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Sie sind hier:  Photo practice  »  Image sensor cleaning

Image sensor cleaning

An annoying problem. Eventually the time comes, the formation of tiny dust particles on the image sensor. You should then respond quickly because the longer the dust on the sensor, the more and greater the risk that it will stick there. If it has gone once so far, then a removal is very difficult.

Mostly this is one disturbing dust particles then determines if one against a white background or against a blue sky photographed or even when working with smaller apertures. At first glance, one wonders how this can actually get in dust, the answer is given fast! For each lens, the housing is open one short moment, but this moment can be enough to let dust get into the housing. To remedy this situation, you can find a photo shop, has but a teller of about 35 € to 45 €.

So far so good, but when I heard from my camera technician, that the dust problem is simply inevitable and make a sensor cleaning on a regular basis, whether I was a bit thoughtful. Professional photographer, so he explained further, clean their digital sensor sometimes every two months. I counted once in the head, and came swiftly after a expenditure of 240 € per year. I was just too much. I'm not a professional photographer, but my images should become anyway technically correct from the camera. So I had to develop its own method, but almost equivalent to a professional result. The cleaning equipment available in the market were ruled out due to their high price, which was located beyond good and evil from the outset. They worked well in my similarly as described in the following method.

Working with a liquid, isopropanol/alcohol and the like others, I wanted to avoid from the outset. It was only a dusting brush and bellows are suitable. A roughly fist-sized powerful hand blower, which I used in my slides blew the dust I had was, therefore, only one brush is necessary. And I then deforested by a large range, and was ultimately find in a catalog of art supplies. More specifically, they are in my chosen object is a brush "da Vinci Jr. size 24 series 304" with the finest synthetic silica fibers. Most of these brushes are factory equipped with some strength to the brush hairs to give a more pleasing appearance, so it is advisable to brush before with a fine soap to wash and then dry for about 24 hours permit. The bristles have the property that they charge is static and thus almost pick up the dust ". Before using this we should vigorously blow into the brush, but not blow with the mouth (because you are too much moisture with) but with the bellows. The hair brush should be really swirl in order to be statically charged.

Something important is to say:

Do not reach the brush with your fingers, somehow you always sweat a little hand (even on the fingers). This may severally remaining sweat on the brush hair you can put all the cleaning effect cancel out. Back then remain very fine streaks and you wonder where they come from.

Now my approach is in such a way that I clean first once hard with the bellows - with dismantled objective - the reflecting box and the mirror. I hold the camera case suitable-wise, besides, with the opening down. If it is still necessary the reflecting surface to clean so I take a paintbrush (also from syntactic bristles) in addition. I use moreover, however, another paintbrush than those for the sensor cleaning. Only after this step I approach to the picture sensor cleaning. Mirrors fold down and then take - as before discussed, the prepared paintbrush and go warily over the picture sensor. Then I take the bellows again and blow over the picture sensor away, of course also again with the camera opening down.

Please, attention very exactly to the fact that you never touch the picture sensor with the nib of the bellows or with the paintbrush cuff (mostly from metal). Everything must happen warily. Only in the extreme emergency if the dust a little bit stubbornly on the picture sensor sticks I take clean-swapes and some methyl alcohol. The liquid has the exceptionally big advantage towards Ethylalkohol or Isopropanol that it evaporates freely of remains. Methylalkol is difficult to procure. In chemist's shops he is not mostly in stock because he is to be stored because of his poisonousness only very badly. Mostly he must be only ordered. Of course there is also with Eclipse a ready cleansing liquid in the photo specialised trade, but very expensive (15 euros for 60 ml)., For the rest, Eclipse is nothing other than 100% of pure methyl alcohol and him agree, however, at the chemist's substantially cheaper, however, mostly only in 1 litre of filling.


Methyl-alcohol is produced on methanol base and highly toxic. He may get never into contact neither with the skin, not inhaled or even nor be swallowed. A work with thin elastic gloves, disposable gloves is advantageous etc. anyway. Instruct yourselves by the purchase of the liquid immediately by the chemist on a sure contact.

From a cleaning with disco-film liquid I hold nothing at all. Think if here once some liquid of the picture sensor runs away to you in the edge or beyond the frame, there get immense problems. Anyhow it also shudders me to cover the picture sensor with a viscous liquid. It on no account is my favoured method. The issue for a paintbrush from synthetic fibers, e.g., " there Vinci junior size 16" coast you about 8 €. When I work with a paintbrush size 24, then only for easy reason because my camera owns a full-format sensor. For the smaller half-format sensors a paintbrush reaches in size 16 fully. The bellows available in current photo shops are easy too small and have only one quite low aerial escape amount ...., hence, you go immediately to a drugstore and ask for an enema syringe, a size 5 is still handy and is completely sufficient. I have got even an enema syringe size 7 with 260 ml volume, however, on greater I would not go any more out.

If now here so often bellows are mentioned, an objection certainly comes: One can make it to himself, nevertheless, lighter and work with compressor air or air pressure tin. I would like to advise against both approaches you.

Compressor air is often fortified strongly with oil, it often serves to smear certain machine parts at the same time also. Is possibly inexpedient for our purposes, also the high pressure which reaches sometimes up to 7 atmospheric pressure would give a hard time to us and arrange more evil.

Air pressure tins exist highly mostly of liquefied butane gas or propane. In particular with a sloping hold of the tin quickly liquid gas can resign. They smear more her picture sensor as that they him clean. With a bigger escape in gas amount, it is freezing immediately and can damage, moreover, her sensor, perhaps.

The most expensive acquisition is of course the 7-specialised magnifying glass, however, you think, already after some times the costs have amortised. Once again in memory, a picture sensor cleaning hits with approx. 35, - to 45 € to beech. It is also not good if at all possible, unnecessary-wise on the picture sensor to wipe. With the magnifying glass you can recognise immediately a pollution and decide whether a cleaning is necessary. Only with the bare eye this is rather heavy.


Although you have cleaned your picture sensor, it can seem that you find in short time again a pollution. The cause is most for this that still tiny dust particle have been in the camera case and were whirled up by releasing the mirror this particle once more!

Quite simply, come along to the habit, with a sensor cleaning also clean the reflecting box and the mirror. After from about 10 to 15 releases once more once again with the hand bellows - with down mirror - in the case blow (opening down hold).


I would like to say that the cleaning of your picture sensor with the measures described here occurs exclusively on your own risk.

I take over no guarantee and also no liability for caused damages or secondary damages.