Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Horses For Courses

The Nikon had to go for a beauty treatment today- a full sensor cleaning at Fixation in Kennington. One of the "problems" associated with a DSLR (with interchangeable lenses) as opposed to a point and shoot camera (where the lense is fixed) is that the sensor can get dirty with dust particles. This shows up as grey, fuzzy, blobby spots on photographs- most visible on areas such as the sky or light coloured areas.
The sensor can get dirty (and trust me it WILL happen to you sooner or later- even if you practice DSLR-Hygiene 101) just through normal use of the camera e.g. changing lenses, putting a dusty cap on the camera body, using a zoom lense in a dusty environment. You can take precautions such as cleaning your lenses and caps regularly, always keeping a cap on the camera body when it is lense-free, pointing your camera body downwards when changing the lense so that dust particles are less likely to fall into the mirror box, vacuum your camera bag regularly, change your lense in a "clean and sterile" environment as possible (helllllloooo I am hearing y'all groan that this just ain't practicable most of the time!)
You can get kits to clean the sensor yourself (which obviously works out a lot cheaper) but the words SWABS, FLUIDS, CARTRIDGES, GUN and SPECGRABBER cause my bowels to turn to water and my head to develop a major brainache. Basically if you get it wrong (and I have read horror stories of people who went down the DIY route without proper instruction) you can stuff your camera royally. Hence I left it to the techies at Fixation to do it for me. It costs around £28+VAT (for a DX sensor) and they do it while you wait (about 30-40mins or so).
If you are handy with tools, have great eyesight, steady hands and lots of patience then I suspect DIY sensor cleaning would be the way to roll-but not for me :) horses for courses.

Now to the photos, I snapped these while on my way to Fixation. The horse in the top photo is 16 years old! Okay, so apparently horses can live to 40-45 so I guess at 16, he is just in his horsey-prime!

The gentleman above had never been on a horse before today! He was lovely enough to pose for me despite probably feeling a bit nervous on his mount. He was such a beautiful horse- that be his rear end (below):

This was my first shot with my new squeaky clean sensor (below)- no dust bunnies!

p.s. remember you can click on photos to see a larger version :)


  1. Good and very helpful advice Nessa! Merci merci merci :) Love the "clean" last shot - you captured a lovely evening sky

  2. Thanks Ms Eva! This digital photography business is expensive, non?!!!