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Photographer creates time-lapse showing D600 'dust' accumulation

By dpreview staff on Nov 21, 2012 at 20:24 GMT
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Canadian photographer Kyle Clemens just bought a Nikon D600, but rather than get straight out and start shooting with it, he decided to investigate the widely-reported claims of a 'dust problem'. Clements set his D600 up with a fixed 50mm F1.8 lens, pointed it at a white wall, and shot 1000 images. Then he created a timelapse video which shows the slow accumulation of debris on the camera's sensor. Although the exposure of the individual frames isn't uniform, Clements' video clearly shows a steady buildup of debris over the course of shooting the 1000 frames. 

When we reviewed the D600 we expressed concern about the propensity of its sensor to gather specks of debris, and Clements reinforces the troubling possibility that whatever it is that's ending up on the D600's sensor could be coming from inside the camera.

During our own testing, we got our D600's sensor professionally cleaned by a local rental house, who had to resort to a full, 'wet' clean to remove all of the debris that had accumulated during less than a month of shooting. We have repeatedly asked Nikon for a statement on our findings and we will continue to report on this issue.

Via PetaPixel

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Comments

Total comments: 410
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rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Nov 21, 2012)

The guy should have cleaned it and then tested with MLU. My guess is that it's possibly coming from the mirror motion up and tdown, possibly oil.

1 upvote
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Nov 21, 2012)

Perhaps so, but since it's impossible to use the camera normally without the mirror going up and down, it's still a serious problem.

8 upvotes
papparazzi
By papparazzi (Nov 21, 2012)

wow....nykon is f....

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Nov 21, 2012)

This also happens with the D800. Went on a long roadtrip and when I got back, many photos had oil spots. Here is what I used to clean it:

Lenspen LENSK1A Sensorklear Ii with Articulated Tip
Visible Dust BriteVue Sensor Loupe 7X
D-SLR Sensor Cleaning Brush for Full Frame Sensors
DustAid Platinum DSLR Sensor Cleaner
and 1+ hour of my time.

I am 100% sure it was not dust, you could spread it around and it was very hard to clean.

4 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 22, 2012)

>many photos had oil spots

This can't be tolerated. For now, I'll cross Nikon off the list until I hear better news.

3 upvotes
MASTERPPA
By MASTERPPA (Nov 21, 2012)

if the dust is building near any lubricated components, then it is the lubrication issues.. To much of it. Maybe, it will decrease over time.. As long as you keep cleaning it, great sensor.. But wet cleaning is a PAIN. that would drive me crazy, esp since it builds up over just a thousand shots. That would mean I would have to clean it in the middle of a event.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Nov 21, 2012)

Leaking from mirror latch?

1 upvote
jjnik
By jjnik (Nov 21, 2012)

In the unaltered image you can barely see this. I'm not saying there is not an issue, but videos like this blow it WAY out of proportion. In most uses, you'd never even see that dust in your final image. I'd only be really concerned If it keeps doing this after a few cleanings.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Nov 21, 2012)

You're right to the extent that shooting mixed-content scenes at medium/wide apertures won't show the issue up (except in the case of a reallyreallybig lump of cr*p) but as soon as you stop down and shoot scenes with a lot of brightish plain tones (like sky) it can be a real annoyance.

7 upvotes
jjnik
By jjnik (Nov 21, 2012)

Agree - but what he shows in the video highlighted this with curves adjustments to make it far worse than it would ever be in real images. Again, not denying there is not an issue, but trying to keep it in perspective.

What would help most is to see if it's an initial "break-in" issue that can be cleaned and not come back or if it's persistent.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Manfred Bachmann
By Manfred Bachmann (Nov 22, 2012)

and what also would be interesting, to clean the sensor and make the next 1000 shots...and again, maybe after 2000shots the problem is gone!?
manfred

0 upvotes
jjnik
By jjnik (Nov 22, 2012)

Exactly - I had a ton of spots on my D800E after the first thousand or so shots, but they did not come back after cleaning it.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Nov 21, 2012)

i'm not a nikon user, so forgive me if my assumptions are out of the realm of possibility. it seems as though there are a lot of factors that could contribute to this problem. weather and dust seals on the body and lens, dusty environment, faulty sensor cleaning function.. probably a few other things i'm not even considering.

so, were the test shots taken in succession? was the camera power cycled at all during the test? i ask because i have an air ionizer, and i have to clean it regularly.. it's fine for the first 100 hrs or so, but if i leave it on full power it will eventually collect enough dust to turn itself off.

i wonder if this dust collection issue is compounded by leaving the sensor charged for so long.

