Stobborn spots on D700 sensor

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by raczoliver, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. I have some stubborn spots on the sensor of my D700 that don't come off with the automatic sensor cleaning or by blowing air onto the sensor with the camera facing down, and some of the spots are quite annoying, because they can easily be seen in the pictures even at f/5.6. I have never touched the sensor with anything. One small area is particularly worrying, since the spots are in a strange pattern. I'll attach a 100% crop of it so you can see. What do you think is it, and how do I go about removing this? I have read Thom Hogan's guide on sensor cleaning, and I am willing to try it myself, but I don't want to do any damage. This doesn't look like ordinary dust to me.
  2. Forgot to add, the spots are actually visible to the naked eye on the sensor. They appear as bright, almost sparkling spots when I illuminate the sensor.
  3. The D700 does not have an automatic sensor cleaner. Do you possibly have the D7000?
    In any case, you will need to do a wet cleaning which is easy to do. There are many inexpensive products available that will do the job for you.
  4. Elliot, d700 has in-built sensor cleaner. how effective it is - that's another question
  5. Thanks. No, it's a D700, and I'm pretty sure it has that function. It's in the setup menu, under "clean image sensor". You can do a manual clean, or you can configure it to clean at startup/shutdown/both. I have it configured to clean at every shutdown.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    You need to do wet cleaning on your D700's sensor. There is a lot of discussion on such technique. I am sure you can search for answers easily.
    The D700 does have auto sensor cleaning; I almost never use it, though.
  7. Ok, thanks, so wet cleaning it is. Why do you think the spots are in this streak-like pattern?
  8. I was not aware that the D700 had one - how did the D3 miss out on this feature??? Sorry for the error and thanks for the correction.
    Sorry to hear that it does not work well. My D800's sensor has remained perfectly clean - the sensor cleaner is obviously working. I have had the camera since last July and have not had to manually clean the sensor yet. I have used the camera quite a bit and often change lenses.
    I have had to clean my D3 sensor often. I just starting using the camera again as my D800 is in for service and the sensor has some huge marks on it. It was clean when I last used it quite a few months ago.
  9. Weird, isn't it? The D300 was announced on the same day as the D3, and that had it too.
    Out of curiosity, how do you know by looking at the attached picture that a dry clean won't get the job done and a wet one will?
  10. pge


    Sorry to hear that it does not work well.​
    I would not take that away from this thread just because Oliver now has some spots. Yes it does not clean everything, but my experience with a D200 (not equipped with that feature) and a D700 suggest that this feature does help keep dust down.
    how did the D3 miss out on this feature???​
    The D700 was produced about a year later.
  11. Quite, the D700 was Nikon's first full-frame camera with sensor cleaning. I suspect they'd have put it in the D3 if they had the technology ready at the time - the D3s had it. Mine had some gunk early on, and has been cleaned a few times since. I've always taken it to Nikon, who reported after the first time that there was a tiny scratch (clearly their fault, therefore) on the sensor - fortunately it's not affected the images.

    As for the weird pattern, looks like a hair to me, though it could be the boundary of some cleaning material that left a streak. Assuming it's not a scratch, I'm sure I'll clean off. The sensor shaker isn't magic.
  12. "'Why do you think the spots are in this streak-like pattern?" Probably a dust bunnie with some moisture that took a bit of a trip on your sensor.

    "how do you know by looking at the attached picture that a dry clean won't get the job done" No way of knowing for sure, just a guess based on the crap I have had to clean off the sensor of my D3.
  13. I am hesitant to recommend it but I use the 3m magic tape on my cheaper DSLRS and it works really well. I'm still too scared to try it on my D800 though.
  14. Wet cleaning is pretty easy. Two drops of Eclipse onto a Sensor Swab. Let sit for 20 seconds and simply wipe left, then right. The surfacr should then be clean. Rarely it takes a second Sensor Swab. Do not reuse the 1st one. google for video on this or go directly to
  15. I use a 1/4" very soft artist's flat edge paintbrush and VERY CAREFULLY give the sensor a very light and gentle dusting if I see dust spots that the sensor cleaning routine does not get. Don't skimp on a paintbrush, a $7 brush will be far easier on your sensor than a cheap one!
  16. If you are near a Nikon Service Center, I would take it to them for a sensor cleaning.
    It's under $50 bucks and only takes an hour or so. Nikon Melville did my D300 in an hour.
  17. Gup

    Gup Gup

    I have some stubborn spots on the sensor of my D700 that don't come off with the automatic sensor cleaning or by blowing air onto the sensor
    Out of curiosity, how do you know by looking at the attached picture that a dry clean won't get the job done and a wet one will?​
  18. Gup, to clarify (although I did say also that I have never touched the sensor with anything), I was asking how they knew a sensor brush such as the Arctic Butterfly would not remove the spots.
  19. Ahem, everybody writes about cleaning of sensor etc. But to my faint knowledge ( hope I´m right here) it is not possible to clean the sensor by user, I guess that what You see when mirror flips open, is the bayer filter and the actual sensor sits behind that. I use a cotton swab and purified alcohol as I´ve been using for years. No damage.
    It is useful to learn to keep the camera facing down when changing lenses so dirt does not drop inside the body.
  20. Jore - you are technically correct (which is the best form of correct). However, the IR filter (I believe this is usually the front element), low pass filter, bayer filter, microlenses and sensor chip (though calling it a "silicon chip" is pushing things a bit when we're talking about something that might be 36mm x 24mm) are, I believe, one sealed lump. Calling the collection the "sensor" is close enough to accurate - it wouldn't work as intended on its own, and the manufacturer can't clean it either - at least, without dismantling the whole thing, which I'm sure is more work than just installing a new one; I'd be astonished if they're designed to come apart. Though since my D700 sensor is scratched (not badly enough to matter) I'm vaguely tempted to find out whether Nikon would replace the whole thing or just the front element.

    Facing the camera down is good advice. As I knew for very early on, which is one reason I wasn't best chuffed when the first thing that the shop I bought my first dSLR from did was take it out of the box and put it down on the table mirror-box up. By modern standards, this is nothing - I've lost count of the number of stores that have cameras out on display with no body cap or no rear lens cap. Much as I'd love to support the high street retailers, that's like a car showroom standing all their vehicles on a pile of rusty nails or a computer retailer stacking their laptops with their screens open in a chevron pattern. (Though I have had a monitor sent to me which was supported by foam stuck under its screen. Oddly, the screen was mangled...)
  21. The sensor cleaner on the D700 is pretty effective. I was taking some night pictures and saw this huge blob on one of the clouds. I have my D700 set for cleaning when I turn my camera turns on and off. Well, I did that cycle and the blob was gone.
    However, I do have spots on my sensor that don't come out. It's like water spots that don't come out even with a wet cleaning.

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