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Cameras, lenses, projectors
Wet cleaning is the next step in sensor cleaning and becomes necessary when bits, such as pollen, are stuck on the sensor surface, that dry-
With the right tools and the right instruction there’s no need to be frightened of wet-
Yes, you need to take care and to make sure every other cleaning step has been carried out, before attempting wet-
By always exposing test images at each cleaning step, you will quickly learn whether the spots are loose particles, stuck bits or smears.
I have been using Microfibre Swabs for several years (see right side column), due to the effectiveness of microfibres.
However, new swab types are now on the marked that are very effective. But my advice is to stay clear of polyester swabs, due to static and wetting properties.
So how do you use the swab?
With the mirror up and shutter open in Sensor Cleaning Mode (refer to your camera instruction manual), you gain access to the sensor surface. To be totally correct, it is not actually the sensor itself that is cleaned, but rather the filter which covers it. But I will refer to it as the sensor.
The surface may be cleaned by wiping from side to side or from top to bottom. Normally side to side is the easiest, but on some cameras there’s more room to wipe from top to bottom.
You will find more recommendations in the guides supplied with the cleaning kits, and sometimes in the camera user manual.
Swab size vs sensor size:
Regardless of size all sensors can be cleaned with the 17mm Standard size swab. On larger sensors you simply wipe two or more times to cover the entire area.
However, if yours is a full frame camera (24mmx36mm) you would probably choose the 24mm swab since it covers the entire area in one sweep.
For several years I have been using DUST-
It is fast evaporating, non-
Some particles and smears require a slower acting, more penetrating liquid, in order to dissolve sticky matter.
The use of Kodak or Tiffen Professional Lens Cleaner has been effective, but new products for newer camera sensors are now marketed by other companies, such as The Dust Patrol.
Below is short movie showing how I clean with swabs.
by Ben Vang
The criteria for any optical cleaning tool is that it must be SAFE, contaminant free and effective. We tested all methods on that basis.
Tissue wrapped spatulas were low cost and did work, but there was too much handling and the risk of contamination high.
Cloth or sponge type swabs would not fully remove particles, but merely wipe the bits out to the side of the sensor, without removing them.
The winner …
Having good experience with MicroFibre cloths we decided to test microfibre hooded swabs.
By using optical quality material, and applying liquid of our choice and volume.
The result was SafeWipe Swabs produced by a manufacturer specialising in Clean-
But all good things come to an end. So, with the closure of my business of cleaning products, a new supply is needed.
I would like to recommend that clients take a look at the products produced by US company The Dust Patrol. Their swab design is excellent and the material is a good substitute for microfibres.
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