Camera Sensors

Dust spots do not look good on a photograph so it’s essential that you clean your camera sensors often, even daily – it takes only a few minutes.

There are many sensor cleaning methods being recommended but we found the following three methods to be the most effective...

1. Camera Sensors - Blower Bulb

First, take the lens off the camera body, turn the body upside down and blow inside using a bulb blower.

We see so many people holding the camera facing up and blowing down – all this does is blow the dust around inside the body. By turning the camera body upside down and blowing up, gravity ensures that the dust falls out.

You could use some sort of magnifier such as the SensorScope (sold by Arthur Morris at Birds as Art in the USA or Kameraz in South Africa) to check the sensor.

Alternatively you could do the old long method of photographing the clear blue sky, downloading the picture to your computer, then blowing it up by 200% and checking for specks and spots.

This method removes loose dust.

2. Lens Pen

There are many sensor cleaning products on the market for more stubborn spots, from using spatulas and cleaning solution to using the lens pen.

Initially we used the cleaning solution but it evaporated within a week due to the heat (and Outdoorphoto in Menlyn, South Africa, who we purchased it from, were not interested in my problem but fortunately the manufacturer in the USA was, and he replaced the bottle) so we now use the lens pen method made popular by Arthur Morris, which we have been doing for years with no problems.

After you have used the bulb blower to get rid of dust, then you gently wipe the lens pen tip (you should use the one that has a triangle-shaped cleaning tip and not the circular one so that you can get into the sensor corners) across the sensor from left to right and then right to left.

Then finally use the bulb blower again to get rid of any dust or other particles that may have been loosed by the lens pen. This should ensure a spotless sensor.

3. Sensor Gel Stick

Then you get very stubborn spots, usually caused by oil and the lens pen is unable to remove these or simply spreads the oil on the sensor. We found the Sensor Gel Stick to work wonders with even the most stubborn oil spots! 

The pad is extremely sticky and pulls stains off the sensor in a jiffy. Just a word of warning - DO NOT use the stick on your camera mirror - it should be used just on the sensor.

You get the sensor gel stick and seven cleaning papers in an aluminium box with instructions. You can also buy extra papers but the seven sheets should last at least a year, depending on how often you use you gear.

A last word of warning - buy only the sensor gel stick made in Germany - the ones made in China are not good quality! 

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