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  • #16
    Re: Sensor Cleaning

    Originally posted by MikeOxon View Post
    I used to clean sensors myself, with wipes and 'eclipse' fluid. I have read, however, that it is unwise to do this on sensors with image stabilisation, because it is possible to damage the mechanism.

    Has anyone any hard information?
    I have always cleaned my sensors on dslr cameras and now on the Oly M10 and M1/1. If you use a swap and fluid with the camera turned off, the sensor moves as you swab it. I have no idea if any damage is caused. I always clean the sensor with the camera switched on, and the sensor seems then to be held rigidly and it does not move. But be advised that cleaning does not involve rubbing away at the sensor (it is not actually the sensor at all) it just involves two or three very light swipes in one direction accross the sensor. This topic has been covered many times in other forums. Just buy proper sensor swabs and proper fluid. Under no circumstances be tempted as some do, to use tissue or cotton buds because you will probably leave more debris on the sensor than you remove.
    And finally please don't be so silly as to say that in 10 years of use your sensor has no dust and that you have never had cause to get it cleaned. If you think you have no grot on your sensor, then you haven't looked properly.

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    • #17
      Re: Sensor Cleaning

      Originally posted by MikeOxon View Post
      I used to clean sensors myself, with wipes and 'eclipse' fluid. I have read, however, that it is unwise to do this on sensors with image stabilisation, because it is possible to damage the mechanism.

      Has anyone any hard information?
      There's no evidence that I've found to support the conjecture that careful cleaning can damage IBIS. On the contrary, camera shops across the world will clean your Olympus/Panasonic/Pentax/Sony camera just like they'd clean a Canon or Nikon. I'm pretty sure that LCE in London (where OP has his camera cleaned) have no Olympus specialist tool to clamp there IBIS or such like. In fact, I've watched the Olympus technicians at The Photography Show cleaning sensors and they just use swabs with cleaning fluid.

      There are similar objections to owner cleaning that pop up from time to time regarding anti static coatings and the potential to remove them by wet cleaning. Again, I've seen no evidence to support this view. I think it's just internet chunter.

      As to cleaning with IBIS on or off - my view is off for three reasons:

      a) If the camera is turned on and you inadvertently touched the shutter button with the swab on the sensor then you'd wreck the shutter.

      b) I can imagine that the force of cleaning will significantly exceed the forces that the IBIS is designed to handle. I can't think of what the consequences might be, but I think it's best to avoid it.

      c) When turned off, the sensor moves freely within physical limits. Careful cleaning doesn't move it much, if at all, so I think it's a safe operation.
      Paul
      E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
      flickr
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      • #18
        Re: Sensor Cleaning

        Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
        Hands up I'm a bit lazy to google the answer. If the stack is not bonded then cleaning fluid could enter the gap. The Clint Eastwood question: 'well do you feel lucky...'. If bonded then a better outcome, possibly. Thinking a bit since beginning typing, I'd say the designers would not want air gaps and change in refractive index.
        Minimise the amount of fluid.
        The stack must be bonded Steve - otherwise it would be a dust/moisture trap in the extreme.
        Paul
        E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
        flickr
        Portfolio Site
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        • #19
          Re: Sensor Cleaning

          Originally posted by pdk42 View Post
          So long as you use the right equipment and chemicals then a wet clean is no different to cleaning your spectacles with a cleaner spray and microfibre cloth.
          My experience cleaning my own specs (and multicoated camera filters) is such that I'd never go anywhere near my camera sensors! Whatever fancy new coating is on my current glasses seems to resist any attempt at cleaning, the only way seems to be to use IPA (not India pale ale but iso-propyl alcohol!), ordinary lens cleaners just seem to move the grot around without removing it .
          Regards
          Richard

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          • #20
            Re: Sensor Cleaning

            Well the depth & breath of responses here, (Thank You all), IMHO should put anyone but the super confident, informed and steady handed of us, to leave it to the Pro's. In addition to the aforementioned, another reason for my not attempting it, is the IBIS question.IMV Paul, whether the sensor is layered or not, (could this be established by a ? to Olympus), wobbly or not, I just don't want to takethe chance. But Cheers to all for the input.
            P.S. The Pizza reference was purely a

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            • #21
              Re: Sensor Cleaning

              Originally posted by Otto View Post
              My experience cleaning my own specs (and multicoated camera filters) is such that I'd never go anywhere near my camera sensors! Whatever fancy new coating is on my current glasses seems to resist any attempt at cleaning, the only way seems to be to use IPA (not India pale ale but iso-propyl alcohol!), ordinary lens cleaners just seem to move the grot around without removing it .

              Otto, close to the heart this. Just for Specs though. Must admit I use Methylated Spirit.....for glass cleaning, but do wonder if it degrades the coatings. The only reason I have tried it, it that it smells very like the stuff they use in Opticians.
              Any Chemists here that can enlighten me. (IPA sounds very aggressive)

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              • #22
                Re: Sensor Cleaning

                Ah, John and Iso, it's not just me then! I don't think IPA is any more aggressive than meths, it is effectively surgical spirit. Meths smells nicer but it also has additives to make it poisonous and give it that purple colour. A friend suggested the soap and tap water routine which does work but it's not foolproof, and I wouldn't try it on a sensor . Either way, my next pair of specs will NOT have that wretched coating - O for the days when a breath and a rub with a sleeve was all that was required!
                Regards
                Richard

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                • #23
                  Steve

                  on flickr

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                  • #24
                    Re: Sensor Cleaning

                    Originally posted by iso View Post
                    Otto, close to the heart this. Just for Specs though. Must admit I use Methylated Spirit.....for glass cleaning, but do wonder if it degrades the coatings. The only reason I have tried it, it that it smells very like the stuff they use in Opticians.
                    Any Chemists here that can enlighten me. (IPA sounds very aggressive)
                    Ok, my degree was in Chemistry although I've never worked in the industry or in academia. What I do know is this...

