How the hell should I clean my sensor!? I surely don’t wanna scratch it and ruin it forever, I am not sure of how sensitive it is, but I sure don’t want to risk it at all, and that I can tell for sure. I love my camera, and after 8 months shooting together, we’re starting to know each other quite good, and I don’t wanna ruin that for sure! I love my camera, it has brought me tons of moments of joy in this few time, and I want it to keep making me happy.
And a big part of it is taking extra good care of it, and treating it as if it was your most precious thing in the entire world. So the first question would be: when do I have to clean my sensor!? In my case, there are times where I am shooting and I find out later on the editing process that there are a couple dark spots, result of the dust on the sensor, then I say a huge dammit! And is time to clean those on postproduction, which is a pain and is also unnecessary if you have your gear clean.
To check out if your sensor needs to be clean or not, a nice trick I read is to set your camera with the smallest aperture possible (in my case an f32) and shot a uniform and bright source of light (I shoot the sky on a bright blue day for that, on a slow speed) and then you’ll find out little dust spots all over your picture. I hate those spots, I hate them a lot.
Then is when the second question enters on play: can I really clean it by myself without screweing everything up? I kept reading and everywhere I read that the safest thing is to send your camera to an expert, or to the company repairing store, that’ll be the safest and the only ones who would be responsible of any bad results, so it has a nice guarantee. But I have a couple problems with this, first of all, I only have one camera, and I wouldn’t like to spend 2-3 weeks without it. Second, that cost money, and is not necessarely cheap (not for my budget at least), so I’d like to do it by myself.
Once you had made up your mind, and you are up to take the risk, you’d have to be careful, and really gentle with everything you do near the sensor, because a single little scratch is going to ruin your camera forever and the cost of changing it might be as much as a new camera. That been said, I am just going to tell you the two tricks I used, and the easy ones, as I read you can unbuild your camera, clean it and build it again, but I am possitive that’ll be a huge disaster in my case.
First thing to try out: The blower.
The blower is this small little thing that basically, blows air with some pressure. What you have to do with it is put it on the lense lenght from the sensor, and blow the air, on some directions so the dust flies away and goes out of the sensor.
The problem with the blower? Is that I think that the dust must be … I don’t know, if recent, or not much, or … I don’t know. But when I use the blower and I test my camera, I could tell it was cleaner, but I couldn’t tell it was clean, there still were spots all over the sensor, and I really wanted to get rid of those! Then I kept reading and I discover that the problem with the blower is that sometimes, appart from changing the dust from one place to the other, it also moves dust from inside the camera and in the end it could get more dust than you had before!
I am still doing this as a first step on my cleaning process though, because I like to think it’ll take out most of the dust around.
Second step: The brush
I found out there are specific kits and brushing to clean up your lense, and I would totally encourage you to use them if you can. But if can’t afford it, or you want to save some bucks, you can also by a really soft brush (the softest the better) and use it to brush your sensor. I bought a new make up brush, small enough to enter through the lense whole and also small enough to move around the different areas of it. I brushed it suuuuuuuuuuuuupernice, and suuuuuuuuuuuuupersoft, as I didn’t want to cause any damages, and I made sure the brush was clean, had no dust itself, no oils, and in plus, that it didn’t have hairs falling out of it (that happens sometimes with make up brushes)
That’s it, that’s all I know about it, and what I found cheap, easy and middly safe. What about you? Do you have any tricks to share related with your sensor? How do you clean it? Let me know all about it on the comments below!