Monday, 29 June 2009

DSLR sensor cleaning - DIY?


It seemed like it was time to clean the sensor of my precious Canon EOS D60. No, I didn't buy it years ago, just one year and six months ago. Winter 2008. But it's my first *SLR camera. And, for some strange reason, I like it. I could say I can live with the features and quality it lacks, but it's easier to say I like it. It's a good camera after all. And it was released already in 2001! Who's got 6 megapixels of higher age? :p

Sensor cleaning - DIY sports or not?

I've read the valuable (IMHO) four blog post series about sensor cleaning - the "Sensor Cleaning Mythbusting (Part 1)", by my friend Alex. Thanks, and wow! I recommend you read it too, before taking part into random debates and warnings against DIY cleaning on forums. You're probably missing an important point of view and real-life experiences about the subject. And he writes well, so you won't lose much anyway :)

After reading the blog posts, cleaning the sensor began to sound like an impossible task. Or something I could easily postpone. I postponed it. Also, I had never looked for trouble (no test shots for dust spots, no careful examination of the sensor itself). And I had never seen those spots in my photos.


I did have an idea how to clean the sensor. You just got to have ideas with aging gear. Or just money, but I prefer the ideas in DIY spirit. I thought to use chamois leather swabs with isoprophylene alcohol. I had used those in A/V repair shop, for cleaning VHS video drums. They're wide, so they are suitable for flat, large - and sensitive - surfaces. I just didn't have any at hand. I was going to buy a few. Meanwhile...

From the beginning of (my DSLR) time I had remembered one friend telling about using cotton swabs and drinkable alcohol for sensor cleaning. Wow! I had stopped using drinks even for cleaning tape recorder heads some... 20 years ago! And cotton... doesn't it leave particles or fibre residue? The residue is not a problem on tape recorder heads, as it normally is wiped away with the actual smudge. But on a large sensor?

On one summer late night

I was working on the 1" tube adapter (to be announced later) for attaching EOS body to small hobbyist telescopes. I had the camera on the table, without a lens. Suddenly, without any warning, I got the idea: let's use the cotton swabs and isoprophylene alcohol!

The swabs did erase the dust, but left traces. I finished the job with lens fabric. After a few retries the traces were gone. Seems like I did it! Test shots? Well... those can wait :)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Emulator gaming - Buggy Boy completed

I'm not a gamer. I've never been really interested in computer games. But, some games, sometimes...

I've been trying to race through all five tracks in Buggy Boy (Amiga version) for some time. Not as many hours as days, just every now and then. Today I made through the rest of the tracks I hadn't completed!

I haven't checked out the backgrounds of the game, but it seems like old coin-op game. And probably this Amiga version is ported from C64 version.

I'm using WinUAE and genuine Commodore VG-200 AG joystick, connected to SoundBlaster Live! Player 5.1 through an adapter (digital -> analog) built by myself. For some reason some music plays incorrectly in WinUAE. Sometimes WinUAE also has halted completely, when the car hits an object. Lately that hasn't happened.

P.S: I'm also trying to complete Wizball (Amiga version). As I recall, Wizball is the only game I've ever completed. I did it a few times on Amiga.
Mercenary - Escape from Targ is on the "list" too, but I guess completing it takes a lot of time.
Why not trying Ikari Warriors, but that requires another player to make it really entertaining. And I would need to upgrade my joystick/adapter system...

Possible next blog text: using a cheap telescope as DSLR tele lens.