Protecting a sensor for in field lens changes

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Rob E-W, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. Rob E-W

    Rob E-W Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 24, 2017
    Nottingham, UK
    Rob Edlin-White
    This may be a complete numpty question - if so please excuse me as a newbie to mirrorless.

    Changing a lens seems to me a bit like conducting minor surgery - sometimes necessary but wise to restrict it to sterile controlled conditions, not fields, forests, parties, pubs, streets or protest rallies. Worse on mirrorless than SLR. But sometimes photographic opportunities would be lost of you're unwilling to change a lens.

    I was wondering if you can get any kind of slim clear glass lens (or filter) to protect the sensor; something like an adaptor with a clear glass, to go between the body and the lens. then the lens can be changed without exposing the sensor.

    Is that a good idea? Is it original? Do such things exist? I guess it would need pass-through electrical contacts, like adapters do. Would there be a downside (e.g. compromised optical quality? Compromised flange length?)
     
  2. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    You are overthinking this. I shoot mainly primes and change lenses a lot. Once you become more practiced it will become fast and easy.
     
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  3. Rob E-W

    Rob E-W Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 24, 2017
    Nottingham, UK
    Rob Edlin-White
    Fast and easy - even in dirty, weathery or crowded places, and your camera internals stay clean?

    Some people use filters partly to protect the front lens element; seems vaguely logical to have something to protect the sensor ...

    At the moment I feel I need to be seated, in a well lit place, with lens and caps on a shelf in front of me.
    Maybe with practice ...
     
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The only thing I have ever seen that would do as you suggest is something like this:

    DEO-Tech OWL Canon EF Lens to MFT Mount Drop-in DEOOWLEF2M431

    It accepts drop-in filters, but it is an adapter for Canon EF lenses. So if you were hoping to use native lenses, no such luck.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't worry much about changing lenses. While it is arguably more likely that you will get crud on your sensor with a mirrorless camera than a DSLR (and even that is debatable, since the flapping mirror is bound to stir up dust), it is incredibly easy to clean it off yourself if you do. If you can't do it with an air blower, even wet-cleaning is easy and relatively stress free. Might be worse on cameras with 5-axis IBIS, I guess.
     
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  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    If you are literally in a dust/sand storm, then probably hold off on the lens change, but everyday it just isn't an issue. Do invest in a rocket blower and give the sensor a quick once over before any major outing, though.
     
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  6. Rob E-W

    Rob E-W Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 24, 2017
    Nottingham, UK
    Rob Edlin-White
    Yes - that's the sort of thing I had in mind, except the adapter aspect wouldn't adapt; it would be MFT front and back. Whether I'm worrying needlessly is another question ...
     
  7. Rob E-W

    Rob E-W Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 24, 2017
    Nottingham, UK
    Rob Edlin-White
    Thanks both for advice - really helpful.

    I just checked out Rocket Blower. £9.99 from Jessops. I need to learn how to clean the sensor at some point ...
     
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    That wouldn't work because it would move the lens forward. That turns it into a small extension tube and you'll lose infinity focus. Not to mention, you'd then have to worry about dust on that instead of the sensor, so you've just moved the problem! :)
     
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  9. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Be careful about cleaning the sensor because of IBIS. You will naturally learn to use your body as a shield, etc. Crowded places are not a problem, just stop walking.
     
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  10. Rob E-W

    Rob E-W Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 24, 2017
    Nottingham, UK
    Rob Edlin-White
    Good point about focus. My idea isn't viable then. I do like the idea of moving the problem from an expensive sensor to a cheap, accessible and easily exchangeable piece of clear glass though.
     
  11. wimg

    wimg Mu-43 Veteran

    374
    Dec 10, 2016
    Netherlands
    Please do note that Oly and Pana have 4 mm thick coverglasses over the sensor. The actual sensor itself is not exposed to the elements.

    What everybody conveniently calls sensor cleaning, is really cleaning of the outward facing side of the cover glass of a sensor, or often even a cover glass assembly, which includes the AA filter or filter layer, and a bunch of other filters.

    If you do need to change lenses in relatively dusty conditions, you could do so by using a big plastic bag, making sure your arms/hands are properly covered by the plastic (elastic bands), or get someone to help you, with camera and lenses inside the bag, obviously.
    You can actually buy bags for this purpose, which have a zipper in order to put camera and lenses into the bag, and two sleeves for one's arms.

    HTH, kind regards, Wim
     
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  12. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    Honestly your still over thinking it. The ultra sonic wave cleaning done at turn in is really really good
    Just be sensible. Don't swap lenses in the rain strong wind, beach and dusty conditions. Turn your back into any breeze is also a good idea.
    Next tip is to face the opened lens mount directly towards the ground so that any dust etc must travel vertically upwards to get to the sensor AND at least check the lens your putting back on doesn't have dust on the rear
     
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  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    A rocket blower is just blowing air on the sensor. Perfectly safe as long as you don't forcefully scrape the sensor with the tip.
     
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  14. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I just wanted to warn the OP about physically tackling the sensor.
     
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  15. Rob E-W

    Rob E-W Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 24, 2017
    Nottingham, UK
    Rob Edlin-White
    Thanks all for such informative insights.
     
  16. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Double back caps. Tips and Tricks for Changing Lenses?
     
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  17. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Rob
    One other thing people often say is that you should make sure the camera is turned off, presumably making it less likely that electrostatic charge will attract crud onto the sensor while it's exposed.

    Having said that, I've been primarily a prime shooter for the last five years, and a frequent lens changer, and I very often forget to turn it off during lens swaps.
     
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  18. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Rob
    Also, practice, practice, practice the "one handed" lens change, something like this...



    (OK, it's not really one handed, but you see what I mean!). This is probably not the best video demonstration, but is the first one I found to illustrate the point. I'm sure a bit of googling would turn up something better.

    I find this technique fairly easy with m43 lenses, apart from the small pancakes like p14 & p20.

    Rob
     
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  19. greenboy

    greenboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    It's pretty easy to change them quickly when I've got my Lowepro Toploader Zoom on. It's like having an extra hand and some wind protection too.
     
  20. Leighgion

    Leighgion Mu-43 Regular

    187
    Aug 1, 2012
    Madrid, Spain
    Leigh L Pang
    If you're alive, live in this world and plan to photograph it, your system camera's sensor is going to be exposed to dust and dirt even if you stick a lens on it and never take it off. The sooner you accept that reality and just take normal cleaning measures, such as occasionally using the aforementioned rocket blower, the happier you'll be.
     
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