Dust on the D600 - An Interesting Experiment

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bgelfand, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. There is also an interesting time-lapse video of the dust accumulation at an unmentionable web site from a few days ago (November 21). Sadly, photo.net has pre-empted our critical acumen so I can't post the link.
    I had almost committed to the D600, but I change lenses a lot. I am waiting for a Nikon response.
  2. Ahhhh -- I see it's the same video at both sites.
  3. I had been very concerned about the D600 because it did not appear to be a Dog Camera™. Specifically, it did not have any focuses. You know, front, back, side, etc.? Fortunately, this problem has turned up just in time. Now I will switch to Canon.
  4. Fortunately, this problem has turned up just in time.​
    Well, I wouldn't be a very happy camper had I spent $2K+ on a camera body that soils its sensor so readily!
  5. Was there not some commentary on the referred to links that the dust was possibly coming from inside the camera ... I have fired mine almost 1000 times ... I see no dust or oil at all.
  6. Try to set to f20 or more, set to focus to manual and shoot toward bright sky, then pixel peep.
  7. Alternatively, one could also take it in to the local Nikon store (where he bought it) pop the lens, put it under an LED magnifier and LOOK ... can't find any dust or oil yet ... perhaps it's a tempest in a teapot, perhaps the Nikon Store is in on the conspiracy ... they sell Canon too.:)
  8. Here is a thread that I started on this issue weeks ago. Some of the questions raised above are addressed here as well:
    I sent mine back (not because of the dust) and got the D800E. I will not be changing back to Canon because of a small amount of dust that is probably in the body of the camera. After the dust is blown off the sensor a few times, apparently the amount of dust seen is reduced substantially. I personally think that there is a structural flaw that is referred to in the link above. It does not sound fatal to me, but one could argue that Nikon ought to fix it.
  9. There does seem to be an issue with D600 cameras being sold with dust inside of them before use but the same thing happened with the D800 when it was first launched too. My own D800 got very dusty (plus some oil), very quickly even with careful handling, after a proper wet clean at the local Nikon agents it has stayed clean since then and has taken thousands of clean images since. A bit of dust initially isn't a big issue if it stays away after initial cleaning. Some dust is always to be expected, recurrent dust isn't.
  10. Here is the Youtube video, although the guy who did it admits that he enhanced the effect to make it more visible. Yet, it obviously does involve some real design flaw:
    One does not expect a new camera to have a dust problem of this magnitude. I presume that Nikon has been silent on the entire matter? I really don't think that that is very good business. If there is a problem, it ought to be fixed--or at least acknowledged. I am sure that Nikon does not want to issue a recall, but something clearly is amiss here.
    This sort of thing does not inspire consumer confidence.
  11. Here is a crop of a section of sky with two dust spots visible. I did not notice this until a friend pointed it out to me:
    This and some similar shots were made at f/8, not f/22.
    This was not the reason that I returned the camera for a D800E.
  12. The dust I detected in the linked photo in the preceding post was found after an initial shoot of 156 shots, not 1000. A friend pointed it out to me. It was visible in other shots as well, but only if they involved the sky or the lake.
    I will not comment on how serious the problem is. It is a very real phenomenon, however, and one that consumers have a right to know about.
  13. Here is one theory as to cause of the dust:
    Even if the explanation is correct, an explanation is not a fix.
  14. DUST OR OIL?
    My greater concern would be oil. I do not know for sure what I was seeing, since I sent it back and did no further tests.
    I am going to go outside and test the D800E right now.
  15. Par for the friggin' course. Somebody starts a rumor--possibly with a Kernel of Truth--and perfectly happy camera users rush off to TEST their cameras, which until then had been fine. "OMG! If I shoot a blue sky at f22 and crank the Curves up so high that it would ruin any real images, I see (oh the horror) DUST!" Then they blow at it with a bulb, with the sensor facing UP and wonder why the DUST doesn't go away.
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Les Berkley [​IMG][​IMG], Nov 22, 2012; 01:40 p.m.
    I had been very concerned about the D600 because it did not appear to be a Dog Camera™. Specifically, it did not have any focuses. You know, front, back, side, etc.? Fortunately, this problem has turned up just in time. Now I will switch to Canon.​
    I noticed Les' sarcasm earlier. The problem with dust on sensor and the occasional oil on sensor has been around since the first DSLR. I bought my first DSLR the D100 ten years ago back in 2002. In the 10 years I have bought a total of seven plus have used many other test samples from Nikon USA. Every single one has had some dust issues. Typically it requires no more than some simple cleaning. In the last few years, I rarely clean my sensors any more. Dust spots in the sky are easy to remove in post processing.
    For a month and half since late September, I was using a D600 test sample and never noticed any specific dust issues. When Lennie started his earlier thread on this topic: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00axxj, I checked that D600's sensor carefully with a flashlight and saw no problems at all. However, when I captured an image at f22 of a white sky, I did see some dust, but I would have gotten similar results using any other DSLR.
    IMO, a number of internet bloggers are now stealing a page from Ken Rockwell's playbook: they keep on bringing up "major issues" on new Nikon DSLRs such as moire on the D800E, AF on the D800, and now dust on the D600. They tend to make sensational comments such as the D800 is not recommended to draw attention to themselves. Behind all that hype, these people usually have a business such as selling apps for Nikon cameras, e-books, or some camera equipment rental .... The hype helps to promote themselves and therefore generates new business.
    That is not to say Nikon DSLRs are all trouble free, although all 7 I own are indeed trouble free and they are random off-the-shelf units. Most likely a highter-than-normal percentage of D800/D800E indeed have AF issues, but still the majority of them do not. There are reasons that Nikon is providing a one-year (or two-year in some countries) warranty. I am sure some day I will eventually run into a defective unit and I am glad that there is a warranty behind it.
  17. Well, I just moved from Canon, Les, and I don't have a lot of money. You're darned right that I am going to test my camera now that it has a few hundred shutter clicks on it--sometimes these problems don't show until one has used the camera a bit, especially if it is slinging oil. I have now used mine a bit. I put it through the wringer this morning (since I last logged on here) just to try to get some dust or oil to show.
    RESULTS OF THIS MORNING'S TEST: The D800E is almost perfect at f/22 before cleaning (after a rather severe workout in terms of shutter clicks). At f/2.8 after a cleaning, I am seeing nothing: CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH.

