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Nikon issues service advisory on D600's dust issue

By dpreview staff on Feb 22, 2013 at 18:47 GMT
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Nikon has released a service advisory for its D600 digital SLR. Based on user complaints, it addresses the widely-reported issue of dust and dirt accumulation on the camera's sensor. In the advisory, Nikon has belatedly acknowledged that at the point where dust becomes visible in images, 'removal may be difficult using normal measures' and advises customers who have exhausted conventional cleaning options to 'consult your nearest Nikon service center', whose technicians will 'examine the camera thoroughly, and service it as needed.'

Although the statement is short on detail - noticeably it offers no explanation of why the D600 specifically is affected in this way, it's good to see that Nikon has finally acknowledged that some D600 owners have indeed seen real problems with dust accumulation on their sensors, which are outside of the normal scope of expectations when using modern DSLRs. 

We noted this issue in our in-depth review of the D600 last year (and have been asking Nikon for more information ever since), but apart from a general statement explaining that sometimes, DSLR sensors need cleaning, today's service advisory is the first time that Nikon has publicly addressed the problem.

Is your D600 in need of attention? See the links below. 

This is what our D600's sensor looked like after one month of use. We covered this issue in our in-depth review of the D600, last year. Click here to read more

US customers click here to read the Service Advisory

European customers click here to read the Service Advisory

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Comments

Total comments: 240
12
Micky Nixgeld
By Micky Nixgeld (Feb 23, 2013)

Sad to hear that a former great cam manufacturer got this kind of problem. Nikon used to try out new equioment thoroughly before they put it on the market. It´s probably handed over to the customers/buyers now a days with the knowledge that only about 60-70 % bother having it fixed since it is quite inconvenient for a lot of people who live far from the repairshop.
Myself, I´ll stick to my D7k and wait for a D600 "s" or maybe step up to the D800.

1 upvote
Jahled
By Jahled (Feb 23, 2013)

Jesus, the usual brand war in the comments. Fair play to Nikon for addressing the issue and offering their customers support over something they obviously didn't anticipate. I've just been reminded why I seldom visit this place anymore.

6 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (Feb 23, 2013)

How have Nikon addressed the issue? No explanation as to why the D600 is more prone to this problem and no fix other than getting it cleaned at a Nikon service centre which is of course inconvenient for users.

11 upvotes
Vandyu
By Vandyu (Feb 24, 2013)

These are not $500 cameras we're talking about. If you spend $1500-3000 on a camera body, you should be able to expect a quality product. I'd like to stick with Nikon, but frankly, I don't have the patience to send a camera off to the service center multiple times for sensor cleaning. I really don't like for anyone to handle my camera, so if it's something fairly simple, I'd rather do it myself. But, from what I'm reading, oil is more problematic than dust. And why in the heck are these cameras splattering oil around? Does that make sense even?

3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Feb 24, 2013)

Compare this service advisory of Nikon:
https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/55647
to Canon's product advisory notice over the 5D Mark III light leak issue:
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer?pageKeyCode=prdAdvDetail&docId=0901e02480538fc7&WT.mc_id=C126149

Which is a more clear admission that there is a problem? - and, in comparisson, how long has Nikon taken to acknowledge that there is an issue?

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Feb 23, 2013)

Why are people whining?
This service notice is clearly a step forward.

The biggest shock must be for those who hase been in denial for all this time, (Those with the left-eye issue), but let's start a support group for those in pain.

