D800 sensor cleaning questions

Started Apr 13, 2012 | Discussions
Phil Goble
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D800 sensor cleaning questions
Apr 13, 2012

I was lucky enough to get a Nikon D800 a couple of weeks ago and have taken around 250 shots. I am checking everything out and getting familiar with the camera.  My last Nikon DSLR purchase was a D2x and the D800 seems pretty familiar. Live View and Video are certainly pluses for me.

I noticed a couple of spots on the sensor filter and assumed it was dust. My sensor brush, which was pretty much all I needed for the D2x, smeared oil all over the sensor when I attempted to clean it. I decided to have Authorized Photo Service in Morton Grove, Illinois clean it because my Eclipse was old, I didn’t have the right sized sensor swabs and I was getting ready to go on a photo trip this weekend and wanted to be sure there weren’t any problems. They did a good job, but I’ve got another oil spot already. I can easily fix the spot in Lightroom or Photoshop, but there is the possibility for more of the oil to build up during my two weeks of shooting.

I will be travelling to San Francisco and will buy some sensor swabs there. I could also buy Eclipse, but I’m not sure you can put that in your checked bags. I’ve got some questions for everyone.
1.       How do the premoistened swabs work?

2.       I would think I could bring any unused premoistened swabs back with me on the plane without problem. Is there any evidence otherwise?

3.       If I decided to have someone in San Francisco clean the sensor, is Calumet photo a good choice there?  Any other options that can do a good job while I wait or taking little time to do the job?

Nikon D2X Nikon D800
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Greg Gebhardt
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Never used the pre-moist swabs but
In reply to Phil Goble, Apr 13, 2012

All of my new Nikon DSLRs got oil splatter for several months after new. It will go away after time and happen seldom in a few months.
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Greg Gebhardt in
Jacksonville, Florida

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Ryder
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Re: D800 sensor cleaning questions
In reply to Phil Goble, Apr 13, 2012

I hope you don't mind if I broaden the topic just a bit. I have a D800 ordered and have always used a Lens Pin to clean the sensor in my D200. Works great and is very easy. Any reason not to use a lens pin on a D800? I originally learned how to use it at Arthur Morris' site.

To the OP. If this works with the D800 you might want to try a Lens Pin as there is nothing easier in my experience.

-- hide signature --

Craig Ryder

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1w12q312qw1
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Re: Never used the pre-moist swabs but
In reply to Greg Gebhardt, Apr 13, 2012

Greg Gebhardt wrote:

All of my new Nikon DSLRs got oil splatter for several months after new. It will go away after time and happen seldom in a few months.
--
Greg Gebhardt in
Jacksonville, Florida

Agree with Greg here. For some reason full frame sensors seem to have more of an oil problem than crop sensors, and there is a tendancy for this stuff to accumulate at the sensor's edges.

I've dealt with one of the other branches of Calumet and they're a top-notch company, so you'll probably do well there. But for the long term, you may want to Google "copperhill method" and see what they have to offer. I've been using their wet and dry tools for a couple of years, Eclipse works great on the lubricant, you can also use it to remove the oil from your brush.

In my experience, the Sensorklear pens are a hit-or-miss with oil, if you get a big glob of it on the tip, the graphite has a hard time reoving it and you have to discard the whole pen.

When I fly, I put the Eclipse in a zip-loc bag in my luggage and never had a problem.

Good luck,
Stan

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prlevering
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Re: Never used the pre-moist swabs but
In reply to 1w12q312qw1, Apr 13, 2012

If it is oil coming from the inside of the camera, I would think that Nikon Support should fix it under warranty. Did you contact Nikon?

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1w12q312qw1
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Re: Never used the pre-moist swabs but
In reply to prlevering, Apr 13, 2012

prlevering wrote:

If it is oil coming from the inside of the camera, I would think that Nikon Support should fix it under warranty. Did you contact Nikon?

From my understanding this is just normal lubriction of the shutter blades. I don't think Nikon is going to remove this because a drop or two gets on the sensor, but some units probably have more than others. That's why it's a recurring problem with large sensors and you might as well start handling it yourself, IMHO. There are many reports of people sending their bodies back in exchange for a new one and winding up with the same or worse.

Stan

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Phil Goble
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Re: D800 sensor cleaning questions
In reply to Phil Goble, Apr 13, 2012

Thanks for everyone's responses. The D100 and D2x I owned didn't have the oil problem and I was lucky in that I didn't have to wet clean the sensor that much. I also always used the Photographic Solutions sensor swabs when I did. Probably only did it 5-6 times the entire time I owned both cameras. The sensor brush took care of problems most of the time. I have read enough posts now to realize that the oil problem is not unique, and that some former cameras that were released may even have had some issues at first.

One of the questions that has not been answered is the use of the premoistened sensor swabs. Photographic Solutions offers them. Has anyone used them? Do they work well? It would actually be more convenient to use them when traveling under certain circumstances.

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CurtG
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Re: D800 sensor cleaning questions
In reply to Phil Goble, Apr 13, 2012

I've used the premoistened swabs on my D300. I found they were a little too saturated if used the second after opening (left drying spots). However, with the evaporation rate of eclipse it's only a matter of stalling a bit after opening to get the right satuation. Trial and error for me.
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Curt Godfrey
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Robin Casady
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Re: D800 sensor cleaning questions
In reply to Phil Goble, Apr 13, 2012

Phil Goble wrote:

I will be travelling to San Francisco and will buy some sensor swabs there. I could also buy Eclipse, but I’m not sure you can put that in your checked bags. I’ve got some questions for everyone.
1.       How do the premoistened swabs work?

Not well. Got a set from Amazon and had to add Eclipse to them.

Also, order PEC-Pads. This is what is used for the pad on the sensor pads. So, with clean scissors (clean them well with Eclipse) you can cut replacement pads for the used sensor pads.

2.       I would think I could bring any unused premoistened swabs back with me on the plane without problem. Is there any evidence otherwise?

Bring the used ones back as well. You can reuse them if you cut new pads.

3.       If I decided to have someone in San Francisco clean the sensor, is Calumet photo a good choice there?  Any other options that can do a good job while I wait or taking little time to do the job?

D100, D2x, D700—always cleaned them myself. Anywhere you go, I think it will depend on the ability of the individual you get to do the cleaning.

Perhaps you could buy some Eclipse in San Francisco if you can't take it on the flight.
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Robin Casady
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donski
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Re: D800 sensor cleaning questions
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 13, 2012

Send it to Nikon so they can at least look into the source of the problem (i.e. oil from shutter) and fix that too.

I know anyone can clean their own sensor but if the problem is the oil in the shutter, it will only happen again and again unless you can fix the source of the problem yourselves.

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Jay A
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Re: D800 sensor cleaning questions
In reply to donski, Sep 12, 2012

I've been shooting with Nikon DSLRs and SLRs since the original Nikon F back in the 60s and have never once seen oil on either a sensor nor a piece of film.

Can anyone tell me why this has now become an issue?

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