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I am getting this black spot at the same place every time I am taking a photo.

I am looking for an explanation of the issue and a solution to remove the patch. I am a beginner and if needed I can provide more photos of same issue.


8 Answers 8


To investigate sensor dust, perform the following test:

  • Close your aperture as much as possible (high F-number). This makes the sensor dust more visible.
  • Increase the focal length as much as possible (zoom in).
  • Focus on infinity (not sure if the focus part is actually necessary) on a bright, uniform background. I've found that the blue sky works well for this purpose.

When I had horrible sensor dust, my test photo looked like this (images darkened to enhance visibility of sensor dust):


After professional sensor cleaning through a photography shop in my area, it was almost completely gone:


In the former case, there was dust visible on most of my photos, in particular in the sky. In the latter case, I have not noticed any dust.

Both photos taken at F/40 with 200 mm focal length (Sony α6000).

  • 2
    Do you happen to have such photos of the sky for horrible sensor dust (already shown), clearly seen sensor dust (sompething like OPs issue), "I think there's something wrong with the camera" dust, "invisible" dust and "After the professional cleaning" dust?
    – Crowley
    Nov 7, 2018 at 13:09
  • 7
    You can also take this picture in front of a white wall. You can then use the picture as a mask in order to remove the dust in post-processing. You should also clean the sensor but you might be able to save already taken pictures this way. Nov 7, 2018 at 14:14
  • 7
    @EricDuminil I did try the mask automated post-processing, but I've found that any automated processing for my many hundreds of vacation photos was producing undesirable results, probably because in-camera processing and/or image stabilisation was causing the dust in the final photo to vary by some pixels. See this question.
    – gerrit
    Nov 7, 2018 at 14:19
  • @Crowley I've added the "after cleaning" photo. I have since learned to prevent sensor dust from becoming too bad (always point the camera downward when changing lenses), so I (fortunately!) don't have intermediate examples (yet).
    – gerrit
    Nov 7, 2018 at 14:20
  • 2
    @gerrit: Interesting thanks. I must admit I never actually tried this method, only heard that it can work. Nov 7, 2018 at 14:21

There's probably something on the sensor - maybe a dust particle.

You can check if the Canon camera has a sensor cleaning option and use it or take the camera to a local repair shop and have the sensor cleaned there.

Or you can clean the sensor yourself, but I wouldn't recommend it, as you are a beginner.


Dust on the sensor, as other answers have suggested, is a strong possibility. Another possibility is dust on the rear element of the lens. If you change to a different lens and the spots go away, that's the culprit. If they're still there, it's the sensor. If it's the lens, a cleaning cloth and a gentle touch will fix it.

  • 2
    Could be dust on the front of the lens, too! That's the easiest cleaning.
    – WBT
    Nov 7, 2018 at 17:46
  • 7
    @WBT, dust on the front of the lens is usually so horribly out-of-focus that it shows up as a loss of contrast rather than as a distinct object.
    – Mark
    Nov 7, 2018 at 22:45
  • OP's looks pretty out of focus compared to yours.
    – WBT
    Nov 8, 2018 at 14:37

Also, try to avoid using very small apertures (f/11 or f/16 or even higher) until you have an opportunity to clean the sensor or get it cleaned - small apertures make dust particles on the sensor far more pronounced.


If you see the same spots on all photo this is definitely dust spot on sensor. To be precise this dust do not touch sensor itself but the filters in front of the sensor.

To clean this you can try few ways.

