Sensor Cleaning Copperhill Method

ZanottiZanotti Improving DailyPosts: 1,410Registered Users Major grins
edited February 13, 2007 in Accessories
Getting ready for an upcoming shoot, I decided to bite the bullet and clean my sensor. Based upon several discussions on here and reading the copperhill web site I decided to go the coperhill method.
http://www.copperhillimages.com/index.php?pr=tutorials

I ordered a kit on a Monday and it arrived three days later (to Tampa). The kit I ordered was pretty complete, the "spatula", some wipes, and fluid. The kit came with detailed instructions, similar to their website and one pre folded wipe attached to the spatula. It also come with all the items in resealable bags to keep them clean, something I appreciated. The wipes package was also preopened, then sealed in reclosable plastic. This guy isnt making money, he is really providing a service.

I then made sure my batteries were freshly charged and took my XT menu item to "sensor cleaning" I did this a few times to get familar to the mirror locking up and what was inside. I then realized that I didn't have enough light, so I moved a lamp overhead (and put on my reading glasses!)

Then I wet the swab, and brushed away. Really rather easy. I did two passes, changed the pad, did two passes again. The second time I pushed a little harder, since I wasn't afraid to do so.

I am pleased with the results.

Before:

127479817-L.jpg


After:

127479795-L.jpg

A clear reduction in spots and dust bunnies.

Also to note, I did use a rocket blaster first, and saw no improvement. This confirms many discussions that simply blowing does little good.

Overall, It was easy, productive, and something that I will do as a regular preventive maintainance.

This isnt so much a tutorial, but my experience. I hope by writing this, those on the fence to do so, will simply try it.

Regards,

Z
It is the purpose of life that each of us strives to become actually what he is potentially. We should be obsessed with stretching towards that goal through the world we inhabit.

Comments

  • TristanPTristanP Major grins Posts: 1,107Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 4, 2007
    Virtually identical to my experience. Copperhill thumb.gif
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  • CasonCason .... Posts: 414Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 4, 2007
    Which kit did you get?
    Cason

    www.casongarner.com

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  • ZanottiZanotti Improving Daily Posts: 1,410Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 4, 2007

    lrgcompletekit.jpg
    I got the basic cleaning kit - just the swiper, extra pads, and solution. I can't see needing anything more.
    It is the purpose of life that each of us strives to become actually what he is potentially. We should be obsessed with stretching towards that goal through the world we inhabit.
  • ZanottiZanotti Improving Daily Posts: 1,410Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 4, 2007
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]CHI Basic Sensor Cleaning Kit[/FONT] smlcompletekit.jpg CONTENTS:
    1) 2 oz. bottle of Eclipse
    2) 100-pack of PecPads, prepared for easy removal
    3) Ready-to-use SensorSwipe (please select size)
    4) Written instructions and illustrations
    It is the purpose of life that each of us strives to become actually what he is potentially. We should be obsessed with stretching towards that goal through the world we inhabit.
  • drdanedrdane Major grins Posts: 383Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 4, 2007
    Anyone try the BrushOff?
    Thanks for the post on copperhill - looks like a good system. I didn't read every last word - just most - but didn't see any mention of one of Photographic Solutions other products: BrushOff, which I've been thinking of getting. Basically a brush with a ground wire, it's supposed to neutralize the charge that builds up on the sensor and causes the dust to stick.

    Anyway, I just ordered the basic Kit from Copperhill. And it didn't even cost an arm & a leg. :D

    As an aside, I just shot two sensor test shots, before & after a few gusts from a large ear syringe bulb. It blew off 4 of 5 large pieces of crud, and moved another, but didn't do much for the small stuff. Guess I'll have to wait for my pkg from Copperhill . . .
    Dr Dane :rofl
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  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,505Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 4, 2007
    Anybody tried the Copperhill dry brush? Looks convenient for the quick touch up...
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,082Administrators moderator
    edited February 7, 2007
    cmason wrote:
    Anybody tried the Copperhill dry brush? Looks convenient for the quick touch up...
    I have one which I used a couple of times, and it worked pretty well. That is until I washed it. After that, it left a big smear on my sensor which I had to scrub off with eclipse and 4 or 5 Sensor Swabs. :bluduh Since then, I've been reluctant to use it. Now I just blow and if that doesn't work, wet clean.

