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sensor cleaning question

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by pcake, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    187
    May 3, 2010
    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!
     
  2. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    • Like Like x 1
  3. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    187
    May 3, 2010
    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.
     
  4. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
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  5. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    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)
     
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  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    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
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    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.
     
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  8. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    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:
    thanks for the mention (and the caution)
     
  9. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    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.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    919
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    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.