To clean or not to clean the Sensor

Even tho I try, I appear to have bad lens changing technique, because I seem to get dust on my sensor quite regularly. The first time it got bad enough that I had to consider cleaning it, I started to research my options. There are many fancy gadgets and devices available to help you clean your camera senso, but the more I read the more I became concerned about damaging it instead.

Here are some links I found on the subject:

How to Clean your Sensor

Cleaning your Sensor

Sensor Cleaning article

Now the interesting thing is in all the good articles I read, they stated clearly that any cleaning you do yourself, you do at your own risk, and it appears to be a real risk. There was an excellent article with pictures that I cannot find that showed what the damage can look like.

So here were the Pros and Cons:

Pro for Self Cleaning:

– cheap
– convenient
– no downtime with camera

Con for Self Cleaning:

– risk of damage quite high
– cost of replacement sensor several hundred $

Pro for Pro Cleaning:

– done by experienced people

Con for Pro Cleaning:

– expensive
– camera away for some time

I rang Canon NZ and they advised me that the approx waiting time for a clean if I sent it to them was about 6 weeks !!!! And it would cost over $100!!! Thats an insanely long amount of time – either someone is badly organised or they need a lot more staff in the Service Dept at Canon in NZ.

Imagine my delight when the local camera store I go to advised me they offered their own cleaning service, for half the Canon price and it would only be away for 3 days! So I said “yes please” and handed my baby over. I have done this twice now and its come back with usually one stubborn spot left but I am ok with that. So far I seem to be sending it in about every 6 months for a clean but I learnt a useful thing from a new camera book that I didn’t really understand which might help in the future.

Turn your camera OFF when changing lenses. The Sensor area is has a static charge and therefore if on will attract dust particles if the camera is on.

So, didn’t know that, and have to admit to being guilty of the quick swap out without turning off first đŸ™‚


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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