Dealing with sensor dust

One the biggest headaches I’ve had with my digital SLR has been sensor dust. I have a few lenses and I swap them out in the field regularly which over time attracted dust which frustratingly shows up on all photos taken thereafter. Not that it’s particularly difficult to edit out dust from a photo. It’s just annoying.

So, I visited my local camera shop and they sold me a $70 dollar clean up kit. This kit pretty much consisted of a bottle of rubbing alcohol solution with about a dozen fancy que tip type applicators. Actual value was probably about $5 bucks. You throw a bit of solution on an applicator and rub it across your camera sensor to clean off the dust. Well, after trying this about half a dozen times, I found for ever piece of dust I got rid of, new ones would appear–probably from simply moving the dust from one side of the sensor to another side. It really didn’t work and it was nerve racking messing around with a camera sensor.

This week I tried a different tactic. I took my camera in to a repair shop and let them give it a try. $95 dollars later, I now have a perfectly clean sensor. Finally! While it sucks to have to pay that much money to get my gear cleaned, there’s no such thing as a maintenance free machine. Also, I’m still way ahead with my digital in savings from film costs, so no big deal. BTW, if you’re looking for a good place in Seattle for camera repair, try Photo-tronics.

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