DSLR - Sensor dust

Started Dec 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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philipW99
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DSLR - Sensor dust
Dec 29, 2012

There seems to be much discussion in this forum about dust spots appearing on the sensor (does it also happen in other, Canon, Sony etc, fora?) so I thought I might share my own experience in the hopes of informing the discussion.

2008: I bought my first DSLR the Nikon D80. I was happy as a sandboy/lark/clam/larry. However, after a few months I noticed some specks appearing in my photos. I researched the subject and found that sensors could attract dust. I shot some blue sky and, indeed, my sensor was full of dust. I took the camera to my local camera store and had it cleaned for about #50. (Dollars, pounds, euros. Doesn't really matter). Having now been clued in to the dust problem I, of course, kept an eye on it over the next few days/weeks. Well, what do you know: the spots appeared again. So I decided that the time was ripe for me to learn how to do the cleaning myself so I bought the necessary kit, cleaned the sensor and was, again, very happy. This situation (me cleaning the sensor every few weeks) continued for a number of months until...

2010: I exchanged the D80 for a D300s (what a GREAT camera) which had its own vibration system for cleaning the sensor. Having learnt from past experience I exchanged my D80 cleaning kit for a D300s cleaning kit. Over the following 2 and a bit years I never had to use the new cleaning kit. It was a waste of money.

Forward to Dec 2012: I decided to upgrade to full frame and, after much research/anguish, I selected to D600 with a whole new set of lenses. Within 10 shots of buying the D600 it was showing dust spots on the sensor. On closer examination this wasn't just a few specks of dust but was oil/grease spots to which dust had attached. I immediately took the camera back to the retailer and exchanged it for another body. Within 10/20 shots EXACTLY the same appeared. On returning the camera to the shop they offered me another exchange or an upgrade to D800. I expalined that my original selection of the D600 rather than the D800 was based upon my photographic style/experience/needs and not cost. Nonetheless I couldn't stomach the idea of the problems with sensor dust/oil/grease and said OK to the D800, at significant additional cost.

Now: I have found the D800 a really great camera, and I've only had it a couple of weeks and not tried anything like all the functionality that I would like. Clearly I'm going to have to spend a lot of time geetting to know this amazing piece of equipment. BUT... I already know that there are dust spots on the sensor and I've taken it out and shot some blue sky at f32 and there are a couple of spots that look truely horrible. I've also taken it out and used it in "real life" and can't seem to find any evidence of the dust spots.

Conclusion: 1. The D600 has real quality problems. 2. I'm over concerned about sensor dust. 3. On my D800 I probably need to do a clean once I see any evidence in "real life" photos.

 philipW99's gear list:philipW99's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +1 more
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