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How do you prevent dust from getting on your sensor?

conrad 13 10.9k 116
18 Apr 2005 6:41AM
Since I had a rather big speck of dust on my new 20D's sensor within two weeks, and since I was scared to death when I had to remove it (and made a mistake that could have had disastrous results, but fortunately didnt), I was wondering what other DSLR users out there do to prevent dust getting to their cameras sensor - especially when changing lenses. I have been a bit afraid to change lenses outside, since then (it happened in the garden, you see). Any good tips? (Apart from "never change your lens again", obviously...)


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Kris_Dutson 15 8.2k 1 England
18 Apr 2005 6:55AM
They reckon more dust gets in through the CF compartment, so by a 2GB card and only use the USB cable to download your shots. And I believe Canon are about to release an everlasting battery and a 12-1000mm lens so that's the other orifices sorted. Wink

Seriously 'tho, keep the body pointing down when changing lenses and the same for the CF compartment when changing cards. Apart from that, I'm afraid you'll just have to risk it like we all do. Smile

User_Removed 16 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2005 7:02AM
How on earth does dust get in from the CF compartment (not disagreeing with you but simply want to know). I cannot see why the CF compartment would need to be 'open' to the interior of the camera.

It does seem to be a problem that some people have more than others. Last year, I spent a large part of 14 days on the beaches of Gran Canaria (for the same travel company that took me off to Mallorca last week) and I hardly got any dust / sand issues despite changes of lenses on the beach in a constant breeze and yet other people seem to get a dusty sensor just by pulling the camera out of the bag!

Dust on the rear optics will introduce dust into the throat of the camera when you change and the push-pull types of zoom (like the Canon 100-400) are well known for sucking in dust which can work it's way into the camera. Likewise, the 'cheaper' dSLRs are not so well dust sealed as are the top end models (part of what you are paying for with them) but by far the most common source of dust is simply leaving the camera throat open particulary with the camera switched on (electrostatic attraction)

Barrie Smile
conrad 13 10.9k 116
18 Apr 2005 7:05AM

Quote:only use the USB cable to download your shots

Since I take out my CF card every single time I want to transfer my photos via the card reader to the pc...

Then again, I got dust while changing lenses in the garden, not when taking out the CF card in front of the computer.

Kris_Dutson 15 8.2k 1 England
18 Apr 2005 7:10AM
Sorry Conrad it was all tongue in cheek, apart from the 'seriously' bit.

As to the dust getting in through the CF card compartment - I have no idea why it does but I have seen this mentioned several times now. It may be complete rubbish but I thought I'd mention it, just in case it's not.

adamburton 14 627 11 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2005 7:11AM
I dont know a good solution Conrad, but I am experiencing exactly the same as you, despite taking super care of all my equipment at all times.

I have about 30 spots of dust which show on loads of my pics and take ages to remove. I too would like to remove them but am scared. Also, I wonder if I did clean it, how long it would take before I got loads more, seeing as these spots have come out of nowhere.

It might have been dirty on arrival, as these spots have been on there since photos taken on day 1. I have used the blower loads of time but cant seem to dislodge the buggers. I always point the camera down between lens changes, and am always super careful and expose the insides for about a millisecond before the new lens goes on.

So if anybody has any tips, I would love to hear them too.

UserRemoved 14 6.2k 1
18 Apr 2005 7:20AM
Always switch off when changing lenses

Keep your camera bag clean

Always clean the chamber when cleaning the sensor

Buy a "proper" camera with a dustshield Smile

I'm forever changing lenses, sometimes without even taking a pic before changing back! Sometimes forget to switch off. Use 256MB cards (even 128MB!), so change cards often. Never use the USB link. But rarely change the battery, so maybe that's the secret! Cleaned my camera twice in the last year!
sabretalon 14 1.9k United Kingdom
18 Apr 2005 8:14AM
I don't have a big problem with dust (although the queen blinks when I open my wallet LOL), but some lenses are really bad for dust. A colleague has a lens that works almost like a bellows and draws in dust, the only time he takes off the lens is to clean the sensor.

I have changed mine whilst sat on beaches without any problems. Although I would recommend you only use an official lens cleaner and not suncream for your lenses! LOL


Change lenses with your back to the wind
I use a lens brush, especially on the rear of the lens
Clean out your kit bag on a regular basis (amazing how much dust is in there)
Don't go on a EPZ meet with anyone you may have wound up in the forums..LOL
Keep the body facing downwards

Other than keeping a balloon in your pocket so you can blow it up, rub it to create some static and hold near the camera to attract dust. Just be careful.
Chris_H 14 1.5k 1
18 Apr 2005 8:42AM
I too have dust on my 20D and its really anoying me now, I never seemed to have a proble on my 300D, but I seemed to have dust on my pics from day one with the 20D, I have tried blowing them out but I think this has given me more dust in the camera.

I think its time for me to give some sensor swabs a try, has anybody tried Digi-Pad Sensor cleaners?

StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
18 Apr 2005 9:02AM
This is highly recommended here
geoffash26 14 2.5k United Kingdom
18 Apr 2005 9:19AM
Have you or any one used this product as the sensor clean swabs in the picture are medical cotton swabs which if you buy dirsect from the supplier cost about 7 dollars per 100
Well cheap compared to sensor swabs wich I've used and cheaper than DSLRclean which Ive just ordered
future 13 153
18 Apr 2005 9:46AM
I had / have the same issue with my D70. I use a C02 blower specifically a non liquid one. This seems to do the trick by blowing out the dust. Worth a try. I got mine from Jacobs. I also use it to clean lenses to ensure there is not dust on them which could transfer inside the camera.

Hope this helps, if not its swabs!!

Cheers Chris

PS don't blow into your camera your self, as if you would!!
KevSB 14 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2005 10:24AM
i used a co2 blower but made mine worse, just moved the dust around, i then did the swabs and eclipse fluid, did a great job. very frighted to try at first but when you see how easy it is, you wonder what the fuss was about
duratorque 15 427 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2005 10:33AM
Before you buy sensor brush, take a look at this. I do not have a DSLR and can not comment on this methode. However I do use this methode to clean my slides before scanning. It works very well on slides and does no damage. sorry i do not know how to set up link. Please copy and paste.

sillyconguru 13 4.4k
18 Apr 2005 10:36AM

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