Lets talk about the sensor!!

Thread starter #1


Ok........ so the sensor......... how do you clean it? I take it you can find it by taking the lens off. Does it cause problems? How do I clean it??

Also, why does my camera make a gritty sound when zooming in and out........ and why all of a sudden wont my camera focus or take pictures other than black stuff? Have I broke it already?????
Thread starter #2


Oh, and I just took my lense off.:eek: NOT PRETTY. Theres all kinds of stuff in there. I put the lens back on until I am further instructed.:bounce:
You will be better suited to stay out of the camera.
You have to be very careful when cleaning the sensor or you could cost yourself some big bucks.
I will post a method for checking the sensors cleanliness here in a minute.
Thread starter #4


You will be better suited to stay out of the camera.
You have to be very careful when cleaning the sensor or you could cost yourself some big bucks.
I will post a method for checking the sensors cleanliness here in a minute.
Yes sir.
Checking The Cleanliness of Your Sensor:

Follow this step by step to see how dirty yours is.

First you will need your computer screen to be solid white.

I do this by creating a new white image in photoshop 1000H X 3000W, then
dbl click on the Magnifying icon to see at full screen.
It doesn't matter how you get the screen white as long as it is.
A blank word document will work also.

Set the camera to Aperture Priority and set to f22 or the highest it will go if lower than f22.

Set the lens to manual focus.

Zoom to the wide end. ie; 24-70mm lens would be at 24mm.

Now from about a foot away from your screen, take a photo of the white filling the frame.
Don't worry about focusing. IT DON'T MATTER.

Take a look at this photo and you will have no problem seeing how dirty your sensor is.
Thread starter #6


So if it is real dirty, are you suppose to take it to someone to clean it?
Sorry Tuffdawg, I wasn't trying to scare you.
You can clean your own sensor, but there are some precautins you need to take.
Most of us clean our own, but you do have to be really careful and
if it is real bad, you may want someone experienced to do it.
Google cleaning the cameras sensor and read as much as you can.
Also read the cameras instructions on getting it ready to clean.
Mirror lock up should be involved.


Shutter Mushin' Mod
TD, drb is spot on about the sensor . for loose stuff you can use a rocket blower ( looks like a turkey baster but really shoots a good jet of air ) and turn the camera face down with the lens off an blow the heck out of it. for your lens do the same . i also use a lens pen for brushing and swabbing my lens glass and filters. lens pens are pretty standard but the rocket blower is one you should look for by name. they are small medium and large. i think i bought large because i get really dirty !!!!


Senior Member
You've gotten some good advice.

Why does your camera sound gritty when zooming in and out? It sounds like you've got dirt/dust on the barrel of the lens.

The best way to solve dust on the sensor & dirt on the barrel problems is to prevent them in the first place by trying to keep things as clean as you can all the time. (And I am a great one to talk! I'll lay in the sand, mud, blowing grit & get the shots - but I do my best to shield my gear).

Zoom your lens out & blow it out as good as you can, and wipe it off using a mild damp cloth. Doing that several times should help with the gritty sound - though you may need to get the lens cleaned as well.

Yikes, sensor cleaning... It is scary, because you CAN permanently ruin your sensor. I don't know of but one person who has done it, but it is possible. Try not to change lenses when you are in a dusty place - particularly if the dust is moving around. ALWAYS point your lens & body downward when changing lenses - that way any metal filings that come off, can fall onto the lens face rather than the mirror & eventually work their way onto the sensor. Use the rocket blower to blow things out with the "lens hole" facing downward. Follow instructions for a "wet" cleaning method if need be. I would go watch someone experienced clean my sensor once or twice before attempting it myself - and sensor cleaning supplies aren't all that cheap either!
Yep, they are giving you the story. I do use one small step to speed the process up, I step outside and just point the camera at some blue sky and take a shot, then go look for dirt on the sensor. I've done the cleaning all the way to the wet method. This site has pretty good directions on how to do it.
Definitely a scary experience the first time through and only moderatly better the second. Usually, blowing will get it out, but sometimes stuff just gets "glued" on and then it's the wet method. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, camera stores sometimes offer this service. Just be aware that it is something that you will have to do at some time, but you can delay it by following the information about using care in changing lens.



Senior Member
I just found this thread & what I've read is all good.

I would add that if the sensor is dirty & gets cleaned by air, brush or wet method just ask your self where that dust & crud came from?

So be sure to clean the lens on the outside like rip said & the inside too. There is nothing more frustrating then using air, brush & wet swab to clean the sensor only to find that every test shot reveals more dust in new places coming from a dirty lens.:banginghe

Especially frustrating when swabs are $6.00 a pop and you use 4 of them!:hair: