Grey dot in my pics

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by scantron, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. scantron

    scantron Mu-43 Regular

    May 10, 2010
    Hi everyone-

    I've been noticing a grey dot appearing in my pictures lately. It's always in the same spot, and seems to happen at smaller apertures. I've posted some pics for examples, yes I know the metering/exposure is off, etc. but they happen to illustrate what I'm talking about. The spot is in the upper left section of each shot.

    I used the 14-42 kit lens on these shots, looking through it unmounted I can't see anything obvious like dust, blobs, etc.

    Thanks for looking!

    Attached Files:

  2. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    My first thought would be dust on the sensor. If it is sharper at small f/stops and less visible wide open that is what I would look at. If it is the case cleaning the sensor commercially or by yourself is not a big job. You can spot it in soft ware if you it is only one.

    If the spot's apperance doesn't change from wide open to stopped down then it maybe something more sinister.
  3. scantron

    scantron Mu-43 Regular

    May 10, 2010
    Would it be obvious or visible if I take off the lens and look at the sensor?
  4. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 13, 2010
    Possible. I had a similar dot recently. I looked at the sensor and there was an obvious fleck of dust. I used a normal lens brush/blower to get it off. No big deal.
  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I would say that you would be able to see it, based on the prominence of the spot in you images. Remember that the sensor sees the inverse image of the scene, so if the spot shows up towards the top left in the image, the spot is actually towards the bottom right of the sensor.

    It only takes the tiniest spot to have an effect, although this is more prominent and distinct then most dust spots that I have seen.
  6. scantron

    scantron Mu-43 Regular

    May 10, 2010
    I checked and there is indeed some spec of dust or something on the sensor. Doesn't blow off easily. I have a can of air, but I can't imagine that it's good for a camera sensor. Time for Google!
  7. DIS Ottawa

    DIS Ottawa Guest

    I use the Arctic Butterfly brush from Visible Dust. That usually gets rid of most things but I also have the wet swabs, if needed. Sensor cleaning system for digital camera.

    Do not, repeat DO NOT use a can of air. You're likely to get propellant all over the sensor.
  8. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy

    I can confirm my exprience with a can of air that got propellant all over my K5 sensor.:eek:
    I never got so scared with a camera in my life.
  9. jalywol

    jalywol New to Mu-43

    Sep 26, 2011
    You may want to pick up a Rocket Blower and use that...they are made of silicon with no powder inside, so they can be used on sensors without adding dust and making the problem worse....
  10. Jaynometry

    Jaynometry Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 13, 2011
    Toronto, Ontario
    X2 on the rocket blower. It's a must in a camera kit. Especially with a M4/3 and how the sensor is exposed right after you take out the lens. Use it everytime after a session if you change lenses.
  11. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I would disagree with that. The self cleaning is very effective if your camera has not been exposed to adverse conditions when changing lenses.
    I've gone a year with my EPL1 and never had to manually clean the sensor.
    Subjecting the sensor to pressure for no reason cannot be a good idea (in this case the poster has to do something).
  12. DIS Ottawa

    DIS Ottawa Guest

    Agreed. I don't blast air into the camera unless it's absolutely necessary and it almost never is. I use the Arctic Butterfly brush first and then perhaps the Rocket Blower and as a last resort, the wet swabs. But that's with my dSLRs; I haven't had the E-P3 long enough to need to clean it yet.
  13. scantron

    scantron Mu-43 Regular

    May 10, 2010
    So I checked again and the dust is actually underneath whatever that top layer is. Is it the lowpass filter? How do I get it out of there? Rocket blower? I have no money to spend on this.....
  14. DIS Ottawa

    DIS Ottawa Guest

    Are you sure it's underneath? Seems unlikely. I recommend you get some wet swabs and give that a try. The other thing you can do is to simply clone out the spot whenever it's visible.
  15. scantron

    scantron Mu-43 Regular

    May 10, 2010
    It's definitely underneath, both a clean brush and a swab can't touch it. Some dust must have worked it's way back there somehow. Oh well! I guess I'll just have to clone it out.
  16. DIS Ottawa

    DIS Ottawa Guest

    OK. I've never heard of dust under the AA filter before, but then again I'm new to µ43. Is the camera still under warranty? If so, you might be able to send it back to Olympus for a cleaning. This really shouldn't happen.
  17. BAKatz

    BAKatz Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 9, 2010
    Riverdale, NY
    Me 3 on the rocket blower. An absolute must have, and not expensive.
  18. scantron

    scantron Mu-43 Regular

    May 10, 2010
    Probably no longer under warranty, bought it when the E-PL1 first came out. A little disappointed in the frailty of design in regards to sensor placement, although I realize it could happen to any camera.
  19. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I doubt it's under the glass because it *should* be air tight.

    Get a sensor cleaning kit at B&H (~$25) and good luck.
  20. Plus using the Rocket Blower makes us look cool to our grand kids.