I ain't no wimp. I want to make that clear right from the start of this post. While I wouldn't classify myself as a dare-devil--no bungie jumping, sky-diving, or other extreme sports for me--I'm fairly gutsy in other ways.
But this... this thing I'm facing... it's striking fear in my heart. And I don't think I'm alone in my fear. What is it that's causing me to shake in my boots? My sensor needs cleaning!
I've never cleaned a sensor before. For some reason, neither my 10D nor my 20D has ever seemed to need cleaning. I have no idea why that is. That doesn't mean those cameras don't need sensor cleaning, it only means I haven't seen any evidence of dust in the images. But my 5D is exhibiting a fairly large spot that I can only assume is the result of a collosal, mutant, dust bunny.
Are there support groups for photographers who need their sensors cleaned? Should I seek professional help? Or should I simply go the stiff upper lip route, bite the bullet, and clean the sensor and hope for the best?
Here's the deal: I'm not the most mechanically-inclined guy around. Yeah, I can screw in a light bulb but my mechanical prowess doesn't go far beyond that. And when I've researched how to clean a sensor, the information I found was so filled with alarming warnings of catastrophic results (should I mess up when attempting the cleaning) that I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm fairly concerned... make that, I'm afraid. I'm very afraid.
It all started on my last shoot. I was going over some images with a model when she suddenly became agitated. "What's that?" she exclaimed and, with that, she jumped up, tore open her blouse, and began inspecting her torso looking for a bruise or a malignant mole or something like that. "It must be your camera," she finally said with obvious relief.
I immediately grabbed my camera and inspected the UV filter on the front of the lens. It was clean. And the moment I realized it was clean, the blood started draining from head. I realized what was going on at once-- the sensor was dirty!
I've avoided doing anything about this problem since that shoot. That's mostly because I haven't shot anything since. But things are coming up and I know I'm going to have to deal with this.
And I'm afraid. I'm very afraid.
The lovely lady accompanying this paranoid post, shown clothed then sans clothing, is Francesca. MUA was Lilian.