No I didn't spend time recently on any polar bear expeditions to the Arctic Circle and there certainly aren't any butterflies willing to venture THAT far north. What the title refers to is the new and improved Arctic Butterfly Sensor Cleaner by Visible Dust.
If you own any kind of dSLR Camera you've probably already experienced problems with dust on the sensor and witnessed it's effects on your own camera's produced images. There's nothing worse than having a beautifully captured image marred or even rendered completely unusable because of a frustrating few specs of dust clinging to your sensor. Up till recently, I had resisted messing with MY sensor's dust issue, mostly because of the giant warnings from the owner's manual wherein I will void the warranty if I so much as think about doing anything to fix the problem!
Sensors are indeed sensitive. But they are not THAT sensitive and by following a few simple instructions and heeding a few precautions, you can now easily tackle the problem yourself better than with any previous methods. And the newest answer from Visible Dust allows you to pack your cleaning system wherever you are going without hassle.
To do its job properly, the sensor brush needs to be "charged" electrostaticly by a blast of compressed air, and also for thorough cleaning Sensor Clean fluid needs to be used. Traditionally the problem has been such that while these products work very well, one can not fly with either compressed air cylinders or methanol (which the fluid contains). This was what made the use of VisibleDust's brush system less than optimum for air travelers.
Arctic Butterflies to The Rescue!
The Arctic Butterfly consists of a 16mm sensor brush attached to a small plastic housing which contains a motor and a couple of AAA batteries. Press a button and the brush spins. Do so for about 10 seconds and the specially configured bristles become "charged", making them attractive to dust. Also, the initial spinning action will dislodge any dust that adhered to the bristles the last time it was used. (**DO NOT SPIN THE BRUSH WHILE CLEANING THE SENSOR!).
After a quick spin simply use the brush to dust off the sensor with a couple of swipes across the face of the sensor's cover glass. Turning the brush over between swipes is also recommended. [Ed. note: Before cleaning your sensor, always read your owner's manual for specific instructions regarding your camera's make/model. Ensure that your Camera's batteries are fully charged or that the unit is plugged in to a wall outlet]
That's all there is to it! No compressed air. No fluids. The brush is protected by a plastic cover, and the entire thing comes with a soft padded leatherette case. This patented technology is simple, effective and reasonably priced. What more could you wish for?
In my opinion, this is THE sensor cleaning product for photographers that travel by air--or who just want to rest assured they are using the safest and most effective cleaning tool on the market. It belongs in EVERY photographer's GAK bag. It's simple, compact and reasonably priced and for you staunch Nationalists, it's PROUDLY MADE IN CANADA!
The Arctic Butterfly costs about CDN $100. It can be ordered online and is currently shipping.