Today I noticed that the sensor of my D610 has quite some dust on it. Usually you don’t see the specks but in darker areas the dust suddenly gets visible. A good method for checking the sensor’s cleanness is to shoot something with not too much texture and underexpose violently. In well-lit images the dust seems to be “overridden” by the brightness of the surrounding pixels, but once the image gets darker the dust becomes visible. I chose to shoot the sky and manually underexpose by five stops, the maximum my camera will allow. This is what I saw (click image for a larger version):

Notice the accumulation of dust particles in the upper left corner of the frame. Now there are several methods to clean your sensor, I already wrote about that in the past, click here if you would like to read the post. Since I was lazy (and still a little anxious to use sensor swabs and cleaning agent) I decided to use just a rocket blower. I removed the lens and entered live view mode to expose the sensor. Yes, there is a dedicated function to expose the sensor for cleaning, but did I mention I am a lazy bum ? I pointed the camera downward in order to let heavier particles fall out after they have been blown off the sensor and started squeezing the rocket blower (short, strong bursts). After that I took another image and see what happened:

20140727-Dreckiger-Sensor-002Whopeeee, some spots vanished. But dust seems to be quite pesky as many particles were still on the sensor. So I used the rocket blower a second time and took an image:

20140727-Dreckiger-Sensor-003And a third time…20140727-Dreckiger-Sensor-004
And most of the spots are gone. There are still plenty of them, but, being lazy, lalala you know the rest, I left it like that.

It’s a very quick and easy method to remove dust from your sensor and comparatively safe (just try not to ram the rocket blower tip into the sensor). It is not a dust-free solution as the rocket blower might as well blow new dust onto the sensor, but it is a very good method for cleaning the sensor on the go.