Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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Tidying up sensors, lenses and other photographic items from dust, fungus, liquids etc.

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26
votes
11answers
2k views

What is the best way to clean the sensor on a digital SLR?

I've got a couple of spots of dust on the sensor of my Canon 20D - a rocket blower isn't shifting them, and I'm ridiculously scared of some of the more direct methods for cleaning sensors -- what ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Why use a small aperture when trying to see sensor dust?

Here and there I read of people who set their lens to a small aperture while testing their sensor cleanness, supposedly to get the best image of dust speckles. However, the image of the on-sensor dust ...
22
votes
5answers
27k views

Why does fungus form in lenses, and how to get rid of it?

Recently I was using an old Pentax 50mm f/2 that had a quite big green spot, and later I was informed that it was a fungus. A couple of questions raised from this: Why does fungus form inside the ...
40
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the best way to clean lenses and filters?

After removing dust with an air pomp and a brush, what are you using to remove stains from the lens and filters? So far I'm using the liquid from a Giotto's CL 1002 cleaning kit for the lens, but I'm ...
7
votes
1answer
509 views

Dust-like speck visible every few pictures — is it dust, or worse?

I seem to have to dust-like speck on my Sony Cybershot S950's lens, but it appears randomly every few pictures. Could something be going bad internally?
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I avoid soft dull “spots” in my pictures?

Recently, I've been doing a lot more photography, particularly with my 100-400mm telephoto and 16-35mm wide. I am skilled enough that I can capture the shot mostly as I want with just the camera gear, ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I clean my camera sensor, or take it to a professional?

Possible Duplicate: Best way to clean the sensor on a digital SLR? Can anyone offer me advice on how to clean my camera's sensor? Should I do this myself, or take the camera to a ...
12
votes
2answers
377 views

How to properly clean a camera

I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT. When I look through my camera's viewfinder, I see a tiny speck near the bottom middle. It seems to cause my camera to not focus well (I have autofocus (AF) turned ...
12
votes
1answer
426 views

Is dust in a zoom lens a problem which should be addressed?

I have accumulated some amount of dust inside one of my zoom lenses, visible through the front glass. It does not appear to affect picture quality as far as I can tell, but I wonder if this is ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the best methods for cleaning really dirty lens elements?

I bought old M42 Pentacon 50mm f1.8 lens from a car boot sale. It works but is pretty dirty and it has also dirt inside (no mould/fungus though). Opening the lens is not a problem but I would like to ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I clean the inside of my viewfinder?

My viewfinder (not LCD) has spots of dust on it. What is the best way to clean the inside? I have cleaned the outside with a QTip.
4
votes
4answers
346 views

Lens Cleaner Recommendations

What is, in your opinion, the best lens cleaner? Which do you think is the most effective/best value for your money/most easy to use, etc. Please include advantages/disadvantages as well as price and ...
3
votes
2answers
424 views

How to clean a lens filter?

What's the best way to clean a lens filter? I bought a used lens that came with a filter. The lens is in great shape but the filter clearly has smudges and streaks across the front. Am I better ...
14
votes
1answer
851 views

How do I to clean prime lenses' internals? Or should I even try?

I have some very old primes (grandfather's 1950s Exakta Varex lenses, ranging from 28mm to 85mm) that I've been really enjoying on my Sony NEX with an adapter. It's partially sentimental, but I've ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is a self-cleaning sensor necessary when using only one lens?

The Canon 1100d lacks a self-cleaning sensor. If I use this camera without ever exchanging the lens, is the absence of a self-cleaning sensor a bad 'feature'? Are the bodies of modern DLRS cameras ...
6
votes
4answers
270 views

How do I clean the external forward-facing glass on my lens?

How do I clean the external forward-facing glass on my lens? Over the last year or so of use it has accumulated a little dust and a translucent smear mark. Nothing serious, but I'd like to remove ...
6
votes
2answers
341 views

How to clean an oily spot from the camera body?

This is very trivial. You are eating some food, you grabbed your camera for some reasons and inadvertently you left an oily finger print on your camera. It should be easy to remove right? But it ...
5
votes
5answers
424 views

How often should I clean my lens?

You may have read Lens Cleaner Recommendations, and now I would like to know how often to clean my lens. I have been using one lens for about a year without cleaning it yet and recently got a new zoom ...
2
votes
1answer
609 views

Why does my Nikon D90 make a strange sound during built-in sensor cleaning, when my friend's D90 doesn't?

I noticed a quiet sound (like squeaking) when using the built-in sensor cleaning of my Nikon D90. In some forums I read about many people having this behavior with the Nikon D700 and some Canon ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it risky or difficult to wet clean an image sensor?

I've discovered spots on the image sensor of my DSLR camera that cannot be cleaned using a blower bulb, so I would like to know the risk of problems, such as further image deterioration or damage to ...
12
votes
5answers
509 views

Does it matter which way the camera is orientated for the sensor cleaning to work?

With the advent of sensor cleaning in newer bodies - does it matter which way up you hold the camera whilst it is cleaning? I understand that the sensor cleaning works by vibrating the sensor to knock ...
10
votes
2answers
187 views

How do I protect my camera in a smoke filled environment?

I'm going to start a new project soon, "People in bars". I think it will be fun, and I think I'll capture a lot of interesting faces. The thing is, bars are harsh environments for DSLRs. Obviously, ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

How effective are in-camera integrated sensor cleaning systems, and have they improved?

Few years ago, Canon introduced some sort of internal sensor cleaning system that (as far as I understand it) shakes the sensor off any dust it collected during use. This shake is very high frequency. ...
5
votes
1answer
357 views

Colored powder in a lens: will it need a cleaning?

I was taking photos of people playing Holi. Some of the powdered colour landed on the lens of my Canon Powershot S95, and in the groove of the flash housing. By lens, I mean the cylindrical part that ...
1
vote
3answers
479 views

How can I clean a camera effectively?

My camera lenses are getting particles and such on them, and whenever I take very close up (Macro) Picture, I can see these particles on the image. There are also fingerprints on the LCD screen. There ...