Sunday, 27 September, 2015 16:12
THE KODAK FULL FRAME DCS SENSOR
is the information I posted on the dpreview.com forum for Kodak DSLR
cameras and equipment.
now added some images, with appropriate text, to help show what is
The basic cleaning information should also be helpful for cleaning
sensors in other DSLR cameras of other makes.
I have cleaned the sensor using the method I described*
in another post on the Kodak DSLR dpreview.com forum, there still
seemed to be one or two bits that refused to be removed, so I decided,
for once, to take the camera apart (using the destructions provided
by John recently) for a "Factory Clean"
have added the relevant information at the bottom of this page (made
in an earlier post on the said forum) as could be useful
If you want to take it apart here is the way to do it: First remove
the battery from the Camera. Remove the four screws that are on the
left and right covers (2 each side). Flip the camera with the lens
mount down and remove the top four or five screws (DCS14n has 4) from
the Bottom cover. Flip the camera up again and pull the back cover
apart from the front cover slowly for about one inch. On the left
side you have to disconnect the CMOS Battery connector and on the
right bottom side the data flex connector. Keep that connector down
with your thumb and pull slowly the back cover up. The back cover
is free. After that you have the Imager Board in front of you. *Remove
the data flex cable unlocking the connector slowly and the voltage
cable. *However, note that on my last clean, when I took some photos,
I left those in place as found could have enough flexibility to clean
the sensor - as shown in the photos. Unscrew the four screws (you
need a VERY small square end screwdrive for this - see how small in
the photo!) that hold the Imager Metal plate. This is a good way to
clean the imager easy without destroying or scratching the glass plate.
I would mention a couple of differences - at least on the DCS14n
4 screws on the bottom towards back of camera (=those holding bottom
of the back cover). Unplugging the two flexible connectors to be able
to free the back is a bit tricky so do this carefully and do not use
anything like say a screwdriver as that could break the plastic connectors.
Once you have detached the back cover, be careful not to pull out
the two shaped copper connectors on the right. See photos for more
clarity. You will need a cross-head screwdriver - and strangely, one
slightly bigger than you would first think, for the 4 screws holding
down the Imager Board OR, as I found on second clean, a small square
end one per the photo. Have a bit of BluTac on end of the screwdriver
as these can easily drop down inside - they are located down inside
to start with! Just be careful and work with a good light. They cannot
actually drop into the camera at this stage, only under the raised
bit of plate on to the board immediately below, so are not trapped
as such. If one should drop down (one of mine did) wait until all
undone and carefully hold over a small plate and turn the board until
the screw(s) drop on to the plate. I did not remove a further flexible
connector on the plate as could easily access the sensor just by turning
it all over. Was easy to clean - I used a piece of linen handkerchief
(clean one, no bogies, of course! ) with a dab of 99.5% Metanol (=Methanol)
and I, per normal, vacuumed all before refixing - I have a bung in
end of the vacuum cleaner hose, with a ballpoint pen casing in the
middle (has small hole through of course) as then get super, easily
directed, suction to remove any dust particles. You may also find
a decently strong blower may be useful to dislodge any debris before
you vacuum but just blowing, without final vacuuming, is not recommended
as that just moves muck to another place.
It proved very effective. I did a clean with all re-assembled to ensure
no dust inside during reassembly. There were a couple of bits (did
a sky-test shot at f22) so repeated the vacuuming, after using a nylon
brush charged by whipping the bristles across edge of some card several
times to charge with static.
Hope these additional notes help. It was not as difficult as anticipated
but you do need to watch those little screws and have the right screwdriver
and some BluTac to hand.
Link for John's message in my "cleaning thread" is:
Kodak DSLR forum contributor - ("bassotto" - or Pazzerello
- based in Italy) - posted a different thread where the sensor glass
was removed. As that was accompanied by many useful illustrations
(and as he kindly offered those illustration to me) I thought it best,
as his article was comprehensive, to provide this link so you can
access his interesting in-depth article and photos in full:
the DCS14n the covering to the inside, to presumably stop reflections,
seems somewhat "shaggy" and clearly can be a source of hairy
bits. Despite a good vacuuming, a couple were on the sensor when tested,
so I did an extra vacuuming of the sides and may think of perhaps
covering those with some self-adhesive velvet material as clearly,
the covering is past its best and I reckon will continue to occasionally
shed fibres with action of the mirror and shutter mechanisms.
In the end,
I wrapped some Sellotape inside-out around a finger (changed it several
times - the Sellotape, not the finger before you ask!) and "blotted"
all the inside areas and remove about 5 tons of debris - well, OK,
I have exaggerated a bit - it was only 4½ tons. As you will
see in one photo, I accidentally got a bit of adhesive on the surface
of the sensor glass but that cleaned off easily with a drop of Methanol
on a clean hanky-panky!
