Rodney Campbell's Blog

D600 Sensor Cleaning Part II…

by on Jan.14, 2013, under Life, Photography

A while back I’d posted about some of my experience with dust spots on the new D600.

Basically I think it’s getting better but it certainly did seem to produce more spots on the sensor than either of my two previous D-SLR’s (D90 and D7000).

I already owned the CopperHill MegaKit which included everything you needed for lens and sensor maintenance including:

• Large Giottos Rocket blower (for blowing the sensor and readying the sensor sweep brush)
• SensorSwipe (the tool/stick you use to wet clean the sensor)
• 100-pack of QuikStrips (the use once cleaning strips you put on the SensorSwipe stick)
• 2 ounce bottle of Eclipse (the cleaning solution – you put two drops on the quikstrip when it’s on the tool)
• Lens Care Kit
• SensorSweep (a brush you use for dry “static” cleaning of the sensor)
• SensorView (a LED illuminated sensor loupe)

I had the 14mm SensorSwipe tool which is designed for a two pass clean of a crop (DX) sensor and I’d used it a number of times on my D7000 to good effect.

Up till now I’d only cleaned the D600 using the Rocket Blower to blow air onto the sensor (which just removes the dry easy to remove dust).

So I ordered a new SensorSwipe (the 24mm one for a one pass clean of a full frame sensor) and the new 100-pack of 24mm QuikStrips and whilst I was at it I also purchased the new Sensor Loupe.

After the new kit arrived I did try the SensorSweep brush for the first time this time to see if it did anything useful – my conclusion – it did not – in fact I reckon it just smeared the stuck on gunk across the sensor and made it worse. So it was time for a wet clean which worked as it had previously on my D7000.

A couple weeks later and my sensor was pretty dirty again and I had to do another wet clean but it produced outstanding results this time with no visible spots in my long exposure landscape images the next morning.

I also own a copy of the Reikan FoCal – Fully Automated Camera Calibration software tool. I actually own the Pro version which lets you do everything including:

Assisted Target Setup – Live View help for getting the target set up correctly
Semi Automatic Calibration – automatic control of the camera to simplify you find the best settings
Fully Automatic Microadjustment/Fine Tune Calibration – camera/lens calibration at the touch of a button
Manual Calibration Mode – calibrate from a set of image files you shot manually
Aperture Sharpness – find out the sharpest aperture for your lenses
Autofocus Consistency – check out the autofocus performance of you camera
Dust Analysis – find out how much dust is on your sensor, and which aperture it will start affecting images
MultiPoint Focus Test – automated comparison of many focus points, and even full individual calibration
Real-Time Detailed Analysis Information – shows the results as the tests progress
Report Generation – generates details PDF reports with all analysis results
Target Optimisation – uses features of the FoCal target to optimise test analysis
Expert Mode – allows changing of test settings, e.g. aperture and ISO

So I’ve also run the automated Dust Analysis test before and after cleaning and I can see where it’s improved.

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