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Dust specks - how do I know if they are on lens or sensor and how can I get rid of them

25 Feb 2013 6:25PM
Hi I have just returned from holiday in Borneo and during my time out there I noticed when framing my shots a small black spec in the bottom left corner - I have not noticed it on my pictures but I have not really taken a shot of a blank light page yet - Is there a proper way to find out where the speck is and can I clean it myself ?


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ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2013 7:36PM
A number of places that spec could be, in the prism of the camera is one lens is another sensor another and view finder the next.
to find out if the spec is on the sensor take white paper and take a shot into the white paper and then if spec is on the paper the sensor will need cleaning.
cleaning the sensor is a delicate prosedure and I personally am not patient enough or delicate enough to undertake the task so i go to my local photography shop and get it cleaned with an hour service , I normally time this around lunch time and go have some lunch in the town, by the time i am finished with lunch it is generally ready.
this service cost me 40.00 and they do a good job.
25 Feb 2013 7:39PM
Thank you Ian I will try out the white paper shot. If it is not on the picture shold I just clean both ends of the lens and viewfinder?
RogBrown 11 3.1k 10 England
25 Feb 2013 7:55PM
It won't be in the lens. Any marks on the lens will be too out of focus to appear in the pictures or the viewfinder.
John_Frid 12 514 57 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2013 8:02PM
It also wont be on the sensor as the viewfinder image is reflected from the mirror - if there is dust on the sensor you will see it in the images captured and not in the viewfinder.
StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
25 Feb 2013 8:12PM
Sounds like it's the viewfinder. Just to be sure it's not on the sensor, take a shot of the white paper, as suggested, but set a small f-stop.
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
25 Feb 2013 8:18PM
It won't be in the lens but it's just possible it's on the rear element.
It won't be on the sensor as John points out above because you don't see the sensor through the viewfinder.
My money's on it being on the mirror, which is easily cleaned.
As is a sensor, for that matter.
If you want to check the sensor for dust spots anyway, set your lens to its narrowest aperture (highest f-no.) and take a shot or two of a clear blue sky. They'll show up nicely on that.
25 Feb 2013 10:05PM
Thank you everyone I have done a white paper shot and cannot see the speck on the image - I will do a blue sky small aperture shot tomorrow (if the clouds have gone) I did swap lenses and it still shows up in viewfinder so I suppose that means viewfinder or mirror. I'll let you know how it goes Cheers
26 Feb 2013 5:56PM
Thanks Guys - I think it was on the mirror as I seem to manage to put more on when I tried to clean it in the first place - I am now speck free again.
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
26 Feb 2013 6:03PM

Quote:I seem to manage to put more on when I tried to clean it

. . . I forgot to mention that bit!

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