I first looked at the Giottos Rocket Blower (and took it seriously) because we use Giottos tripods and think the workmanship is great. So you would hope for this to be good too even though it looks weird.
And then there is the price – at around £17 it seems very pricey for a blower. You can get it cheaper if you look around but it also looks like it could be cloned in some back-shop somewhere so I preferred to stay with a reputable supplier.
In case you don’t know what a blower is for in photography – it is used to clear your sensor when you get marks on it. Most cameras these days have built in sensor cleaning but you can still get stubborn marks that refuse to go. You can get to see them best if you take a photo of a clear sky at F22. You will then see any marks (it is normal to have a few there).
Canon, in particular, recommends cleaning the sensor by using a blower (and take for expensive cleaning if this doesn’t work). Previously we used an ordinary blower which I never liked to blow since it puts stuff onto the sensor and never seems to clean it . The best way to use these small blowers is to electrically charge it by blowing a few times in the air, then putting the brush near to the sensor and letting the static pull off the dust. Trouble is you can make the sensor oily from a dirty brush tip if you are not very careful. note the rocket does not have a brush on it.
First using the Rocket blower: would it just move dust around from one place to another or blast it out completely ?
We tried it on two cameras that had sensor dirt – a 30D which had proved impossible to clean by other means [note the 30D does not have sensor cleaning inbuilt which is huge shame] – the other was a Canon 400D which has sensor cleaning inbuilt and had minimal dirt marks (not really noticeable unless you used high apertures with a lot of sky).
The Giottos Rocket can blow out a very strong blast of air without dust in it (which it why it costs) – it looks like a strange kids toy but it is pretty special. You give a few squeezes to clean it out and then you can blast into the camera towards the sensor.
You should not attempt to clean the camera like this unles you know what you are doing. So do it at your own risk. I am not going to go into detail here on how to open the camera to the sensor – check Youtube if you wish to go ahead with it. Or follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Results of using the Rocket Blower were very good. With the 30D it got rid of much of the dust but could not deal with grease marks that had accumulated over time and bad practice. So I had to use the Blower in conjunction with eclipse fluid and the correct sized swabs.
Using the blower and the swabs with eclipse worked amazingly well – I never expected it to look that good – so the Rocket Blower did a good job with the dust, leaving it clear then to use the swabs. Very impressed.
With the 400D it was really a small amount of dust. Here the Rocket Blower did the job all by itself. Again I was very surprised and impressed at how well it worked.
A tip here – blast the mirror and the bit that leads down from the viewfinder first and get this clear before opening the mirror to show the sensor – this will minimise dirt floating around.
So was the Giottos Rocket Blower worth the money – yes without doubt for professional quality photography. If you don’t notice dirt and dust then stay happy as you are – you can also remove marks in software.
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