Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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I've started to notice a faint darkened circle in my photos. I tried to clean the lenses and I still see it.

What's causing these circles?

Link to imgur album since I don't have enough rep to post images yet. http://imgur.com/a/5K3vW

  • Camera: refurbished Canon EOS Rebel T3
  • Lens: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Type II Lens
  • Post-processing: None.

Edit: Here's the images. img1 img2 img3

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Added images via edit (pending review) –  Andy_Vulhop Apr 14 '13 at 3:23
    
You might want to merge accounts your accounts. Welcome to the site, by the way. :) –  John Cavan Apr 14 '13 at 3:37
    
Check under the mirrorbox. I think the Rebel T3 has a "mirror lock up" function. Otherwise take the lens off, change the mode to Tv and set it to 2 seconds and see if you can see anything on the CCD/sensor. –  BBking Apr 14 '13 at 3:48
4  
@BBking: Doing that with the sensor energized will statically attract dust. To raise the mirror and open the shutter without energizing the sensor, use manual cleaning mode under the Set up 2 (Yellow) menu tab. The mirror and shutter will remain open until the camera is turned off. –  Michael Clark Apr 14 '13 at 6:20
1  
@BBking: Trying to clean the sensor when it is energized usually adds more dust than it removes, since the electrical charge on the sensor will attract the dust you are moving around plus any other dust in the immediate area of the sensor. –  Michael Clark Apr 16 '13 at 17:43
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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Looks like a hair on the sensor. Use your camera's built-in sensor cleaning function to see if you can dislodge it. If that doesn't work, you may have to clean it manually or take it to a camera shop that offers such a service.

Dust or hairs in the lens won't show up in photographs as they are too far from the plane of focus to be visible; have a look at this page to see how much you have to do to a lens to affect the photograph!

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Thanks for that link, Nick! Very informative. +1 –  TroyR Apr 15 '13 at 3:08
1  
Thank you so much for the information. It was an eyelash on the sensor that we used blower to manually remove. The problem was solved. I still have a lot to learn about my camera. Thanks again. –  smvulhop Apr 18 '13 at 16:45
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I agree with Nick, looks like a hair on the sensor. In this case you must clean it manually. First, blow on the sensor with a blower.

Next, raise the mirror and clean the sensor with a lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol (be very careful with this step!!) Anyway, it is easy to find, both online and in a photo shop, CCD cleaning kits.

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I would be hesitant to use isopropyl, especially consumer grade "rubbing" alcohol. The trace impurities will probably leave streaking. Get a bottle of Eclipse solution and some swabs the correct width for your sensor size. amazon.com/Digital-Survival-KIT-Sensor-Eclipse/dp/B000PNGM18/… –  Michael Clark Apr 14 '13 at 19:21
    
Really what I proposed is the basic solution to clean the CCD because most people are reluctant to spend money on a cleaning kit. But I do use a cleaning kit, since not a big outlay of money and skimp on cleaning photographic equipment. martin-iglesias.com/ficha/KIT-LIMPIEZA-PRO-SURVIRAL-/9506 –  cachorrocadi Apr 15 '13 at 8:59
1  
There are no CCD sensors in Canon's current lineup of DSLR cameras. They all use CMOS sensors. –  Michael Clark Apr 15 '13 at 9:33
    
Sorry, I know it is not correct to use CCD in all cases, is a bad habit I acquired while studying Audiovisual at the University of Málaga. –  cachorrocadi Apr 15 '13 at 11:06
    
We didn't use anything like a cloth or isopropyl alcohol to clean it but your idea of using a blower helped us manually remove the eyelash. Thank you for the information. –  smvulhop Apr 18 '13 at 16:46
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