Joseph Hallenbeck
September 21, 2010

Dust in the Camera

Photo with Lens Dust


  • Nikon D80 with a 35mm lens (52mm equivalent)
  • Shutter Speed 1/6s
  • Aperature f/22.0
  • ISO 100
  • Filter Circular Polarizer

A friend and I went out to St. Onge, SD last weekend to capture some photographs of the old abandoned buildings out that way. After a hundred shots, I got home, unloaded them into Adobe Bridge and found this massive spec of dust on every photo. I checked my filters, checked each lens. Took a dozen practice shots. I found no dust on any lens, filter, nor saw it in the view screen. Which left only one place: the sensor.

Now they say you shouldn’t try cleaning the sensor yourself. Supposedly, you can break it with just a casual touch. I don’t have the money to replace the camera, nor the money to send it in, so I chance it. I lock the shutter open, take a small bulb-brush and, holding it just above the sensor, begin to gently blow on the sensor. I close the shutter. I take another test shot. Camera works. Dust is gone.

A pity. There’s a giant hunk of dust in every one of those photos. And quite a few (like this one) turned out pretty good. Guess it’s time for photoshop.

"Dust in the Camera" by Joseph Hallenbeck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.