Cleaning -- What/Where/How? [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : Cleaning -- What/Where/How?

02-10-2009, 16:03
So -- what should I clean on my camera? The front and back of lens? The little mirror that relfects to the eyepiece?

I'm a newbie, dunce, ignorant moron when it comes to this stuff.

What do I clean, and what do I clean it with? :dunno:

I'm just concerned about dust during lens changes and other environmental hazards.

02-10-2009, 19:04
Don't worry about dust until you HAVE it. At some point you will get it. I don't know about Nikon but sometimes Canons have it right out of the box. Until you get it, don't poke around in there because you can get a clean sensor dirty that way.

The way to check for dust is to shoot either a white wall, white sheet of paper or the clear sky. Don't worry about focus. Expose correctly while stopping the lens down as far as you can (f/22, for example). Some say open the image in PS and do auto levels but I don't bother. You can see the spots if they are there.

While you are at it, shoot a few more frames and open up a little more each time. The dust will pretty much disappear when you open up. This is why a lot of people don't worry about sensor dust, depending on what they normally shoot. Some people are content to just clone it out when it shows.

The first line of defense to cleaning your sensor is to use a Gittos Rocket Blaster. It will get it 90% of the time. On a Canon, you make sure your battery has a good charge, select sensor cleaning, hold the body out so that the dust will fall down and out of the body, and give it a few puffs. Never use canned air or blow with your mouth. Spit obviously will muck it up while the propellant/liquid in canned air can hurt or even ruin your sensor.

If the blower don't work there are wet cleaning methods and products. These are expensive speciality liquids and swabs. If you do not know exactly what you are doing you can ruin the sensor with these! If you have to go this route, hit the photography forums and see what people report having the best luck with. On the Canon forum I lurk on they use the Copperhill and Eclipse methods and products. I don't know much more than name recognition on them. Whatever method you use make damn sure you only make one pass with the swab to keep from spreading the contaminants and risking damage from them being on the swab. You have to be careful to only use the smallest amount that will work of the liquid or you can damage the sensor or leave it dirtier than it was when you started. You can also get into oils that are along the sensor and spread them creating a really big mess. Wet clean only if you absolutely have to.

I have never had to do anything other than use the blower. I frequently change lenses in nasty conditions. Sensor dust is not the huge issue you fear it is. Yes, it happens but it's generally easy to handle.

Some bodies have "self-cleaning sensor" functions. While it won't hurt anything to run it, don't expect it to really work. You might get lucky with loose dust but it's not what it was originally hyped up to be.

For the lens, get some lens cleaner and lens tissue. Don't use kleenex, your shirt or anything other than camera lens cleaner. Don't use the multi-purpose glass cleaner or eyeglass cleaners. Never ever spray/drop the lens cleaning liquid onto the lens itself---it can get inside the lens/behind the elements and the only thing you can do then is send the lens in for a professional cleaning. Fold and work around with your lens tissue so that you never use the same portion twice on the element to minimize streaking and spots and eliminate the chance of scratching the lens with a contaminant you just removed. Before using the tissue and cleaner, give a puff or two with the rocket blower to get rid of loose dust and contaminants. Sometimes this will be enough anyway.

For the mirror and viewfinder, the rock blower should take care of most anything with them internally. For the external part of the viewfinder, you can use tissue just like you do a lens.

For the body of the lenses and camera, just use a soft dry cloth. Your shirt or microfiber is ok for this.

Also, some people use a filter over the lens to protect it from getting dirty or damage to the front element. This is a very hot topics on the same level as 9mm vs .45. Personally, I have filters on all my lenses. Get high quality multi-coated ones if you use them. Cheaper ones can cause flare, soft images and degrade the image quality.

02-10-2009, 19:59
WOW! Thanks! :)

02-10-2009, 22:14
here is the tutorial on the copperhill method

02-11-2009, 10:34
Thanks again.

Oh, and Kitty -- your link to your site is broken.

02-11-2009, 10:50
Thanks again.

Oh, and Kitty -- your link to your site is broken.

:sigh: It works for me? Still broke?

02-11-2009, 20:50
Works now.

I got some Google page about a cached page. Hmm? Maybe you were working on it when I tried...?

02-11-2009, 20:58
Nothing's changed. Must of been some kind of hiccup? :dunno: