Friday, November 21, 2008

The Dust Bunnies come calling :|

It's one of the biggest frustrations when using a digital SLR. That's a single lens reflex, or 'professional' camera for the uninitiated. In short, it means a camera whose lenses can be changed. As liberating and incredible as this is, it introduces a problem which can assume terrible proportions. When you are primarily an outdoors photographer, and change lenses in the field, you invariably get a fair bit of muck on the camera sensor or CCD. Over 4 years, which is how old my camera is, it can get fairly dirty, which is what I realized when I took some photographs at low apertures. In months, the problem has become so bad that I need hours of cloning work in imaging software to make my photographs usable. And as much as you might suggest use of do-it-yourself cleaning methods, I really look forward to the day camera manufacturers look at this problem really seriously.

Despite all dire warnings from the manufacturers, I decided that I was going to give sensor cleaning a shot. So there I was, with an improvised swab, the camera body with it's lens off, the mirror lifted with a bulb exposure. I got a sneaking feeling that the sensor was placed in a deep recess and generally made as inaccessible as possible in order to prevent bravehearts (idiots?) like me from tinkering around with it. After all, how can they get their 16 hundred odd bucks for a 5 minute job? :mad: Anyway, I finally managed to reach the damn thing and swiped it a couple of times. Problem. The dust particles (or whatever else it was, it seemed like some alien growth to me, a central big fat blob with tentacles spreading out in all directions) clung to the sensor with the tenacity of tar on a shoe sole, and mocked my gingerly attempts to dislodge them off their perches. Now, I don't have enough in me to make a concerted attempt by putting a bit of pressure to remove the stuff (I do not quite fancy taking photos with a neat little dent where the 1/3rds line would come), so I decided to leave it to Nikon and their extortionists to do the job.

Maybe film isn't a bad idea after all. If only I could afford it. And if I had a Nikon film body :P

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