So here are
the images, which I trust you will find useful to go with the destructions
above. it is fairly simply to do this BUT you do need to be careful
when removing and replacing the 4 tiny screws holding down the sensor
board. Why on Earth they used such small screws is beyond me.
of my original post as mentioned above:
put the details in another thread as part of a reply but then thought
as that could get lost (especially if anyone later tries a search)
it might be helpful to repeat as a separate thread, so hope it proves
useful. It all stemmed from the difficulties I found cleaning my sensor,
especially the crud in the corners, because the sensor virtually touches
the edges of the inside of the camera, not easy to get to them. Here's
wot I dun rotted!
I had great difficulty cleaning my sensor on the DCS14n - tried a
range of things but it was somewhat crudded when I first got it, as
a slightly used, upgraded model at low cost. The main problem was
shifting quite a lot of deposited muck at the corners - which are
not easy to clean due them being virtually bang next to the internal
I finally devised a simple way that has worked brilliantly. I got
a pencil with an eraser tipped end and changed that from round to
square with a sharp trimming knife. Then I bought an offcut of a thin
but nice chamois leather, and cut that into strips around 3/8"
wide and 4" long. I could then hold that so the middle (to start
with) was wrapped down both sides of the pencil so the middle part
covered the rubber end.
Breathing on the sensor (Yes - I know all the warnings but over many
years have found that works fine for all optical cleaning, provided
one covers one's gob with a layer of cotton - like a handkerchief
- to prevent droplets flying all over the place) and cleaned the sensor,
moving the strip to get a fresh bit each time. Only took a few goes
to get the sensor really clean.
I then (as have found this is essential!) vacuumed the inside of the
camera chamber - I have the body of a ballpoint pen inside a bung
I made to fit in the end of the vacuum cleaner tubing - the cleaner
being tucked outside the door (with door closed as tight to the tubing
as possible) so no air rushing about the room. The ballpoint pen body
has a central hole which concentrates the suction - I marked it with
some red tape so I could ensure the end could not touch the sensor.
Obviously, a short length of plastic tubing would be as good.
A relatively quick whizz got all the particles inside the body or
on the sensor out of the way, then the shutter was released from its
cleaning mode, and the same suction used inside the mirror chamber.
That has kept my sensor clean now for over a year, even with changing
lenses from time to time.
Hope that helps someone get their sensor clean for almost no cost.
The other strips are stored in a plastic bag - the strips being discarded
once used. I think the piece of Chamois was about £1 GBP and
was about a foot square, made of pieces but ideal for this purpose.
One thing to avoid is using artificial chamois and definitely - throw
away those awful micro-fibre dust emitting lens things. Just ensure
it is genuine Chamois - not one of those dusty artificial offerings!
(But please see final additional information)
Blower brushes are often recommended .... BUT NOT by ME in sense of
the only solution! They may shift some crud but that means it flies
around and settles somewhere else, ready to get back on to the sensor
- especially as they become charged when in use, making excellent
dust magnets. That's why the vacuuming is so superior. I suppose the
blower would be OK used initially, before the Chamois used but always
finish with a nice vacuuming. You could do the carpet after as well!
That, for the fellahs, gains many Box Brownie points from the ladies.
comments: Since penning the above, I have found another way that
works really well, so though would include as could be helpful as
I split apart
a wooden clothes peg (meaning removed the spring) - the end of one
half is about ½" wide and although tapering and thin,
still has a certain flatness to the end. I cut about a 4" length
x 2" wide (approx values) from a clean linen handkerchief (meaning
no scratchy bogies!) and folded the sides in to centre and then folded
over again so the end was 4 layers with a width of about ½"
to fold around the end of the peg. One can tighten and hold on both
sides up the peg, to give a nice firm pad on the end. I used some
Metanol (=Methanol) of 99.5% purity - putting a couple of drops into
an egg cup so could dab the peg plus the cloth into that, then dabbed
it off to reduce the liquid somewehat on a piece of clean office paper.
I found that could be worked across and up and down to remove stubborn
much off the surface of the sensor (well, the protective glass filter
of course on top of the sensor) and that worked fine. Obviously, one
should blow or dust off any particles first to ensure no scratching.
I used the same piece of cloth (just move slightly) to ensure was
clean for each pass and all worked well.
A final wipe
with a fresh bit of cloth as described - without any liquid polished
the surface nicely. Then followed with a vacuuming as described. You
may also find a nice artists nylon soft brush (not any expensive ones)
works fine to ensure no bits on the surface. Just vacuum the ends
of the brush and then flick it for about half a minute to and fro
rapidly on edge of a stout piece of card (i.e. not able to hold a
static charge) and that charges the nylon bristles which will then,
on one pass, pick up any loose dust. Vacuum the brush later before
storing in a clean plastic bag. Then finish with a quick vacuum -
above surface of the sensor and after doing the other interior parts