Is my sensor damaged?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by dimitriy_vovchok, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Alright, Here's the deal: I tried cleaning my EOS 5D sensor only once very lightly with a Q-tip, since the dust and hairs that have collected there bothered me. What really bothers me now, though, is that the Q-tip left a suspicious-looking smudge visible on the sensor itself, and in the test photo: [​IMG] Zoomed: [​IMG] Do you think this means the sensor is damaged? Or is this symptom treatable? Help, please, I'm really worried
  2. Those look like actual fibers from the Q-tip. I can't tell you whether it can be cleaned by you or whether you need to send it back to the manufacturer for a professional cleaning but personally I think you should send it back to the manufacturer and let them clean it.
  3. yes your aa filter is damaged. sorry but q-tip is a bad idea.
  4. That is why anon and Nikon say to clean with an air syringe only.

    There are prper tools to do it with.

    When you take the lens off, the cameraneeds to be off and lens mount down. Have the new lens oriented and ready to go on. Do it quickly and keep the lens backs clean.

    Lately I have gotten lazy and lay the camera on its back, old lens rotated and redy to remove in left hand and replacement in right as close to the old one as possible. Move quickly.

    So far no dust.
  5. I would not assume it is damaged until I tried a wet clean. If you did a dry contract clean there could be scratches.
  6. Q-Tip is a bad idea for cleaning, as you now know; there is tons of information here and elsewhere on safe sensor cleaning.

    I agree that if gentler cleaning methods don't do the trick, you'll have to send it in to Canon for inspection, cleaning, and possible repair.

    The "good" news is that (as someone said above) at worst you've only damaged the anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, not the sensor itself, and having Canon replace the AA filter costs less than $200. Canon will tell you what it needs after they look at it.
  7. I highly suspect that you just need a good wet-cleaning of your sensor. Go and buy Eclipse fluid and the right "spatulas" and do a thorough wet cleaning - it might take 2-4 passes before all this smudge disappears. I don't think you scratched the AA filter. I had similar smudges after I used a brush the first time and the brush came in contact with the mirror housing - it picked up some oil there and my sensor looked just like yours. You have tons of other dirt on your sensor too - a wet cleaning session will solve all of that. If you are too nervous about doing it yourself, then send the camera to Canon.
  8. Unless you really went after it with a dry q-tip you likely left "gunk" behind, but didn't likely scratch it.

    I have used Photographic Solutions Eclipse Fluid and Sensor Swabs with much success. The 5D has a Tin Oxide Sensor (AA Filter) and requires the E2 flavor of fluid. If there is a decent camera shop in your area you should be able to pick it up locally. Be prepared the Sensor Swabs are not cheap ($48 for 12), but Photographic Solutions also guaranties that you won't damage the sensor is used in accordance with the directions. You can get more info on their web-site.

    Good luck!
  9. There are at least three safe and effective ways to clean a sensor - Q-tips are not among them. I have listed them below in order of increasing aggressiveness (and effectiveness).

    (1) Air blasts from a bulb-blower (not your breath and definitely not canned "air").

    (2) Visible Dust brand brushes (q.v.,

    (3) Eclipse Fluid and PEC Pads (q.v. or search

    In any case, a search for sensor cleaning on would be "productive". This is an old, well-discussed topic.
  10. By the way, it does not look to me like you have permanently damaged your sensor. I see dust and lint fibers, probably cotton. Get a better look by stopping down all the way and pointing the camera at the blank sky. Smaller apertures make sharper shadows.
  11. The wet solution from Visible Dust or the CopperHill method should be more than enough to clean this problem.

    A Q-Tip? No, never. Leave the Q-Tips for makeup and perforated eardrums.
  12. "dust and hairs"

    How do you get hairs in the sensor? He!He! I'm not just trying to be funny but I have a lab
    and my home is full of hairs. Now I'm wondering if they will get into my camera too!
  13. Q-Tips? I've heard that canon in France uses them to clean sensors :) they're probably not that bad if you know how to use them (but I wouldn't try). After all it's only glass, but since I have scratched 100/2.8 USM I'm more carrefull and I don't use such things. Your sensor/filter is probably ok. Use the blower and wet cleaning if needed.
  14. If I were using air I would orient the camera so any dislodged dust, debris would fall out of the camera and then reinstall the lens with the camera remaining in the same orientation.
  15. Michael,

    If you get an hare in your camera, you have trouble indeed.
  16. You're not cleaning the sensor - you're cleaning the Anti-Aliasing filter in front of it - it's made of glass and it's actually pretty difficult to damage (although not impossible).

    All I've ever cleaned my sensors with are the medical equivalent of Q-Tips (individually wrapped - sterilised - long wooden 'handle') with a few drops of methanol - always works like a charm (these ironically were part of a professional sensor cleaning kit).

    I'd suggest relaxing a little - get a sensor wet cleaning kit - and try the cleaning again - I'd be VERY surprised if you've done any permanent damage.

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