Good Riddance – That Bad Speck of Dirt!

Finally it is gone! I can say, “good riddance to you, you speck of dirt,” the little speck of dirt that had been in most of my photos, shot with my Sony A77. Today I took action, buying compressed air, and sensor cleaning products, after the normal cleaning methods failed.

Dirt On My Sensor - Sept 13 2013 small image

Most of my shots taken with my Sony A77 were zoomed shots with low f-stop values. It was not until I started shooting with my wide angle lenses that this speck of dirt reared its ugly head. And when I noticed it, it hunted me, bugging me, until I could not longer use the camera until I got it cleaned up. At one point I thought that this could be a factory defect because the camera is almost brand new. The speck of dirt was very noticeable when I did landscape shots, with very tight f-stop values of 20 or more. The above shot was taken at f22, using a 28mm lens, in manual mode.

At first I tried the camera’s built in sensor cleaning system. Nothing. Then I tried a squeeze nozzle, and that did not work. Then I thought that it could be the translucent mirror, that was perfectly clean.

So off to the store to buy some compressed air and a sensor cleaning wand kit.

Next I tried the can of air. Something happened, the speck seemed lighter, but after really focusing with the widest lens I have, a 14mm, the speck of dirt was still there, just more blotchy. But it confirmed that it was my sensor that had the dirt on it. The was still hope.

Finally, out came the cleaning wand, flat little broom shapes stick with a wide bottom, covered with a cleaning cloth like material, and some cleaning solution to add to it. I tried it, only just going over my sensor once, then off for a test shot. The speck of dirt was still there. So, in desperation I tried again, but this time I gave it a couple of good wipes then let the camera sit for while to let the solution dissipate. The off for a test shot.

It was gone. My sensor was showing no more dark spots on it. I was happy.

When looking back, I guess I was treating my camera with a little too much care. This is a very well built piece of equipment, and it is designed to go place, handle the tough jobs, and above all, give super performance.  I thought touching the sensor was just taboo, and something that should be done on the rarest occasions. But after much research, I found that if you use your camera lots, then regular maintenance goes hand in hand.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation