Today’s Question: I do my own sensor cleaning on my camera, and often find it takes more than one swab to get the sensor clean. I’ve been checking my work by capturing a test photo, but this doesn’t seem very efficient. I’ve heard about loupes for sensor cleaning. Do you think these provide a good advantage?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Absolutely! I’ve been using the very affordable Carson SensorMag (https://amzn.to/2NZYqwr), and find that it makes it quite easy to see dust and other blemishes on the sensor.
More Detail: A “sensor loupe” is essentially a magnifying loupe combined with an illumination source (often LED lights), which enables you to get a close and clear look at the filter in front of the image sensor. When you have your camera configured for sensor cleaning, you can place the sensor loupe on the lens mount and turn on the light to get a clear and closeup view of the sensor.
I’ve been using the affordable Carson SensorMag loupe (https://amzn.to/2NZYqwr) and have found it to be very helpful for getting a close look at the sensor both for determining if cleaning is necessary and to confirm that I’ve done a thorough job with my cleaning.
Another excellent sensor loupe is the VisibleDust Quasar Plus (https://amzn.to/2Jy6e4U). This is a more expensive sensor loupe, but it does offer exceptional quality. That translates into improved brightness and clarity, which makes it easier to see the surface of the filter in front of your image sensor.
There is no question in my mind that using a sensor loupe is far superior to simply capturing a test photo when it comes to making sure your sensor is free of blemishes.