DSLR Sensor Cleaning

DSLR Sensor Cleaning

Let’s face it DUST is the photographers four letter word.  If you’re like me you follow the DSLR sensor cleaning protocol as taught to us by the guru’s of photography.  Phase one begins with a blower, when that fails you move on to an electro-static brush and finally the dreaded wet swab as a last resort hoping all the while not to leave streaks on the sensor or worse damage it.  And of course I needed to have different solutions and sensor swab sizes for FX and DX bodies so it was expensive and a lot to carry on trips.   Many photographers simply throw their hands up and send the camera off for a professional cleaning but at the rate dust gets on the sensor that really isn’t a viable solution either due to expense and down time.

If all this sounds all too familiar read on because I’m about to introduce you to the Cadbury secret of DSLR sensor cleaning.

It’s called the sensor gel stick by Eyelead and it works on virtually any interchangeable lens digital camera – from a compact mirrorless to a full-frame DSLR. And it is as easy as 1-2-3 to use as follows:

1/ Set your camera to “Mirror Lock-Up” mode (with the battery fully charged) to expose the sensor.

2/ Remove the gel stick from its protective case and walk the whole sensor with the gelled side of the stick.

3/ Work a grid pattern across the entire sensor until you’ve covered 100% of it then use the provided sticky adhesive paper (included inside the metal case) to remove the dust from the gel. Once cleaned, the sensor gel stick can be reused over and over again. Repeat this process as many times as necessary to clean your sensor.

4/ Once completed turn off the camera, mount your lens, set it to the smallest aperture like f/32, then take a picture of a white surface. When you analyze the image, there should be no spots left.  I use the VisibleDust Sensor Loupe to look inside at the sensor saving the step of taking a picture and easily identifying where the dust spots are so I cheat and only apply the sensor gel stick where the dust is physically located on the sensor.

I will tell you that I was skeptical when I was first saw the sensor gel stick from Eyelead however when I found out this is the product Leica uses in their labs along with many other service centers as part of their professional cleaning I was sold.

And once you’re convinced and you wish to learn how to use the Eyelead sensor gel stick I highly recommend you watch the following video, this is the one that gave me the confidence to try it myself.  [youtube]http://photographylife.com/product/sensor-gel-stick[/youtube]

I’ve used the Eyelead gel stick now on three of my cameras and in all three cases it worked beautifully.  On my D3s I had to take two or three passes at a few tough spots but in the end it left my sensor dust free.   I’m sure there may still be a need at some point for a really tough bit of baked on dust to require the old wet swab so I am keeping them around just in case.

My new DSLR sensor cleaning protocol consists of the blower brush first followed by the sensor gel stick and that’s it – Easy Peasy – Lemon Squeezy. DSLR Sensor Cleaning