If you’re using an DSLR camera, you’ll eventually require a “Clean & Check” to remove dust spots you encounter due to a dirty camera sensor. When it occurs it is the result of sensor dust and you’ll need to know how to clean the sensor, and how to minimize the risk of this happening again.
What does Sensor Dust look like?
A dirty camera sensor is most apparent in smooth, light regions, such as bright skies:
Visually check your sensor by taking a photo that includes the sky, Example A, or if in a studio a white or a white/off-white wall. Then import the image into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Bridge, Photoshop or any other image editor/manipulator. When in Photoshop you should increase
How to determine it’s Sensor Dust
Just because you see spots in your viewfinder and/or images, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to clean your camera sensor. Other sources of dust include:
(1) Viewfinder focusing screen and DSLR mirror. This type of dust is clearly visible in the viewfinder, but fortunately doesn’t alter the image file. Try looking through your viewfinder and changing the f-stop (while holding the depth of field preview button). Viewfinder dust will appear the same size regardless of the f-stop.
The best was to check for dust is to aim your camera at a clear/open sky or a light-colored wall. If you’re still seeing spots it is safe to assume that the dust has accumulated on your camera’s sensor.
Time for a Clean & Check
Sensor dust is never ideal, and it’s recommend to use your camera’s internal sensor cleaner on a regular basis. If you are advanced, you may try to clean the sensor on your own, however, you must be careful as the slightest movement can cause misalignment of your camera’s mirror and can create focus issues. Most professionals don’t trust themselves to do this and get their camera’s professionally cleaned. You have the same option as our professional clients to bring your camera and lenses into Larmon Photo or Foto Forum for a “Clean & Check” so one of our experts can make sure your DSLR is in optimum condition to create great images for you.
Let’s consider a clean and check as your camera’s annual physical. Best time to do this is before you go on vacation. We do a plethora of Clean & Checks that are done on a first in first done basis, so don’t wait until the last moment.
So what should you bring to your camera’s physical and what do we clean and check?
- Your DSLR – so we can Clean & Check your camera’s sensor, focusing screen, rear viewfinder and check the security of the lens mount.
- All of your lenses – so we can properly Clean & Check the front and rear elements.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to bring your camera in for it’s annual “Clean & Check” call Larmon Photo in Abington, PA at (215)887-1248 or Foto Forum in Phoenix, AZ at (602) 263-0084