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So, the dreaded sensor spots are now visible in certain circumstances.  Whilst I can remove them in post processing, I would rather have the dust spots removed. Could anyone advise on the best and safest method (I’ve only ever used a blow-brush), or would it best to have them removed professionally:  If the latter, would the camera need to be returned to Wetzlar or can a dealer carry out the cleaning; I am UK based.

Thanks

 

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Dear stevegaskin!
You will have more dust in the sensor more often.
Will not you send them to a CLA every time/
a few times a year !?
In addition to bellows is the most common cleaning you can do yourself with cleaning swaps.

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Wet cleaning with fluid and swabs is really extremely easy and nothing to be fearful about. Plenty of guides on Youtube to show you how to do it. It literally takes 2-3 minutes.

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Try a search on the forum - lots of threads. I think there's also a FAQ - if I could find it!

I use a (Rocket) blower first and most commonly - gets rid of the worst stuff. Then I'll use the Arctic Butterfly brush if needed (followed by the blower again). If those fail, I'll do a wet clean with swabs and non-aquaeous solvent. I tried water-based cleaner once and it just added streaks.

Each time, I check with a LED-illuminated loupe, which is very effective at showing up the dust.

Dust spots show up best at small apertures. I can go months without seeing them, then I'll shoot a bright sky at small aperture and my sensor suddenly looks like a Jackson Pollock. This is perfectly normal!

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1 hour ago, stevegaskin said:

Could anyone advise on the best and safest method (I’ve only ever used a blow-brush)

Blower brushes do not blow strongly enough in my experience. After having broken a sensor cover glass with a LensPen kit, i now use a Visible Dust Zeeion Blower on all my sensors. Suffices in most cases. Otherwise i use Eclipse Sensor Swabs but only when the blower is not efficient enough to remove visible dirts. 

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I have a small blower bulb and "Sony type" gel stick by Eyelead in my camera bag. They are compact and weigh rather nothing. It takes no time at all - quick blow - check -  didn't work?  - stamp - done. Twenty seconds to a couple of minutes. I haven't used a sensor swab in years.

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42 minutes ago, jaapv said:

I have a small blower bulb and "Sony type" gel stick by Eyelead in my camera bag. They are compact and weigh rather nothing. It takes no time at all - quick blow - check -  didn't work?  - stamp - done. Twenty seconds to a couple of minutes. I haven't used a sensor swab in years.

This is this stamp action which broke my admittedly very thin (Kolari Vision) sensor cover glass with the LensPen. I have no experience with Eyelead but i will never use a stamp on a sensor anymore. BTW i was using Eclipse sensor swabs in the past and i should have kept them according to Kolari Vision. Never too late to learn...

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Yes, that may happen -very rarely- if you use a gel stick the wrong way. One should loosen it by wobbling. not by pulling.

That is also why I specified the Sony Type. It has been designed with less adhesion to protect fragile cover glass.

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I use to use the gel sticks, but on one occasion it created a smear that took a lot of swabbing to remove. It may have been my careless usage, but I haven't used them since. OTOH, I hardly ever do a wet clean. Blower works most of the time, and Arctic Butterfly almost all the rest.

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So far, a year and some on now, all my CL has needed has been three-four cleans with a Giottos Rocket puffer. Until I put a Skink pinhole on, of course. Then it's set up a "clean filter" in Lightroom on one frame and copy-paste it to all of them. :D

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8 hours ago, jaapv said:

I have a small blower bulb and "Sony type" gel stick by Eyelead in my camera bag. They are compact and weigh rather nothing. It takes no time at all - quick blow - check -  didn't work?  - stamp - done. Twenty seconds to a couple of minutes. I haven't used a sensor swab in years.

Hi Jaapv, could you please explain what you mean by 'stamp'; it sounds rather brutal!

Thanks

Edited by stevegaskin

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Gelstick to lift the dirt off the sensor. 

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I use a gelstick made by Pentax, very good system (haven't used it on the CL yet though), I have a blower that really helps and IPA(not the ale) on a swab to remove stubborn marks. 

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I've never had any trouble or streaks with swabs and dedicated sensor cleaning fluid. It's scary to do the first time, and I only do it when there's a spot that blowing won't remove. But there's really nothing to it, and it's very gentle on the sensor cover glass.

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Thanks for all your advice, still feeling a little apprehensive regarding swabs or gel sticks so I will try the blower approach first to see how many I can remove.  

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Just received an email from Leica UK: they offer two free sensor cleans a year at Leica Mayfair. The downside (if you see it as one): they want you to book online (so they can get your details for marketing) and perhaps you can't just walk in off the street as I've done in the past. I won't be taking up the offer now I'm happy to do it myself.

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5 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

Just received an email from Leica UK: they offer two free sensor cleans a year at Leica Mayfair. The downside (if you see it as one): they want you to book online (so they can get your details for marketing) and perhaps you can't just walk in off the street as I've done in the past. I won't be taking up the offer now I'm happy to do it myself.

That's perhaps the service that all Leica dealers should offer; travelling to London for a sensor clean even pre-booked is not practical for me unfortunately, but thanks for the info'.

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