Project 52 week 2: cleaning the sensor

I recently got back from a holiday where I took heaps of photos and was constantly changing the lenses on my camera.  Back home I have only taken a few photos and at reasonably wide apertures but started to notice a couple of  spots on some of the photos I was taking.  I read a post about dust on the sensor/mirror and the author (unfortunately don’t have the blog details) recommended taking a photo with a bright background at very small aperture to see the dust clearly so I did that and, well… got a bit of a surprise……

You can see some pretty ugly dust spots in the above image. For my camera, to remove dust its a matter of cleaning the sensor with a little brush tool and blower that you can get from any camera store and as it turns out, quite a lot of patience. Some of the spots just did not want to come off. I have a mirrorless camera which probably makes the job a bit easier than on a DSLR as with that you may have dust on the sensor and the mirror. The camera cleaning kit I bought had some cotton buds in it too and I ended up giving the sensor quite a cleaning with that to remove some of the more stubborn spots. The instructions for cleaning the sensor on the website for for my camera did not include this approach so I was a bit hesitant as to whether I should do it or not but it seemed to have worked well enough and not done any damage that I can see.
Some dust wouldn’t go so I had to check my lenses too. This is easy – just take some photos say of a bright blue sky with a really small aperture and you can easily see the dust – if its in different places on shots with different lenses you know the dust is on the lens. I was really careful with the back of the lenses though. In all I took about 38 shots with cleaning in between to get rid of pretty much most of the dust across the three lenses I use and the sensor. This wasn’t a particularly exciting weekly project but its one that I am very glad I did and am very happy with the result.

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