How To Check Shadows Cast By Dust In Your DSLR Camera(VIDEO)

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How To Check Shadows Cast By Dust In Your DSLR Camera

How To Clean Your Camera Sensor

The shadows cast by dust and other small particles that settle on the sensor (or rather, on the high-pass filter that covers the sensor) remain one of the constant problems when shooting with digital SLRs.

Dust is almost impossible to avoid if you change lenses in anywhere less than a sterile setting like a studio, so any form of outdoor photography is prone.

Sensor Dust

Some ingenious manufacturing solutions are beginning to evolve, such as ultrasound and mechanically vibrating the low-pass filter to shake off particles, but in any case, it’s absolutely essential to check for dust frequently.

The simplest way is to examine the image at 100% magnification whenever you know that the conditions are likely to show dust. To be more conscientious, do the following:

The shadows cast by dust and other small particles that settle on the sensor remain one of the constant problems when shooting with digital SLRs. Click To Tweet

Fit the shortest focal length you have, or select the shortest focal length on a zoom lens. Stop the lens down to its smallest aperture.

Focus the lens manually to its nearest setting and aim at any blank, pale-to-mid-toned area, such as a white wall or the sky. Expose automatically or slightly adjusted for a lighter than average result. All of this will show up any dust shadows at their worst.

How to Check for Sensor Dust

– Molinski Photography

This video shows the best technique to check for sensor dust. Using three camera bodies from Canon, we compare an old and uncleaned body ( T3i ) against a body ( 7D ) direct from Canon Professional Services and a brand new 5DmkIII camera out of the box. The results vary and will surprise you.

Dust in Camera Viewfinder? What To Do

Occasionally a piece of dust will work its way into a DSLR camera viewfinder. This video explains what to do.

How To Clean Your Camera Sensor


By-f64 Academy  How to Clean Your Camera Sensor:

Take a Dust Test Picture: Shoot something White: This could be a piece of computer paper, a white marker board, or a piece of white hobby foam core.

How To Clean Your Camera Sensor Click To Tweet

Camera Settings: You should set your camera to its minimum aperture (f/22 is the smallest on most Canon lenses). You should be in manual mode and set your exposure to something like 1-3 seconds (or longer). You should not worry about camera shake so you don’t have to be tripod mounted. The dust will show up, trust me!

Open the Test Picture in ACR or Lightroom: Set the exposure to something white (I went +1.5 exposures in the video, but that is variable dependent upon your exposure). You should be more concerned with the Spot removal brush tab. Set the “Visualize Spots” to about the 75% mark.

This will show you the big pieces as well as the small ones. Setting it to 100% will show you a lot of superficial dust spots that will rarely be visible on your images unless you are shooting 5 x magnification macro shots.

Use the Rocket Air Blower

Set the Camera to Manual Cleaning Mode: By going into cleaning mode, the camera will lock the mirror in the up position giving you access to the sensor. This step may only be necessary for DSLR cameras.

Use the Rocket Air Blower Click To Tweet

Mirrorless cameras usually give you access to the sensor after removing the lens, which also makes them more susceptible to dust. Check with your mirrorless camera manual for cleaning instructions.

Blow Air Into the Camera Body

Use several short bursts of air into the camera body ensuring that you do not stab the sensor with the blower tip. Between your bursts, let the dust settle for 5 – 10 seconds and repeat the process.

Make Another Test Picture: Make another Test Picture after you have used the Rocket air blower.

Use the Sensor Brush

Set the Camera to Manual Cleaning Mode
Remove the Sensor Brush from the Case: Be sure to leave your sensor brush in an airtight case when not in use. Also, be sure that you never touch the brush bristles with your fingers as the oils from your fingers could make their way onto your sensor.

Blow Air Into the Sensor Brush – The sensor brush uses static electricity to pick up the dust from your camera sensor. By blowing air into the brush with the Rocket Blower you are “charging” the bristles.

Sweep the Sensor: Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently sweep the brush across the sensor. You should be barely making contact with the sensor when you do this motion. The static electricity will help pick up the dust, sweeping motions are not necessary.

Sweep the other side of the sensor: Repeat step 3 between side to side sweeps. This will ensure that you are removing the dust from the brush between sweeps and recharging the bristles.

Make Another Test Picture: Make another Test Picture after you have used the Rocket air blower.

Use the Sensor Swab

Set the Camera to Manual Cleaning Mode
Remove the Sensor Swab from the package: The same rules apply to the Swab that applied to the Brush. Do not touch the white fabric part of the swab to ensure your finger oils do not make their way to the sensor.

Wet the Sensor Swab: This step is optional, you may use the swab dry if you do not have sensor cleaner. Apply one drop on each side of the fabric portion of the brush.

Use the Sensor Swab Click To Tweet

Sweep the Sensor – Hold the swab at a 45-degree angle and gently sweep the brush across the sensor. You should be applying a light amount of pressure when you do this, do not use excessive force. The key is to make contact with the sensor and gently apply pressure as you sweep from side to side.

Sweep the other side of the sensor: Repeat step 4 sweeping to the opposite side of the sensor.
If you must repeat steps 4 & 5, it is highly recommended that you use another swab.
Test Picture: Make another Test Picture after you have used the Sensor Swab.

If everything looks good, you are finished! If you still see dust, repeat the process from the Rocket Air Blower through the Sensor Swab.

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