Cleaning our sensors at home is a fairly straightforward thing to do. I’ve been doing it since I was shooting with a pair of Nikon D100 bodies back in 2002 because sending your camera off to be cleaned was prohibitively expensive back then. These days, most camera stores will offer some kind of cleaning service.
But how do they do it when you send it back to the manufacturer? Specifically, how does Leica do it? This 20-minute video from Leica Society member Hari Subramanyam lets us see the whole process after he took his Leica M (Typ 240) and Leica SL into Leica Camera AG for a sensor clean.
Given Leica’s reputation, one would expect or at least hope that Leica would pay extra attention to detail. And it turns out they do. Michel Razafimahefa of the Leica customer service team shows the official cleaning process in the video, and the Leica Society says that it “takes time, effort, and patience”.
It sure does. From cleaning the lens mount itself to vacuuming out the insides with a tiny hose, it’s a much more involved process than I expected. And far more involved than I do myself for my own DSLRs. I thought the use of the Pentax cleaning kit was an interesting choice.
I thought he’d go straight for something more like Sensor Swabs and Eclipse fluid – which he does mention for really stuck on dirt (but with regular Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropynol) instead of Eclipse fluid). But Michel says that the Pentax cleaning kit will take care of the job on its own much of the time.
But Leica’s process is not difficult to do yourself. It just takes patience to do it right.
[via Leica Society]