2 upvotes
Leonard Shepherd
By Leonard Shepherd (Feb 23, 2013)

One of the challenges is quantifying internet hullabaloo and Nikon's "very rare" in the UK advisory
https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/55647
At the time of the D200 banding issue if you believed the internet 9,999% had banding. Extensive research at Nikonians quantified less than 3% of their D200 owners had banding, Nikon UK told me 3 months after launch less than 2% had been returned with any fault, and at the time there was the B&H quote "There is a lot more talk about banding than there is banding to talk about".
It is disappointing Nikon has taken three months to announce a fix for those who have a problem compared to 2 months for the D200 fix. The D200 fix was reported by users as taking less than a week including shipping.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Feb 23, 2013)

Sad that this issue happened on a larger scale. I called Adorama and Samy's Camera asking about the 6d and d600 (so they wouldn't know I was going for the d600) in general. then I asked about returns for sensor spots, both sale reps of the 2 dealers said got a lot of returned on the d600 last year, hardly anything on the newer batch. So I went ahead and just ordered the d600, if I get oil spot like crazy I will return it. I been cleaning my d7000 sensor every 4-5months so I know how to clean the sensor. I shoot prime alot so I switch lens offen in a single shoot/event. I don't have canon envy so I don't plan of switching. Got like 10 lenses for nikon (bought 7 after the d7000, plus 2 speedlight and trigger...) no way I am ebaying them for 1/2 what I bought them for. Nikon consumer service has been good to me too. I am not the sensitive type that make a switch because of one issue, photography is a hobby.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Clyde Thomas
By Clyde Thomas (Feb 23, 2013)

Disappointed in the direction Sony took my 9 series (on numerous levels), Nikon lost a potential new customer after my research turned up so many QC issues ignored by the company.

Good to hear of a public admission. That means a lot up front, and behind the scenes.

Sticking with trusty a900/700 for now until all this new tech matures a bit more.
______
EDIT: Oh, I see this is just for a "dust" issue. No mention of an "oil" issue. What's the big deal about dust? Folks been complaining about that since digital began. Must be those pesky nano coatings hitching rides on photons again...

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Feb 23, 2013)

The "dust issue" is very likely just adhesion that goes beyond the usual electrostatic adhesion. In other words, it probably *is* a lubrication problem, where microscopically tiny (and optically insignificant by themselves) droplets of oil are holding onto and aggregating dust particles that would ordinarily be too small to notice and would fall away from the sensor.

The surprising thing to me isn't that the D600 has a problem, but that this isn't "ordinary" anymore. It wouldn't have surprised me in the least to find a man-eating dust bunny the size of, say, a toy poodle in the mirror box of any of my 35mm film cameras after a day of shooting back in the day.

1 upvote
57even
By 57even (Feb 24, 2013)

Dust bunnies in the mirror box don't show up on photos. Moreover, when you change lenses, the sensor is largely protected by the mirror. Unless it's breezy or particularly dusty, you should not expect much to adhere to the sensor itself.

Certainly not the 30+ spots I had within a week of ownership and the same within a week of cleaning, the latter without involving a single lens change.

I just wonder if sending it in will result in a systematic internal clean, or just a sensor swab (which seems to be an extremely temporary fix).

0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Feb 24, 2013)

The "mirror box" isn't just the area in front of the mirror, and yes, dust and hairier stuff used to be a frequent problem on all SLRs, showing up on images. The main difference was that you had a fresh "sensor" for each image in those days, so dust in one frame didn't necessarily have any effect on subsequent images.

0 upvotes
Halstatt
By Halstatt (Feb 23, 2013)

Nikon being pro-active on a consumer issue? Seriously...

2 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Feb 23, 2013)

Dang. And I thought Thailand was known for their strict quality control in manufacturing...
Maybe the D600's were made on Fridays?

2 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Feb 23, 2013)

You're not buying the nonsense that this is QA issue, are you? This is clearly a faulty design and spec, and the problem lies with Nikon Japan, not Thai workers.

0 upvotes
Jimmy Brown
By Jimmy Brown (Feb 23, 2013)

I guess I'm very lucky, I've had my Cam for about 4 months now and I've had no issues with dirt or oil, my sensor is as clean as the day I took it our of the box. What would have made this problem do this to some cam's and some not.

