Sensor Cleaning

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Kwazy

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I can be pretty clumsy with my equipment, and my only guess is that I must have changed a lens without shutting off the camera (thus keeping the shutter open and the sensor exposed), getting quite a bit of dust or pollen in there. Sent it out to Canon to clean, thinking I'd mess something else up trying to do it myself. Not having a mirror and a normally-closed shutter that used to protect DSLR sensors can be an issue I had not considered at first. Will try to avoid changing lenses in the field, and when I do, always point the camera downward, perhaps that'll help?

Anyone else have any experience with getting the dust in and out of the R sensors? Share your woes.
 

Hali

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I always try to point my camera down and against the wind (if there is any) when I have to change the lens. I did that in the DSLR days too because grit could get under the mirror and get on the sensor. I haven't had a problem with the R5 or R6 yet. I always used to clean my own DSLR sensors with a blower and a sensor cleaning stick unless I was going on a big trip then I brought it to a place in Boston and let them clean it in a clean box. I haven't tried it with the R's.
 
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MikeZ

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I haven't had any issues with dust on my R5 sensor, but I'm cautious when changing lenses and follow the same procedure: point the camera down and away from any wind. I'm also not comfortable cleaning the sensor myself so I would have it taken care-of professionally.
 

Kwazy

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Thanks for your feedback, Hali and Mike.
I received my camera back 5 days after sending it out (sent out Mon, got back Fri). Cost me about $150 with insurance (probably would've been cheaper using USPS instead of UPS), but they did clean it well. Could not see a single spec of dust in test images, while the DIY videos I watched seemed to be ok with having a spec or two remaining after the cleaning. I did purchase the supplies to try it myself next time, as apparently many people do it and it's not as dangerous as Canon wants you to think.

However, I am now more careful when changing lenses and so far have been avoiding changing them in the field at all. Will probably braven up to again eventually. I guess the main things are to ensure the camera is off, point it down and away from any wind. Your feedback makes me believe that mirrorless lenses can be changed without dusting up the sensor.
 

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I just joined this forum to find out specifically about dust on the sensor. I've had my R5 since last Dec and have not had any issues with dust. I just did a beach sunset shoot in Monterey CA and notice a ton of dust on my sensor. I will clean it myself, but thought the R5 would be a good dust free camera. I guess there is no such thing with a interchangeable lens camera.
 

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Kwazy

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Yes.
The best you can do is point the sensor down and the camera shielded from the wind by your body when changing lenses. Doing it on a beach is just asking for trouble though.
 

Hali

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I just joined this forum to find out specifically about dust on the sensor. I've had my R5 since last Dec and have not had any issues with dust. I just did a beach sunset shoot in Monterey CA and notice a ton of dust on my sensor. I will clean it myself, but thought the R5 would be a good dust free camera. I guess there is no such thing with a interchangeable lens camera.
There really isn't a way to keep a sensor completely dust free when you change lenses unless you do it in a negative pressure situation (which most of us won't have access to). You can minimize the amount of dust that gets on the sensor and the R5 does a great job with that because of the shutter. If you change lenses in windy situations or on a beach or in a dusty area, you are going to have dust. Even inside a house if you've got air conditioning or the heat blowing you have a good chance to get dust.
 

dswhalen

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Yes.
The best you can do is point the sensor down and the camera shielded from the wind by your body when changing lenses. Doing it on a beach is just asking for trouble though.
I lived with dust with my 5D's and it was a pain. But I've never seen this much. I have all the professional cleaning stuff and have cleaned my sensors a lot in the past. Those aren't birds.
2022-11-07_12-46-16.jpg
 

Kwazy

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Those aren't birds.

When I dusted up my sensor I marked all the particles I could find - there were close to a hundred visible ones on a test shot. I'm not certain how I got so much, but as the original post here states, my best guess was that I changed the lens while the camera was on (shutter open) and probably pointed the sensor sideways. Have been more careful since then and have also successfully cleaned the sensor on my other camera, it's pretty simple and only scary the first time.
 

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I may have spoken too soon about dust (or something else) on my R5 sensor. I would expect that any contaminant on the sensor would yield a solid blemish on an image. However, I'm finding a fuzzy dot. That initially led me to think that the lens needed cleaning, but lens cleaning as well as a different lens did not correct the issue. What's further confusing is that the fuzzy spot is not in the exact location over multiple test shots - close to the same spot with only slight movement. I've tried the self clean. but there is no change. Any ideas what I'm up against? The below image is a solid white wall. Apologizes for the dark image as I didn't change the white balance

Image 2.JPG
  • Canon EOS R5
  • 105.0 mm
  • ƒ/8
  • 1/6 sec
  • ISO 400
 

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Kwazy

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I may have spoken too soon about dust (or something else) on my R5 sensor. I would expect that any contaminant on the sensor would yield a solid blemish on an image. However, I'm finding a fuzzy dot. That initially led me to think that the lens needed cleaning, but lens cleaning as well as a different lens did not correct the issue. What's further confusing is that the fuzzy spot is not in the exact location over multiple test shots - close to the same spot with only slight movement.

Yes, dust presents itself as fuzzy dots. The wider the aperture, the fuzzier the dot. What is probably happening here, is the particle gets dislodged during sensor cleaning and changes positron slightly.


Clean your sensor with one of those squeegee kits.
 

MikeZ

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Thanks for the info, and I thought that I would try a blower bulb first which did the trick. While the spot moved during self-cleaning, it seemed to return to its original position after a few attempts. That's what really concerned me and made me think that the dust was in the lens (shifting positions as I zoomed the lens). I'm glad that wasn't the case and that the blower bulb fixed it.

By the way, have you used a squeegee with success and is there one that you'd recommend?
 

Kwazy

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Thanks for the info, and I thought that I would try a blower bulb first which did the trick. While the spot moved during self-cleaning, it seemed to return to its original position after a few attempts. That's what really concerned me and made me think that the dust was in the lens (shifting positions as I zoomed the lens). I'm glad that wasn't the case and that the blower bulb fixed it.

By the way, have you used a squeegee with success and is there one that you'd recommend?

Ah, the blower didnt help me when I tried it, and just moved the dust around. I guess it depends on the type of dust and method of adhesion.

I did use a squeegee successfully and it was very easy, although a bit scary at first. I'd recommend any of the more expensive ones available (I got mine on Amazon) to be safe, but I bought a mid-priced kit, and it did the job just fine.

One thing to know is that there's actually a layer of glass protecting the sensor, so you're just cleaning that, and unless you use excessive pressure, you shouldn't damage anything.

Good luck!
 

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