sensor cleaning question

pcake

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May 3, 2010
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till now i never needed to clean a sensor. i'm fairly careful, and dust usually comes off in the cleaning cycle. but i recently bought a used G3 from a reputable dealer, and it arrived with 2 large scratches over the sensor that luckily don't affect the pics at all. it also has a fat piece of gunk (edited from dust) that won't shake off, so i took the camera to samy's for a sensor cleaning - they declined, saying they won't clean a sensor with such large scratches on it. the local camera repair store might do it for a much higher price, but they're not sure they're willing to do it, and would have to take several days to decide. we've just took a closer look, and the stuff on the sensor isn't dust - it's some kind of gunk that's stuck on there pretty well.

since the camera was so cheap, i'm thinking of cleaning the sensor myself, but i'm concerned that using the wrong liquid might stick in the scratches, making the scratches appear in the photos. any suggestions on what i can use? i'm past the return time for the camera, but i do have a warranty that is still in effect.

thanks!
 

pcake

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thanks for the suggestion. since my original post, we took a closer look and what's there isn't dust, as i originally posted - it's something that was wet when it first attached itself to the sensor. almost like they were eating wet food over it or something :-/

we're unable to move the gunk with a q tip (we were gentle), so i'm thinking wet cleaning rather than forcing the stuff off, as it would probably leave some of itself there if broken off.
 

eteless

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Hi

I had a similar situation with a GF1 I cleaned it like this:

http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2013/10/colonial-boy-sensor-cleaning.html

worked a treat and no observable issues ... even over a year later ;-)
In regards to the Ammonia stuff on that page, it's largely correct with the exception of if you're using plastic lenses.

ROR contains something like 1% of 28% (not much at all really) yet it's enough to dissolve polycarbonate (lexan) and remove coatings applied to said plastic due to ROR infiltrating between the coating and plastic and dissolving a layer of plastic. The coating comes off pretty cleanly and the plastic is left hazy and scratched to hell.

With glass it's fine though, however I would avoid on any plastic lenses (most eyeglasses are fine, I did it on a pair of ballistic goggles which use a type of polycarbonate to improve impact resistance - something about MIL-PRF-32432)
 

pellicle

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Hi

In regards to the Ammonia stuff on that page, it's largely correct with the exception of if you're using plastic lenses
good point ... although as I point out most of the "windex-alike" products do not contain ammonia ... and I don't have any plastic lenses ... (and so far it hasn't effected my polycarbonate spectacles).

So for a sensor (which may have a plastic on the surface) do not use Kodak lens cleaner (as some would suggest) and use a glass cleaner which does not have ammonia (probably most of them now days).

Don't forget dillution and exposure time ... its a quick wipe on and wipe off ...

as always, YMMV
 

eteless

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Hi again



I didn't know what ROR was so I googled it and found this on bhphoto's site:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/64495-REG/ROR_RO212D_Residual_Oil_Remover.html

same stuff?
Yeah that's it, it has ammonia in it. Only a tiny amount however with lexan it's all it takes to ruin the surface.
http://www.ror.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Material-Safety-Data-Sheet-JUNE-20121.pdf

Absolutely amazing to clean lenses with though, I use it any time I clean one(although I rarely clean them tbh).

Edit: I just though I'd add, I had been using it for two years before I decided to clean some goggles with it, it had NEVER been a problem up to then or after. I put it down to experience and replaced the lens, it happens.
 

pellicle

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Hi

...
Absolutely amazing to clean lenses with though, I use it any time I clean one(although I rarely clean them tbh).

Edit: I just though I'd add, I had been using it for two years before I decided to clean some goggles with it, it had NEVER been a problem up to then or after. I put it down to experience and replaced the lens, it happens.
never seen it on the market here (in our little colony Australia) but that could be due to me not looking ;-)

good to hear of it ... I'm going to shoot them an email and see what they say about sensors as their page:
http://www.ror.net/uses/common-uses/

says:
The list goes on and on.

Camera lenses
Filters
Camera surfaces
Video Camera lenses
Video Camera surfaces
Microscope lenses
Touch-screen surfaces
Multi-touch optical surfaces
Projection lenses
Telescopes
LCD Displays
Television, Computer and Studio Monitors
Security and Surveillance Cameras
Flat Screen TV’s
Binoculars
Spotting scopes
Night Vision Optics
Transits
Eyeglasses
Gun scopes
Medical lenses
Scanners
Cell Phone Screens
CD’s, DVD’s
VCR Heads
Museum Acrylic Optical Surfaces
Please note that although ROR has many abilities we recommend that before using ROR on an unfamiliar surface you contact us.
thanks for the mention (and the caution)
 

eteless

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It's fantastic stuff, basically the same as the older formulations of windex... nothing removes oil like it in my experience.

Also really good for cleaning technical pens... the ammonia and surfactants? Apparently perfect for getting in and breaking down all the dried ink inside. It will get a small pen working again without pulling it apart (once you pull a small one apart... you never ever get the wire back inside again).

Edit: I actually got it from B+H, I tend to import everything from America because it's far cheaper even with shipping than buying in Australia... the only things I really buy locally are things solvents or chemicals where the shipping cost is prohibitive. Take film for example, the cost straight from the Australian importer is two to three times the cost from B+H, you can afford to buy a single pro pack with shipping from America and you will break even against the majority of prices in Australia.
 

HarryS

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For the cover glass over a sensor, I think a fluid that evaporates quickly is important. Many people, including myself, use Eclipse lens clearner which is just pure methyl alcohol. It picks up the dust onto the swab and then evaporates. It does not have to be wiped off after being swabbed,

I don't have ROR cleaner, but do have a bottle of ProMaster cleaner from the camera shop. You don't want to ever put that onto the cover glass. It leaves a water film that needs to be wiped off with a cloth. OK for a lens. Would be a disaster on the sensor cover glass, Whatever you want to use, experiment with putting it in your swab and wiping it over glass, or an old lens if you have one. See how well it evaporates. Sensor cleaning requires that it evaporates almost as fast as it's applied.
 

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