What a boring image! What the heck! What’s with the blank image? While I’ll admit this is a boring image of a clear blue sky and a lame excuse for a blog post I will say that one of the main purposes of this blog, is Photography and while this image is nothing to you it is absolutely one of the most beautiful images I have taken.
I’ll explain – Well I had the bane of all Digital SLR shooters, “SENSOR DUST” and it had gotten bad. I was used to a couple of spots that would be on every image I took and would routinely correct them in Photoshop. But careful as I am (and I’m almost anal careful when I change lenses on my camera) I still ended up with a fair amount of dust on my sensor. Enough dust that it was taking me a lot of time to fix each spot.
Two choices – Box the camera up and ship it off to Nikon or attempt to clean the sensor myself. I took a couple of on-line lessons on sensor cleaning and one on cleaning the D700 in particular.
There are three phases of sensor cleaning and each one is more evasive and correspondingly more dangerous than the last one. All three require that the sensor be exposed for a period of time, which of course exposes the sensor to even more foreign particles.
Phase I – Involves setting the camera up (in the menu section) to the cleaning mode, which locks the mirror in the up position and then taking an air blower bulb (NOT Canned air as it contains a liquid propellent), turning the camera face down and blowing vigorously into the sensor chamber trying to dislodge any dust particles that have attached themselves to the sensor. Then with a special viewing prism view the sensor to see if it is clean. It was not. 😦
Phase II – Involves using a special dry brush (that spins to build up a static electric charge) and then very carefully (not spinning) brushing the sensor to try and pick up any dust particles on the sensor. Then blowing with the air bulb again. Check with the viewing prism to see if clean. It was not. 😦
Phase III – Very worrisome for me now as this phase involves introducing a liquid filled swab (specially made for the process) onto the sensor and wiping the sensor with said swab in a final last ditch effort to clean the sensor. Check with the viewing prism to see if clean. Yea!! It looked clean. 🙂
Testing – Set the camera to manual focus with a very low f-stop and shoot an image of a clear sky (see above.) Download the image to processing software and inspect for spots. Again YEA!! Perfectly clean.
Final test take an image of something that requires detail to make sure the sensor is focusing recording images properly. See below. YEA! 🙂 🙂
So I feel much better now because that sensor dust was really bugging me. Now that I have a nice fresh clean sensor it’s time to go shooting. thanks for stopping by and be careful.