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Feb 23, 2013)

My guess is:
when you break it down to the floor area where they are assembled... It was probably an employee(s) being careless/sloppy, using too much oil, not blowing the dust off parts before installing them, not giving a sh*t, working too fast, etc. That, or one specific machine wasn't running up to spec.
Having worked in manufacturing, after a while you can tell which product was worked on by which person. Some guys (and machines) are just better than others.

3 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Feb 23, 2013)

Oil is not dust.
Oil is not dirt.

Oil is filmy and hard to clean off any surface.

I believe this word 'oil' belongs in this DPReview advisory article.

Begining to remind me of Pravda during the Cold War.

21 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Feb 23, 2013)

Except that we're talking about a camera, not the potential destruction of the human race.

2 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Feb 24, 2013)

Kindly: If you knew anything about Pravda during the Cold War, you would know I was referring to the need to 'Read Between The Lines' as most Pravda readers learned to do.
This is a Photography web site, we are privlidged to be able to participate here while there are so many problems in the world.

And yes, the word 'oil' belongs in the article above.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Feb 23, 2013)

You can find descriptions of Nikon cameras splattering oil on the sensor for the D2, D3, D800 and others. Usually it's impossible to clean yourself, but the problem diminishes after a certain amount of exposures and expensive service center cleanings. Obviously the problem is so persistent on the D600 that they finally realised it hurts their sales.
If they can't fix it, they could at least make these mirror releases in the factory before adding the chip, or while covering the mirror, and before selling the product. But they don't even admit it's oil. Great that other brands have better colours and skin tones anyway (and better then Canon too). Pity because Nikon was once a great brand with top products.

2 upvotes
Kite Kraemer
By Kite Kraemer (Feb 23, 2013)

Too little, too late. I didn't want to switch back to Canon, but I'm glad I did --their customer service is great!

27 upvotes
russbarnes
By russbarnes (Feb 23, 2013)

lol. If Canon had a decent alternative you wouldn't be using their Customer Service. Nice attempt to troll, but you failed miserably ;)

6 upvotes
toni2
By toni2 (Feb 23, 2013)

for russbarnes: I guess your house and your car aren't insured, right?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 38 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Kite Kraemer
By Kite Kraemer (Feb 24, 2013)

You're wrong russ . -I checked them out BEFORE i made the purchase. They ANSWERED the phone. Not only that but they had all their cameras hands on--right in front of them. Their CS is really good, that made me feel confident. ESP. after dealing with Company N.-- who wouldn't answer the phone or return an email.

2 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Feb 24, 2013)

I use both system's,I can say from experience that Canon CS is very good..

0 upvotes
russbarnes
By russbarnes (Feb 25, 2013)

Brilliant Kite. You've bought into a company that wants to price gouge you with EVERY release, wants to cripple every product unless you're buying a 1DX and you'll get engineering that that's three steps behind the rest of the market. Awesome choice lol. And for the record, you didn't test Canon's 'service' at all, you tested their sales ability to real you in, which sounds like it was very effective indeed. Canon are very good at that. Enjoy that 'experience' when you get an actual problem...

1 upvote
Kite Kraemer
By Kite Kraemer (Feb 26, 2013)

Yea, I did buy into it. I needed a system that let me use good lenses with decent still and video cameras. Albeit, they aren't the best in category for either, but for my price point-- it works. I tend to shoot a lot of people, action, sports, and video. I think I made a good choice, sorry you're so sour with the brand.

1 upvote
Peter Gabriel
By Peter Gabriel (Feb 27, 2013)

I have never had any issues with dust on my D50 or D90 sensors. It really bothers me that Nikon does not clear up this issue. I want to buy the D600 to get the FF sensor, but I will not spend that amount of money on a camera that may or may not have issues from day one or after a certain amount of shutter releases. This is sad Nikon.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Pentax_Prime
By Pentax_Prime (Feb 23, 2013)

Wow - now THAT is embarrassing.

6 upvotes
azinheira
By azinheira (Feb 23, 2013)

to late NIKON

After 22 years using Nikon I changed the game a little bit.

