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So how big is your.... dust bunny?

Discussion in 'Exhibition Lounge' started by gray1720, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    A bulb blower is just a hand-sized rubber bladder that you squeeze. It directs a low pressure stream of air from a nozzle. It has a filter in it so that dust is removed when it fills. Your camera will have setting (to be used with full battery only) that locks the shutter open exposing the sensor. You activate this, then, with the blower completely OUTSIDE the camera, direct a few puffs at the sensor surface.

    I do this with the camera held so the sensor is facing downward so nothing can fall inside. This will remove dust. It won't remove anything sticky. If it doesn't work then you have the options to physically clean the sensor (strictly the filter in front of the sensor) or pay someone to do it.

    Everyone should have a bulb-blower anyway as a first step in lens cleaning, to remove dust/grit. Don't confuse a bulb-blower wih a blower brush. The latter tend to be no good at blowing and rely on the brush for lens cleaning.

    You can also remove some dust by firing the camera (with a lens on) at maximum burst mode. The mirror going up and down will make a draught which can clean the sensor. Cameras have sticky surfaces inside to which loose dust is supposed to stick.

    I tend to set the camera self-clean option to operate both when camera powers up and powers down.

    I always (nearly) change lenses with the camera powered off and only if I'm in a sheltered place with sufficient free hands to cope with getting the lens caps on and off and can do the change as quickly as possible.
  2. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    That's a debate that just keeps on running... The theory runs that because the zoom mechanism changes the internal volume rather more than focusing does this draws more dust into the lens and potentially onto the sensor. On the other hand using a zoom means less changing of lenses which means the mirror box is fully exposed to every bit of atmospheric crap available far less often than it might be. My own feeling is that these two effects broadly offset each other and sensors will accumulate cack no matter how careful you are so why worry?...
  3. James8arthur

    James8arthur Well-Known Member

    I might invest in a bulb blower then Pete...and this cleaning/blowing has to be done with the camera on? My D5300 does have a bulb mode, I remember using it once or twice years ago. If this doesn't do the trick, I'll send it off to be serviced.

    Thanks Nigel, I don't go mad with the zoom but I am quite slow at changing lenses, I guess that doesn't help either.

    Thank guys
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Catriona likes this.
  5. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    As Pete says DON'T use bulb mode!!! In bulb mode there's a near certainty of the shutter closing and the mirror coming down on the blower as you have to manually keep the shutter open. Nikon provide a function called either Mirror Lock or Mirror Up in the menu system (check the manual for how to find it) which locks the mirror up and the shutter open until such time as you cancel it (or the battery goes flat).
    Catriona likes this.
  6. James8arthur

    James8arthur Well-Known Member

    Ok got ya! Not bulb mode. Need to find my manual to see where this mirror lock up function is (I vaguely remember seeing this deep in the menus somewhere..)

    So using a full battery, mirror lock activated, point the camera down, blow gently a few times with the blower *outside* of the camera - I won't forget.

    Hama bulb blower on its way :)

  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member



    Although the mirror is locked up during cleaning the shutter is not disabled or opened by using mirror lockup and you could have an expensive accident. Mirror lockup is an option to reduce camera vibration when using long exposure times.
  8. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    You'll probably find the option in the SetUp menu (the one with the spanner symbol) as 'Lock up mirror for cleaning' or a very similar phrase (Nikon tend to be consistent model to model). This is the one used for manual sensor cleaning

    Note there will also be an option called 'Clean Image Sensor' - this controls the automatic sensor vibration cleaning option that operates when the camera starts and/or shuts down - it also allows it to be turned off or run directly on command.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  9. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Nikon terminology differs from Canon Pete. Puzzled me enormously the first time I tried to put the mirror up on my D50 and discovered that 'Mirror Up' had absolutely nothing to do with actually taking a picture... More recent models have changed the terminology to the less confusing 'Lock mirror up for cleaning'. Where Nikon offer a mirror up function for shooting it seems to be a release mode option alongside Single , Continuous etc.
  10. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Oh, OK, my bad (I believe the expression is).
  11. James8arthur

    James8arthur Well-Known Member

    Hi guys.
    Just a quick update. Despite a few good blasts of air, exact same spots are showing up on sky photos taken before and after. The inside of the view finder is pretty filthy too. It looks like I'm going to have to pop into Jessops and ask for a servicing. It was worth a try though, I'm no longer a virgin at blowing my camera and will take the advice of keeping the hama blower with me when I go back to India in March :)


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