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How much would a cleaning cost (Lens & Camera?)

Peter LaMotte , Dec 31, 2007; 12:19 p.m.

I know there is a lot of discussion around cleaning to remove dust on the sensor, but I haven't been able to find a general estimate on how much that would cost. I am getting ready to go on big trip and would love have the sensor as perfect as I can get it. Also I would love get my lens cleaned, which I see a little bit of dust in. But I just have no idea what they charge for this service.

FYI: I have a D80.

Thanks

Responses


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Walter Schroeder , Dec 31, 2007; 12:28 p.m.

On which part of the world are you located?

Juanjo Viagran , Dec 31, 2007; 12:29 p.m.

Here in NY the sensor cleaning run about $45 but lens is a hole different game, for my experience depending on what lens is going to cost you $85 (if you are lucky) and UP.

PS. a little dust on your lens it won't affect the picture quality at all.

Shun Cheung , Dec 31, 2007; 12:45 p.m.

If you only have a bit of dust inside the lens, you are better off not having it professionally cleaned, which involves taking it apart and they may or may not be able to put it back together perfectly. One trick you can try is to use a vacuum cleaner to suck the dust out through the back opening for the aperture lever.

For DSLR sensors, you are better off learning how to clean that yourself. Stores typically charge US$40 or so in the US.

Dave Weber , Dec 31, 2007; 12:49 p.m.

I agree with Juanjo. But would also like to add that many photographers these days are cleaning their own digital camera sensors. I have been doing it for years and have had no problem.

Here's a link to a website that gives pretty good instructions on how to clean the sensor yourself. http://www.photosafari.com/Articles/CleaningWithASensorKlear.asp

Hans Janssen , Dec 31, 2007; 01:31 p.m.

Learn to clean your sensor yourself. If there is, on the first day of your big trip, again dust on your sensor you can clean it again. Sometimes I have to clean three times a week and sometimes it takes two or more months between cleanings.

John White , Dec 31, 2007; 01:45 p.m.

Cost was around $100 about two years ago to get one cleaned around here at a local repair shop. And then a day later after such cleaning the sensor was dirty again. After that I just started cleaning it myself. I use VisibleDust products, swabs + solution, (http://www.visibledust.com/) but there is a whole market out there of other good cleaners. Up front it might cost $50-100 but you can get about 10-20+ cleanings with it. It's as simple as wetting the swab, flipping the mirror, one swipe of the sensor, allow to dry, and flip mirror down. Bring your cleaning stuff with you on your big trip.

David Bookbinder , Dec 31, 2007; 02:15 p.m.

Another very easy sensor cleaning tool is the SensorKlear pen. It costs between $10 and $20 depending on where you buy it, is good for 50 cleanings, and has replaced, for me, wet cleaning of the sensor. There will likely be a few spots that the SensorKlear will not remove, but so far it is about on par with wet cleaning and has been trouble-free.

Edward Ingold , Dec 31, 2007; 02:23 p.m.

The CLA of a camera (e.g., Nikon SLR or Hasselblad) will cost $100 to $200 by the manufacturer in the US. It's usually best to have any foam seals replaced, which will run the cost to the higher side.

Use an authorized service center. Don't bother with a local camera shop, the work is SLOW and quality spotty.

As Chung says, get the proper tools and learn to clean the sensor yourself. I use the Copperhill method with Eclipse Fluid and PEC pads (q.v., Calumet) for tough cases. I have a Sensor Brush kit with an electric spinner (to clean and charge the brushes), which is easy to use in the field and uses no flammable solvents (which can't be taken or checked on an airplane). I have not had to resort to the fluid method in the year I've had the brush kit.

Keep your camera bag clean (a good vacuuming to remove dust and lint), and brush the rear of each lens clean (and the caps) from time to time. With good housekeeping, you only need to clean the sensor every three months or so.

Don't worry about changing lenses. Mineral dust, as blown about outside, is not that much a problem. The most problematic "dust" is actually lint from clothing, carpets and camera bags.

Dave Lee , Dec 31, 2007; 06:21 p.m.

Hey now, don't knock the local camera repair technicians!

Edward,

It's not really a good idea to tell someone that any service center other than the manufacturer does poor quality work. In many cases you can get better work done for less at a local camera repair shop than you can sending it off to Nikon in Pasadena.

I worked for a local camera repair shop for a couple years and can attest to at least the quality of work done there by the sole proprietor. He also had a friend who worked at Nikon and had some stories to tell about the work they did there, like taking a camera completely apart and then deeming it beyond repair, and not bothering to put it back together before sending it back to the customer!!

Certainly as for cleaning the sensor, if one feels they can do it without damaging it, go ahead. But remember, your local repair shop is most likely owned by a guy who went to school and worked his butt off doing good repair work for people and built his reputation that way. There are good repair shops and there are bad ones. Not all of them are bad.


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