Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Make Your Panos Match Up
Wide-Angle Panoramas • See The Sharpness Get • The Most From A Lens And Camera • ND Filters • Sensor Cleaning • Missing ArchesSensor-Cleaning Strategies
Q I'm finding anomalies on my images resulting from debris on my sensor. I'm nervous about cleaning it myself. Sending it in to a repair facility takes too long and is expensive. How do you approach this problem?
Via the Internet
A Even with the self-cleaning sensors, this is a problem that you simply must address regularly. Go to www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com and read the tutorials and evaluations of a wide range of sensor-cleaning methods and products. With the right information, you can do this.
Of all the possible methods, my preference is using the LensPen SensorKlear Loupe Kit (www.lenspen.com). The package includes a loupe that replaces your lens and magnifies and lights the sensor, giving you an excellent view of the debris you want to remove. To accomplish this, you insert an articulated SensorKlear II pen through the cutout on the side of the loupe, which gives you access to the sensor. The Sensor pen has a triangulated soft tip that allows you to remove debris even from the corners and edges of the sensor. I bought mine through Micro-Tools (www.micro-tools.com).
I had a note from my friend Dan Blackburn asking for help in locating images gone missing from his CF card. "We went to Arches for a sunset shoot of Balanced Rock," he wrote. "The light was very good and I used the same card that I had used earlier in the day for some mountain fall color. I also periodically checked the images in the camera as the light changed in Arches and everything looked just fine. But, when I returned home, the entire section of the card devoted to Balanced Rock was blank. The images from earlier in the day were fine. But Arches was totally missing. Any idea what could have happened?"
I advised Dan to try a file recovery software to see if the files were even written to the card, and he used SanDisk RescuePRO Deluxe (www.lc-tech.com). "It did a fine job of recovery," he reported. "Not only were the missing Arches files recovered, but also some old mule deer and other shots."
CF cards get old and corrupt and need to be thrown out. Beyond this, I do advise the purchase of quality CF and SD cards with proven records of performance. Personally, I only use RAW cards from Hoodman (www.hoodmanusa.com).
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