    Regards,
    -joel
  • Glenn NKGlenn NK Major grins Posts: 268Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 9, 2007
    Last night was sensor cleaning time, and when there were still a myriad of spots, my swabs were used up (all the stores were closed and shuttered).

    Now what? Tried a cotton swab (commonly referred to as a Q-tip), and put a tiny drop of the cleaning fluid on the tip.

    Carefully swirled it around the sensor (don't get too much or it will leave smears), and did a test - that's much better.:D

    Took another Q-tip and repeated - mwink.gif

    High quality Q-tips are sterilzed cotton (cotton being a very soft fibre, it won't scratch the filter). I use the Johnson and Johnson brand, but another poster on another forum buys his from Walgren's (we don't Walgren's north of 49).

    The Canon certified camera shop in our city uses high grade methanol (99 percent pure), but when my camera shop salesperson called them a few months ago to enquire about dust cleaning, they said that one could also use isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol) - 99 % purity. I have also used isoprop my self with good results - just use it sparingly.

    The bottom line - the sensor came out as clean as it ever did with the expensive purpose made swabs - with one exception - a few of the little cotton fibres have a tendency to remain behind, but they are easily removed by blowing.

    No more expensive swabs for me. I'm not advocating anyone do this, I'm just relating my personal experience.
    "There is nothing that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey". John Ruskin 1819 - 1900
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 11, 2007
    Hmmmm - Q-Tips
    With more and more people discovering that they can/should clean their sensors, there are more and more ways discovered to do this. It's amazing to me that some companies are charging in excess of $100USD for a kit that doesn't do any better than a "home grown" kit that costs circa $5.00 USD.
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL Posts: 8,957Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 11, 2007
    With more and more people discovering that they can/should clean their sensors, there are more and more ways discovered to do this. It's amazing to me that some companies are charging in excess of $100USD for a kit that doesn't do any better than a "home grown" kit that costs circa $5.00 USD.
    Home Grown Kit?? List contents Please or where to buy as a kit?
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  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2007
    Art Scott wrote:
    Home Grown Kit?? List contents Please or where to buy as a kit?
    Home Grown Kit - a kit that is built from pieces and parts commonly found around the house. AKA - DIY kit. In this case, a couple of Q-Tips and some isopropyl alcohol. Sorry for the confusion.
  • ivarivar I'd be happy with a cookie Posts: 8,395Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2007
    Home Grown Kit
    Great, now I have an image in my head of someone watering a little tree, with sensorswabs growing out of it lol3.gif
  • claudermilkclaudermilk Major grins Posts: 2,756Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2007
    With more and more people discovering that they can/should clean their sensors, there are more and more ways discovered to do this. It's amazing to me that some companies are charging in excess of $100USD for a kit that doesn't do any better than a "home grown" kit that costs circa $5.00 USD.

    What's amazing to me is so many people get caught up with the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) marketing ploys and cough up that $100+ for a kit that should be half that or less--and is the exact same thing as the less expensive kits. I guess that it annoys me enough I cannot ignore any of these sensor-cleaning threads. rolleyes1.gif
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Posts: 1,751Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2007
    What's amazing to me is so many people get caught up with the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) marketing ploys and cough up that $100+ for a kit that should be half that or less--and is the exact same thing as the less expensive kits. I guess that it annoys me enough I cannot ignore any of these sensor-cleaning threads. rolleyes1.gif

    The wet/dry Copperhill kit I have cost $40. If I had to do it over I would probably have saved myself $10 and skipped the dry brush. However, once you get the hang of it, the PEC Pad/swab system is quite a bit faster than Qtips and does a significantly better job. If you are currently using Qtips, I highly recommend switching to PEC pads wrapped around a paddle. You can either buy the paddle from Copperhill or make your own and follow the directions on the web site. My local camera store keeps PEC pads and Eclipse in stock, so it is worth looking locally to see if you can find them.
  • RhuarcRhuarc Pilotographer Posts: 1,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2007
    Has anyone had any experience cleaning the sensor on the XTi? I know it has a built in anti-dust system, I just want to make sure that having that doesn't change how I would clean the sensor if I need to.
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,505Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2007
    LiquidAir wrote:
    . If I had to do it over I would probably have saved myself $10 and skipped the dry brush.

