I have a camera with a scratched sensor (a Canon 1Ds Mk II) - can I clean the dust from the sensor? And if yes, how? By using the wet method? Or just by blowing air?

The scratch is in the middle. Perhaps it is better to avoid that area?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean that you have both a scratch and some dust on your sensor, and you would like to remove the dust without causing any further damage? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 9:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jukka: Yes. Sorry for not being clear. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 10:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the idea of using trying to use a rocket blower to remove a scratch! :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 10:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that you cannot scratch the sensor itself without seriously breaking things. What you have scratched is the sensor's cover-glass. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fake Name
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


I'm not particular familiar with that specific camera but I would suggest taking it in to get the glass cover replaced. There are companies that specialises in such things. Check this thread out for details: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/664948.

In all likelihood the scratch will be on the glass directly above the sensor rather than on the sensor itself, so it shouldn't be massively expensive.

  • \$\begingroup\$ better yet, take it to an authorised dealer and have it sent in for repair and cleaning. But do ask a quote first in case it's indeed the sensor itself in which case the repair might be more expensive than replacing the camera unless it's a highend body (which this is of course). \$\endgroup\$
    – jwenting
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 9:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah that's what I thought too - and it is worth getting a no-obligation quote - but according to the thread on fredmiranda.com (above) Canon have in some cases decided to replace the entire sensor even when the scratch is on the protective glass. Hence the recommendation to look at third-party options. \$\endgroup\$
    – vlad259
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 9:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @vlad259 - That's probably because replacing the cover-glass is really involved. It's epoxy-bonded to the sensor's ceramic casing. You need a clean-room and some really aggressive solvents to remove the glass, and it's rather hard to do without damaging anything else. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fake Name
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 11:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would wonder if it would be possible to lap the scratch away. It's just an idea, but It should e possible to simply polish the surface of the glass away until the scratch is gone. It would be very time consuming though. Probably not cost-effective, and glass-lapping is something of a black art anyways. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fake Name
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 11:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FakeName not to mention it would change the plane of focus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Evan Krall
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 19:56

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