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Jane Auburn
April 19th, 2007, 01:42 PM
This dust on the sensor thing we're going to look back on and say, "I can't believe I paid $7,500" for a camera and had to worry about cleaning dust off the sensor."

I always knew it was absurd to have to worry about these dust bunnies, but I bought anyway, dumb me.

My sense is that Canon should be ashamed, maybe not for not coming up with a solution earlier, but certainly for downplaying the seriousness of the dust issue and for not providing a reasonable solution for getting the dust off.

Grrrr. Ridiculous!

Stan Jirman
April 19th, 2007, 03:37 PM
I don't know. I'm on my second $8000 body and when I look back at the first one, the dust is not what comes to mind. I have a feeling that when I get the third, I'll have a similar reaction. And I live in dusty CA.

Angela Weil
April 19th, 2007, 04:08 PM
The dust discussions seem to spread. :-))

My take on the dust issue is that we always lived with it and will live with it for a long time to come unless we hide in the clean room of an optical laboratory.

I used film cameras for many years. The dust problem when changing lenses is the same, except it is not quite as damaging to the mirror to clean it without care.

Getting tiny particles (like fine sand - a few grains are enough) in the film loading compartment can scratch fine lines in the emulsion of the film - a whole day of shooting and more can go by until one would even notice it. Only after development one is surprised by the fine wires stretched over the images.

Ok, there are solutions to that - all time consuming and bothersome. Those solutions did not help me however, because I used external labs to process and print the color negatives. I could not afford personal attention such as hand control and retouching.

I have very little experience in the darkroom but it is apparent, that dust is a major enemy as well.

Have you ever observed someone retouching dust specs on B/W darkroom prints? Or how about scanning film and trying to dust off the negs or slides and then spend a very long time taking care of the spots in post?

Back to digital: I have a Nikon D2X myself. Dust has never been a big issue. Not because Nikon is not Canon, but because dust spots are only a bother for certain types of images at a certain depth of field. There are fairly good software solutions to batch clean spots should that be necessary. I can clean up big blobs in Photo-Shop. Most of all, however, I can take care of my camera. Clean it carefully from time to time and even take it to the shop for a check up once a year or actually less than that. I don't think it is asking too much of me to care for an expensive investment.

As to new cameras: I have read a posting somewhere that new cameras and new lenses shave off tiny bits of metal particles when connected the first couple of times. Thus the dust spots on new equipment. Now, I don't know whether this is really the case but it might make sense. Made me think of the strong magnets producers of fine chocolates use to extract metal shavings from the production street in the final product.

Angela

Jane Auburn
April 19th, 2007, 04:21 PM
There are fairly good software solutions to batch clean spots should that be necessary.

Such as? I've never heard of these.

Paul Bestwick
April 19th, 2007, 04:28 PM
another complaint.....??? another thread to whine about an issue which has already been flogged to death...... Unbelievable !! Clean the thing & get on with it.
I am with Jim, I too am using my second DS seies camera & looking forward to the new release.......I expect there will be a dust issue.

Paul

leonardobarreto.com
April 19th, 2007, 04:29 PM
A digital back is the best solution: a) detach b) clean c) attach Same as taking a Polaroid in the era of film.

I put my camera inside a Hefty Gallon Freezer OneZip bag and in to the Pelican case. Also keep a can of compressed air in my desk and clean the dust in camera/lenses.

No dust shadows at all.

Before that I got a hair of my german shepherd Lola in front of the sensor (have the image to prove it).

Of course I don't do landscape in the desert whit this.

I'm biding, as I write this, on a Graplex Graphic that my wife wants to give me for my 50th b'day so that I can get some film and shoot out on my free time ... "unplugged" ... the digital back will stay under wraps in the studio.

Stan Jirman
April 19th, 2007, 08:10 PM
Such as? I've never heard of these.

Aperture. Lightroom.

dhphoto
April 21st, 2007, 05:20 AM
This dust on the sensor thing we're going to look back on and say, "I can't believe I paid $7,500" for a camera and had to worry about cleaning dust off the sensor."

I always knew it was absurd to have to worry about these dust bunnies, but I bought anyway, dumb me.

My sense is that Canon should be ashamed, maybe not for not coming up with a solution earlier, but certainly for downplaying the seriousness of the dust issue and for not providing a reasonable solution for getting the dust off.

Grrrr. Ridiculous!

Like the problem was fixed with film, or double dark slides, or hairs in the gate.

You now have cameras that you could only have dreamt about a few years ago and yet you can still find something to whine about

Dust is a problem, live with it.

