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Do It Yourself (DIY) Digital SLR Camera Sensor Cleaning – pt 2

I was out shooting outdoor photos today at apeture setting F14 and thought I was getting some really nice shots. On closer inspection though, my old arch nemisis the black little dots of my sensors were back with a vengence, just 8 months after the last time I cleaned the sensor. I usually don’t shoot over F8 so the dots aren’t that noticeable, but this was terrible. There must be a hundred dots on this photo alone – this shot is unusable and I really don’t feel like taking the time to fix it.

Good news is, I followed my original DIY cleaning instructions (click this link to see them) again and cleaned the sensor almost completely in less than 3 minutes.


Notice how all the spots are in the same place on this photo as in the church photo:


I went from 100s of dots to about 3. I could clean it again, but this is good enough for now – don’t want to risk getting more dirt in by opening the sensor up again.

I found a new shortcut for spotting the dots too. Instead of photographing a white sheet of paper, I used my computer monitor. I simply opened notepad, maximized the screen, and shot a photo of my monitor (focusing on the pointer) at ISO800, F16 and 1/60 sec. This was much faster than getting out a tripod, setting up a white sheet of paper vertically and shooting that with a much longer exposure, be sure to find the right professional for cleaning..

UPDATE: 09-25-07 – Amanda from the Austin Photography Group reminded me that the reason I’m probably getting so much dirt on my sensor is because I am not turning off the camera when I change lenses every time. I believe the logic behind this is that when the camera is turned on, the electric current that runs through the sensor attracts dust.

I agree, sometimes I do get rushed and forget to shut the camera down. Over the next several months, I will be careful when changing lenses and I’ll compare the amount of dust I see in about 6 more months.

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