M240 - Sensor Cleaning
Old 10-02-2017   #1
filmtwit
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M240 - Sensor Cleaning

Why is that I can't seem to keep the sensor on m240 clean, or get it as clean as it should be? I've followed all the online how too's that I can find, and have tried at least 3 different cleaning solutions. But I still end up with 20-30 spots on the sensor when I'm done. Ugh.

note - never had this problem at all with any of my older Canon digital cameras...
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Old 10-02-2017   #2
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I use a sensor gel stick to clean the sensor on my M240. No cleaning solutions involved.
You use a sticky pad to lift dirt off the sensor. Works quite well.

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Old 10-02-2017   #3
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When in Wetzlar to pick my M10 I asked to show me how to clean the sensor. Michel Razafimahefa from customer service showed me how to it with the gel stick which in his opinion should be the most simple and effective way to do it.
He also suggested me to be very careful to keep the back of the lenses very clean when changing them, I ended to buy a small vacuum pump to clean them and the area of the camera around the lens mount.
It seems me it works, even if I'm very bad in manual works!
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Old 10-02-2017   #4
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First off I seldom have to clean my sensor. Perhaps on my Monochrom, which I bought brand new I only wet cleaned my sensor three times over the 5 years I have owned it.

I don't change lenses on the street unless I have too. When I do change lenses I do it indoors and in a clean space. I also use a blower ball to blow out any dust or accumulation as a matter of maintenance. In other words I never let dirt or dust accumulate, and it is easier to simply blow away any accumulation before it becomes embedded. Once I started doing my preventative cleaning the need for wet cleaning ceased.

I use a Visible Dust system that includes a magnifier that has a ring of LED's so any spec or trace is easily seem.

Might possibly what you suspect is dirt and dust might be sensor corrosion?

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Old 10-02-2017   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post

Might possibly what you suspect is dirt and dust might be sensor corrosion?

Cal
Not likely , it is an M240 not an M9.

To the OP, use a gel stick pen, but only the original one made in Germany. Available here:

https://photographylife.com/product/...stick-for-sony

The Sony version is the one to use on Leicas.
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Old 10-02-2017   #6
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Is there a version for Leica sensors or does the Sony version work well there too?
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Old 10-02-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Is there a version for Leica sensors or does the Sony version work well there too?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post

https://photographylife.com/product/...stick-for-sony

The Sony version is the one to use on Leicas.
Two versions - one for DLSRs, the other for Sony/Leica.
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Old 10-02-2017   #8
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+1 for the Visible Dust folks' products for sensor cleaning.
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Old 10-02-2017   #9
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Quote:
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Two versions - one for DLSRs, the other for Sony/Leica.
Thanks. I should have seen your last line on it in your first post about it.
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Old 10-02-2017   #10
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Quote:
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+1 for the Visible Dust folks' products for sensor cleaning.
I have seen some complaints about the swabs leaving lint on the sensors. Have you had an experience to that effect?
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Old 10-02-2017   #11
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One of the few problems I've had with swabs is the lint, but they also rarely get all teh spots. Manual air blowers have also been fairly useless as most of th eimte they deposit more dust.

Thanks fo the gel pens info, I'll give that a try.

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I have seen some complaints about the swabs leaving lint on the sensors. Have you had an experience to that effect?
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Old 10-03-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Not likely , it is an M240 not an M9.

To the OP, use a gel stick pen, but only the original one made in Germany. Available here:

https://photographylife.com/product/...stick-for-sony

The Sony version is the one to use on Leicas.
Huss,

I realized that I made a mistake this morning. Thanks for the correction.

Cal
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Old 10-03-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmtwit View Post
Manual air blowers have also been fairly useless as most of th eimte they deposit more dust.
The manual air blowers I use have a check valve to help eliminate the deposits you mention. The air blower is my first line of defense. The Visible Dust magnifier with light allows me to see if there is any accumulation or deposit.

Pretty much like house cleaning I'm dusting frequently rather than mopping. If I maintain a clean sensor by dusting I don't really have to wet clean my sensor.

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Old 10-04-2017   #14
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Some sensor cover contaminants do not adhere to the surface. Dust particles are the typical culprit. A simple, high-quality, manual air blower will get rid of these. As mentioned above, cheap blowers can cause trouble. I pump the blower a couple of times before cleaning the sensor just to be safe.

Some sensor cover contaminants adhere to the surface. These usually involve very small amounts of oil from the shutter or lens. Less common are small water drops. In both cases, the solvent (oil or water) encapsulates dust or other debris. When the oil/water evaporates the dust/dirt left behind adheres to the glass surface. Now a wet cleaning is required to redissolve the debris.

Frequent dry cleaning minimizes the trouble because evaporation of just a small amount of oil/water alone does not lead to noticeable spots in images.
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Old 10-04-2017   #15
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Leica recommended isopropyl for wet cleaning and having tried every other product I agree. I don't bother with the 100% proof as I find that the 70%, commonly available from most pharmacies, works better. Having an element of water enables it to dry quicker. I firstly blow out with an anti-static blower, then a few drops on an orange Visible Dust swab. Leave for a 30 seconds to soak in, wipe one way, reverse the swab and wipe back, and that's it. Like the OP I initially had great problems with dust but the anti-static agent resident with isopropyl has made life a lot cleaner. It's been some two years now since my last wet clean, and checking F16 against a blue sky only a few days back I see no spots. My habit is to blow out after every shoot, and also blow out the rear lens cap evrytime I change lenses. As others have said, keeping the rear lens cap clean keeps the rear element clean, and that's the guilty area.
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Old 10-04-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
Some sensor cover contaminants do not adhere to the surface. Dust particles are the typical culprit. A simple, high-quality, manual air blower will get rid of these. As mentioned above, cheap blowers can cause trouble. I pump the blower a couple of times before cleaning the sensor just to be safe.

