View Full Version : Photographers - Dust Problems with DSLR's

March 11th, 2007, 09:49 AM
I'm wondering if anyone is experiencing problems with dust on the sensors of their Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras.

I'm aware of the causes. I clean my sensor when required using Eclipse fluid and Sensor Swabs.

The killer is when dust spots occur in the middle of a shooting session. It is a tremendous waste of time to retouch dozens of images. While the subject matter might conceal some spots, a clear sky will definitely make them stand out.

Gregory Tenenbaum
March 11th, 2007, 10:22 AM
Cleaning a sensor is always something that I think is fraught with danger. I would never do it in the middle of a shoot because I do not change lenses then (well, rarely). I do make sure that both ends of the lens are clean however and that is enough of a task.

Everyone experiences dust using a DSLR, or MF digital backs. My view is that the more you handle them, the greater your chance of dropping the thing or wrecking the sensor.

Use a film camera. Hours of joy. Better quality.

March 11th, 2007, 02:42 PM
Thanks for telling us to use film, that really helps.

I have had problems with dust. I just try to clean the sensor as much as possible but I still end up with dust. I took it to a few camera stores but none of them would clean it for me. I still have dust problems but if I clean right before I shoot they are usually minimal.

Gregory Tenenbaum
March 11th, 2007, 03:40 PM
Are you being sarcastic? If so, please don't be so bitter - using a film reflex body is a great idea if dust is bothering you.

Film does have better dynamic range, color reproduction, and with drum scanned film, resolution than any digital sensor (yes including the 39MP Hasselblad digital MF backs).

The mirror in a film reflex camera (although note that is no mirror in a TLR or LF body) does not attract dust like a DSLR's sensor.

The reality is that when you walk buy the airport and the perfumerie and see that 6 foot tall poster for Chanel or Prada or LV, the photographer would likely have been using MF or LF film.

When you consider that you can buy a great MF body and lens and several thousand shots processed and scanned for the same price as small format high end digital body, MF is a great option. Of course 35mm film is even less costly and is still a favorite today with many catwalk fashion photographers (largely because of its shoot and archive quality and the great range and performance of some color print films in the dark).

Some digital movie cameras have better resolution than their 35mm Academy format equivalents. Does that make it better? Watch Miami Vice and you tell me. Of course, IMAX format at 5K for 5 minutes of stock (just to buy the film - telecine, processing and print is extra) is eye blowing in its quality and contrast capabilities. It's a 70mm format.

Life isn't fair to digital. But at least its faster and if you do a lot of shooting then its cheaper than using film, and that is why it's popular. I'm after quality, not winning a popularity contest.

Have a great day.

March 12th, 2007, 04:31 PM
If you have a Nikon, I know you can bring it back to them to be cleaned. But I don't know what the wait period is.

I know in a pinch, I've used a can of compressed air. Which you're not supposed to do, apparently.

Here's some other information I've found that's helpful:


Here's an all around FAQ with a list for sensor cleaning: