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Newbie needing help--image artifacts?

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Anonymous
March 21, 2005 5:13:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Hello all. I should first post some disclaimers: I'm new to digital
photography, so I'm not very familiar with a lot of things (trying to
learn though!) I had a film SLR many many years ago that I did some
hobbyist photography.

Trying to pick up hobby photography again, I purchased my first digital,
a Nikon D70 (kit with lens) today. Went out and took a few lousy
pictures just to get a feel for basics--used the camera on all auto
settings as recommended in the quick-start guide (saved in JPG, large
photo save, ISO200, etc). I'm saving learning what the more advanced
features do until later.

I noticed when I copied the files to my computer later, that 2 of them
that contain a lot of sky have some gray dots, in the same places. A
3rd image containing the sky, taken between these 2, does not have the
same dots--but this middle image was not zoomed in as much. Is this
perhaps the dust on the CCD that I've read about? I hope someone can
help me with what it is--I just bought the camera today, and was careful
about attaching the lens (I attached it indoors to avoid dust and
debris).

Here is a link to the photos in question (yeah they are lousy, forgive
me): http://photobucket.com/albums/y77/bufomax/

The center photograph does not contain the dots, but the two end ones
do.

Also, what is recommended with a brand-new camera to do about the dots?
If it is dust, is it easiest to use the small blower-bulb to clean it,
or should I take it somewhere/swap the camera, since it is new?

Again, sorry for the newbie question.

--Iguana
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 5:13:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Iguana <notme@none.net.invalid> writes:

> Hello all. I should first post some disclaimers: I'm new to digital
> photography, so I'm not very familiar with a lot of things (trying to
> learn though!) I had a film SLR many many years ago that I did some
> hobbyist photography.
>
> Trying to pick up hobby photography again, I purchased my first digital,
> a Nikon D70 (kit with lens) today. Went out and took a few lousy
> pictures just to get a feel for basics--used the camera on all auto
> settings as recommended in the quick-start guide (saved in JPG, large
> photo save, ISO200, etc). I'm saving learning what the more advanced
> features do until later.
>
> I noticed when I copied the files to my computer later, that 2 of them
> that contain a lot of sky have some gray dots, in the same places. A
> 3rd image containing the sky, taken between these 2, does not have the
> same dots--but this middle image was not zoomed in as much. Is this
> perhaps the dust on the CCD that I've read about? I hope someone can
> help me with what it is--I just bought the camera today, and was careful
> about attaching the lens (I attached it indoors to avoid dust and
> debris).
>
> Here is a link to the photos in question (yeah they are lousy, forgive
> me): http://photobucket.com/albums/y77/bufomax/
>
> The center photograph does not contain the dots, but the two end ones
> do.

They could be dust. How badly dust shows up depends on the aperture
you shoot at, among other things. Check the EXIF data (or your
memory, if reliable) for what aperture the three photos were shot at;
if the middle one was a wider aperture that may explain the
difference.

The dot position in the first photo matches one of the dots in the
third, and the others might be there hidden among branches -- I
didn't superimpose them to check really carefully.

Or shoot a small-aperture shot of the sky (or some bright even field)
so the sky is a couple of stops brighter than mid-grey, and check
*that* for dust. You'll nearly inevitably find *some*; you may find
the same pieces in their same positions, which would be definitive.
You want to do this before you clean the sensor, anyway, so you can
tell how much good you did.

> Also, what is recommended with a brand-new camera to do about the dots?
> If it is dust, is it easiest to use the small blower-bulb to clean it,
> or should I take it somewhere/swap the camera, since it is new?

You might as well learn to clean the sensor, is my opinion. I found a
blower-bulb completely useless, and had to go to a suitable swab
(PEC-pads or equivalent grade) with Eclipse cleaning fluid to actually
get the dust off mine. But a blower bulb is harmless short of clumsy
handling, so no reason not to try. You're going to be cleaning it
every 6 months to a week, depending on the conditions you work in, how
much you use it, and what kind of pictures you take (some kinds of
work won't show up the dust nearly as much).

> Again, sorry for the newbie question.

No problem. Sensible reasonable question backed up with actual images
of what you asking complaining about; this is *not* something people
here will complain much about!
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
March 21, 2005 5:13:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Iguana wrote:

> I noticed when I copied the files to my computer later, that 2 of them
> that contain a lot of sky have some gray dots, in the same places. A
> 3rd image containing the sky, taken between these 2, does not have the
> same dots--but this middle image was not zoomed in as much.

And is shot as a vertical so the dots would be mixed in with the tree limbs.
Given all three were shot at very close to the same fstop (around F11) this
is probably dust or else a problem with the cameras sensor.


> Is this
> perhaps the dust on the CCD that I've read about? I hope someone can
> help me with what it is--I just bought the camera today, and was careful
> about attaching the lens (I attached it indoors to avoid dust and
> debris).

Doesn't matter, seems many come with dust on the sensor from the factory?

Might as well get used to cleaning it as this will be something you'll have
to deal with. Maybe if you never change the lens it won't happen again? I
still don't understand why most manufactures are ignoring this as being a
problem.
--

Stacey
Related resources
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 5:13:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

It is dust. You can try a blower bulb, but the blower bulb is as likely to
blow dust onto your sensor as off it. There are two other methods:

The Copper Hill method, described by David:

http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/ccd_cleaning

and using a special brush:

http://194.100.88.243/petteri/pont/How_to/a_Brush_Your_...
or http://makeashorterlink.com/?F22E256AA

The brush method is less intrusive and probably better. If these methods do
not remove the dust, you will have to send the camera in for professional
cleaning. Any other method will almost certainly introduce more dust than it
removes, leave a residue on your sensor, or scratch the sensor.

Another option is to simply ignore the dust and use the Healing Brush or
Clone Stamp in a photo editing program to get rid of it, or use Nikon
Capture and a dust reference photo to remove dust. Dust only shows up
against bright or solid color backgrounds like sky, so you will not see dust
if it is obscured by something else.
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 5:13:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in message
news:m27jk1en18.fsf@gw.dd-b.net...
> Iguana <notme@none.net.invalid> writes:
>
>> Hello all. I should first post some disclaimers: I'm new to digital
>> photography, so I'm not very familiar with a lot of things (trying to
>> learn though!) I had a film SLR many many years ago that I did some
>> hobbyist photography.
>>
>> Trying to pick up hobby photography again, I purchased my first digital,
>> a Nikon D70 (kit with lens) today. Went out and took a few lousy
>> pictures just to get a feel for basics--used the camera on all auto
>> settings as recommended in the quick-start guide (saved in JPG, large
>> photo save, ISO200, etc). I'm saving learning what the more advanced
>> features do until later.
>>
>> I noticed when I copied the files to my computer later, that 2 of them
>> that contain a lot of sky have some gray dots, in the same places. A
>> 3rd image containing the sky, taken between these 2, does not have the
>> same dots--but this middle image was not zoomed in as much. Is this
>> perhaps the dust on the CCD that I've read about? I hope someone can
>> help me with what it is--I just bought the camera today, and was careful
>> about attaching the lens (I attached it indoors to avoid dust and
>> debris).
>>
>> Here is a link to the photos in question (yeah they are lousy, forgive
>> me): http://photobucket.com/albums/y77/bufomax/
>>
>> The center photograph does not contain the dots, but the two end ones
>> do.
>
> They could be dust. How badly dust shows up depends on the aperture
> you shoot at, among other things. Check the EXIF data (or your
> memory, if reliable) for what aperture the three photos were shot at;
> if the middle one was a wider aperture that may explain the
> difference.
>
> The dot position in the first photo matches one of the dots in the
> third, and the others might be there hidden among branches -- I
> didn't superimpose them to check really carefully.
>
> Or shoot a small-aperture shot of the sky (or some bright even field)
> so the sky is a couple of stops brighter than mid-grey, and check
> *that* for dust. You'll nearly inevitably find *some*; you may find
> the same pieces in their same positions, which would be definitive.
> You want to do this before you clean the sensor, anyway, so you can
> tell how much good you did.
>
>> Also, what is recommended with a brand-new camera to do about the dots?
>> If it is dust, is it easiest to use the small blower-bulb to clean it,
>> or should I take it somewhere/swap the camera, since it is new?
>
> You might as well learn to clean the sensor, is my opinion. I found a
> blower-bulb completely useless, and had to go to a suitable swab
> (PEC-pads or equivalent grade) with Eclipse cleaning fluid to actually
> get the dust off mine. But a blower bulb is harmless short of clumsy
> handling, so no reason not to try. You're going to be cleaning it
> every 6 months to a week, depending on the conditions you work in, how
> much you use it, and what kind of pictures you take (some kinds of
> work won't show up the dust nearly as much).
>
>> Again, sorry for the newbie question.
>
> No problem. Sensible reasonable question backed up with actual images
> of what you asking complaining about; this is *not* something people
> here will complain much about!

Decent advice, but I'd start with a "large" blower bulb. The manual will
tell you how to lock up the mirror to get to the image sensor. Hold the
camera with the image sensor facing somewhat down, and give it a few blasts
with the blower. If you work with the image sensor straight up you may just
move the dust around, so let gravity give you a hand.. Be careful not to
touch the sensor with the end of the blower. If you are still having
problems give it one more try and then you will probably have to actually
swab or brush the sensor.

This problem comes up a lot here, and you have to make up your mind whether
one of those special brushes (don't use any old brush), or a pec pad and
some cleaning liquid are best for you. You can send it to Nikon, but word
is that it may pick up a few spots on the way back, and the charges will
begin to add up if you send it to Nikon every time you get some dust on the
sensor. Also, Nikon Capture can get rid of the dust for you via software.
It doesn't remove the dust, but it covers it up on the image.

Welcome to the world of DSLR's.
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 7:09:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <t5q%d.34870$8D.33512@tornado.texas.rr.com>,
notme@none.net.invalid says...
> Hello all. I should first post some disclaimers: I'm new to digital
> photography, so I'm not very familiar with a lot of things (trying to
> learn though!) I had a film SLR many many years ago that I did some
> hobbyist photography.
>
> Trying to pick up hobby photography again, I purchased my first digital,
> a Nikon D70 (kit with lens) today. Went out and took a few lousy
> pictures just to get a feel for basics--used the camera on all auto
> settings as recommended in the quick-start guide (saved in JPG, large
> photo save, ISO200, etc). I'm saving learning what the more advanced
> features do until later.

As another new D70 owner, I can tell you that the "auto" mode is
purely a point-and-shoot almost idiot-proof setting, but without
a lot of flexibility. The "P" setting is also full auto-focus and
auto-exposure, but gives you all the flexibility in metering,
exposure control, etc. I suggest that you change from Auto to "P"
as soon as you start exploring the rest of the features of the
D70.

You may also find that the auto white balance is something you
want to turn off. Sometimes it does very good things, but sometimes,
if your subject has a limited range of color, the auto white balance
won't give you accurate color. If you want the predictability of
film, in terms of color balance, try the fixed white balance
settings.

> I noticed when I copied the files to my computer later, that 2 of them
> that contain a lot of sky have some gray dots, in the same places. A
> 3rd image containing the sky, taken between these 2, does not have the
> same dots--but this middle image was not zoomed in as much. Is this
> perhaps the dust on the CCD that I've read about? I hope someone can
> help me with what it is--I just bought the camera today, and was careful
> about attaching the lens (I attached it indoors to avoid dust and
> debris).
>
> Here is a link to the photos in question (yeah they are lousy, forgive
> me): http://photobucket.com/albums/y77/bufomax/
>
> The center photograph does not contain the dots, but the two end ones
> do.
>
> Also, what is recommended with a brand-new camera to do about the dots?
> If it is dust, is it easiest to use the small blower-bulb to clean it,
> or should I take it somewhere/swap the camera, since it is new?

David's advice on sensor cleaning is good. There have been recent
discussions on dust on sensors recently, so you might want to Google
for those.

Diane
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 7:52:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

<snipping>

Thanks to all the advice so far. I'll definately be heading out to a pick
up a blower-bulb. I saw a few people in the "CCD dust poll" thread (can't
remember exact name of thread offhand, but it is fairly current) say that
their cameras came out of box with a bit of dust, so it doesn't seem
necessarily uncommon.

-Iguana
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 8:18:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 04:09:00 GMT, in rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Diane
Wilson <diane@firelily.com> wrote:

>As another new D70 owner, I can tell you that the "auto" mode is
>purely a point-and-shoot almost idiot-proof setting, but without
>a lot of flexibility. The "P" setting is also full auto-focus and
>auto-exposure, but gives you all the flexibility in metering,
>exposure control, etc. I suggest that you change from Auto to "P"
>as soon as you start exploring the rest of the features of the
>D70.