0 upvotes
The Maze400
By The Maze400 (Nov 21, 2012)

I think the dust issue is from their new manufacturing process. The camera internal parts are all soldered together. This may also be an issue when they come up with a fix. Since the parts will have to be de-soldered then re-soldered.

I cleaned my fourth D600, yes forth before it's initial use. I have not (knock on wood) had a (major) dust issue so far. Oil is my issue, I have wet cleaned the sensor after 500 frames and at 1300 the oil is starting to reappear albeit fainter. I will clean the sensor again at 2000. and re-evaluate at 3000 shots with fingers crossed.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Nov 21, 2012)

I think that's what is showing in that video, it's oil, not dust, and it's coming from the mirror flapping up and dow. An interesting test would be to do it with MLU and see if anything shows up. D7k suffered from similar problem but after a couple of cleaning events, most were ok.

3 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Nov 21, 2012)

If it's true that the D7000 had this problem (and someone else mentions the D800), it seems unbelievable that Nikon hasn't figured out the problem by now.

2 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Nov 21, 2012)

the problem is cheap manufacturing standards... the only good in nikon camera these days is the sony sensor.

4 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 22, 2012)

MLU = Mid-Life Upgrade

1 upvote
MrSkelter
By MrSkelter (Nov 21, 2012)

Has anyone analyzed the dirt itself? Is it the same stuff in each camera? Is it part of the camera? Seems as if knowing what it is, not just if it's there, is key.

4 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Nov 21, 2012)

Users has to report, may be Nikon has to analyze?

1 upvote
Superka
By Superka (Nov 21, 2012)

I'm happy with Canon. Always.
Even my old 350D has no dust!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
intensity studios
By intensity studios (Nov 21, 2012)

thanks for sharing!

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Nov 21, 2012)

yeah well i have no dust problems eithr.... but then im not a poor nikon user... lol

0 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (Nov 21, 2012)

No way, me too but I'm a happy Olympus user!! Anyone else here a happy user also?

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Nov 21, 2012)

Will the Nikon D600 be disqualificated and loose it Gold Medal Award here, on Dpreview? Let's follow this investigation!

12 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Nov 21, 2012)

no it won't because nikon fans will quit dp

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 22, 2012)

>nikon fans will quit dp

So? Nu?

0 upvotes
Midnighter
By Midnighter (Nov 21, 2012)

Brutal, very brutal. But is this dust and not a lubricant spatter problem as has been seen in some other cameras? It looks like the 'dust' is clustering to me... not good.

3 upvotes
msusic
By msusic (Nov 21, 2012)

There's no point in D600, considering the price difference and what you're (not) getting in return, 500-600€ difference for the D800 is well worth it.

Only good thing about D600 is it's sensor, it's otherwise outclassed by cameras half it's price in terms of build quality, autofocus and specifications.

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Nov 21, 2012)

Remember all those photos showing scratches and shavings in the mirror box? I wonder if it might have something to do with that, or perhaps there is another place that is getting scratched during mirror and shutter cycling.

And now, Nikon apologists coming through... wait for it... 3... 2... 1...

7 upvotes
nekrosoft13
By nekrosoft13 (Nov 21, 2012)

wow, that is really mad, my 7D with 9k shots was never cleaned, changed lens numerous times and doesn't have nay dust on it, same with my 5D III now, about 3-4k shots.

5 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Nov 21, 2012)

Ditto. Why these cameras are still on shelves is unfathomable. I guess Nikon is hoping that most buyers are perusing forums or youtube and don't know they're buying junk. Let's be brutally honest here. It doesn't matter how good the camera or how well it performs. With this junk accumulating in front of your sensor, the camera is pretty useless. I'm not a Nikon user but I don't like to see anyone abused and right now it looks like Nikon is sticking it pretty good to their "customers". Just in time for the Christmas rush too.