Just got the Canon 6D and it's an amazing camera with excellent colors and superb image quality. Low light it's amazing and no need to use a power full flash, can't wait to take for an event.

To Bad Nikon got the last cameras with problems, My D300S it's still a great camera never clean the sensor and no issues since I bought 3 years a go.

Starting to sell a few lens and sold a flash and also my D200.
Will keep the D300s and only 1 lens for back up for now, but will go soon if Canon delivers another camera in the $1500.00 price tag, good by Nikon.

Now it's to late and maybe the D7100 will came with more problems.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Feb 23, 2013)

Bye bye. See you on QVC. Don't slam the door on your way out.

3 upvotes
Prairie Pal
By Prairie Pal (Feb 23, 2013)

LOLOL. DPR you are hilarious little devils. I clicked the last hyperlink. Thanks for the laugh of the day.

2 upvotes
lbjack
By lbjack (Feb 23, 2013)

This is the problem with editorial reviews. They are only critiques of the cameras out-of-the-box -- snapshots, so to speak. But to do like the car mags, and do long-term road tests would require DPR to buy and use over time at least the major cameras it reviews, and that's probably asking too much. Even after a top score, you still have to cross your fingers. One assumes finger-crossing isn't expected with the professional lines.

3 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 23, 2013)

Yes, and there is a rush to get the reviews out, which makes it even worse. At least dpreview waits longer than many of the other sites to do their camera reviews.

Many of us own our cameras for years and years, not the length of a product sales cycle. It would be good to have durability information on cameras, like you can get with cars.

1 upvote
Vignes
By Vignes (Feb 23, 2013)

I like to idea of a follow up review for high end cameras. just to update on reliability issues etc since there will be more field data available.

2 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 23, 2013)

Where's marike6?

I think it's about time for a comment about the virtues of Nikon cameras over all other brands, delivered with an air of smug superiority.

6 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Feb 23, 2013)

so basically the D600 has naturally occurring spots that coincidentally only land on one part of the sensor over a vast amount of D600's and it's simply business as usual?

on the flip side .. when the 1Ds Mark III / 1D Mark III had a similar issue, canon wrote a brief on where the problem was, how it occurs and offered this:

"We offer our most sincere apologies to customers using these products who have been inconvenienced by this issue. Going forward, we will spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers can use our products with confidence."

16 upvotes
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (Feb 23, 2013)

it seems to me it is a quality issue during production. this dust can be particles from finishing or other material inside the camera. the problem might be happening in one of the manufacturing plants or lines.

1 upvote
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (Feb 23, 2013)

Even allowing for the fact that 'noise' gets amplified on the interwebs, this issue has made me reluctant to purchase a D600. There is very little useful information in this advisory, although simple acknowledgement of the problem is welcome. I would like Nikon to put a number on it. If they could say, "20% of customers have experienced this issue" or whatever the actual number is, that would at least let us know the scale of the gamble. Even at 20% (I'm just making this number up) I would be more rather than less inclined to go ahead and get one. The main dissuader has been Nikon's silence, and simply not knowing.

19 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (Feb 23, 2013)

You read my mind!

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Vandyu
By Vandyu (Feb 24, 2013)

I think some corporate transparency would be nice. Updating Nikon customers on a regular basis about what is being found regarding the cause of the problem and the fix and then, of course, some serious internal soul searching about how to do a better job.

2 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (Feb 23, 2013)

Is Nikon saying that warranty will not be voided if you clean the sensor yourself?

0 upvotes
DVT80111
By DVT80111 (Feb 22, 2013)

Relax folks. Only a few units were impacted by the Big Thai flood last year.

1 upvote
Justin Francis
By Justin Francis (Feb 22, 2013)

Little wonder that Nikon's profit is going downhill.

3 upvotes
russbarnes
By russbarnes (Feb 23, 2013)

But it isn't. Please take your endless trolling comments elsewhere...

