D800 Sensor Cleaning

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dan_brown|4, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. I need to clean some persistent spots of the D800.
    Looking around, it seems like the Visible Dust Green Kit would be good for a sensor that has the AA filter.
    But, Wondering what others are using?
  2. Full disclaimer, this is what I have done and it has worked, but you need to be very careful and you have the potential of really screwing up your camera if you are not.
    First of all, I make sure I am doing this in the cleanest, most dust free room possible, and make sure the humidity in the room is in the 40% range to keep down the dust and static electricity. For dust, I've had good luck with the Arctic Butterfly 788 on both my D4 and my D700.
    For spots of oil, or other gunk (accidents happen), I have VERY CAREFULLY used brand new Q-tips with a brand new bottle of denatured Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol. Just barely wetting the Q-tip, letting it air dry a bit, then VERY CAREFULLY, a small section at a time, gently swab the oil or gunk area. And I mean really gently. I try to finish off with brand new Q-tips and distilled water to make sure I've removed all residue.
    Just be really careful trying to remove anything but dust.
  3. Words of wisdom Tim. Thank you.
  4. I've just had my camera cleaned by a professional sensor cleaner here in the Netherlands. The guy has a real cleanroom (read more about it on his website here).
    He takes 'before' and 'after' pictures. Mine was not even that bad, but he had one Canon in, that he'd already cleaned 8 times, and more dust kept falling out whenever he fired the shutter again. He said it looked like they'd tried to either clean it with a bicycle pump, or a very old (dusty) phtography blower (is that the proper name for it?).
    Anyway; be very careful how you do it and try to avoid blowing anything into the camera. I thought it well worth the €50 (~$65) that he charged, because his cleanroom is a *lot* cleaner than the cleanest room I've ever been in...
    Good luck.
  5. A note to go with Tim's post: don't buy just any isopropyl alcohol. The kind you'll find at Walmart (or equivalent) is typically 70% alcohol and 30% water, and that will leave a residue behind. Go to a real pharmacy and get pharmaceutical grade isopropyl - ask for it at the prescription counter if you can't find it on the shelf. It will probably be in a smaller bottle than the cheap stuff and won't be the cheap stuff, but it's 99+% pure. If you can't find it in a pharmacy, try a chemical supply store - ask for reagent grade (pronounced ree- A-gent). If you don't know where to find such a store, ask a local high school chemistry teacher where the school gets its lab supplies.
  6. I use the method show in this video by Lens Rental.
  7. I don't recommend isopropyl alcohol for lens or sensor cleaning. It evaporates too slowly, and tends to leave streaks and spots. Q-Tips shed lint like crazy. 70% IPA is actually better than the 99% stuff (which has the consistency of thin mineral oil). For lenses and filters, I use packed alcohol (70% IPA) swabs (e.g. diabetic supplies), folded once and used like a brush rather than like a scrub pad. Better a thin film of alcohol than a thick one which dries to leave spots.
    The time-honored wet method is Eclipse fluid (spectroscopic grade methanol) and Eclipse lens swabs or PEC-Pads, which are completely lint-free.
    A quicker, easier method uses ultra-fine brushes. I have a Visible Dust "Arctic Butterfly" kit, which travels with me. It removes dust and lint in under a minute. The brushes are charged using an electric spinner (as an alternative to canned air). The static charge imparted to the bristles suck up lint.
    I only revert to the wet method if something sticks to the sensor, like an oil droplet from the shutter, or something in the air falls on it.
  8. I use pre-moistened swabs designed specifically for sensor cleaning and find they work really well.

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