3 upvotes
The Maze400
By The Maze400 (Nov 21, 2012)

Again I wonder if after 3 or4,000 shots and lets just say 3 or 4 wet cleanings the problem will go away? The issue then becomes will Nikon fix the issue on cameras under Warrantee?

3 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (Nov 21, 2012)

Who cares if the issue will go away?!
People who bought it should return crap directly, why would consumer need to worry about Nikons issues?
And why are you willing to pay for camera that has clear technical issues stemming from bad design?
Are you really that desperate or maybe you don't know that are other brands of cameras out there?

3 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Nov 21, 2012)

I don't think there's much more than too much oil on the mirror system, similar to D7k. It's not anything related to the design, just poor lubrication procedure.

1 upvote
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (Nov 21, 2012)

rhlpetrus: I own a D7000 but luckily I dont have any issues with it. But still even if it is "only" oil issue why would I or anybody else with a brain give perfectly fine money (with no defects nor "oil" on it) for a camera that has issues?
That is my point that todays morons...sorry "consumers" will gladly pay for stuff that does not work propperly and companys pick up on that moronic behavior and we get more and more unfinished products just becouse idiots out there have more money then brains.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Nov 21, 2012)

That really is nasty and will probably make many choosing between Nikon and Canon think hard.

3 upvotes
Daryl Cheshire
By Daryl Cheshire (Nov 21, 2012)

I thought the trick which Canon at least have is something like a strip of sticky tape on the bottom of the sensor to collect internal dust.
presumably this strip is replaced when the camera is serviced.
I dimly recall sometimes emulsion and particles of film would collect inside the camera. Again cleaned out as part of a maintenance plan.

0 upvotes
Princess Leia
By Princess Leia (Nov 21, 2012)

Wow, not good.

1 upvote
Evildogofdoom
By Evildogofdoom (Nov 21, 2012)

This is most likely an issue with the lubrication used on the shutter assembly. If to much grease or a changed lubricant specification was used,during the manufacture of the camera, there is a risk of excess grease in the mirror box, landing on the sensor. This would require wet cleaning to remove and would likely become less of an issue with an increased number of shutter actuations.

3 upvotes
Juck
By Juck (Nov 21, 2012)

That speculation verges on comical.

1 upvote
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Nov 21, 2012)

That 'speculation' sounds logical to me.

5 upvotes
Evildogofdoom
By Evildogofdoom (Nov 21, 2012)

Not 'speculation', unfortunately I have had this experience with a previous camera (Sony A580). For the first 3 months I had to carry out multiple wet cleans to remove oil / grease. After around 4000 shutter actuations, there has been no signs of any oil.

3 upvotes
Michaels7
By Michaels7 (Nov 21, 2012)

Sounds like to me the D600 body isn't properly sealed.

0 upvotes
Denisas
By Denisas (Nov 21, 2012)

I remember how many people were angry about Canon, that 6D release date so late compare to D600, but when you realizing better to wait little bit more and get quality. Nikon wanted to kick Canon ass releasing earlier, but now you see what happened...

8 upvotes
Mark Alan Thomas
By Mark Alan Thomas (Nov 21, 2012)

Please make a few more uninformed assumptions and state them as fact so that I have someone new to look up to.

4 upvotes
nekrosoft13
By nekrosoft13 (Nov 21, 2012)

facts or assumptions, all i know that my 7D (9k shots), 5DIII (3-4k shots) and my previous 40D (had about 30k) never had that problem.

7D, 5DIII was never cleaned so far and no dust, 40D from what I remember I used air on it once, never was wet cleaned.

3 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Nov 21, 2012)

Yea this is going to spark up a little discussion.

1 upvote
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (Nov 21, 2012)

Thank you, DPR. Let's see how much negative publicity will force Nikon to change their tight-lipped ways. Even Apple have openly acknowledged issues with their products recently. Why can't Nikon?

25 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Nov 21, 2012)

Oops.

0 upvotes
robjons
By robjons (Nov 21, 2012)

This is getting a little tiring. It would be nice if Nikon could release a new high-end model with no quality control issues.

13 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Nov 21, 2012)

then it would be a leica and not a nikon....

1 upvote
Total comments: 410
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