2 upvotes
Joe P Doyle
By Joe P Doyle (Feb 22, 2013)

Press the lens release button and watch the body recess, hazard a guess it's entering the body at this point or somewhere close. The reasons a D600 is not on my list is Polycarbonate mount and a price-point is so close to D800, it's a no brainer.

1 upvote
wakaba
By wakaba (Feb 22, 2013)

@JOED: No spots, clean chip after 3000+. No green tint - adjust color - if you feel like. Incamera JPGS are always a compromise. Learn how to use raw - takes you to the next level. 600, 800(e) really are a class of their own, choose the flavor you like and budget allows.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
1 upvote
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Feb 22, 2013)

As companies trying to squeeze the last penny the first victim is quality. Unfortunately, there is no stopping of that process unless quality starts contributing to a company's margins, i.e. customers start eagerly paying for it. The flood of goods manufactured in China shows that we are not there yet.

0 upvotes
Joed700
By Joed700 (Feb 22, 2013)

Nikon definitely has taking steps backward in terms of QC among other things. The last and most decent release of FX DSLRs were D700 and D3X in my opinion. The current D800s LCD screens have a greenish yellow tone, which makes one wonder why the D700 and D3xs were better even they are older models. Also, the jpegs on the D800s were not exactly perfect either in term of colors. If cutting back is their big motive, I wouldn't mind paying a little extra to get something at least as good as the D700 or D3x. Nikon, shame on you!

17 upvotes
russbarnes
By russbarnes (Feb 23, 2013)

Honestly the crap that gets peddled on this website is laughable. There is nothing wrong with the D800s LCD - and you clearly don't own one. As for JPEGs, they can be adjusted to do anything. My D800 is perfect on both counts. The build of the D800 is identical to my D700 but the output made the D700 look like an amateur toy. The sensor in the D800 made the D3X irrelevant overnight too - a camera that is still selling at £4000 which is a joke.

3 upvotes
Joed700
By Joed700 (Feb 23, 2013)

@russbarnes--who says there something wrong with the D800s LCD? I was referring to the quality of the LCD display. You obviously have not see the comparison yourself between the D700 and D800 LCD, which I have both. Talk is cheap, shoot a picture using both the D700 and D800 and then compare the LCD display then come back and apologize for your ignorance. As far as jpegs are concerns, the D300 and D700 required less post processing. I personally shoot RAW 99.9% of the time, but there are times where storage capacity becomes an issue when you are outside this country traveling, that's when you have to resort to shooting jpegs. Also, no one mentioned the output quality of the D800s was bad; it's awesome; however, when you are previewing the photos on its LCD, that's when you have to tell yourself that you know the picture will look great once you upload them on to your iMac; that's the disappointed part that I'd never experienced when I shot with the D700 or D300.

1 upvote
russbarnes
By russbarnes (Feb 25, 2013)

I think you'd better read your post again. YOU said the D800 LCD has a greenish yellow tone. There is NOTHING wrong with the quality of the LCD and when you have the FIRST clue about colour calibration, come back on here and apologise for your arrogance. Then read MY post again and you'll know I shot with the D700 for years, and side by side with the D800.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Joed700
By Joed700 (Feb 26, 2013)

I'm amazed at your response. How many times do I have to say there is NOTHING WRONG with the D800 LCD screen; it's the color display that is not as good as the D700 I'm talking about. If you can't see that yourself when you have a D700, it's possible that you bought the later productions; just maybe. Besides, I'm not the only one who observed that.... Google D800 LCD green tint issue and see for yourself. The point I was trying to make on my very first comment was that Nikon seems like already made 2 steps forward but than took one step backward... BTW, how do you like the new AF button when you have to switch from single-focus to continuous-focus? I guess you don't have a problem with that either! Anyhow, I like my D800 but I don't worship it like you do...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Joed700
By Joed700 (Feb 26, 2013)

One more thing in regards to color calibration - been there done that; it doesn't work in many shooting situations; that's why I'd finally decided to set the WB back to default, realizing that the actual color will be awesome once I load the pictures on my iMac. Point being, why should I pay so much more money and not getting the full enjoyable experience of using the D800 like I did with the D700 and D300?