It's even worse than that. In the Auto mode there is all sorts of in camera
processing performed to the image which are dependent upon image content
for their settings,

From p. 32 of the manual:
Auto
Use for snapshots. Camera settings are automatically adjusted
according to subject and lighting, producing vivid, smooth
images with balanced saturation, color, and sharpness.

and from p56:

At settings other than Custom:
• Photographs are optimized for current shooting conditions. Results will
vary with exposure and the position of the subject in the frame, even in
scenes of the same type. To take a series of photographs with identical
image optimization, choose Custom and adjust settings individually, being
sure not to select Auto for Sharpening or Tone comp.

IMO, you're best served to quickly begin using P mode after setting the
Optimize Image function to Custom and explicitly setting all the settings,
Sharpening, Tone Comp, Saturation to Normal. This gives a fixed amount of
processing to every image. As you learn what the setting do you can change
them. But if you leave it in full Auto mode the processing is inconsistent,
so you'll have a hard time learning what each setting does.
----------
Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 (Usenet@EdwardG.Ruf.com)
See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index...
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 11:19:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Iguana wrote:

> Here is a link to the photos in question (yeah they are lousy, forgive
> me): http://photobucket.com/albums/y77/bufomax/

Ya got dust. Don't panic.
>
> The center photograph does not contain the dots, but the two end ones
> do.

If the aperture was open, you won't see the dust spots easilly (or at
all). If the aperture was closed down (f/16 .. f/22 ...) then you're
likely to see dust against a bright background).

> Also, what is recommended with a brand-new camera to do about the dots?

Throw it aside with great force.

> If it is dust, is it easiest to use the small blower-bulb to clean it,
> or should I take it somewhere/swap the camera, since it is new?

If you can get away with it, sure, but you might as well learn to clean it.

>
> Again, sorry for the newbie question.

Well, you can google this group for the 300 methods to clean dust from
the sensor.

Cheers,
Alan


--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 5:35:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Thanks again for the help. It looks like I'll be off into dust-cleaning
soon.


>> Again, sorry for the newbie question.
>
> Well, you can google this group for the 300 methods to clean dust from
> the sensor.

I did read a lot of references to dust, and how to clean it, etc, my
problem was just that I couldn't find what dust spots looked like. When
googling, most the time I saw a forum/news post with a link to a "dust"
picture, it was an old post with a dead link :( 

But you guys know how to identify dust better than I can, and I appreciate
the help.

--Iguana
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 9:50:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 14:35:14 GMT, in rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Iguana
<notme@none.net.invalid> wrote:

>But you guys know how to identify dust better than I can, and I appreciate
>the help.

I'm beginning to wonder if there might be a cleanliness issue with new
D70s. The shots at
http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/D70/airshow/i...
were taken the first weekend I owned mine. Just look at any of the shots
with blue sky between 10 and 11 o'clock.
----------
Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 (Usenet@EdwardG.Ruf.com)
See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index...
March 21, 2005 11:51:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 02:13:45 GMT, Iguana <notme@none.net.invalid> wrote:

>Hello all. I should first post some disclaimers: I'm new to digital
>photography, so I'm not very familiar with a lot of things (trying to
>learn though!) I had a film SLR many many years ago that I did some
>hobbyist photography.
>
>Trying to pick up hobby photography again, I purchased my first digital,
>a Nikon D70 (kit with lens) today. Went out and took a few lousy
>pictures just to get a feel for basics--used the camera on all auto
>settings as recommended in the quick-start guide (saved in JPG, large
>photo save, ISO200, etc). I'm saving learning what the more advanced
>features do until later.
>
>I noticed when I copied the files to my computer later, that 2 of them
>that contain a lot of sky have some gray dots, in the same places. A
>3rd image containing the sky, taken between these 2, does not have the
>same dots--but this middle image was not zoomed in as much. Is this
>perhaps the dust on the CCD that I've read about? I hope someone can
>help me with what it is--I just bought the camera today, and was careful
>about attaching the lens (I attached it indoors to avoid dust and
>debris).
>
>Here is a link to the photos in question (yeah they are lousy, forgive
>me): http://photobucket.com/albums/y77/bufomax/
>
>The center photograph does not contain the dots, but the two end ones
>do.
>
>Also, what is recommended with a brand-new camera to do about the dots?
>If it is dust, is it easiest to use the small blower-bulb to clean it,
>or should I take it somewhere/swap the camera, since it is new?
>
>Again, sorry for the newbie question.
>
>--Iguana