                    - For cleaning lenses and such like the essential point is that the substance needs to be volatile (evaporates easily) and leaves no residue. Therefore, you should avoid cheap methylated spirit since it will likely not be pure enough to be residue free.

                    - Lens coatings are usually made from magnesium or calcium fluoride, applied to the glass by vapour deposition. Some metal oxides are also used. Some manufacturers are also using fancy "nano surface" coatings which use silica nano particles.

                    - In general all these lens coatings are very robust and will not be damaged by alcohols - although methanol has been suspected of corroding indium tin oxide coating applied to some Sony sensors (not those used on Olympus cameras). This led to Eclipse cleaning fluid (which was basically 100% methanol) introducing a new version (E2) which was predominantly iso-propyl alcohol (IPA). There's little wrong with IPA aside from the fact that it's less volatile than methanol so took longer to dry which tended to leave streaks. They've replaced both now with Aeroclipse which is mainly a fluoro-ethyl ether (1,1,2,2-Tetrafluoroethyl-2,2,2-trifluoroethyl ether) with a bit of ethanol. This works very well and has no known corrosive effects on coatings (but it is more toxic than IPA).

                    - The biggest risk to any cleaning of lenses, sensors etc is physical scratching caused by grit. For that reason, always make sure to use a blower or lens pen first (dry clean) before wet cleaning and make sure the cleaning cloth/pad is scrupulously clean. For sensor cleaning, only use a clean, freshly-opened swab designed expressly for sensor cleaning.

                    - The other potential risk with wet cleaning is excess fluid going where it shouldn't. This is only a problem if you overload the swab. You only need a small amount of fluid - follow the instructions and you'll be fine.

                    You might find this site helpful for cleaning products and guides:

                    https://www.cameraclean.co.uk/index.php
                    Paul
                    E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
                    flickr
                    Portfolio Site
                    Instagram

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                    • #25
                      Re: Sensor Cleaning

                      Useful info Paul, thanks . The fluid I use is Servisol IPA 170, intended for cleaning electronic circuits and the like. I don't use anything other than tissues on my camera lenses, I keep a UV filter on them to catch the muck (and that's another bone of contention of course!). Hoya HMC filters have exactly the same problem as my glasses.

                      JohnHM, my nose is the only bit of me that runs anywhere these days .
                      Regards
                      Richard

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                      • #26
                        Re: Sensor Cleaning

                        Originally posted by pdk42 View Post
                        ..... This led to Eclipse cleaning fluid (which was basically 100% methanol) introducing a new version (E2) which was predominantly iso-propyl alcohol (IPA). There's little wrong with IPA aside from the fact that it's less volatile than methanol so took longer to dry which tended to leave streaks. They've replaced both now with Aeroclipse which is mainly a fluoro-ethyl ether (1,1,2,2-Tetrafluoroethyl-2,2,2-trifluoroethyl ether) with a bit of ethanol. This works very well and has no known corrosive effects on coatings (but it is more toxic than IPA).
                        .....
                        Sorry to dig an old thread,

                        The initial mention is methanol, that's one volatile stuff that I remember is used in my days of RC planes as fuel. what about ethanol? Is this similar to Isopropyl Alcohol?
                        * Henry
                        * Location: Subang Jaya, Selangor
                        * Malaysia


                        All my garbage so far.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Sensor Cleaning

                          I am of the "if it aint broke, don't fix it" school. Regular cleaning whether or not needed only increases the risk of permanent damage. When the muck becomes obtrusive then I will clean it myself. No-one takes more care of your gear than you do!

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                          • #28
                            Re: Sensor Cleaning

                            Originally posted by blu-by-u View Post
                            Sorry to dig an old thread,

                            The initial mention is methanol, that's one volatile stuff that I remember is used in my days of RC planes as fuel. what about ethanol? Is this similar to Isopropyl Alcohol?
                            Paul
                            E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
                            flickr
                            Portfolio Site
                            Instagram

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                            • #29
                              Re: Sensor Cleaning

                              "...last for years".
                              Paul, with your chemist's clobber on, would a glass bottle offer better storage, or would the plastic container (as supplied, I guess) suffice, and what about interaction with 'air' / and moisture in the air?
                              Steve

                              on flickr

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                              • #30
                                Re: Sensor Cleaning

                                Hi Steve - in general ethers are somewhat hygroscopic so it's best to keep them in well-sealed containers. However, I don't know for sure whether that's the case for the ether in Aeroclispe - I'll try to find out.

                                Glass vs plastic - I'd always suggest glass for organic compounds if there's any doubt.
                                Paul
                                E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
                                flickr
                                Portfolio Site
                                Instagram

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