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
1 upvote
pansycan
By pansycan (Feb 22, 2013)

Thanks Dpreview for posting this.

I see a distinction between the two advisories where Nikon Europe seems to acknowledge that it could be coming from inside the camera, while Nikon USA only goes so far as to say "naturally occurring dust"

Got a chuckle out of "bleeding obvious". I guess I'll have to click on the links in your articles more often.

7 upvotes
Josh SZ
By Josh SZ (Feb 22, 2013)

Acknowledging the problem is definitely a good step in right direction for Nikon to take.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
roustabout66
By roustabout66 (Feb 22, 2013)

I know for me Nikon's recent QC issues and their refusal to sell parts to independent repair shops has taken Nikon off my list as a potential purchase until they change their policies toward consumers.

Since Nikon announced they will not sell parts to independent repair shops my local shop as well as many others can no longer service Nikon equipment. Roger at Lensrentals said that last year Nikon repairs took 3 times as long to get back and cost twice as much as Canon repairs. As attractive as Nikon's latest cameras look (except for the many QC issues) I will not buy from a company that locks me so in my (evidently needed) repair options.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
27 upvotes
JakeB
By JakeB (Feb 22, 2013)

Nikon must be devastated.

I hope you've alerted the papers to your decision.

1 upvote
roustabout66
By roustabout66 (Feb 23, 2013)

If enough people show their displeasure and stop buying their products Nikon's sales and profits will decline and they will need to admit there is a problem with their camera.......wait a minute, all those things just happened!

12 upvotes
Nikonan
By Nikonan (Feb 23, 2013)

I'm with you roustabout66, Ive been a nikon user since '05 (my first DSLR being a D50) to now working with a D700, and having owned a D200, and 2 D300 bodies, they were all superb.. the studio i work with currently owns 2 D4's 3 D800's and a D600, all have been serviced for some sort of manufacture issues.. Im so hesitant to purchase a new camera, i dont want to have to deal with any of that if im going to spend $3k plus on a camera body.. Im actually going to purchase a Canon 6D at this point as my D700 is fairly beat up.. i may have to buy a few new lenses, but at least i wont be tied into one system. one of our video guys is using one and the image quality has looked really good. Im keeping all my Nikon gear for later on, hopefully they get their act together and the next body they release will be up to par with what the D3 and D300 were when released. :)

5 upvotes
MrMojo
By MrMojo (Feb 23, 2013)

And JakeB adds one more to his litany of snide posts...

0 upvotes
daciangroza
By daciangroza (Feb 22, 2013)

I do architectural photography mostly at f/8-f/11 with a D600 and even though oil spots are visible in the top left corner when shooting a white wall, I have never had a problem with them in real photos.

I'll send the camera in sometime for cleaning and I'm curious if they'll show up again. My guess is that they won't. From what I read the shutter splutters oil on the sensor when the camera is new and stops after the excess oil is off the mechanisms. I don't worry too much about it, I found imperfections in all my gear. Nothing is flawless, unfortunately.

1 upvote
BJN
By BJN (Feb 22, 2013)

Unless you're really fumble-fingered, there's no need to send a camera in for cleaning. The oil involved in this issue will require wet cleaning, but that's something you can do in a few minutes and with simple tools. Check out the Copper Hill tutorials if you're new to sensor cleaning.

2 upvotes
keepreal
By keepreal (Feb 22, 2013)

Your suggestion of Copper Hill is very reassuring as they give very detailed information. I have always been very careful to avoid external dirt getting into the camera body from outside, as I explain a little more just below, so far with complete success. Of course, if the source is within the camera no amount of care is going to help.

