Briefly comment on your solution to dealing with dust on your DSLR sensor.

Editor's picture
Sensor dust” has become a real issue for some digital photographers, reminiscent of the days when you had to spot each print when enlarging if your enlarger or negative was not flawlessly clean. There are numerous ways to deal with this, with prevention being the best, but there are also “dust reference” images, dust removal in processing and even dust shake-off mechanics in cameras. Do you find that you have “dust issues” with your DSLR?
Briefly comment on your solution to dealing with dust on your DSLR sensor.
No I have not noticed it, yet.
75% (69 votes)
Yes, and it’s a pain in the neck.
17% (16 votes)
Yes, but I have developed a successful strategy to deal with it.
8% (7 votes)
Total votes: 92
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Comments
Pete Basola's picture

I have a Canon 5D. My problem was not so much dust as it was spots on the sensor. I'm not sure if the spots came from lubricant inside the sensor box or from some other source, but the spots were much bigger than dust particles. I purchased the Visible Dust products and they worked beautifully.

David Tordoff's picture

Olympus E510 system has held true for past year.

Jeff's picture

It's there but I haven't decided how to fix the problem. For now if need be it's cloned out.

P.  Jacob Wilson's picture

Not a problem because I own a Sony a100, which has technology to reduce dust.

Skip Shepard's picture

Both answers #2 and #3 are true for me. It is a pain in the neck, but I have been 85% to 90% successful in removing the dust bunnies. Still fear the cumulative effects of cleaning over the long term.

Chuck Pine's picture

To get rid of dust I use a Giotto Mini-Rocket and a Visible Dust brush. To prevent dust I turn off the camera when changing lenses (which I do often), hold the camera with the opening pointing down, turn my back to the wind, and make the lens change as fast as possible (practice before going out into the field).

Lee's picture

Can't complain. Only had to clean my Nikon D200 twice in six months (and I shoot almost daily).

Steven Abramson's picture

1. Blower 2. Arctic Butterfly 3. Sensor Swab and Eclipse Cleaner

Roger Maillette's picture

I had a lot more dust problems with my Nikon D100 than with my new Nikon D80.

Ira Idelson's picture

So far I've been lucky enough to be able to blow the dust off the sensor with a Giottos Rocket blower. I can most of the time, but not all the time, clone it out on PhotoShop. Yes, it is a pain.

Tony Fiorda's picture

Dust issues!? What about their lenses? Don't folks have to keep their lenses clean? No "Dust Issues" for me, occasional dust, yes, but "Issues" no. Your camera system is like any other tool set. If you don't keep them clean, they don't perform the way they should. A little bit of preventative maintenance goes a long way to producing fantastic images, on digital or film!

Jordan Meschkow's picture

My Rebel XTi takes care of it.

Wayne West's picture

All solutions are too expensive - I'm holding off on buying anything.

Tim Teifer's picture

Sony Alpha seems to keep sensor clean, but then too, I'm methodical about clean lens swaps.

David Hall's picture

I am afraid to deal with it directly. I have never had a lesson in how to deal with it so I take it to my camera store and $40 later it is fixed.

George Kibler's picture

Cannot tell it is there until after photos are taken, then I must go through each and clone out the spots. Extra work!

Ed Engel's picture

After each photo session if there were lens' changed I will clean the sensor with a hand held air bulb. Before I change a lens I wait 10 seconds after I shut the camera off before switching the lens'. I am not sure if it helps prevent dust spots by minimizing the sensor's static electricity. Both my DSLR's do not have any means for "shakin da dust". So far I have been fortunate that I have not required a physical cleaning of the sensor with a swab and chemicals. I still do get a few spots occasionally though which as you would expect are noticeable in the least textured areas of the photo.

Joe Dlhopolsky's picture

I had more of an issue when my DSLR was new. I'm careful when changing lenses. If I notice a recurring spot in my images, I clean with sensor swabs and methanol. Otherwise, I fix random spots in Photoshop. The first time I saw spots, I was crestfallen. Now it's just another routine, like cleaning lenses.

Mike's picture

No studio photography here. It's all in the field, usually construction job sites with dust and humidity. I keep my Nikon D70s housed in a bag, and protected in the truck as much as possible, but still, dust is a demon...or is it a dust devil? So, every other week, I use a commercial sensor cleaner to do the best I can. Still, even after that, the first step in workflow is exorcise the dust demons on every shot.

Mike's picture

It only shows up in certain situations and I have been able to clone it out most of the time, but it is a nuisance. I use Visible Dust products.

Joe Libertini's picture

First shoot a plain blue sky picture. Then open the photo in Photoshop and zoom in. Use the navigator to scan the image for a dust dot, usually a darker out of focus round blob. Then I use the procedure outlined in my Canon 20D owners manual and the Giottos Rocket-Air rubber blower(red tip). Always store the blower in an air tight container. Repeat sequence until there are no visable spots in the images.

Jim R.'s picture

This might seem simple, but it works for me. When possible, I use a brush to clean around the base camera lens and the camera before I remove my lens. This should keep dust from getting sucked into the camera when the lens is removed. I also change the lens with the camera pointing at the ground.

Lauren MacIntosh's picture

I dislike messing with my sensor, the cost to replace it, is not an Issue I would like to run into! I am waiting for reports back from consumers that have the sensors that clean them selfs to see if in fact that is the case, and If canon does bring one out in the 20D-30D kind. I have been known to jump ship.

Tom Loeb's picture

Just use Arctic Butterfly. One quick sweep and dust is gone.

Lisa's picture

I used to use eclipse, but the fact that you cannot travel with it (by air) made me switch to the lens pen system (birdsasart.com). I'd like to try dustaid, which has gotten good reviews. I'd like to save up for a Canon Mark III which "self cleans" but I have a question -- where does the dust go with the self cleaning sensors??

Dennis Goodno's picture

I used to get it a lot with my Nikon D70 but not much with my D200, perhaps because I don't change my len offten (18-200 mm). If I see some, I blow if off with an air can spray.

Speedball's picture

I don't change my lenses on the beach every ten minutes. I also keep camera in plastic bag when not in use and always change lens indoors in a room with a hepa filter.

Lewis Woodyard's picture

I hate the sky. It is an old photo lab lament. Dust always showed on negs when there was sky. It still does. Out damn spot.

Stanley Klein 's picture

Within days of getting my new Nikon D200, I noticed a small "boomerang" shape in the same spot on all my photos; in blue sky, the artifact was very conspicuous. (Actually, this problem could have been present in the camera right out of the box.) In any case, I spent another $40 (mostly for insurance) to return the camera to Nikon repair which they did under warranty, saying the problem was caused by dust on the sensor. That was my introduction to this phenomenon. My strategy is to be very careful when chaning lenses.

Larry's picture

This has been a major problem and happened on a trip. When I cound not see the dust on the small lcd until I return and saw them on the pc screen. It took quiet a bit of Photoshop to correct the problem.