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VisibleDust releases economical EZ Sensor Cleaning Kits  
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | by Rob Galbraith
We've long been fans of VisibleDust's sensor cleaning tools, going back to when their product line consisted only of a handful of Sensor Brushes, swabs and liquids. The Canadian company has grown by leaps and bounds since then, as has the range of items they make for keeping your digital camera's sensor, chamber, mirror, focusing screen and attached lens pristine.

These days, we rely on four VisibleDust products to keep digital SLR imagers, including newer Canons and Nikons with a built-in sensor cleaning feature, as free from dust as possible. They are:
  • Arctic Butterfly 724 brush (in the office, this model has been replaced by the Arctic Butterfly 724 Brite with integrated LED light)
  • Arctic Butterfly SL700 brush (on the road)
  • BriteVue Sensor Loupe 5X (in the office; this model has been replaced by a 7X version)
  • Ultra MXD-100 swabs + VDust Plus liquid (in the office, mostly)
And of these four, the one that gets used the least is the swabs + liquid, simply because dry brush cleaning is both easier and almost always sufficient to remove dirt and dust specks from the cover glass over the sensor. Which is why VisibleDust's introduction of EZ Sensor Cleaning Kits, comprised of four cleaning swabs and a small vial of cleaning liquid, is a good idea.

Clean Sweep: A VisibleDust EZ Sensor Cleaning Kit. All kits are comprised of four cleaning swabs and a 1ml vial of cleaning liquid. Click photo to enlarge (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)

If you need to wet clean your camera's sensor cover glass only occasionally, to clear away guck that brush cleaning wasn't able to handle, an EZ Sensor Cleaning Kit is a less costly way of getting yourself outfitted with the right stuff. How much less? The direct purchase price for an EZ Sensor Cleaning Kit, with four Vswab cleaning swabs and 1ml of liquid  is CDN$19.95. By comparison, a box of 12 Vswabs plus a 15ml bottle of cleaning liquid costs CDN$57.90 - $73.85, depending on the liquid type.

For those who need to wet clean often, purchasing VisibleDust swabs and liquids separately is still the better bet, since you're likely to use up your supply of both in a reasonable amount of time. For photographers who don't - and that's likely to be all but those who routinely shoot in dusty, dirty environments - an EZ Sensor Cleaning Kit will be the smarter purchase, since you won't be paying more for too many swabs and liquid that may not get used up for months or even years.

EZ Sensor Cleaning Kits are available in three different swab widths  - 1.0X, 1.3X and 1.5/1.6X - to accommodate common sensor sizes, as well as different combinations of swab types and liquids:
  • 4 x Ultra MXD-100 Vswabs + 1ml Smear Away
  • 4 x DHAP Vswabs + 1ml VDust Plus
  • 4 x Ultra MXD-100 Vswabs + 1ml VDust Plus
  • 4 x Ultra MXD-100 Vswabs + 1ml Sensor Clean
Choosing a swab size is straightforward: base that on the size of your digital SLR's sensor. If you want one EZ Sensor Cleaning Kit purchase to cover cameras with different sensor dimensions, go with the one that's optimum for the smaller-sensor camera.

Selecting a swab type isn't quite as simple. You can read more about the characteristics of each in a previous article. When in doubt, go with the Ultra MXD-100 swab, unless you anticipate tackling some really nasty cover glass cleaning jobs. In that case, you might actually need both the Ultra MXD-100 and the DHAP  swab types to get rid of the crud and end the job with a streak-free result.

A description of the three liquid types and how they differ is here. When in doubt, go with VDust Plus, as it's the most versatile of the three (and is all we've used for quite some time). For oily cleanups, however, it's unlikely to be as effective as Smear Away.

EZ Sensor Cleaning Kits are available now, direct from VisibleDust or from a VisibleDust retailer.
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