What's the best way to clean a Nikon DSLR?
Jun 10, 2009 at 6:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Mar 18, 2006
I've decided to put a couple more years on my Nikon D70s, despite the temptation of newer models. It still works fine and takes beautiful photos. So I'm going to keep shooting until it quits working or I can get a full frame for under $1,000 or some other huge step up.

Anyway, the D70s has managed to pick up some dust over the years, and I don't think it's on the sensor. That's because I can actually see the specks in the viewfinder. They're also showing up on the exposures. They're not on the lenses, either, since they're in the same place when I switch lenses.

Does anyone know the best way to clean one of these? I assume there's a way to do it, but I've never mucked around inside a camera and don't want to break anything. If there's a good FAQ, please post a link.

Also, there's a terrific independent camera shop nearby. If the consensus is to take it in for cleaning, I will, but I'd rather DIY this if possible. I can also get various brushes and cleaners at the shop - I want to do this the right way. Any help or information would be appreciated. Thanks.
Jun 10, 2009 at 6:36 PM Post #3 of 10
I scratched the anti aliasing filter pretty badly on my D80 trying to wet clean it with a sensor cleaning kit, though plenty of people can do it without a problem it is a fairly delicate procedure. I may have been a bit reckless but I won't be attempting a wet cleaning ever again on a DSLR or recommending it to others.. I would suggest taking it in to the camera shop.
Jun 10, 2009 at 8:18 PM Post #5 of 10
Sensor cleaning is an easy DIY thing, but cleaning dust seen though the viewfinder is tricky. It's my understanding that the D70 has a removable focusing screen. You may try removing is and cleaning that and the underside of the prism with a air blower like this one. Just don't touch the surface with anything, no cloths, no water, nothing.

I'd also suggest you call that local shop and ask what they would charge for a CLA of your camera. If it's reasonable you might just let them handle it.
Jun 10, 2009 at 8:30 PM Post #6 of 10
trade it in for an oly

(semi serious)

dustbusters (sensor shakers) work. my e3 is still pretty clean and I'm not shy about changing lenses.

nikon is not one of the better dust-fighters. a guy on the oly forum that I follow shoots both oly (top end) and nikon (top end) and he's *always* cleaning his nikon but never the oly. and he shoots early AM fishing shots (portugal) where its probably not all that clean-room, if you get my drift

these days, a sensor-shaker is a must.
Jun 10, 2009 at 9:16 PM Post #7 of 10
The dust you see through the viewfinder has either collected on the camera's focusing screen or the mirror itself. If the D70s accepts interchangeable focusing screens, then it'll be easy to either replace the one you currently use or clean it sufficiently. If that fails, I would take it to a professional. DSLR cleaning of any kind is a delicate process, and it's really easy to screw with your camera's focusing systems, sensor, and / or metering systems to an irreparable degree.

Cleaning always costs less than a new camera body.

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