Brunei Darussalam

The Road To Victory Begins With A Clean Sensor

They say “charity begins at home” to mean you should take care of family and people close to you before you worry about helping others. I like to think that my family including  my two Canon EOS 5D Mark II bodies are well looked after. When Reuben Chin tweeted about his dirty Nikon D700 sensor and his failed attempt at cleaning using a Marumi Low Pass Filter Cleaner I offered to help knowing from first hand experience that when all else has failed, wet cleaning usually saves the day. Back in the days when Canon DSLR bodies had no built-in sensor cleaning or “shake off” technology I acquired a lot of hands-on  experience  cleaning my EOS 20D, EOS 1D Mark II so much so I wrote a DSLR Sensor Cleaning Tutorial including a related article on Cleaning the Viewfinder.

With a clean sensor and renewed enthusiasm, Reuben went on to take part in Brunei’s First Canon Photo Shoot-out held this morning in the Brunei capital and emerged victorious!

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Using an LED lighted magnifying glass, Anthony and Reuben were able to see first hand just how shockingly dirty their Nikon sensors are. This low cost appliance also makes it very convenient to check before and after results without resorting to shooting bright skies at f/22, download to a PC then examine for dust spots.
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Prior to wet swabbing, I use 3M Scotch tape to lift lint and other debris from the side wall of the chamber to ensure they don’t add more dirt to the already dirty sensor. Behind that nonchalant smile is a nervous owner of a Nikon D700 unsure of his camera’s fate. The fact that I am so casual about it and not wearing a white “doctors” jacket, I suspect, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
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Anthony was quick to pass me his Nikon D3 for me to warm up. This happens to the first Nikon I cleaned a couple of years earlier and it’s come back for spa treatment.
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Using a PowerShot G11 Live View its large LCD offers an impressive view of the camera sensor through the lighted magnifying glass.
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The combination of a lighted magnifying glass and G11 Live View offers the convenience of those rather expensive purpose built sensor scope. I like to use tools I already have instead of adding more items to my inventory and less money in the bank.
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Handheld LED lighted magnifying glass makes the job of sensor cleaning so much easier than before even for my aging eye sight I am able to see every single trace of dust or streaks left from previous cleaning job.

[ The same hand-held magnifying glass used as creative light source ]

This close-up view of my EOS 5D Mark II sensor was photographed with a Powershot G11 shot through a Visible Dust 7X sensor loupe purpose built to aid sensor cleaning.
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Four used sensor swabs and two thumbs up. That’s me on the left and Reuben wearing a smile after seeing his rejuvenated Nikon D700 sensor and also knowing that he’s all set for Brunei’s first photo shoot-out competition. At time of this writing, Reuben has won 1st Prize for Theme B — congratulations!

[ All images courtesy of Gavin Goh ]

13 thoughts on “The Road To Victory Begins With A Clean Sensor

  1. Psst…I’ve got 2 other Nikons to be cleaned… when is our next coffee meet? LOL. Truth be said. My eyesight has gone myopic, so it’s good to let the younger Jan handle such a delicate task.

    Also, 2 Thumbs up for Eclipse2 cleaning liquid and its accompanying swap-sticks.

    This meeting shows Canonites and Nikonians can be great friends. Coffee and fried “kuey teow” are the unifying agents.

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    1. Hi Iqmal, if by ‘check-up’ you mean more than sensor cleaning, I have no idea. Canon is the only brand I am aware with official representation in Brunei. Other marques sold here are purely at the risks of the buyer.

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