One of my concerns has been the risk of doing more harm than good by ever going near the plate in front of the sensor but, if the need arises, Copper Hill instructions avoid the need for guesswork on precisely how to go about it.

0 upvotes
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (Feb 23, 2013)

It seems that Nikon's loss is Copper Hill's gain.

0 upvotes
keepreal
By keepreal (Feb 22, 2013)

I have a Nikon D300 and a D5000. Once I had to gently blow away a speck of dust in the viewfinder of the D300 but that is all. In three years I have never even had to use the sensor cleaning utility built into either camera. I am always very careful when changing lenses, mind.

This just suggests as I have commented upon elsewhere at DP Review, specifically the preview of the D7100 that Nikon may be cutting back on quality, at least in its more recent cheaper and mid-range DSLRs. Some of the comments below also suggest the same thing.

Of course I have no proof but the general trends do make me and some other commentators at DP Review suspicious. In the case of the D7100, the reason for this is that it replaces the D300/D300s while in most respects it is more like the next range down, indeed the D7000. The only thing they defintely have in common is the price. Less features and less quality for the same price?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Feb 22, 2013)

If this was a smaller sensor camera then dust spots would not be as big a deal because you don't usually work at very small apertures with them. However, this is a full frame sensor so it could really matter.

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Feb 22, 2013)

I have to wonder where the oil is coming from and what mechanism may fail prematurely because it's giving up its lubricant to coat the sensor. I recently sent my 35mm f/2 Nikkor lens for service. That lens is notorious for having oil leak into the aperture iris blades. They get sticky and the aperture malfunctions. You have to wonder about oil wandering onto the focal plane shutter blades on the D600. And that's the kind of issue that may not surface until quite a while after this sensor issue was manifest.

2 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Feb 22, 2013)

G, the f-stop doesn't matter, what matters is the effective aperture, which stays the same for equivalent shots. You shoot at F/8 on FF, you shoot at f/4 on m4/3 -- you get the same results in every possible way.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (Feb 24, 2013)

@mpgsvd

On a smaller sensor camera, any given speck of dust is going to appear relatively larger on the final image.

Anyway, people who shoot things like macro, or other subjects where more DOF is desirable, shoot at small apertures whether they are using an APS-C camera or a full frame camera.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Feb 22, 2013)

This "advisory" is too vague to really be of much use. The dont' even say what steps they will take to fix the problem if you send in your camera. Are they going to fix it so the spots don't come back? Are they just going to clean the sensor for you? They basically said a whole lot of nothing while giving the distinct impression they dont' really think it is much of a problem or anything that unusual. Doesn't really inspire confidence that you will get anything more than cleaning if you send your camera in.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
17 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Feb 23, 2013)

That, or perhaps they don't even know the exact cause of it. They can clean/replace sensor, but if they can't fix the faulty source it could happen again. I don't shoot Nikon so I don't spend much time in the forums, but I wonder if anyone has had a had the issue reoccur?

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Feb 23, 2013)

Well before this advisory Nikon was just cleaning the sensor when people sent the camera in so of course the problem came back. It will be interesting to see now that this advisory is out if they still just clean it or if they replace the parts that are causing the dust/oil.

0 upvotes
huyzer
By huyzer (Feb 22, 2013)

Finally!
EDIT: Not that it isn't late or anything. Plus, as from reading the comments below, doesn't seem like they're fully embracing that it's their fault. What a shame. I use their products too. This really makes me not want to.

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Feb 23, 2013)

Companies never admit to their faults otherwise they open themselves to the liability claims.

1 upvote
Mikael Risedal
By Mikael Risedal (Feb 22, 2013)

Like Canon with theirs banding issue in 7d with un even read out channels or AF issue in the 1dmk3 series Nikon have been quiet about the spots, not good at all. I have wet cleaned my d800 from dirt which can be seen around F-16 , product photography , also done the same with my Canons 5dmk2 many times .

