posted by gusto:

Seems like a good deal of dust is not actually dust. I think a lot of what falls on the sensor is actual paint/metal from the lens gringing on the body when the lens is attached to the camera.


No, it's really dust. There is next to nothing that comes off when mounting and unmounting a lens.

05/14/2005 07:49:52 PM · #17
BTW, $50 for cleaning a sensor makes for a very profitable business. If they use a swabbing method, which I'd bet they do, it prolly takes them less than 5 minutes. Lessee, $50 times 12, $600/hr, not bad. Wonder if I could do that as a side business??
05/14/2005 08:35:52 PM · #18
ya 50 bucks? it may be relatively cheap, but to me that's still expensive. put it this way, if you have to clean every 2000 shots, and one clean is 50 dollars, each picture costs you 2.5 cents...and on a film camera, you get some like 24 exposures, which can cost you like 6 bucks per roll right? so 24 times 2.5...equals 60 cents per "roll" of digital film you shoot. well i guess you save on the film processing. maybe digital is still cheaper
05/14/2005 08:50:35 PM · #19
its better just to get a body for each lens you have so you never have to switch lenses
i wish i had enough money to do that
05/14/2005 09:03:51 PM · #20
Originally posted by art-inept:

ya 50 bucks? it may be relatively cheap, but to me that's still expensive. put it this way, if you have to clean every 2000 shots, and one clean is 50 dollars, each picture costs you 2.5 cents...and on a film camera, you get some like 24 exposures, which can cost you like 6 bucks per roll right? so 24 times 2.5...equals 60 cents per "roll" of digital film you shoot. well i guess you save on the film processing. maybe digital is still cheaper


Exactly. That's why I'm switching back to a film camera. I've had it with digital. They say digital is cheaper in the long run than using film, but at this point, I disagree. I believe that digital and film cost about the same. I've had more problems with this EOS 20D, including focusing issues (the autofocus doesn't work half as well as the Elan 7E in similar situations), I HATE the "zoom factor". That is ridiculous. And not to mention all the worrying about whether or not the thing is going to operate correctly.

Also, black and white on film is SO much better than any digital black and white I've ever created. While it's true that learning with a digital camera is quicker, I already know enough about the basics. My previous camera, Nikon Coolpix 4500, couldn't hold a charge for more than an hour, so it was a pain and almost impossible to use when travelling. I'm switching back to film, and I'm happy about it. No more battery life issues to worry about, no more DUSTY sensors, no more headaches and no more lens factor issues. Only thing I'll have to worry about is getting a bigger bag to lug around my film. :) That and I'll have to be patient about getting the film processed.

Having to be patient is a lot better than having to continually worry about dust on the sensor and other ridiculous issues.

When digital reaches a comparable functionality and quality, and the price is less than $8000, I'll consider going back. Otherwise, forget it. I mean, I could go to the store and pick up a very decent film camera that gives me better quality and no lens factor, for about U.S. $250.00

I'd rather be completely happy with my camera and know that I can be relatively certain that it will work perfectly, than having to try and feel content with it.

-End of Rant

Message edited by author 2005-05-14 21:19:04.
05/14/2005 09:13:55 PM · #21
Originally posted by Fetor:

its better just to get a body for each lens you have so you never have to switch lenses
i wish i had enough money to do that


haha.
05/14/2005 09:44:57 PM · #22
Originally posted by nfessel:

I never realized how much I love my camera until yesterday. I had to drop it off at the camera shop to have the CCD cleaned. I can't believe that there is already dust on it after only 2000 exposures.

The camera shop showed me how dust can easily enter the camera body and sensor. Take the lens off your dslr and rotate the lens body (zoom in and out). Put a hand by the hole in the rear of the lens, and you will actually feel air blowing out of the hole, and ultimately (if the lens is attached), sucked into the camera body. I never realized how easy it is to get air (and dust) in there.

Sensor dust is not a major issue with film cameras, because the "sensor" (emulsion) is not static-the exposures are made on a "clean slate" (new film section) each time (unless you shoot multiple exposures on one section of course). Compact digital cameras do not suffer from CCD dust (normally) because the lens is sealed in the camera body. I took 10,000 exposures with my compact Nikon Coolpix 4500 and NEVER had dust on the sensor.

In the future, I hope that lens/camera manufacturers will address this mounting issue with DSLRs.

My one day of hell is almost over. I get to pick up my 20D at 4pm today, hopefully dust-free. :)
I am new with DP and aware of it shortcomings with dust, However photography from it's early days has always battled the dust and I think it will not be solved soon or ever. For this reason many have turn back to film. As image gatherers we need to utilize the medium that best suits the condition of the shoot.
05/14/2005 09:49:54 PM · #23
Originally posted by blad:

Originally posted by nfessel:

I never realized how much I love my camera until yesterday. I had to drop it off at the camera shop to have the CCD cleaned. I can't believe that there is already dust on it after only 2000 exposures.

The camera shop showed me how dust can easily enter the camera body and sensor. Take the lens off your dslr and rotate the lens body (zoom in and out). Put a hand by the hole in the rear of the lens, and you will actually feel air blowing out of the hole, and ultimately (if the lens is attached), sucked into the camera body. I never realized how easy it is to get air (and dust) in there.

