I'm planning to use a blower to clean the dust from my DSLR sensor, and there are several sizes of blower, such as this small blower:

Small blower

And on the other side, there is other bigger blower, such as:

Big blower

Which one is more effective? The smaller one seems to have smaller tip as well, so it might give more air pressure than the bigger one.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ It's not the size of the blower, it's what you do with it that counts. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Mar 21, 2015 at 10:05

2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, I think the size of the blower has more to do with its portability than anything else. :) Most folks get a larger one for home use, and a smaller one to carry around in the bag or on travel. The air capacity may help with hand fatigue, but the pressure is unlikely to change a whole lot, since human hands really only have so much grip strength. In addition, more is not always better. On the Lensrentals blog, Roger Cicala, in going over their lens cleaning tools, mentions the DataVac, but also that it's too powerful for use on front elements (yes, you can use a RocketBlower for stuff other than sensors).

The Giottos Rocket Blower tends to have a lot of mindshare among photographers for two very simple reasons: 1) It has a valve on the back end, so that air only travels in one direction (from the back to the front) and it never acts like a vacuum, sucking back in the dust you just blew out of the camera. 2) The fins means nothing touches the intake port and you can set it down on the table upright and it won't roll away.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The Rocket Blower also has an intake valve dust filter missing from some (but not all) cheaper bulb type blowers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 18, 2016 at 22:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark, Giotto's website doesn't mention a filter. Only bulb blower I've heard of with one is the Koh HEPA Jet. And you can see the filter, there. \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Mar 19, 2016 at 1:02

Go get a can of aerosol duster from any camera or electronics supplier. You will get a nice long nozzle and it will blow clean, dry gas. The rubber bulbs will blow whatever's in the room plus talcum powder (when it's new) and rubber dust (when it's old) all over your sensor.

In response to the comments: A certain amount of finesse is required here. Don't hold the can upside down, don't apply full pressure to delicate components. I've been using Dust-Off and it's relatives since the early 1980s on all things elecro-mechanical and it works just fine.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ DO NOT use canned air on sensors or lenses. There is no actual air in the can, just a fluoroethane propellant that vaporizes and blows out the nozzle at very high speed, often carrying droplets of very cold liquid along with it. That stuff is more difficult to remove than dust and can cause coated surfaces to crack. There are plenty of blowers on the market that are manufactured cleanly; the ones that blow powder are cheap garbage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Blrfl
    Mar 21, 2015 at 11:58
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Good God OP do NOT do this. The canned air will screw up your mirror. \$\endgroup\$
    – user4894
    Mar 21, 2015 at 17:28
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Do not use aerosol canned air on your camera. Never. Never. Never. \$\endgroup\$
    – chuqui
    Mar 21, 2015 at 20:45
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Here is a good discussion on what's in those bottles of "canned air" (hint: not air) and why it's a bad idea. \$\endgroup\$
    – chuqui
    Mar 21, 2015 at 21:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would like to keep this answer here. Ironically, even though the recommendation is not a good one, and the reasons why have been well documented, I think it is valuable to keep it around for the reaction and the comments. It is important people who come here from web searches and such know that using canned air with propellants comes with risks. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:49

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