Some sensor cover contaminants adhere to the surface. These usually involve very small amounts of oil from the shutter or lens. Less common are small water drops. In both cases, the solvent (oil or water) encapsulates dust or other debris. When the oil/water evaporates the dust/dirt left behind adheres to the glass surface. Now a wet cleaning is required to redissolve the debris.

Frequent dry cleaning minimizes the trouble because evaporation of just a small amount of oil/water alone does not lead to noticeable spots in images.
Actually the worst sticky dust is pollen, the second debris of human skin and hair. Oil normally occurs in brand new cameras, and not all of them.

I found this out by looking at dirty sensors through my surgical microscope.
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Old 10-05-2017   #17
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Quote:
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Actually the worst sticky dust is pollen, the second debris of human skin and hair. Oil normally occurs in brand new cameras, and not all of them.

I found this out by looking at dirty sensors through my surgical microscope.
In my experience oil drops issues are rare. Although I once owned a Nikon D300 that would spit shutter oil intermittently on the sensor.

Oil + dust/debris = trouble.
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Old 02-06-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Is there a version for Leica sensors or does the Sony version work well there too?
Make sure you stay away from the Chinese knockoffs sensor gel sticks out of Hong Kong. They put a sticky residue on the sensor the first time I used it which had to be wet swabbed off.
Eclipse solution in a wet swab is the only thing that has ever worked for me.
I find if I am Super careful, and very quick when changing lenses, the dust problem is greatly diminished.
The best solution is to not change lenses that often.
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Old 11-10-2018   #19
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Here's an article I wrote for my blog about sensor cleaning; hope it will be of use:


Quote:

Digital cameras have sensors; unless your camera has a built in dust reduction system, sooner or later your sensor will need to be cleaned - it's inevitable. Then what??



It's a lot quicker, easier and less costly to do it yourself - if you follow your camera manual instructions exactly and are careful, you can successfully clean your camera's sensor yourself. A lot of photographers fear damaging their sensor and will do about anything to avoid cleaning it themselves. However, there is no reason to be afraid to do this procedure yourself, provided you do it properly.


You will need the right sensor cleaning supplies - I use Eclipse Optic Cleaning Fluid and Photosol Sensorswab Ultra sensor cleaning swabs. If your camera has a full frame (24x36mm ) sensor, you will need the Type 3 swabs; they are 24 mm wide, as is your sensor. APS-C and smaller sensors will need smaller swabs. Photosol's website has information that will help you determine which swab is right for your camera.


One of the most important factors in successful sensor cleaning is to perform this procedure in a clean, dust free environment. Not many of us have access to a clean room such as computer manufacturers build computers in. If your home has airborne dust issues you will need to clean your sensor in an environment where dust is less of a problem (you can check for airborne dust by looking through the beam of a bright flashlight at night; if you see a lot of dust particles dancing in the air, you should probably go elsewhere to clean your sensor). Where would that be? Try a museum or a library; find a spot away from frequent foot traffic, entries and exits and away from heating and cooling ducts that will cause airflow that will stir up any dust that may be present.


Another important point is this - do not use compressed air ("canned air") to blow dust from your sensor before cleaning. Canned air can spray liquid propellant onto your sensor cover glass, something you do not want to happen. That liquid can also get behind the sensor and into the electronic components of your camera. If that happens, you are in for a serious repair bill. Instead of canned air, use a blower bulb like the Giottos Rocket Blaster, which will safely remove loose dust particles from your sensor.


The sensor swabs I use are dry, which means I need to apply the proper cleaning fluid to them before use. Too much cleaning fluid can damage the electronics inside your camera, so proceed with caution. I have found that three drops on the 24mmwide swabs my camera requires is sufficient (two drops on one side, one on the opposite side); I would be comfortable using two drops per side, but no more than that for a 24 mm wide swab. Again, follow the directions that come with your swabs and cleaning fluid to the letter.

Each camera has a specific procedure for sensor cleaning; if you precisely adhere to the instructions in your camera manual, you should have a successful sensor cleaning result. If there are still spots on your sensor after cleaning, you can re-clean the sensor provided your camera manual does not advise against doing so (I once ended up with an eyelash on my sensor that required two cleanings to remove; the first try simply moved it closer to the center of the sensor; this happens sometimes).


If you follow the directions in your camera manual and in your swab and cleaning fluid to the letter, you should have no problems cleaning your sensor at home (or at your local museum or library, if need be).



DISCLAIMER
The above description of sensor cleaning is simply a description of how I clean my sensor; it is not intended as training or professional advice in sensor cleaning. Always follow the directions in your camera manual and in your sensor cleaning materials to the letter. When in doubt, contact your camera manufacturer for advice on sensor cleaning, or return your camera to the manufacturer's repair department for sensor cleaning. The author accepts no responsibility for any damage resulting from do it yourself sensor cleaning. When in doubt, contact your camera manufacturer to return your camera to the manufacturer's repair department for professional sensor cleaning.
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