Friday, September 3, 2010

Totally Exposed

How I cleaned up my act.
Fiddlesticks! (This is a family show people). I've got dirt on one of my camera sensors and I have an important assignment to shoot tomorrow. After poring through some of my photography magazines and doing some research on the web, I'm now convinced that if I try to clean my sensor myself I will totally screw up my camera and void my warranty! I know, I'll just shoot with one camera tomorrow and address sensor cleaning another time.

But what if my shutter jams, or I drop my camera, or any number of catastrophes befalls the camera I take. I could take one of my other cameras as a back up but for the assignment I'm doing I'll be more comfortable with the choice of lens and camera body I had originally planned to use. Also I'm feeling that Murphy's law is just itching to get a look in. Ok Roi, it's your professional responsibility to manage risk on behalf of the client. Rats! (Family show people). I really need to have at least one back up camera with me. But being a high value assignment, my back up needs to be able to complete the job just as well as my primary tool will. Deep Breath. I need this camera body so I need to clean it today - myself.
I've circled the offending dirt particles that were residing on my sensor
 The first company I call in my quest for sensor cleaning materials and tools is Adolph Gasser in San Francisco. I know, what a name. Anyway, Scott answers the phone and asks how he can help. Suddenly my body is taken over by aliens. Instead of asking for the cleaning materials, I hear
"Do you provide a sensor cleaning service?", spill effortlessly out of my mouth as if I had been rehearsing those exact words for the last 2 weeks.
" Yes we do, and if you bring your camera in now, I'll do it while you wait".
"I'll be there in an hour", I answer to Scott, Knowing he has no idea that I have just decided to marry him and have his children!

"Hello, I'm looking for Scott", I say to the man at the counter.
"I'm Scott, who 's looking for him?"
So I tell him who I am and am immediately whisked downstairs to the service department and Scott takes on the role of maestro. The lens cap is off, the loupe is over my naked sensor. (It's ok this is still a family show). The next 10 minutes I am reassured, guided, and educated, as Scott cleans my sensor explaining all that he is doing as it happens. Once the cleaning is all done, I'm invited to go outside and take an exposure of the sky so we can check that there is no debris residing on my sensor. All clean! So if you're in San Francisco and you need your sensor cleaned, don't stress yourself with the worry of screwing it up, get on down to Gassers and ask for Scott.

Scott showed me the proper technique for one method of cleaning my sensors. As long as they don't get too dirty, I can routinely clean them with a Giotto Rocket. But rest assured that anything that can't be shifted by this method will be placed in Scott's capable hands at Adolph Gasser in San Francisco.

No comments:

Post a Comment