David

Doug Kerr
April 21st, 2007, 05:42 AM
In 1961 or so, when I was a staff engineer at the AT&T headquarters in New York City (lower Manhattan), I arranged with a nearby old-time photo studio to take a studio shot of a disassembled D-subminiature connector to use in a technical manual I was developing. The photographer used a big 8x10 view camera mounted on an arm atop an 8-foot stepladder (the parts were arranged on a background cloth on the floor).

He ascended the stepladder, focused, pulled out the dark slide, took the leather cap off the lens (no shutter involved here), and descended, the ladder swaying substantially. "Won't that blur the picture?", I asked. "No, it will be about a 10-minute exposure, and the swaying dies out in a few seconds, so there will be no effect."

We had coffee in the back room and, when a glance at his watch showed that the chosen exposure time had elapsed, the photographer ascended the (again swaying) ladder, put the lens cap back on, put in the dark slide, pulled the film holder, and brought it down.

The next day he sent a proof over to my office by messenger. The shot was fine, but evidently a big horse hair had fallen from someplace (the studio wasn't exactly hygienic) into the middle of the field, and was clearly visible. A note with the proof apologized, and the photographer assured me that the hair's image would be retouched out.

I called him right away and said, "No, don't retouch the negative - the hair in the picture will make a great story!"

For those with a knowledge of Bell Telephone System external technical documents, the manual was the very first document in the "PUB" series, which initially covered the interfaces with telephone network modems (called at the time "data sets" for electropolitical reasons). Bell had just then adopted the D-subminiature connector for these interfaces; it was on its way to being standardized by the EIA in RS-232.

Ray West
April 21st, 2007, 05:58 AM
I think for most folk, they never pixel peeped at film, so wouldn't notice dust on their poscard sized prints from the lab. Also, dust on the film gets moved for the next shot, it does not increase or build up as it does on a static sensor.

From the manufacturers point of view, the idea is to make the camera as clean as possible, so that most people do not complain. For things that move - i.e. shutters, mirrors, bits of stuff will be ground off. I would not expect a new camera to have 'stuck on dust, pollen, or grease on the sensor. It seems some have. Changing of materials, and methods of dust entrapment will gradually resolve that. However, interchangeable lenses, and most zoom lens will have to allow the ingress of dust.

If a 'dusty' camera is returned, what does the shop do? probably it gets sold again, eventually to someone less fussy.

I've never cleaned my sensor, I'm not super careful. The few dust spots noticeable on the images are easily edited away. If my income depended on it, or I took it seriously, I'd clean the sensor, and take more care. It is not a problem.

A few years ago, you had to 'run in' car engines, get 1000 mile services, etc. We are at the birth of digital camera imaging - it can only get better. There is no magic wand that canon/nikon/whoever can wave, it will probably be incremental progress, then the dust will be down to you.

Will we ever want to get the 'early digital look' as we try now for film??

Best wishes,

Ray

Doug Kerr
April 21st, 2007, 06:26 AM
Hi, Ray,

All well said. Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug

Bob Krueger
April 21st, 2007, 11:35 AM
I'm pretty sure that nobody here cares a whole lot about my thoughts on the dust issue, but what the heck...it puts me one post closer to being a "senior member." :)

I shoot vintage car racing, which appears to be fairly unique in this forum, so my experience with dust may be a bit different from that of most of you. I use a Canon 1DMkII and all zoom lenses and, yes, dust can be a real problem for me, but not an overwhelming one. Among the race tracks at which I shoot is Laguna Seca (just outside Monterey, CA). The Monterey Historics, probably the premiere vintage racing event in this country, is held at Laguna Seca in August, and that venue at that time of year, especially at "the Corkscrew" (turn 8) is absolutley filthy. There is little ground cover and the wind whips up and swirls intermittently, speading dust clouds all over the place. Especially if you have to change lenses, and as you move around various locations up there you will, you are going to get a pretty fair amount of dust on your sensor no matter how hard you try to eliminate it. In a typical racing year, I clean my sensor once - after the Historics and before the Coronado Speed Festival, which is held on airport runways (much like the old Curtis LeMay SAC base days), and is, therefore, much cleaner than Laguna Seca but nowhere near as clean as the very green Road America in Wisconsin.

I am in no way, shape, or form what could be called a pixel peeper. My form of photography just doesn't demand that sort of technical over-attention to detail and I am not inclined toward that type of activity anyway. I also do not do this for a living - yes, I shoot for publication and I do get paid by a few small-circulation vintage racing magazines, but money is not my primary motivation, and thank God for that, because mine is not the area in which to try to make a living for most photographers. But I do, of course, try to provide decent photos to those magazines, so I do care about dust spots and I do remove them in post-processing before sending my files off to the editor. And as the racing season progresses there are more and more of them of the "welded" type to remove. So, the bottom line on the dust issue for me is...

