Red banding on High ISO/LE shots on D800 + 16-35

Started Sep 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Tenoch
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Red banding on High ISO/LE shots on D800 + 16-35
Sep 9, 2012

Last night I noticed a strange problem with my Nikon 16-35mm. On high ISO long exposures, I was getting this nasty red banding across images - the strange thing is, not all of them. If I shot say, 10 frames at ISO 2500 for 2 minutes a piece, 7-8 will have the banding and the others will look fine.

I've since done fairly extensive testing and have concluded it is a lens problem, not a camera problem. Reasons:

  • Viewfinder eyepiece was closed; no light leak here.

  • Red banding occurs even on dark frames (lens cap on.)

  • Banding shifts position based on the focal length setting of the lens (ie you see more of it at wide angles.)

  • I put on my 50mm and the problem is gone.

When I got home I tried covering the entire lens in a thick sock to rule out any light leaks in the lens; nothing changed there.

Here's some dark frame images showing the issue:

As you can see, it's position clearly changes based on FL so in my eyes this suggests it is not a camera (sensor) issue.

Does not seem to manifest at low ISOs, I did some test shots ISO 100 for 2 minutes and it didn't show up. Oddly this problem has only appeared very recently - as doing the same style of shooting (star trails) in recent weeks has not shown this issue.

Here's another couple of pics showing the inconsistent nature of it:

Those frames were both taken immediately after each other - ISO 2000, 120s @ f5.6.

The lens will, obviously, be going to Nikon for repair. But in the meantime, anyone seen this before or know what it may be?

To emphasize, my viewfinder eyepiece WAS CLOSED the entire time.

Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5
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