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Roadsterstu

Camera Cleaning

This is by no means intended as an slight to Ian (Boxer6), but I have noticed some particles of dust inside the lens.  As the camera is a few years old, I could do with taking it somewhere for a clean.

Has anyone used anywhere they could recommend?  Ideally somewhere that will clean both the lens and the camera itself (I assume on a DSLR that means the sensor)?

I'm in Leicestershire, so somewhere local-ish or somewhere that will accept items by mail, although that adds to the cost, I guess.
TreVoR

The big camera manufacturers tend to have good customer service. I would give Nikon a call to see what their service rates are. I am assuming the lens is also Nikon.
Boxer6

Re: Camera Cleaning

Roadsterstu wrote:
This is by no means intended as an slight to Ian (Boxer6), but I have noticed some particles of dust inside the lens.  As the camera is a few years old, I could do with taking it somewhere for a clean.

Has anyone used anywhere they could recommend?  Ideally somewhere that will clean both the lens and the camera itself (I assume on a DSLR that means the sensor)?

I'm in Leicestershire, so somewhere local-ish or somewhere that will accept items by mail, although that adds to the cost, I guess.


No offence taken mate!

The sensor on that camera was cleaned about 2 years ago, as I'd noticed specks on images that I couldn't account for! Sadly, it's a fact of life with (D)SLRs that eventually dust gets in no matter how careful you are with your lens-changing routine.

It wasn't so much of an issue with film cameras, as the film was changed often (though that too brought its' own issues with dust getting into the body) but with the sensor on DSLRs being "static", it's a lot more of a problem.

As for the lens - not something I ever noticed tbh, and I'd imagine it's a lot harder for dust to get inside a lens. I won't say 'impossible', cos it isn't, but a lot less likely.

Naturally, I can't offer any guide re cleaning services; but if it helps in pricing up, it cost me £29 to get the sensor cleaned 2 years ago at a local indy camera shop.
DetmoldDick

Re: Camera Cleaning

Roadsterstu wrote:
I have noticed some particles of dust inside the lens.


Can you actually see the dust inside the lens, or are there "blobs" on your images to lead you to think there is dust in the lens?

It is hard for dust to get into a lens and harder still to get it out, it would have to go back to the manufacturer. The good news is that dust in the lens will normally have little effect on your images.

If, however, you have dust on the sensor (which as stated above, is inevitable after a time) this will be visible as small circles on you images and will be most visible in the sky.

Does the camera have a sensor cleaning function, if so obviously try this first. Sensor cleaning is not difficult, you can look it up on youtube for your specific camera. If this frightens you, take the camera into a camera shop and they should do it while you wait and it shouldn't cost too much.
Roadsterstu

Thanks for the info. The dust seems to be inside the lens. I've not looked at the sensor. I could do it myself I guess but with the lens having dust inside, I thought getting it done together, in one go, would be easier.

I will try Nikon for a local service centre. Lens is also Nikon.
Roadsterstu

Awaiting a reply from http://www.hlehmann.co.uk/index.html who ate aughorised to do warranty work for Sony, Canon and Nikon. Sensor cleaning is 30 quid plus VAT.
Clunes

If you can see the dust specks in the pictures it's likely to be on the sensor not in the lens (lenses can get very, very messy/scratched/smeared etc on the outer element before major artefacts show in pictures)

If its the sensor don't be afraid to give it a go yourself, get a rocket blower to start and perhaps a sensor cleaning kit if needed - this will save you in the long run and it's a simple job and to one to be overly worried about.

If the dust is inside the lens (perfectly possible) then igore it UNLESS it makes a major difference to the image (unlikely) as dust specks are so easy to remove in processing and taking a lens apart for a bit of dust is tricky and rife with potential issues.
Roadsterstu

Cheers. May leave it for now, until I have used the camera more, to see how much of an impact it has.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Small spots of dust in the lens is reputed not to cause any noticeable degredation in picture quality. If you have the lens cleaned, you may find that you soon get more specs of dust appearing since (a) zoom lenses suck particles in each time that you operate them, and (b) most of the dust spots are usually particles shed from bits of the lens internals.

Checking the sensor for dust is very easy; set camera to "M", remove lens and turn on.  Take a long exposure, maybe 3 or 4 seconds whilst pointing the camera at a white-coloured wall or ceiling *edit* and keep the camera moving during the exposure */edit*.  Review the subsequent image on your computer monitor.  The "subject" wall or ceiling will be a total blur, so any grey or black spots with reasonably good defined edges will be contamination on the sensor.
Cleaning can be done at home so long as you have a little confidence and a sensor cleaning kit.  Repeat the above-described test shot routine until you have a perfectly blurred pure white exposure.
Roadsterstu

Thanks  
Chris M Wanted a V-10

See update above... forgot to state that you should keep the camera moving during the test shot.  This of course is what blurs everything except dust bunnies - and they show up best against a white background
Clunes

You may find it easier to just set your lens to a high aperture number (22 for example) and take a shot of a clear sky or white wall etc - this will also show any dust pretty clearly
woof woof

I agree with others, any dust inside the lens shouldn't matter at all as it's so far from the sensor that light finds its way around it and it should therefore be invisible in the shot.

The way that I test for contamination on the sensor is to take an out of focus shot of a white door at every aperture stepping down from the narrowest, so that's f22 or f16 depending upon the lens to f8 or so beyond which you'd have to have big bits of contaminant for it to show up. What I aim for is a light grey image which will show any contamination. I then look at the images on my PC and if there's anything there I decide if it matters or not. For eg, a couple of small specks at f22 that become invisible at f16 wont matter if I don't plane on going past f11. If I decide that any contamination present is a problem the first thing I try is a Rocket blower and if that doesn't shift it I do a wet clean with a drop Eclipse fluid on a Pec pad wrapped around a slice cut from an old credit card.

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