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OT: SLR digital cameras.......

GenesGrillGenesGrill Posts: 308
edited 2:11PM in EggHead Forum
Plan to switch to digital SLR (Nikon)in the near future; I already have several Nikon slr lenses for my Nikon film camer and am considering th D60 or D80. However, I have learned that with a digital slr camera that the sensor needs cleaning occasionally. From what I understand ou have two options: pay somebody $50-100 to do it each time or buy a kit and do it yourself. Getting it cleaned by someone else can add up $$$ in short order. How often do you guys clean your senors and do you do it yourself? I only plan to use my camera occasionally on weekends during the spring/summer...thanks for any input...


  • Egg And IEgg And I Posts: 110
    If you're careful, cleaning the sensor is overrated. Doing it yourself can result in damage; I think if I had dust on the sensor and careful use of compressed air didn't work, I'd have it cleaned professionally. However, I've never cleaned (or had cleaned) the sensors on my d100 and d200, and can't find any dust spots.

    The below guidelines will help quite a bit:

    - to the extent possible, face the camera down when changing lenses (dust settles with gravity).

    - change the lens as quickly as possible.

    - clean the rear element and mount area of the lens (that you're about to mount) with dust-off (compressed air) before changing lenses.

    - keep rear caps on your lenses when not on the camera.

    - use a body cap if you take a lens off and don't replace it.

    - don't change lenses in dusty environments.
  • DavekatzDavekatz Posts: 763
    If you're really worried about dust and don't own a lot of primo Nikon glass, you might want to consider a body that has built-in dust removal. Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony (I think) all use ultrasonic motors to remove dust. I've never had to clean my Olympus gear, and that's after tons of lens changes and 2 beach vacations.

    Also keep in mind that your Nikon glass won't have the same field of view on the digital bodies because the sensor is smaller. Good for long lenses, but that means your old 28-70 is now a 42-105.

    If you do go Nikon, listen to The Egg And I.
    Food & Fire - The carnivorous ramblings of a gluten-free grill geek.
  • I've had a canon rebel for years and am always switching between lenses. I've never had an issue with having to clean the sensor. Many trips, beaches and things, and we've been fine. ( I'm knocking on wood right now) Just My 2 cents. B)
  • The D90 has an automatic dust cleaning feature. Might want to check out that one.
  • My new Sony A300 has the built-in cleaning feature. I would think the Nikons do too.

    Spring "Keep On Click'n" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • The D60 has it also; not sure how effective it is.....
  • Dust is only a problem on things like skies and when you stop down. Sometimes, a little dust is easier to fix in Photoshop than to worry about. However, most dust will get taken of by a simple rocket blower. I didn't clean my 20D for 3 years. I had some dust, but I dealt with it in Photoshop. When I was ready to buy a replacement, I figured if I screwed something up, it didn't matter, so I tried the rocket blower. Dang, most of the dust was gone. I then used a SensorKlear from Lens Pen and got a stubborn bit or two.

    The self-cleaning sensors are very effective for loose dust. If a bit gets stuck, then you can try the blower/sensor pen. But I wouldn't worry too much about dust. It's just part of the game.

    By the way, check out the Nikon lenses you own and make sure they will autofocus with a modern Nikon DSLR. As I recall, the older Nikon bodies had the AF motor in the body, not the lens? So if you put one of those lenses on a new body which doesn't have the AF motor, you can't autofocus. I forget which bodies did and didn't...
    The Naked Whiz
  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    Dust comes from dirty air when you change the lens, if you dont change the lens, then no dust. If you change the lens then point the camera down to change the lens. Nikon D90 has the dust vibration remover, as does the 40D by canon and newer models.
    I have and cleaned my sensor on older cameras, but your not really cleaning the sensor but the plate covering it.
    I have a Canon 40D and just got a Nikon D90. Look at Circuit City right now, and get the camera stuff at 20% off, a D90 is $1039 with the so so lense (18-105), gots to be quick, mine was out of them)
  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    I have the d40x and d90 Nikon and have not had a problem with dust.The d90 has a built in motor and you can use all the lens.The d40x does not so the lens has to have a motor.The d40x and d60 is almost the same camera.Like the others said I hold the camera with the lens facing the ground when I change them.I have really enjoyed the d90.This is a good site to compare Nikon cameras.
  • I'm saving my pennys. I have read nothing but good reviews about the D90 and will get one soon. The next thing I need is good glass. Any thoughts?
  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    I have the Nikon 24-120 VR lens and it's a good walking around lens.I bought the 70-300 VR lens and its great for wildlife and will really reach out and you don't have to use a tri-pod.The next lens I want is the 10.5 and it will take 180 degree pictures.Hope this helps and there is so many different lens out there it's hard to pick witch ones to buy.
  • I have not had to have an expert cleaning on mine. Most have an auto cleaning which works.. I have photoshop and have fixed a few spots on pictures when they do show up (rare). As long as you use a dry cleaning (rocket blower) and this is working you don't need to have it expert cleaned.

    A photographer friend of mine has told me you can do a wet cleaning on your own one time but the next time you likely need to send it in for a prof. cleaning. Personally I don't think I will do it myself and figure the cost of a cleaning will be well worth it considering all the fun you can have with the camera.

    I am pretty careful when changing lenses too. But it is impossible to keep all dust out of it.

    On another subject (lens cleaning), check out something called a SPUDZ which is a microfiber lens cleaner that fits in its own little bag you can attach to your camera strap. They are cheap but really cool - I buy a bunch of them and give it to friends w/cameras after they see mine.
  • I have something like the Spudz. Our local camera shop gives them away at the register. Cool!
    The Naked Whiz
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