View Full Version : Cleaning Sensor Dust

09-27-2007, 08:50 PM

I've been using my D80 for about 4 months. My lens is the Nikon 18-135mm.

Recently I noticed a light spec at the top left of my photos when I take pictures of a sky or a white wall for example. And, it is in the same spot.

Is this a dust on the sensor? How do I remove it? I did use the rocket blower, but that only got rid of dust on the mirror and when I shine a light on the sensor there appears to be nothing.

P.S.: See the circled image. Ignore all the other dots as they are from the wall.

09-27-2007, 11:46 PM
what do you mean it got rid of dust on the mirror ? :confused: you should be using mirror lock to clean the sensor which will flip the mirror up and expose the sensor for cleaning. if you can still see the mirror you aren;t cleaning anything.

for what it's worth that looks like a pretty big blob and almsot looks too teranslucent to be dust which is normally a bit darker. are you sure it isn;t a smudge on your lens glass ? check front and back elements.

09-27-2007, 11:47 PM
btw can you resize the image to 800px wide. its far too big and is stretching the screen.

09-27-2007, 11:51 PM
First of all, if you have a day with a clear blue sky, I find that works better than a wall, as skies don't usually have specks, at least not clear skies.

Secondly, what f number are you seeing this speck at? If you are already at f16 or higher, then you might even choose to ignore it for now, because it's not too severe. If you are at f4, then take the same shot at f16 and it will become much clearer.

If the rocket blower didn't get rid of the spec, then you want to try one of the dry removal techniques. If you do a search on the web you'll find lots of good advice. I've been using a product called Dust-aid, and I've gotten decent results. There are LOTS of products.

Only go to wet removal techniques if you cannot get the job done with the dry removal techniques, and


Sorry for yelling, but, see the line above. Scotch Tape was not designed to clean your sensor, and it is not designed to not leave any glue residue.

09-28-2007, 01:32 AM
My 2 cents.

I agree with Rooz. Please resize the image I have a 1900 pixel wide monitor and it must be around twice that in width. There is no need for images that wide.

I also agree with Rooz about the issue, it doesn't look like dust to me it looks more like a thumb print on the lens or something like that.

09-28-2007, 10:55 AM

Yes I used the mirror lockup when I blew out the dust on the sensor. That was how I shined a light to see if there was any dust specs and none was seen.

I will need to pickup a anti-static brush and/ or the swab at BandH the same kind that Nikon techs use (as mentioned on the how to clean the sensor site).

P.S.: Sorry for the wide shot. I left it as a full 10 MP image. Will take another and resize properly. Yes the spec is actually a little darker (smaller) when the image is not so big and I never touched the mirror with my fingers.

09-28-2007, 04:17 PM
and I never touched the mirror with my fingers.

The mirror is irrelevant. You could draw a happy face on the mirror and it will make no difference to the photos produced by the camera all that will happen is you will see a happy face every time you look through the viewfinder.
I suspect that you are confusing the mirror with the sensor when you write.
There is one very important thing most people forget about sensors.
The image that hits the sensor is upside down. If your printed photograph shows a dust bunny in the top right corner you need to look in the bottom left of the sensor when you do the mirror lock up and look in from the front of the camera.

09-28-2007, 11:58 PM
To be sure if it is dust, shoot at small aperatures (like f22 or greater). This will focus the dust a lot better.

I had very similar dust to the one you just projected. I used a sensor swab with 3 drops of eclipse methanol and it fixed the problem. GL