My new D70 had 3 dust spots - I returned it to the store for another one... the
first photo I took had the spots, I printed it and took it back with the camera.
I imagine someone in the store played with it quite a bit before I bought it.
Other stores I've been to have a policy of never removing the lens of DSLRs that
are new in the box - that's what demo models are for.

I've had this one for 1 year and it just has a few tiny ones, not really
noticeable. I rarely change the lens...
March 21, 2005 11:56:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 18:50:27 -0500, Ed Ruf <egruf_usenet@cox.net> wrote:

>On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 14:35:14 GMT, in rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Iguana
><notme@none.net.invalid> wrote:
>
>>But you guys know how to identify dust better than I can, and I appreciate
>>the help.
>
>I'm beginning to wonder if there might be a cleanliness issue with new
>D70s. The shots at
>http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/D70/airshow/i...
>were taken the first weekend I owned mine. Just look at any of the shots
>with blue sky between 10 and 11 o'clock.

Holy cow that's not a dust spot - there's a spider living in your camera!!

Nice pics otherwize...
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 9:40:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Ed Ruf" <egruf_usenet@cox.net> wrote in message
news:r9nu3110qngjmcfbce0l65ic85sl0od97g@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 14:35:14 GMT, in rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Iguana
> <notme@none.net.invalid> wrote:
>
> >But you guys know how to identify dust better than I can, and I
appreciate
> >the help.
>
> I'm beginning to wonder if there might be a cleanliness issue with new
> D70s. The shots at
> http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/D70/airshow/i...
> were taken the first weekend I owned mine. Just look at any of the shots
> with blue sky between 10 and 11 o'clock.

There seems to be a cleanliness issue with new DSLRs of any brand. They all
seem to have at least one dust spot right out of the box.
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 7:45:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 06:40:47 -0800, "C J Campbell"
<christophercampbellNOSPAM@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>"Ed Ruf" <egruf_usenet@cox.net> wrote in message
>news:r9nu3110qngjmcfbce0l65ic85sl0od97g@4ax.com...
>> On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 14:35:14 GMT, in rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Iguana
>> <notme@none.net.invalid> wrote:
>>
>> >But you guys know how to identify dust better than I can, and I
>appreciate
>> >the help.
>>
>> I'm beginning to wonder if there might be a cleanliness issue with new
>> D70s. The shots at
>> http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/D70/airshow/i...
>> were taken the first weekend I owned mine. Just look at any of the shots
>> with blue sky between 10 and 11 o'clock.
>
>There seems to be a cleanliness issue with new DSLRs of any brand. They all
>seem to have at least one dust spot right out of the box.
>

They don't come with lens attached and i'm wondering if the new user
is mindful of how easy it is to get dust in them...either airborn or
from the lens.

rgds

Ken
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 7:45:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 16:45:30 GMT, in rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Ken
Ellis <kenellis@nycap.rr.com> wrote:

>On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 06:40:47 -0800, "C J Campbell"
><christophercampbellNOSPAM@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>They don't come with lens attached and i'm wondering if the new user
>is mindful of how easy it is to get dust in them...either airborn or
>from the lens.

If you look at the link I posted this is NOT dust. It is a circular ring
shaped foreign object that was visible with the naked eye. Almost looked
like plastic turnings, or thread shaving from a tap. In any case they were
obviously black.
----------
Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 (Usenet@EdwardG.Ruf.com)
See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index...
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 8:26:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 15:53:50 -0500, in rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Ed Ruf
<egruf_usenet@cox.net> wrote:

>If you look at the link I posted this is NOT dust. It is a circular ring
>shaped foreign object that was visible with the naked eye. Almost looked
>like plastic turnings, or thread shaving from a tap. In any case they were
>obviously black.

Here's a 200x200 pixel crop.
http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/D70/DSC_0231_...
----------
Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 (Usenet@EdwardG.Ruf.com)
See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index...
!