1. I absolutely love my 1DMkII and would not return to shooting film with my 1vHS, even under threat of death. And the MkII does everything I need a camera body to do at this time, so there is no need for me to upgrade in the near future.
2. I understand that in my life, for now at least, dust spots are the primary downside of digital photography. There just aren't any other negative aspects for me, even the added post-processing. Controlling the photos all the way to the CMYK conversion rather than submitting unedited slides is wonderful, and having the originals available during the time between post-processing and publication is even more wonderful - no more waiting months for my slides to be returned. If a driver wants to buy a print of his race car during that time frame, I am ready and able to provide it. And the most wonderful of all - no more scanning slides!
3. Dust spots are a definite annoyance because they cause extra work in post (especially after the Laguna Seca race), but that is far outweighed by all the positive aspects of digital imaging.
4. I absolutely hate cleaning the sensor because of the risk of damage to what is perhaps the single most expensive component of the camera, but I understand that it simply has to be done. I do it myself with a lot of trepidation because I know that driving it 80 miles to Canon Irvine will most likely result in added expense and a job that is no better than mine (if as good). Since the camera is now three years old, warranty is not an issue. I use the spatula, PecPad, and Eclipse method because in my experience that is the only method that really works with the type of dust spots I get. I also have and use Visible Dust's Arctic Butterfly and brushes, but that doesn't do the complete job for me. I use those products as a preliminary cleaning method before I do the wet cleaning to get the "welded" spots (which tend to be the biggest ones), which are not phased by the SensorBrushes.
5. Do I wish the dust problem would go away? Absolutely. Like I said, cleaning the sensor scares the heck out of me and I do it reluctantly but necessarily. If Canon had the perfect dust removal solution with the 1DMkIII, would I spend $4,500 dollars to upgrade? If the dust problem truly went entirely away, probably. But, knowing that isn't the case, I can keep on keeping on with the camera I have, which is very good at doing what it does, until Canon does come up with the ultimate solution.
6. Do I hate sensor dust? Yes. Do I hate cleaning my sensor? Yes. Do I love digital imaging enough to put up with the hated dust problem? Absolutely.

Asher Kelman
April 21st, 2007, 12:19 PM
Aperture. Lightroom.
Do you happen to have some sreen shots or reference to this?

This alone is worth moving to Aperture!

Asher

Stan Jirman
April 21st, 2007, 05:37 PM
Do you happen to have some sreen shots or reference to this?This alone is worth moving to Aperture!AsherI am not near a computer right now, but both Aperture and LR have a dust removal tool. It allows you to click on a piece of dust and select the diameter (which can be done with the mouse wheel for speed). Then, Aperture has a Lift & Stamp tool that allows you to lift just the dust settings and apply it to a series of images. LR has a similar Syn tool. Both allow you to copy just the dust settings, without having to override all your settings.

Ray West
April 21st, 2007, 05:57 PM
I think I saw something, maybe a photoshop action, where you selected all the dust spots in a layer, and then could apply it to all images in that set. I've no idea how effective it was.

Best wishes,

Ray

Nicolas Claris
April 22nd, 2007, 03:40 AM
I am not near a computer right now, but both Aperture and LR have a dust removal tool. It allows you to click on a piece of dust and select the diameter (which can be done with the mouse wheel for speed). Then, Aperture has a Lift & Stamp tool that allows you to lift just the dust settings and apply it to a series of images. LR has a similar Syn tool. Both allow you to copy just the dust settings, without having to override all your settings.

Just to add to Stan infos, in LR :

http://mnclaris.free.fr/forum/clone_LR.jpg

Steve Saunders
May 21st, 2007, 02:49 PM
Some sensors are more prone to dust than others. For instance, the Nikon D2X and D200 need far less cleaning than previous Nikons. Maybe the sensor surface is more static-free on the later models?

Jack Joseph Jr
May 24th, 2007, 07:21 PM
The retouch tool in ACR4 works just fine for dust, birds, airplanes, etc. My 5D and 1D2N are fine cameras. If I were to say, "I can't believe I bought cameras with such a dust problem" in a few years I'll be saying, "I can't believe I bought a camera with less than 32MP" or "I can't believe I bought a camera with less than 14 stops of DR" or "I can't believe I bought a camera with a mechanical shutter". Time marches on!