Sensor dust is not a major issue with film cameras, because the "sensor" (emulsion) is not static-the exposures are made on a "clean slate" (new film section) each time (unless you shoot multiple exposures on one section of course). Compact digital cameras do not suffer from CCD dust (normally) because the lens is sealed in the camera body. I took 10,000 exposures with my compact Nikon Coolpix 4500 and NEVER had dust on the sensor.

In the future, I hope that lens/camera manufacturers will address this mounting issue with DSLRs.

My one day of hell is almost over. I get to pick up my 20D at 4pm today, hopefully dust-free. :)
I am new with DP and aware of it shortcomings with dust, However photography from it's early days has always battled the dust and I think it will not be solved soon or ever. For this reason many have turn back to film. As image gatherers we need to utilize the medium that best suits the condition of the shoot.


Although others may have had different experiences, the only dust I've ever had to be concerned with when using film is the dust on the negative, which can be easily swiped off with a $15.00 (one-time price) photo cloth.

I just created my own personal list of the advantages and disadvantages of digital versus film, and I have to say that the only major disadvantages about film is the cost of the film, the cost of processing, and the lack of immediate feedback about the image. Other than that, film has many more advantages over digital. I can even get 25 ISO speed film, which isn't possible with the 20D (goes down to 100 ISO). And I can experiment with cool saturation effects (Fuji Velvia), and use the great black and white films (Ilford, etc.) Film takes the cake for me. Too bad I had to spend over $1500 to come to the conclusion. Oh well, live and learn I guess. I'm glad I came to a firm decision.

Message edited by author 2005-05-14 21:54:05.
05/14/2005 09:52:42 PM · #24
WOW!!!

Sorry you had such a bad luck switching from film to digital. Personally Im quite happy with digital, I blow my sensor every 2 weeks regardless with a light air compresser and carry a small blower ball with me. I keep my lenses and camera in my old camera fridge (thats what i call it) it was $250 and a worthy investment. Film is only expensive if, like me, you shoot around 3-500 shots a week or more, imagine 15 rolls of film a week, cost a small fortune, agreeing that the quality is better with film, if you get them put to CD you are in fact loosing quality.

Seems you had better luck with a fixed lens camera (digital) and it would be a shame to give up digital altogether. You say the coolpix has a bad battery issue. I used to have the Minolta Dimage 7i and that took standard AA batteries and had a 28-200mm macro glass on the end, I had 2 sets of rechargable batteries for it at 1800 (they make 2500 now) and it would last me all day solid shooting before a recharge was needed. As a Nikon user I do not know much about the 20D Canons but a friend of mine has one and says he has never cleaned the sensor more than a light blow out with his air machine. I understand your frustration and anger about this but I also feel you would miss digital, you have a great camera there, its just been professionally cleaned so my advice to you would be, get another Rebel film body so you can use the lenses for both, get yourself a small airbrush compresser from and art shop ($150) and give the D20 a weekly blow out, it really is not so difficult, even I can do it...lol. that way I think you can enjoy the best of both worlds without the sacrifice of such a nice camera..

Hope this helped
05/14/2005 10:00:30 PM · #25
Originally posted by alionic:

WOW!!!

Sorry you had such a bad luck switching from film to digital. Personally Im quite happy with digital, I blow my sensor every 2 weeks regardless with a light air compresser and carry a small blower ball with me. I keep my lenses and camera in my old camera fridge (thats what i call it) it was $250 and a worthy investment. Film is only expensive if, like me, you shoot around 3-500 shots a week or more, imagine 15 rolls of film a week, cost a small fortune, agreeing that the quality is better with film, if you get them put to CD you are in fact loosing quality.

Seems you had better luck with a fixed lens camera (digital) and it would be a shame to give up digital altogether. You say the coolpix has a bad battery issue. I used to have the Minolta Dimage 7i and that took standard AA batteries and had a 28-200mm macro glass on the end, I had 2 sets of rechargable batteries for it at 1800 (they make 2500 now) and it would last me all day solid shooting before a recharge was needed. As a Nikon user I do not know much about the 20D Canons but a friend of mine has one and says he has never cleaned the sensor more than a light blow out with his air machine. I understand your frustration and anger about this but I also feel you would miss digital, you have a great camera there, its just been professionally cleaned so my advice to you would be, get another Rebel film body so you can use the lenses for both, get yourself a small airbrush compresser from and art shop ($150) and give the D20 a weekly blow out, it really is not so difficult, even I can do it...lol. that way I think you can enjoy the best of both worlds without the sacrifice of such a nice camera..

Hope this helped


Hi, thanks for the info and I do understand where you're coming from, but I firmly believe that I shouldn't have to sacrifice so much effort to eliminate dust from the most integral part of the entire camera. What a joke having to spend more than my first car cost and then having to deal with dust on the sensor. Film processing is around $2.80/roll for 36 exposures. Film is about $3.00/roll. While that's expensive, at least I won't have to worry about the camera operating the way it should. What I may do is use the Coolpix I have to "pre-visualize" the image before I put it to film, but most likely, I'll just use the film camera by itself. The 20D is going away and not coming back and I probably won't buy another Canon again. Anyway, I appreciate your concerns. :)

Also, the "professional" cleaning did not remove all of the dust. I shot a piece of white paper today at f29 and still saw a couple of bunnies. I only have one lens and I haven't subjected this camera to harsh conditions. Yes, it has made me angry, but the experience has also opened my eyes.

I may miss digital for a little while, but I firmly believe that film will bring me back to the subject, instead of having to worry about the functionality of the machine.

Message edited by author 2005-05-14 22:12:21.
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