Skip to comments.The Nikon D600 Has Sensor Dust Issues
Posted on 10/22/2012 11:22:29 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER
We tend not to get too excited about sensor dust problems at LensRentals; we clean sensors on every camera after every rental, so its just routine. When we started carrying the Nikon D600, they all arrived with a fair amount of dust, but thats pretty routine, too. Manufacturing and shipping can be a dusty experience.
When our techs started complaining that D600s were all coming back from their first rental with a lot more dust (despite being freshly cleaned before leaving) we didnt pay much attention to that either. We all remember the oil/dust issues the D3x and D3s had. Those mostly cleared up after a few cleanings.
But the dust kept reappearing with every rental, and, more impressively, it was generally in the same location (in the upper-left 1/3 of the image). That did get our attention, so we started looking into the matter a bit. We kept dust pictures for 20 consecutive D600s returning from rental and saw that the problem was very real.
Graphics at site. these cameras seem to be self contaminating.
(Excerpt) Read more at petapixel.com ...
I haven’t noticed this issue on my D600, which is a great camera, and I prefer it to the D800 I’m going to sell.
The D800 has a left focus issue, which Nikon seems to be in denial about, where if the center focus sensors focus properly, when using the viewfinder, the left focus sensors when used will be out of focus.
The D800 is a great camera, and it doesn’t affect the landscape type photography I mainly do, but there are a great many photogs not happy with their $3000 paperweights.
I prefer the D600 for its smaller size and lighter weight, and the fact that it uses the ML-L3 wireless remote, about the size of a matchbook and selling for less than $15. Extremely convenient compared to the clunky and expensive rig you need to do the same thing with Nikon’s pricier cameras.
Anyway, Swampie, thanks for the heads up. I’ll keep an eye out for dust in my pics.
I've got an illuminated sensor loupe, I can really do a thorough inspection of the sensor. It was a good investment.
I bought a Nikon P90 that had horrible sensor noise. I exchanged it for a new one, and it’s sensor noise was even worse.
I’ll never buy another piece of Nikon again.
That is a price you pay for stabilizing that 24X zoom in part by using high ISO. Did you try manually setting the ISO? You might need a tripod but the images should clean up.
Use the widest possible lens at the smallest aperture to really bring out the crud.
I have a lot of trouble here with pine pollen, if it sits on the sensor for a while it is hard to remove. My Rocket blower handles most problems if they aren't sticky.
Cleaning a sensor isn't difficult but many people don't want to tackle it. At 40 to 50 bucks a pop a lot of them just put up with a dirty sensor. That's an outrageous fee BTW, for a 10 minute job.
And I mean.. BALLISTIC!! As in; a Saturn V rocket taking off, Krakatoa Erupting, our biggest Nuke going off, and Space Aliens fighting a battle on planet earth!
And I'd prolly wind up in jail for Assault With A Faulty Camera.
I don’t really need a full frame camera. For what I do the APS format works out great, I can get up to 600mm equivalent from an affordable lens and not break my 70 year old neck with massive weights.
I bought a Nikon P90 that had horrible sensor noise. I exchanged it for a new one, and its sensor noise was even worse.*** That is a price you pay for stabilizing that 24X zoom in part by using high ISO. ***
Yep, I think SWAMPSNIPER is right as herein lies 'the problem' with that P90: High Sensitivity (up to ISO 6400). When I see ISO's up that high I cringe as I'd never push it that far as you're asking for noise. Which means I'd have to do a LOT of my shooting off Auto Mode.
It's like waaay back in the olden days shooting Tri-X (ASA 400) and 'pushing it' (under exposing) to 1600. You could get a lot of interesting shots otherwise not possible, but you're going to see a lot of noise with the slightest enlargement.
Noise is one more reason I went with the Nikon D3000 -- thanks to a slight Digital Education from SS here on FR when it finally came time to put down my Nikon FE for Digital. The normal ISO for the D3000 is 100-1600, and 3200 'expanded' -- which I've never yet used, and I get fantastic enlargements (They're framed and hanging on our walls).
I did that with my Nikon FE. Motor Drive on, SunPak 'Potato Masher' flash attached , and a big honking wide angle zoom lens on it (batteries for everything weighed about two pounds /s). Maybe that's why I have back problems today? ;-)]
This is a really interesting article. But, no pictures this morning? I’m disappointed.
I haven’t been able to get out recently. I gave up my Jeep when the economy got bad, got to depend on the kids to go anywhere. Recovery around here is going to be a long, slow process.
Sorry to hear that. But, your pictures don’t have to be NEW pictures. All of your pictures are so delightful that they make my day.
I was surprised that a modern Nikon would have a dust problem because the sensor vibration is supposed to take care of that. But if it’s oil, that’s different, not to mention nasty. Some of Nikon’s AIS lenses from the 80s had the problem of oil from the aperture blades leaking out and depositing onto the glass. But this is the first time I am hearing of oil on the sensor.
Has this problem been reported on the DPreview forums ? If it’s really widespread then Ken Rockwell will address it at some point too.
There are some upset people at DPR, that's a lot of money to spend for less than perfection.
For a short while I worked in the repair/rental part of a camera shop.
We’d get these old SLRs whose internal materials had deteriorated; especially foam rubber light seals and mirror dampers.
Some of them would turn to mush and/or flake off in little bits.
Maybe the Nikons mentioned have an internal materials problem that is shedding these little bits and pieces. Shame, if so.
Does any camera manufacturer have some purposely sticky stuff inside the image box to trap and hold debris? Directly under a self-cleaning sensor would seem to be a good place for it. Of course, the camera maker would have to make sure the the sticky stuff would have a long lifetime without becoming a contamination source in its own right. (3M lo-tack chemist, please pick up the nearest white courtesy phone.)
Lenses are another source of entry for environmental contaminants. Lots of lenses, especially zooms, work like bellows as their front barrels move to and fro. Some of the pro lenses have sealing of some sort, but it’s tricky when the internal volume of the lens changes as a result of either focusing or zooming.
The self cleaners do use a sticky trap but damp or gummy crud won't just shake off.
My P90 noise is not because of high ISO settings. It is random pixel noise that gets progressively worse the longer the camera is powered up, and shows up as white spots (very similar to dead pixels in a CMOS video camera sensor) in the photos. The longer the camera is powered up, the more dead pixels that appear.