Cleaning the imaging surface of your camera

Last Revision Date: 11/4/2014

This article details an appropriate method for cleaning your camera's protective glass surface or sensor package window. Note that we do not warranty against damages caused by the user during this process.

Most of our imaging cameras in production today include a protective glass layer that is sealed in front of the sensor package window. (On color models, this protective glass also functions as an infrared cut filter.) Occasionally, small amounts of dirt and dust will be introduced onto the glass surface during shipping and/or usage. On camera models that do not include this protective layer, dirt and dust particles may instead be introduced onto the sensor package window (also a glass surface).  Often, these particles can cause undesirable image artifacts.

To alleviate the effects of this problem, you may wish to clean the glass surface. Note that if your camera includes a protective glass layer over the sensor package window, this portion is sealed; therefore, you should not need to remove this layer and clean the sensor package window as well.

The following is the recommended procedure:

NOTE: We do not warranty against any physical damage caused by the user during this process. If you are uncomfortable with the outlined precautions, please arrange to have your camera returned for cleaning. For more information, contact our Technical Support team.

Static Charge Prevention

Image sensors are easily damaged by static discharge. Before handling be sure to take the following protective measures.

    1. Either handle bare handed or use non-chargeable gloves, clothes or material. Also use conductive shoes.
    2. Install a conductive mat on the floor or working table to prevent the generation of static electricity.

Cleaning the protective glass layer or the sensor package window

    1. Perform all cleaning operations in a clean room environment that is dust-free. Both the protective glass layer and the sensor package window are very fragile, so it is important to avoid touching either one with your fingers or with anything hard.
    2. To remove dust and dirt, first try to gently blow the debris off with a compressed air blower. We recommend using ionized air (this will help remove any dirt stuck to the surface because of static electricity).
    3. If the debris will not come off using an air blower, apply a small amount of optics cleaner (e.g. Photographic Solutions’ Eclipse Optics Cleaner) or ethyl alcohol to a clean, new lens cloth (e.g. Pentax lens cloth or Photographic Solutions’ Sensor Swabs, which are made specifically for cleaning optics). The cloth should be moist, but not dripping.
    4. Wipe the cloth or swab along the length of the glass surface in smooth movements. Do not press hard on the surface or rub repeatedly on one spot. If pooling or streaks occur, you may have too much solution on – wait for it to dry, then repeat.
    5. When you’ve finished cleaning, examine the surface in a strong light. Take an out-of-focus picture of a flat, illuminated surface to see if any dirt or dust remains.
    6. If dust spots remain, repeat this procedure using a clean lens cloth. If dust spots still remain after cleaning the glass surface twice, it is possible the dirt is underneath the glass. In this event, please let us know.