Its that time of the season for photograghers when you’re starting to edit more than you’re shooting. Also, the holidays are our general time to catch up on tasks that we’ve shelved due to our crazy busy schedules all year long. My office space resembles a toddler’s play room after 10 months of straight shooting. It looks like someone grabbed a box of cables, batteries, and lens caps, threw then against a wall, and let a dozen kittens wreck havoc. It takes me days to clean up my nightmare and sort through everything.
Speaking of cleaning, this is the perfect time to clean your camera sensors. If you’re like me and shoot mostly shallow, you most likely don’t notice any dust spots or hair in your photos. Until you crank up to f/16 for a landscape, then it looks like a crime scene.
For years I was afraid to touch my own sensor, having never really believed in the wet sensor cleaning products available. After much research, I decided to invest in the one cleaning product that is actually used by camera manufactures in quality control and service repair by Nikon, Camera, and Sony: the Eyelead Sensor Gel Stick.
Its pretty simple actually. Use the mirror lock-up feature on your DSLR to expose the sensor. The sticky gel surface is pressed down onto the camera sensor gently and it pulls dirt and hair off with it, which you then stick to the included adhesive paper that comes with each kit. I use a Rocket Blower first to try and blow out as much filth as possible, then perform 2 passes using the gel stick. Because there is no cleaning liquid, there’s zero chance of any residue being left behind. You can clean the gel stick using 75% alcohol pads before and after each use.
You can get both the Eyelead Sensor Gel Stick + Rocket Blower for around $50 on Amazon.
I took before and after photos against a cloudy sky and took screen grabs of the Spot Removal tool with the Visualize Spots slider activated. Check them out below.