Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ken Rockwell on DSLR Sensor Cleaning

Love him or hate him, Ken Rockwell calls 'em they way he sees 'em and I find is point of view refreshing and useful. But this note he wrote on November 29th, 2009 Ken Rockwell, is a just flat out FUD and it's disappointing to see it coming from Ken.

I'd never, ever touch my sensor. I personally know people who really have destroyed $5,000 cameras when they tried sensor swabs or whatever other Hillbilly junk is out there for do-it-yourselfers. If I can't get it off with a Shop-Vac or blower bulb, I send my camera back to its manufacturer.
If you try touching your sensor with anything, you'll just as likely wind up sending you camera to meet its maker in a different sense.
This is the email I sent him in response:
SUBJECT LINE: I clean my senor, yes I do
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Ken,
Actually no, I don't clean my sensor. I clean the glass that sits on my sensor.
I'm sorry to say this Ken, but you really are helping to spread the FUD that surrounds senor cleaning and that is a disservice to your readers.
Are you afraid of cleaning your windows? Do you pay someone $100 to clean one square inch of glass?
I've cleaned my D70 at least half a dozen times with sensor swabs and cleaning solution from VisibleDust (visibledust.com) that I bought at B&H Photo.
You are lucky to live and shoot in a dry climate. But here in the Northeast, I work outside in and around flowing water. It is a moist environment. In this environment, moister and dust combine to make very sticky particles that just will not come off the senor by blowing on it. The moisture essentially welds the dust onto the sensor.
Camera shops love this business, it's basically highway robbery. My local camera shop charges $110 and keeps the camera for a week to clean the sensor. I spent about $50 on cleaning supplies that will last a dozen cleanings. It takes me about ten minutes to clean my sensor. At home. Whenever it needs it. An honest camera shop would charge $15 or $20 and do it while you wait.
I enjoy your site and have learned a lot from it, thank you.
Best regards,
James Fryer
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 I received no response which is understandable, he no doubt gets loads of emails everyday. And I don't need a response, what I need is for him to not post any more harmful information.

3 comments:

storm said...

thanks for writing this , I agree get into sensor cleaning.. save $ spend on other doing it for you the same way you can do it your self , and most importand .
no time lost on not beeing able to use your camera sees ken is just telling you to pay the pros for a job not that difficult

mindy said...

What materials did you buy from VisibleDust? I have a D70 sensor that needs cleaning, but I don't see anything on there that is $50. Everything is over $100. Thanks!

James Fryer said...

Mindy, B&H Photo has the swabs and the cleaning solution.