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  • Writer's pictureAbe Olson

Sensor Spots!

I'll get to the sensor spots post in a few paragraphs.

First, I want to welcome you to my new website. I finally got around to making it! Initially I had wanted a site devoted to images exclusively but over time I started to want to make a blog and built the site around that. My old host didn't really have any graceful way to integrate a blog into their existing site structure. So, I decided to forego the website until I could figure out a way to make it exactly the way I want it.

Thanks to Angela, that happened yesterday!

So, I'll be posting things here from now on. I intend to make at least two posts a week. I'm not trying to build any sort of blogging empire or anything. I just want to be able to share things about photography that I think other people might find interesting or useful.

So, for the first blog post, here's a picture I took yesterday.

Orange sky caused by ash from wild fires

Yesterday, I took my camera in to the local camera store to have the sensor cleaned. I have the camera set up to use its built in cleaning when I turn the camera off. I also have a nice rocket blower that I use to blow big loose things off the sensor. But, the sensor is filthy and needs a wet cleaning. I have done them myself in the past but the guy at the shop has done more wet sensor cleanings than I ever will and so I'd rather pay him to do a good job than save a few bucks and use the sensor of my primary camera as a practice ground.

The easiest way to test to see if your sensor needs cleaning is to stop your lens down to around F/16 or so. Set the ISO low enough that you won't get excessive noise and then take a picture of a well lit white sheet of paper or other object that has no texture and is a uniform color. Then, open the raw file and adjust the contrast and curves until you can clearly see all of the boogers on the sensor. I find that simply dragging the mid-point of the curve down a bit adds enough contrast to make the boogers visible.

If you just have a few spots, it can be easiest to just use a spot or clone tool to fix them when they are visible. But, in the case of my X-Pro 2, not only did it have a ton of regular size spots, it also had two very large--I'm talking like 1/8th the size of the sensor here--areas that were darkened. Spots of that size require a lot of time to repair so it was time for the sensor to get a bath. I should have the camera back tomorrow.


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