Review: SensorKlear Loupe

skloupe_group_sk2_products_medium2It’s notoriously hard and scary for amateurs to clean the image sensors inside digital SLRs. Just by touching the delicate surface of the sensor you risk permanent damage or misalignment, which is why some DSLRs now offer dust detection and removal software — they basically say don’t touch the dust, the computer will interpolate the missing portions of the image. Me, I just pour a little cleaning fluid in there, swish it around, and keep shooting. This does nothing good for the longevity of the camera.

Now I don’t have to use harsh chemicals thanks to the Lenspen SensorKlear Loupe. The kit includes a Lenspen SensorKlear II, a special cleaning pen with an angled tip covered in cleaning compound designed to remove dirt and dust while preventing scratches. I’ve used similar Lenspen pens for a few years now and this one is considerably smaller and more delicate than the other models they sell for lens cleaning. It also comes with a handy carrying bag.

To clean your CCD, you remove the lens and place the loupe into the camera. Four white LEDs light up the insides of the camera and a special cut-out portion of the tube allows unfettered access to the innards. The loupe includes three small batteries, accessible through a little slot on the side. Best of all, there’s a large, powerful magnifying lens in the loupe itself that ensures you can actually see what you’re digging at inside the camera. A focus ring allows you to move the lens up and down inside the camera.

The kit costs $79.95, a bit pricey but a good deal if you travel to dusty dirty locations. I checked my XSi and found a few spots that needed a good scrubbing. Thankfully I didn’t use Windex this time.