Quick Review of the Eyelead Sensor Cleaning Kit — Sensor Gel Stick

 In Picture

I hate sensor cleaning. The typical way that I do it, is to first blow the dust off the sensor while hanging the camera upside down with a Giotto Rocket-Air rubber blower. In theory, the blower gets off the big loose dust, which should make it easier to get the remaining dust. After that, I use a Copper Hill SensorSwipe wet cleaning system. Basically, you wrap a tiny rubber spatula with a Pec Pad, put a drop of Eclipse cleaner on the pad and then wipe until the spots are gone. I’ve gotten pretty good with this system and can usually remove almost all the dust in one or two goes depending on how bad the dust is and how bad it has stuck to my sensor.

eyelead sensor cleaning system sensor gel stickWhen I heard about the Eyelead cleaning kit, I was excited. I hate using cleaning solution on my sensor. Photography Life claimed that the Sensor Gel Stick is one of the best solutions for cleaning a sensor and the procedure seems much easier. Basically, you push the Sensor Gel Stick straight down onto the sensor, lift straight up and then move across the sensor using a grid pattern until the entire sensor has been worked. Afterward, you push the gel down onto a sticky piece of paper which pulls off the dust.

It’s an easy procedure and not nearly as nerve wracking as using a wet system. I found that after two passes, I got about 75% of the dust off of my sensor, which isn’t as high a rate as a wet cleaning, but I still thought it was pretty good. Mainly, I noticed that the “welded” dust didn’t come off. Welded dust looks like a dot with a circle around it. It’s the hardest dust to get off your sensor, because moisture has helped “weld” it to the sensor.

I still need to use this a few more times, but I’m leaning towards the opinion that this tool won’t replace a wet cleaning. Instead it will work alongside a wet cleaning and be most useful when I have limited time, but need to get most of the dust or when I’m in an environment where I can’t wet clean, such as in a tent while camping.

Pictures of the sensor before and after below. Click to see a larger image.

Sold by: Photographylife.com
Price: $50

Longer term update: I’ve used this system for about a month now and found that I clean my sensor more often and because of that less dust accumulates. Now after two passes, all or almost all of the dust is completely gone from the sensor. After I started using this system regularly, I haven’t had to break out the SensorSwipe wet cleaning system. I ordered two extra packages of the cleaning stickers, which should be enough for a year worth of cleaning.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Martin Phelps

    I bought one of these (a genuine one, from Eyelead in Germany), and used it once, exactly as instructed, on a Nikon D4. It pulled up a piece of the IR coating on the sensor. I sent it to Nikon UK for repair. I now have a repair bill for £1440, despite the camera still being in warranty. Nikon won’t honour the warranty, and say I shouldn’t have been cleaning my sensor. They also claim no knowledge of the product and David Phillips – head of Nikon customer services in the UK – says they don’t use any Eyelead products and have no connection with the company (despite a lot of people claiming that Nikon use Eyelead in their service centres). So, Nikon have washed their hands of it, and Eyelead claim the problem was with manufacture of the sensor on the D4 and not a problem with their product. Eyelead have offered a replacement Gel Stick – an offer which for obvious reasons I’m reluctant to accept.

    • Bryan

      I hope you had insurance on the camera. That’s a steep repair bill.

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