    The reason that I tested it now, Les, is that all of this noise about dust impelled me to do the check I needed to do before the thirty-day return period expires at Amazon in a few days.
    I won't be returning it. This baby will blow your socks off, and the sensor looks good, good, good.
    So, you may say ignore the rumors. I say, check 'em out.
    In my case, I can report nothing amiss with the D800E, at least where the sensor is concerned. If something else surfaces, well, it is under warranty. I have yet to have any problems with any Nikon DSLR, or Canon either, for that matter.
    As for the D600 that I shot all of 156 clicks with, I never saw more than those two specks, and I did not even run the sensor cleaner after I saw those two specks. It was already going back to the vendor to get the D800E, and so testing it seemed trivial and irrelevant. It just wasn't that big a deal.
    I would say, however, there is likely more than a kernel of truth to the D600 rumors--based on the reports from that rental business cited above. If I had a D600, I would check it out, but I wouldn't panic--and, if I were considering buying the D600, I would go ahead. Worst likely case: one might have to clean the sensor. Best and much more likely case: no action required.
    But I say test, test, test. That is the only way to put rumors to rest. Positive thinking and brand loyalty are for the birds.
    I feel better for having checked out the D800E. I won't apologize for testing it thoroughly. Thirty-three hundred dollars is a lot of money for me. I cannot afford NOT to do the tests.
    AND THE D800E PASSED! I'm glad I did the tests.
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Lannie, every Nikon DSLR I have has some dust issues. There is plenty of dust on my D700 and D800E; it is easy enough to see them when the background is a uniform (blue or white) sky, a white wall, etc. I live in California and we get the blue sky frequently. However, when there are actual subjects, those faint dust spots are rarely an issue, and I am very pickly and pixel peep frequently.
    Since you now have a D800E, I would test its AF carefully, as I recommend to all D800 owners. My D800E and the D800 test sample I used are both as perfect as they can be, but unfortunately some of them are not.
  19. Shun, I checked it out against some cirro-stratus clouds outside and against the ceiling inside. I saw very little at f/22, nothing wide open. It took me over two hours to run all those tests, trying my best with curves, etc. to see a problem.
    I will test the auto-focus more rigorously, but so far I have had no problems with focusing.
    Thanks for your input on this. Some of us are buying these cameras by the seat of our pants and we have to be careful. One such as myself who has recently moved from Canon is likely to be even more critical of his new equipment. I see no cause for second-guessing at this point. I have the D7000 also--no problems there, either. Before that I had the D90 and the D3200. No problems. I just couldn't keep them all, and so I sold the smaller cameras (and the Canons and a couple of FF Kodaks) so that I could work with the D800E and the D7000. I actually came out ahead in every way.
    All that I can say is that Nikon has passed my tests. I'm going to go shooting. . . .
  20. I bought a D600 with kit lens about a month ago. My first DSLR. I have never noticed dust on any of the images, but after reading this post I made some shots at a white wall @ F22. Viewing on full 26 inch screen on my Mac desktop I was horrified to see spots nearly identical to the YouTube video.
    Removed lens (for the first time) & blew out sensor area with a Hama dust blower, reinstalled lens, fired the shutter a few times & removed lens & repeated cleaning procedure.
    Ran another test @ F22 & all dust spots were gone! Have not lost my faith in Nikon.
    BTY, IQ of this camera/kit lens combo I find amazing. I'm just a photo novice that jumped from a Canon G10 to FF DSLR.
  21. Ran another test @ F22 & all dust spots were gone! Have not lost my faith in Nikon. (Emphasis supplied.​
    Have not lost my faith in Nikon.
    That pretty much says it all, Dave. The rest of it: in the cases involving the top left of the sensor, it's a bit of easily removable dust, not oil. The problem goes away.
    No big deal.

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