Sensor Cleaning Kit Recommendation, Please

Hi All,

A few folks have pointed out some dust bunnies on my images. I have run the automatic routine for my camera, but I fear I need to manually clean the sensor.

My camera is a Nikon D-7100 w/APS-size sensor.

I need a kit that:

  • Is least likely to damage my sensor
  • Is easy to use
  • Is not too costly

If you have a kit that works, and works well, I would like to hear from you. Please provide links.

Thanks, everyone.
–P

I use Sensorswab Ultra with Eclipse solution for my camera. I have found it easy and effective. You would have to make sure you get the correct size for your sensor if you go with that brand.

I was nervous as heck the first time I did it and after realized it was pretty dang easy.

Same as Harley, have been using this for years for a good wet clean Photographic Solutions Sensor Swab ULTRA Kit (Type 2). Once you realize you’re just cleaning a piece of glass it’s really not a big deal, I’ve done it countless times without issue.

Something else to consider if you just have some dust spots is the Pentax O-ICK1 Image Sensor Cleaning Kit. It’s just a sticky piece of rubber to pull the dust off the sensor and works brilliantly. I use this 90% of the time and only do a wet cleaning if there is something really stubborn. It seems scary the first time you use it because it really sticks, but it’s safe and actually what Leica uses to clean their sensors.

I also use the same Pentax sensor Cleaning Kit that David mentioned. In fact I’ve been using it for over 10 years and never have had a problem using it although I don’t know how good of a job it would do on oily spots (I don’t really experience those). I still use the original kit so it will last you quite a long time.
For what it’s worth, I heard a while ago that this is what Canon Japan uses these in their service department.

Preston, the swab kits work fine. When I bought my first kit (in 2008), you had to be careful to get a cleaning solution that was compatible with the anti-reflection coating on your sensor, but that may not be a problem now. You also want to get a kit with swabs that are the right size for your sensor. Most of the time, a couple of blasts with a Rocket Blower (camera facing down) and a single swipe with the moist swab got all of the dust. If you get your swab too wet, you may get streaks and need to use a second swab.

Thanks for the great info, gents.

I will have to look for a CA source for the Photographic Solutions kit. B&H says, “Available for in-store pickup only”. No reason given.

The Pentax kit looks good, too.
–P

Preston, I use this one: https://sensorgelstick.com/ which is quite similar to the Pentax kit that David mentioned. I have cleaned my D5, D750, and my D500 with no issue whatsoever. It is very easy to use and I prefer it than the swab because you are less likely to drag dust particles around.

I second all the above. Also, I use an Arctic Butterfly brush. It is a soft brush with a little motor that spins the brush around before you use it. That creates a static charge and then you just brush the sensor and it picks up dust. Before I use it I use a Giotto blower to blow off the sensor, then apply the brush. The wet technique is then only necessary for oily spots (which sometimes happen in all cameras). I haven’t had to wet clean for a couple of years. FYI, I think the reason BH wont send the cleaning kits is that shipping methyl alcohol, the active ingredient in most kits, is flammable and many shippers don’t want to deal with it. Now how BH gets them for store pick up is a mystery…

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