  1. Use the "Clean sensor" function if your camera as this function. This will vibrate the sensor and try to get rid of dust
  2. Use blower to try to remove the dust. This should be done on switched on camera and directed down the lens mount (to be sure dust will go outside the body). Also you can activate mirror lockup to have better access to the sensor. And also its good camera to be in liveview mode.
  3. Send your camera to repair shop for cleaning.
  4. And last, try to clean the sensor by yourself.
  • 1
    Using a blower without the mirror locked up will do next to nothing. In fact, it's worse, as it risks blowing dirt into the viewfinder where it's very difficult to get out. Also, you want to blow up into the sensor, so you don't have more dust raining down into the camera while you're trying to clean it. Nov 8, 2018 at 10:57
  • @DavidRicherby, did you read my answer? Did you saw I mention the camera position? Did you read I mention liveview (which involve mirror lockup)? Nov 8, 2018 at 11:01
  • Yes, I read your answer. You say "blow down the lens mount", which suggests that the sensor is facing upwards; it should face down, as I said. You say "also you can activate mirror lock up", which suggests that locking up the mirror (by whatever method) is purely optional. It's not optional at all: it's a 100% necessary part of cleaning. Further, my understanding is that you don't want the sensor to be active while you're cleaning it, so live view is a bad idea. (I may be wrong on that; something about static charges on the working sensor attracting dust.) Nov 8, 2018 at 11:05
  • @DavidRicherby, sorry for not be native speaker, And think a bit about the sensor. Even if you have mirror lockup this do not mean shutter will be open. And you will blow the shutter, not the sensor. Right, there will be static charge. But otherwise you will have no access to the sensor at all. Nov 8, 2018 at 11:09
  • 3
    @RomeoNinov There is only one correct way to manually clean a DSLR sensor, and that is to activate the manual sensor cleaning option, hold the body facing downwards, and use a blower to gently blow upwards into the camera. Mirror lockup will not open the shutter. Liveview may have unforseen consequences. Never use any other method than the official one for your camera. If the camera does not have a manual sensor cleaning option, take the camera to a technician. Cleaning the sensor by some other method will void the warranty if the camera is damaged in the process. Nov 8, 2018 at 16:07

Try this:

  1. Open your best and just cleaned lenses to its max. aperture (the lower the f-stop, the bigger the aperture).
  2. Manually focus to the shortest distance available on the lens.
  3. Find well and evenly lighted white wall, move away from the wall until it’s quite blurry in the viewfinder. Take a few photos in raw.
  4. Go to your editing (developing) software and view the raws at 1:1 (real pixel size). To see the whole photo, you will have to move it.
  5. Anything that you see, depending on color and shape, is either dust and other particles on the sensor or a dead pixel in the sensor.

Tip: don’t forget to move the image and recheck if a dead pixel is suspected, monitors are prone to have dead pixels too and you could just spotted a dead pixel in your monitor not your camera.


This is 100% dirt on the sensor. If you think its on the lens, you can try a different lens and if you still see the dust, its on the sensor and not on the lens. To fix this: 1. If your camera has a sensor dust shake-off function try that 2. You can get a rocket blower and try to blow it out 3. If the dust still persists, you can buy sensor cleaning swabs for the size corresponding to your cameras sensor and use them in a paint-brush fashion. 4. If the marks are still there and its not an expensive camera, I would move on from the camera or live with using lower apertures. Or if its an expensive camera, you can send the camera to the manufacturer and get the sensor cleaned professionally or replaced entirely.


It's more than likely a pics of dirt or dust on your sensor. You can get special cleaning tools on eBay that doesn't cost that much. And there's plenty of videos showing you how to clean it be very careful though!

  • Be careful with "plenty of videos". There are also hoax videos whowing how to clean your camera and lens by throwing them into tubs of soap water ... Nov 8, 2018 at 16:16
  • @HagenvonEitzen I love that because it also rids /dev/null of old data cruft (Sony cameras apparently run on a BusyBox Linux). Nov 8, 2018 at 18:45
  • Hey T. Jones - Welcome to Photo.SE! Can you expand your answer a bit? What kinds of tools would you recommend? What is an example video on cleaning that you'd recommend? Your answer can really be boiled down to: Google it. As such, it's not that helpful to readers. Please add in more. Thanks!
    – OnBreak.
    Nov 9, 2018 at 18:09

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