January/February 2007 HelpLine
* Dust And The D-SLR
* Workflow And The Unwanted
* Tip For Image Sharpness
Dust And The D-SLR
Q) One issue that concerns me about D-SLRs is the problem of dust accumulating on the sensor while changing lenses. I'm told that using canned compressed air to clean the sensor will damage it and that the only way to safely remove dust is to send the camera out to labs that specialize in this sort of thing (at a price, of course). What do you suggest to clean off the sensor and to minimize dust accumulation while changing lenses?
Via the Internet
A) Let's start with minimizing dust in the first place. Dust can get into the camera anytime you change lenses, so it's important that you're careful when you do so. Try to follow these guidelines:
• Make sure that the camera is turned off. When a camera is powered up, the sensor may have a static charge that could attract dust.
• Be aware of where you're changing lenses. If you're in a dusty or dirty environment, consider waiting to make the change. Ask yourself if it's worth it, since the next images that you capture may end up with significant dust spots. If you don't think the area is that bad, pay attention to the wind, as it might be blowing dust right into your open camera body.
• When you change lenses, make it quick. Have everything ready so that you minimize the time when the camera body is open.
• Make sure the back of your lenses and lens caps are clean. You don't want to add any extra dirt. It's also a good idea to make sure your camera bag is clean—vacuum it out on a regular basis. Also, use body and lens caps whenever you can.