    So I bought the wet/dry kit from Copperhill too. I like it, especially as it has all the detailed instructions, and the liquid is a specialist optical solvent, not rubbing alcohol from the drug store (which has adatives to stablize it and make you sick in case you decide to drink it).

    Anyway, I actually like the brush. Can't say how effective it is, but it works well as the quick touchup before I go out for a shoot. Charge it up, dip it into the camera and off I go. I do the wet cleaning less frequently.

    If I had an XTi, I would definitely skip the brush.
  • Glenn NKGlenn NK Major grins Posts: 268Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2007
    cmason wrote:
    So I bought the wet/dry kit from Copperhill too. I like it, especially as it has all the detailed instructions, and the liquid is a specialist optical solvent, not rubbing alcohol from the drug store (which has adatives to stablize it and make you sick in case you decide to drink it).

    Anyway, I actually like the brush. Can't say how effective it is, but it works well as the quick touchup before I go out for a shoot. Charge it up, dip it into the camera and off I go. I do the wet cleaning less frequently.

    If I had an XTi, I would definitely skip the brush.


    Right - rubbing alcohol is nowhere near the same thing as 99% pure isopropyl alcohol or methyl alcohol.

    The beauty of very pure alcohols is that they evaporate very quickly leaving no trace, and will not affect glass (the sensor filter).

    Someone mentioned acetone somewhere - this can be one of the constituents of paint remover, and it's the prime ingredient in nail polish remover - don't even think about it. It could very easily destroy the mirror box and shutter curtains.

    Which reminds me - keep all liquids off everything but the sensor surface.
    "There is nothing that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey". John Ruskin 1819 - 1900
  • Glenn NKGlenn NK Major grins Posts: 268Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2007
    Update:

    Was browsing another forum and found the following reference site; very good. Note that isopropyl alcohol is mentioned (isopropanol).

    http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/methods.html
    "There is nothing that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey". John Ruskin 1819 - 1900
  • jdryan3jdryan3 tao te grin Posts: 1,353Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 13, 2007
    Glenn NK wrote:
    Update:

    Was browsing another forum and found the following reference site; very good. Note that isopropyl alcohol is mentioned (isopropanol).

    http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/methods.html

    If you wear eye glasses and use the spray or towelettes to clean them, you'll see that the stuff is isopropanol
    "Don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to. Oh well."
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  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,505Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 13, 2007
    jdryan3 wrote:
    If you wear eye glasses and use the spray or towelettes to clean them, you'll see that the stuff is isopropanol

    The trick is you need very pure isopropanol, not just any isopropanol. Rubbing alcohol his isopropanol too, but unsuitable for this. I would stay with solutions designed for optic cleaning (not eyeglasses) ie Eclipse
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Posts: 1,751Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 13, 2007
    Glenn NK wrote:
    Right - rubbing alcohol is nowhere near the same thing as 99% pure isopropyl alcohol or methyl alcohol.

    The beauty of very pure alcohols is that they evaporate very quickly leaving no trace, and will not affect glass (the sensor filter).

    Someone mentioned acetone somewhere - this can be one of the constituents of paint remover, and it's the prime ingredient in nail polish remover - don't even think about it. It could very easily destroy the mirror box and shutter curtains.

    Which reminds me - keep all liquids off everything but the sensor surface.

    The thought of getting acetone anywhere near my camera gives me the heebeejeebees (sp?). That stuff melts many plastics and is likely to dissolve some of the materials used in contructing your camera.
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