This blog is devoted to the application of optical fibers in photography. I have several homemade (DIY) flash adapters channeling the light from the flash close to the lens. The technique can be used mainly for macro photography, but I will show examples for wide angle close focus techniques as well. The recent version is called fiberstrobe V3, hence the name of the blog is "fiberstrobe".

Sunday, April 21, 2013

DUST-AID Platinum Kit review

I’ve never been much worried about dust on the sensor. Marks from dust spots can be annoying in the photos but nothing special that can’t be cured by few clicks in photoshop. So far I used a Giotto rocket blower to clean my cameras inside, but sometimes the air-blown dirt remains in the camera and it's just moving around the sensor. I was looking for a more effective technique but I’m still hesitant to try the wet cleaning method. I considered also the electrostatically charged brush technique but these simple brushes are way overpriced. Finally, I decided to buy a specific cleaning wand from Dust-Aid. 

Sure, it’s also way overpriced but it seemed to me a clever approach. At the end of the wand there is a silicon pad you have to press firmly to your sensor and the adhesive capacity of this silicone material will remove the dust particles from your sensor (actually from the protective layer on your sensor).
Sounds like minimal chance for scratching the sensor surface. Later on the dust attached to the silicon pad is removed by applying the cleaning wand on a special cleaning strip. Sounds a bit alarming, you may contaminate later on the sensor with  adhesive from the strip but Dust-Aid promise carry over contamination neither from the cleaning strip nor from the silicon pad (special oils are used to soften rubber) when you follow some simple rules.
Let’s try it. First I cleaned my Sony NEX-5. Recently I take lots of close focus wide angle photos at small apertures (large F numbers) and the large depth of fields make the dust spots visible on the photos.

 Photo taken before the cleaning. You can see few dust spots on the right side of the photo. 

Photo taken after cleaning. No visible dust spots. It seems to be clean. 

OK, I have to admit, it was not very scientific, so I repeated the test with my sony a100. Before cleaning, I aimed my camera to a white wall and adjusted the focus to minimum (wall was out of focus). After resizing the photo I increased the contract extremely to make the spots more visible:

As you can see my sensor was quite dirty. I applied the cleaning method as described in the kit's manual.

Few very small spots remained but nothing annoying. So far I'm quite happy with the DUST-AID Platinum product. Recommended.

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