Hi all, new member here.
Last fall I purchased a new 6DMK2 after many years of owning a great T3i. I wanted to try full frame so I got the 6DMK2 + 24-105 F/4 lens kit from B&H. It sat for weeks because of both my wife's and my health issues. I finally got around to unboxing and taking a few pics just to try it out. In a pic of the blue sky, I saw what appears to be dirt on the sensor (see pic below). It definately is on the sensor and not the lens as switching to my other lenses showed the spot to be in the same place on the pics. I read that while unusual, a new camera with a piece of dust on the sensor does happen but I was disappointed to find it on my new camera. Also I am very careful when changing lenses for this very reason. After reading on the internet, I purchased a bulb air blaster and tried dislodging the dirt from the sensor but was unsucessful. At this point, I can try to manually clean the sensor or send it in to Canon. If possible, I would like to try cleaning the sensor myself as I don't really want to send it off to Canon if possible. So I am asking what would you long time photographers do in my case? Can a sensor be cleaned at home without damaging it if done correctly?
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To address your direct question: Can you clean this at home without damaging it?
The answer is yes ... and it's not difficult. There are many videos available on how to do this. But I'll address a few basics.
Anytime you remove the lens and the body is "open", there is an opportunity for dust to enter. Of course the shutter is closed, so that dust can't land on the sensor. When you take a photo (especially long exposures), the reflex mirror quickly swings up and this creates a whoosh of air in the body which disturbs the dust -- sending it floating randomly and... at this point the sensor is open so there's a possibility it will land on the sensor (and the longer the exposure, the greater the probability.
What we think of "the sensor" is actually a couple of filters in front of the sensor. (Two layers of glass, then the sensor). The front layer is typically the UV/IR filter and this is wired to a circuit that generates a piezoelectric charge -- vibrating the filter to shake any dust loose (this is what happens when the sensor does a self-cleaning cycle). The back layer of glass is a low-pass filter which helps with some anti-aliasing to reduce the moire effect that might otherwise be visible when shooting subjects that have strong linear or grid-like patterns.
This means that when you think of cleaning the sensor, what you're really cleaning is a filter in front of the sensor. The filter is glass (glass with coatings on it, but still glass). Glass is pretty hard ... so as long as you don't use something abrasive, the probability of scratching it is actually pretty low. It also has those coatings ... so you don't want to use any cleaning chemicals that might damage the coatings.
There are "dry" and "wet" cleaning methods and often a "dry" cleaning method is good enough.
Again ... there are videos that demonstrate many of these techniques and products. The surface you are cleaning is actually a filter in front of the sensor and it's glass and as long as you don't go at it too aggressively with harsh chemicals or abrasive tools, it is difficult to scratch it (so you don't need to be too afraid to clean it). Dust getting on the sensor is a fact of life ... from time to time sensors need to be cleaned. Many camera shops will clean the sensor for you .,.. for a fee. You may as well learn to do it yourself since it really isn't difficult.
I want to thank everyone for their responses. I looked up Canon's service to clean the sensor and they show $49.00 to do it (https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/self-help-center/canon-maintenance-service. Being Sunday today, I did not call to find out if this would be covered under warranty however.
I realy didn't want to box/ship it in if I could clean it myself. I learned from Tim Campbell's write up above that there is actually glass filters in front of the sensor, this is something I did not know. So I would not be actually touching the sensor itself. At this point I am willing to try an antistatic brush (which I just ordered) and try the dry method Tim mentions. I think it is just a stubborn piece of dust that is defying my bulb air blaster and just needs some encouragement. If that fails I'll send it in. I want to thank everyone for their responses, great forum! Charles
Just a quick update. I was able to dislodge the piece of dirt using a static brush that Tim Campbell mentioned. Thanks to Tim and all who replied. Charles
No insult intended. But, you got lucky. Seriously. BTW, where did the piece of dirt go? I hope it fell out of the body.