Q&A For Digital Photography
Digital Help is designed to aid you in getting the most from your digital photography,
printing, scanning, and image creation. Each month, David Brooks provides solutions
to problems you might encounter with matters such as color calibration and management,
digital printer and scanner settings, and working with digital photographic
images with many different kinds of cameras and software. All questions sent
to him will be answered with the most appropriate information he can access
and provide. However, not all questions and answers will appear in this department.
Readers can send questions to David Brooks addressed to Shutterbug magazine,
through the Shutterbug website (www.shutterbug.com), directly via e-mail to:
or by US Mail to: David Brooks, PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Sensor Cleaning Service
Q. I've had a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT for about two years and I am noticing what I assume are dust spots in the sky in some of my photos. I see ads for sensor dust cleaning products, but getting older, my close-up vision isn't so good and my hands aren't that steady, so I really don't want to clean the sensor myself. Are there reliable services for this?
Boca Raton, FL
A. Yes, Canon has both their factory service centers as well as authorized sensor cleaning depots that provide sensor cleaning service. Chuck Westfall, Canon's director of media & customer relations, forwarded me this list:
Canon Factory Service Centers
Jamesburg, NJ (732-521-7007)
Elk Grove Village, IL (630-250-6500)
Irvine, CA (949-753-4200)
Canon Sensor Depots
Precision Camera Repair (Enfield, CT; 800-665-515)
Photo Tech Repair Service (New York, NY; 212-673-8400)
Strauss Photo Technical Service (Washington, DC; 202-529-3200)
CRJ/SEC Camera Repair (Duluth, GA; 770-935-9771)
Greens Camera Tech (Holly Hills, FL; 386-257-1366)
SPTS Miami (Miami, FL; 305-653-7355)
California Precision Service (Sacramento, CA; 916-451-1330)
H&K Camera Service (Tustin, CA; 714-505-1777)
Cris (Chandler, AZ; 480-940-1103)
It is suggested you call to make arrangements, or for the Canon factory service centers, you can make the arrangements through the Canon U.S.A. website in the consumer/ support/repair section to arrange for sensor cleaning.
It so happened I was also in need of sensor cleaning for my Canon EOS 5D, so I arranged on the Canon website to send my camera body to the Canon factory service center closest to me in Irvine, California. I shipped it FedEx on a Monday, and received an e-mail confirmation of arrival the next day. I also had the latest firmware installed, and the service was completed and the camera returned to me Friday of the same week.
There Are No Easy Shortcuts To Selecting The Right Paper
Q. My thanks to you for your many informative articles as well as the Digital Help column in Shutterbug. When my copy of the September 2007 issue arrived with the headline on "inkjet paper," I went directly to that page. While your article was informative it didn't go quite far enough. I am a relative newcomer to digital photography. When I bought my Epson R2400 printer I could only rely on the salesman who of course advised me on the various Epson papers and their value. What I don't know and can't seem to get an answer to is: What paper from one manufacturer is the competitive paper to a second manufacturer?
Has someone done a review of papers and set them into some sort of equivalent divisions so that I could try different papers knowing that while different, this paper is similar to the one I am using. As you said in your article, the number of papers available is enormous and I'm sure as soon as a list is made, it is out of date. Still, such a list (even if out of date) would be a start and perhaps the basis for a continuing annual update.
A. I can understand how the confusion of the many different papers on the market would be resolved if there were a list of equivalent papers. Unfortunately, even though there are some broad classes, like watercolor papers that have some similarities in texture, each watercolor paper made by different manufacturers is rather distinct from one another with just one printer, and even more different with various printers. So can watercolor-type papers be considered equivalent? I am afraid the answer is that there really aren't any papers that can be fairly classed as equivalent.
However, the characteristics of surface, tone (bright white or natural), cotton rag or alpha cellulose, weight, and caliper can be used as criteria to limit selection, choosing from papers with similar attributes. But then to choose which brand with a specific printer, dye or pigment ink, is a matter of trial and evaluation, because each individual is looking for different print results. This often comes down to individual expectations and taste.
I am sure if I tried to do a list of equivalent papers I'd just cause more confusion and a lot of very heated disagreement. Sorry, but to satisfy your wish would require more bravery and a thicker skin than I have. (Editor's note: This coming year in "Shutterbug" will see a series of Test Reports on various papers.)
Calibration Aim Points For Profiling LCD Displays
Q. I am new to both the Spyder2PRO and the Samsung 244T monitor. I have been having a bit of trouble getting this monitor to calibrate correctly, in particular the white point. I tried setting the white point using the RGB controls but ended up nearly pulling my hair out, so in the end I unclicked all the options and just let the calibration take it from there (not bad results--a tad bright). Do you know of any way to be more exact? I have read your articles in Shutterbug but could not work out which OSD buttons you used (if you used them at all) for the way you calibrated your monitor. If you could just guide me through the steps to get good results I would be very grateful.
A. After sometime using LCDs since I wrote my reports for Shutterbug I have pretty well settled on using a white point of 120.0 CD/m2 and a black point of 0.50 CD/m2. The white point target is adjusted by means of varying the display's contrast control, and the black point by adjusting the brightness setting. That should be pretty clear using the Advanced mode of the Spyder software. However, the two settings interact with one another so you do have to toggle back and forth, set and read the white point, and then the black point, back and forth, I am afraid.
Where To Set Printing Paper Formats
Q. I am working in Lightroom and I cannot figure out how to print borderless on 8.5x11 photo paper. The printer is a Canon PIXMA Pro9000. Is there a way to do this or not? By the way, I also have Photoshop Elements 5.0.
A. Very likely it is not Lightroom that is the problem or solution to printing borderless. You need to specify you are printing borderless in the Canon driver Page Setup by selecting the paper size as 8.5x11 (letter size) with Borderless option specification. That will support that printing format in the application and the printer.
I am pleased to announce a new Third Edition adding five chapters to my eBook DIGITAL DARKROOM RESOURCE CD. The CD now contains 26 chapters totaling 318 pages in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format, providing easy-to-read text and large high-quality illustration. The CD is available for $20 plus $4 shipping and handling (US Mail if available). Ordering is as simple as sending a check or money order for $24 made out to me, David B. Brooks, and mailed to PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.