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Digital SLR Cleaning Methods

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Adhesive Pads

These fall into two categories – reusable and disposable.


These use a small piece of ‘tacky’ silicon rubber on the end of a small probe. The pad is lightly pressed onto the surface being cleaned and the offending particle sticks to the pad. The technique works well provide that you can see the dist particle you want to remove and that (like a brush) you keep the tip scrupulously clean. Key to success is a light touch, just grabbing the particle and not pressing hard with the tip.


Good Points – Cheap
Bad Points – Can be tricky to use; need too see the dust; need to keep the tip clean.


Unfortunately, most dust-particles on the sensor are far too small to be seen with the naked eye, so a small silicon pad has limited use in cleaning the entire surface of a sensor. Much more effective is a disposable system with larger pads. With this system, there is no need to see the contamination as the pad is used to clean the entire sensor. Furthermore, as the pad is disposed of after use, there is nothing to keep clean between uses.


Good Points – Easy To use; Highly Effective; No rubbing the sensor; No liquids; No maintenance.
Bad Points – Expensive; Only removes loose dust.

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