- Interior Design
- Limited Editions
- Recent posts
The Copperhill Sensor Brush Method
There comes a time in the life of each Digital SLR owner, when he (she) starts to wonder about dust on the sensor of their expensive cameras. While Film cameras do not have too much of a problem with dust, since the film is transported after each exposure, the image sensor of a DSLR stays in place. Worse than that, due to its function it stores charge, which attracts dust.
Everyone knows that you should be very careful when you change the lens, but regardless how careful one is, dust will collect on the sensor.
There is a big controversy going on in the world of digital Photographers about what to use to clean ones sensor. The original sensor brush was "invented" by Visible Dust and sold at an exorbitant price. It didn't take long for people to find out methods on how to wash and clean art brushes so they could fulfill the same functionality as the original sensor brush. However this do it yourself method never appealed to me, since you had to make absolutely sure that there was no glue or oil residue on any of the fibers of the brush.
Now you can buy pre-made sensor brushes from multiple sources. I recently bought the Sensor Brush from Copperhill (Mark II) and worked up my courage to try it out. I wasn't particularly eager to do this, but after I tested my sensor for Dust particles, I decided that I should try it out. I bought the version with the battery powered blowere, since the brush itself was sold out but was still sold as a package.
In order to test my sensor, I pointed my camera at my laptop screen, with a complete white background. I set the camera to aperture 22 and shot a couple of test shots. The dust was immediately visible. It was never visible on any of my "real live" shots.
There are plenty of online tutorials available on how to clean your sensor, so I am not going to go there.
I downloaded the manual for my Canon 20D from here and set up my equipment on my desk (see picture above). I then set my camera to its cleaning mode and took off the lens. I blew off every little remaining dust from the brush while statically charging it. I followed the instructions that came with my sensor brush to the letter and brushed off my sensor twice, without applying any force. A test showed that all dust spots that I had seen previously were gone.
The whole procedure took about 3 minutes. Even though Canon does not want you to use anything but a blower, it may not work properly due to the static charge. Since the brush is also statically charged, it seems to be an excellent method of removing dust from your sensor.
The pictures below are the test images. The first image shows the sensor before cleaning and the one blow shows the sensor after cleaning.
Evidently the dust spots appear to be gone.
Turns out this whole sensor cleaning business is far easier than I thought. I didn't damage my sensor.