Hi Steve,

I am in Taipei now. It’s okay here, but nothing special. The Chinese are unexpectedly friendly here though. Almost restores my faith in them. Anyway, today I did something extremely dumb and managed to get two little specks of spit on the sensor of my camera. At large apertures they fortunately don’t show at all, but at small ones they obviously do and really look nasty. I’m thinking removing dust is already a hassle but doable with the proper equipment, and the G1 does have a pretty good dust buster installed already. But how about liquid? Do you have any idea what I could do about that? I guess the only choice I have is try to find a good photography shop that also services cameras here on Monday and ask if they can help me real quick with this, as I’m leaving on Tuesday. This sucks! How freaking stupid of me. Check out the attached picture to see what I am talking about. Any idea...?

Have a good night there!

Akulka

Dirty Sensor

Hi Akulka –

To make it short, there are two options.

  1. 1.  Learn to do a “wet clean” and go buy all the supplies to do it..  (not recommended, I can do it for you but if you’re in Bangkok then you might as well do option 2)
  2. 2.  Take it to a service center.. and I mean a factory service center and not some camera shop.  This needs to be done exactly in the right way with exactly the right chemicals.  Taiwan I’m sure will have one if you care to look it up.. probably a walk-in service like Canon has here.  I’m not sure if Panasonic has a camera repair center on the same scale as Canon or Nikon.. but I could find out.
  3. 3.  Spots are something DSLR users live with ALL the time.. period.. we always haves spots.
  4. 4.  Try this.. At more open apertures (F1.8-F5.6) take some pics.. you probably won’t see the spots.  Now, stop it down to F8-F16 and watch the spots appear.  DOF is a factor even with spots.. ;o)  Maybe you can use this information to avoid some spots..

You could also FedEx/DHL/UPS it back to me here.. and I’ll get it done and send it back to you.

Also.. these spots are VERY easy to fix in Lightroom and Photoshop.  Because the spots are in the same location (as spots tend to be) you can do one fix and then cut & paste the fix to all like images in Lightroom.  In other words, don’t worry about it and just live with it until you get to a repair center.

Steve

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the information and tips. Playing around with the camera yesterday night I already found out that despite the size of the spots it wouldn’t be an issue at lower apertures. Still it bothers me a lot! A full size jpeg with the spots is attached.

I don’t think there is a dedicated Panasonic service center anywhere here in Taipei. I found out about an area that has lots and lots of camera stores and supposedly some that are exclusive Panasonic dealers. I’ll head there tomorrow morning and talk to them about this. I have read some online manuals on wet cleaning by now and am also considering to give that a (very careful) try. Not sure...

Akulka

Akulka –

YIKES!!!!!

I thought the original pic you sent me was a full size crop of regular spots.. these are monster spots and basically make the camera unusable from F8 and beyond..

RUN don’t walk.. to your nearest camera repair center and have them wet clean your sensor.. and please, no more spit..

The fluid they should be using is Eclipse2 and they should be using a tool called “sensor swabs” from here.

And no.. it’s not nearly as easy as it looks.. it’s damn hard to get it right..

I’ve never seen anything like this.. never..

Steve

Hi Steve,

Fortunately I managed to resolve the problem for good today. I went to that area of which I was told has all those photo shops. A friendly shopkeeper guided me to a little hole-in-the-wall camera repair shop next door who dealt with it right away, very professionally, and totally free of charge. Very nice! I am happy! Thanks for offering to put me in touch with Fanny. I am leaving Taiwan tomorrow morning though. I could have easily spent more time here, as I quite enjoyed my stay. Sure seems you are keeping very busy too!

I will probably not have internet access for a week or so now as I am off to quite remote areas. Again, many thanks for all your help with this!

Akulka

Akulka –

I’m glad you got it fixed.  If you don’t mind I’m going to use your emails  in the Readers Questions area.. or at least parts of them..

Enjoy your time exploring!

Steve

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