This month it is the British Heart Foundation ‘National Heart Month‘, to help promote this BHF arranged for attractions arround the country to be turned red. Up in Sheffield it was arranged to be the Peace Gardens & Wheel of Sheffield.
To begin it all went well, I arranged to finish work early to get up there for dusk, even managed to get payroll done early so I could. Got up to Sheffield, went into the Peace Gardens as they were being turned red from dusk and started firing some test shots, and then it all went horribly wrong, a hair appeared on the pics stuck to the sensor.
I’ve been using a Canon EOS 400D for the last 3 years, which has a built in sensor cleaner which will shift most crap off the sensor, but I’ve moved to a camera that lacks this feature, and haven’t got round to carrying a blower. No problems I’m quite adept at blowing crap off the lenses, I know you shouldn’t, but I’ll just do it manually. Big mistake.
The time when it’s really crucial you don’t spray, you do. Now the hairs gone, but I’ve got a wet sensor. Bad times. Very bad times. It’s 5:10pm on a Monday, it’s dusk shortly, it’s rush hour, homes an hour round trip at a good time, which it isn’t, and the event kicks off at 6pm.
Now I’m not one to sing Jessops praises, but I knew there was one not to far away, so I rushed round there in the hope they’d have a sensor cleaning kit, preferbly a wet cleaning kit. Didn’t get lucky on the latter, but did manage to pick up a “Lenspen SensorKlear Pro” kit for £34, expensive, especially when it’s £18 at Amazon, but at this point the choices were go home, or get the camera clean and cover the event, so took the plunge. Time was ticking on, asked the staff if I was ok do this right here on the counter, this was a good move I think I could at a push use Eclipse out in the field, but the Lenspen sensor cleaner is a tricky to use, and not that fast cleaner, especially not for the mess I’d made of the sensor. The staff gave me plenty of time and space to just get the job done properly and no problems not locking up bang on the 5:30 close time, so many thanks to the Jessops staff for that. 5:35 I’d managed to get the sensor just about acceptable, and head back out to shoot. This kit comes with an extra rocket blower, I’ll make sure I’m carrying this on me in the future now. Not making that mistake twice.
The work & heartache was worth it in the end though. Whilst the Peace Gardens weren’t that successful lit, the Wheel of Sheffield worked really well esp on long exposures, and managed to get some shots I’m really happy with
The SensorKlear didn’t fully shift the water marks off the sensor, and I prefer the theory of the Eclipse cleaners, trying to shift dirt is easier with a wet wipe, and I used a swap and Eclipse once I got home to shift a stubborn water mark I hadn’t shifted with the SensorKlear, but luckily it didn’t really affect any shots.