How to know your slr camera needs a cleaning?

October 18, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

Q: The question is how do I know my camera needs to be cleaned?

A: If you have a SLR camera that has not been professionally cleaned, then you should probably get it cleaned if you still want to shoot with that camera.  Here is how you test it:
 

  • switch your camera to manual mode.
  • Change your f/Stop to f/22 or as high as that number goes.
  • point your camera it up to the clear blue sky, make it blurry and out of focus.
  • Then take a shot.  Try not to get clouds if possible.
  • Then bring that image into a photo editor and look at every section of it at 100%.  This last step is REALLY important.
  • Re-Test by shooting in the sky and reclean until you don't see any spots.
Here was my camera after I had it professionally cleaned.  Yes, even the professionals were not able to remove it all after two cleans.  This means 2 things.  It's not easy to clean, and yes, you probably have junk on your sensor.  Which means you should get it cleaned or learn how to clean it yourself.
 
See all the dots int he red circles.  This is at fit to screen mode:
 
 
 
This is at 100% mode:
 
 
So I took my camera back to Canon and they re-cleaned it for free since I just had it done last week.  You can see that all the dust spots were on once side which means when he cleaned it in the first place, in his attempt to clean it, he actually gathered it up on one side.

FYI, it will cost you about $60-100 to get your camera cleaned.  But imagine you have a great picture that is memorable and you have this black dust on your son's face while he is blowing out a candle.  Yikes!!!!!!

Here in Asia at the only official repair, he cleaned it for about $15.  Of course todays cleaning was free.

When was the last time you cleaned or had your lens cleaned?

One more tip my instructor told me, she said try to avoid cleaning your sensor in the winter where there is more dust in the air.
 
 

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