Dust and the DSLR | The Camera Shop Bryn Mawr

The Camera Shop Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania

572 Lancaster Ave,

Bryn Mawr PA, 19010


Tel: 610-527-0300








How to Tutorials


Dust and the DSLR


Dust on a camera's sensor is typically most apparent in photo's with large areas of open sky.


Dust and Your Digital SLR

Mysterious blobs in your image are not caused by dust in your viewfinder or in your lens. In fact any specks or other foreign objects visible when looking through your viewfinder will not show on your image. What you are seeing in the image is actually on your camera's sensor (the device which records the scene in the way film once did).


It may sound contradictory, but digital SLR cameras are actually less prone to dust than their film predecessors. However, unlike traditional cameras which provide a fresh, clean piece of film with every advance of the winder digital SLR's utilize the same same surface for each photograph. Foreign matter on that surface generally stays there until something removes it.


If you suspect that your sensor may be dirty there is a simple way to check. The basic steps are:


1. Find a cloudless area of the sky, enough to fill the frame, or a clean, solid-colored wall.

2. Put the camera in manual focus and focus the lens to its nearest focus if shooting the sky or to infinity if shooting a wall.

Put the camera in aperture priority and set the aperture to f/16 or higher.

3. Aim the camera at either the sky or the wall, filling the frame with a field of nothing and take the picture.

4. Review the image. Any visible spot, speck, blob or hair is on the camera's sensor. Your camera needs to be cleaned.


The spots on this image are specks of dust on the camera's sensor.


Cleaning the sensor is more complex. Even the use of a simple blower bulb involves some risk. The cleaning procedure we perform at the Shop is comprised of three primary functions: vacuuming, brushing and swabbing. Nearly always they are repeated until the camera tests clean. Cleaning tools are available at our store.


To learn more about our cleaning service click here or call the store.


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