mark on photos, help needed

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Old Picker, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Old Picker

    Old Picker Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2012
    Cwmbran Wales UK
    Hi All,
    I'm having a spot (no pun intended) on some photo's. I can take 4 photo's of the same thing, and some are developing "spots" whilst others do not have the blemish. I have checked for marks on the lens (it only happens with the 14-140) and cannot find anything. It is pretty annoying as I'm on holiday and some photo's are being ruined by the marks. The example below shows one spot, other photo's may have 2 or 3 on the photo's. Any thoughts on what it might be would be greatly appreciated.
    Old Picker, currently in San Francisco.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mandoo

    Mandoo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    Essex, UK
    Looks like a dust bunny to me. On a DSLR I'd suggest getting the sensor cleaned, but I don't know if that can be done with M4/3 cameras.
    Is it definitely only happening with a specific lens?
  3. Old Picker

    Old Picker Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2012
    Cwmbran Wales UK
    Hi Mandoo,
    Yes, and some pictures it can be there, others not a sign.
    Sometimes a couple of spots. Pretty annoying as I walked the Golden gate bridge today, some photo's had the spots on them.
    I'll double check the lens again as it only happens with that lens.
  4. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    You need to clean your sensor. You can try a blower--do not use your mouth unless you simply want to end up spitting all over it. If that does not do the trick, get a swap/cleaner kit for you sensor size.

    The spot are not usually visible in detailed areas, but flat areas like the sky. The aperture will also change their appearance.

    The spot healing tool in Photoshop can fix those spots easily.
  5. Old Picker

    Old Picker Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2012
    Cwmbran Wales UK
    Just tried some more test photos, and the spots are not there now!
    They seem to come and go. Tried some photos of the sky, and just cannot seem to reproduce them.
    Thanks for the advice, I'll pop down to a store and buy a blower,
  6. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    If it's a dirty sensor you can usually make it show up pretty reliably by shooting an out of focus image at f22 with a 50mm or longer lens against an evenly lit uniform color surface.
  7. WJW59

    WJW59 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2011
    I'll agree with everyone that the most likely cause is something floating around in the body but I do have one question: When you check the EXIF on the photos with the spots (vs. without) is there a particular aperture, focal length, or other common factor in the images with the spots?
  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I believe with Pana cameras, every time you turn on the camera they 'auto clean'. Even though, in the menu you can initiate sensor cleaning. That is the first step. If your sensor is still dirty then try a blower (not your mouth or caned air but a rocket blower is the preferred weapon of choice), if the sensor still isn't clean ... then go for the swab and sensor cleaner (blow after swabbing ala rocket).

  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    It's definitely dust, most likely on your sensor but it could potentially be on the rear element as well. It only shows up on photos where:
    -It is in an obvious position, like the middle of the sky
    -You have a smaller aperture that gives a large depth of field
  10. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Spot On!
  11. Old Picker

    Old Picker Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2012
    Cwmbran Wales UK
    Hey All,
    Many thanks for all the tips and help.
    Just thought i would let you know what I did, and did not do, so that anyone who happens to be in the same position, may benefit.
    In the end, I went to Adolph Gasser Photography in downtown San Francisco (after buying a blower in Best Buy) and purchased a American Recorder Technologies cleaning kit which comprises of the Ultra Pure optic cleaning fluid, Tin Oxide Sensor Formulation. Model no OCF-TO-0.5. The guy said it was for a Canon 550D but should be O.K. for my camera as he had used it on his G1??? Mmmmmmm.
    Anyway, at $29 I thought I would give it a shot.
    Went back to the hotel, and read the instructions, and then went onto their website to make sure of the tech sheets. I did not see the Gh1 listed, so doubt started to get into my head.
    I then decided to blow the sensor. I could see some small specks on there (I also bought a magnifying glass from Radio Shack). I then put the camera sensor cleaning mode into action several times (Thanks Gary, why didn't I think of that?).
    That seemed to do the trick :)
    So, for the sensor cleaning kit. I decided to contact American Recorder Technologies and Panasonic for confirmation.
    No news from Panasonic yet, but ART have got back to me straight away. here is the reply.
    Hi Graham,

    Thank you for your email and greetings from California. Hope you had a nice trip while in San Francisco.

    Yes you have the correct cleaning fluid for your Panasonic camera. The OCF-TO-0.5 is designed to clean tin oxide coated sensors. It is a little less aggressive than our original formulation.

    As far as damaging your sensor, whether it is our solution or another brand, I doubt that any sensor cleaning fluid would damage the camera's digital sensor. If there was some devastating product out there, it would be all over the internet. Most manufactures of these types of products are very responsible bunch. Remember you are really cleaning a glass, low pass filter that is mounted over the digital sensor, not the actual sensor itself.

    We will add the Panasonic GH1 to our application guide.

    I hope I have successfully answered all your questions and concerns. Do not hesitate to contact us again if you need to.

    Best Regards,
    Alan Adelstein
    American Recorder Tech.

    I suppose I have posted this on here also, just in case anyone knows different.
    Thanks again
  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Not a snowball's chance in hell that Panasonic will positively reply to you about a third party cleaning product, that you're expected as the end-user to physically touch the sensor yourself.

    As you heard in your email reply, all the sensor cleaning products are more or less the same chemical: methanol. When you say "cleaning the sensor," you're really cleaning the glass filter/s in front of the sensor.
  13. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If it is on the rear element then the zoom position that brings the rear element closest to the sensor will product the most obvious dust donut. It takes a fairly sizable chunk on a rear element to be much impact. The further away from the sensor the larger and more diffuse the dust donut becomes.

    You can get a pretty good estimate of how far the speck is from the sensor using D=Pdf where D is the diastance from the sensor.

    P is the width (diameter) of the dust donut in the image (in pixels)
    d is the width of a pixel of the sensor
    f is the lens f number - remember generally f number is lens focal length/aperture
  14. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    buy a Giotto rocket blower (it's the best I've used so far) and use it to blow on the sensor and interior of the body while holding the body inverted so that any dust and dirt particles that get dislodged will fall out, and not settle back into the camera body.

    After it's cleaned, the built-in sensor shaker should take care of the minor dust. And be careful not to leave the body too long without a lens mounted. On mirrorless bodies like our micro 4/3 equipment, the sensor is exposed to the elements whenever a lens is removed.

  15. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    to check for sensor dust bunnies, I usually do this:

    take a shot of a clear blue sky, stop down at smallest aperture, say F/22. then open the file in photoshop, auto-levels.

    rocket blower will most likely do the trick to remove them.