1 upvote
rrccad
By rrccad (Feb 23, 2013)

canon freely admitted and posted firmware and advisories, white papers and you name it with respects to the 1D Mark III starting around 3 months after it's release.

Coincidentially i notice you didn't mention the 1D Mark III/Ds oil spots and how canon handled that .. which was on a professional and capable manner... unlike this.

3 upvotes
Joe Huckleberry
By Joe Huckleberry (Feb 22, 2013)

I rented a D600 last weekend. Definitely saw the dark spots, plenty of them. I am used to cleaning dust off of my D7000 and images, it goes away, sometimes for long periods of time. But if a customer can't clean the stuff away, I would never consider purchasing a D600. The service notice doesn't indicate any resolution, other than repeatedly send the camera in for an indeterminate time period to have it cleaned? Right...

25 upvotes
SRHEdD
By SRHEdD (Feb 22, 2013)

I don't get all the hoopla. When my F2 got dirty, I stripped it and cleaned it. After a couple of weeks of spring training, the F3/F4/F5s all got stripped and cleaned. I understand these digital cameras are a lot more complex, but when my D600 got dust in the corners, just like the sample photo, I cleaned it. I don't care to memorize my camera's serial number so I can stay up-to-date on service advisories. Don't care if it was made in March or October. It works great, it gets dirty, I clean it. I'm careful when I clean it, no issues. Unless you never change lenses, its gonna happen. More than some other camera? So? I'll still take it over any competing camera without the "issue". The one important thing I've learned over many, many Nikon bodies is that the refurbs seem to be better functioning. Having a tech take the time to check it out yields a better camera than an assembly line. Maybe it is just urban legend, but the best bodies I've had happened to also be refurbs.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Feb 22, 2013)

Sigh. The problem isn't that they get dirty through use, it's obviously a manufacturing problem. The stuff (oil?) sticks to the sensor and needs a serious clean and not just a go with a blower brush.

Personally when I shell out £2000 on a camera I expect it to have been tested and to have been through some sort of quality control, I don't expect to keep having to return it for professional cleaning.

14 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Feb 22, 2013)

You don't need a professional to do a wet sensor cleaning. And pretty much every sensor will eventually get sticky dust that can't be blown away. It's just a matter of how quickly the need arises.

1 upvote
GregF
By GregF (Feb 22, 2013)

So you have trouble imagining not everyone is comfortable, or capable of "stripping a camera and cleaning it"? And the real "hoopla" is the bigger picture of Nikon's inadequate service, relative to competitors.
It has nothing at all to do with how easy or hard it is for the customer to fix a defect. The point is, in some cameras, this defect exists.

11 upvotes
aniramca
By aniramca (Feb 22, 2013)

I think we need to know which camera's serial number that has the problem, or if the problem happens to all D600, including the ones that people are going to buy tomorrow.
I have not looked in too much details on my photos. It does not seem an issue for me, but mine is still under 2000 shots and I am not a pro. Perhaps my camera series no. is not affected?

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Feb 22, 2013)

From what I've seen, the dust problem is not that bad. But Nikon admitting they are less than perfect is astonishing.

0 upvotes
d3xmeister
By d3xmeister (Feb 22, 2013)

I agree, I consider this a step forward for Nikon, latest problems and their silence dosn't do them any good.

1 upvote
iseethelight
By iseethelight (Feb 23, 2013)

I too applaud Nikon's decision to come forward and their willingness to correct the potential problem. I have been a Nikon user for the last 25 years and I believe this is the first time they have made a statement like this. Bravo!

1 upvote
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Feb 22, 2013)

The whole world says "what issue?" Or maybe if you don't know how to change lenses, buy RX1! Wait a minute, RX1 has dust on a sensor too...

0 upvotes
Dianoda
By Dianoda (Feb 22, 2013)

After reading the release, it sounds like they are just acknowledging that this was an issue, but are not offering to actually do anything differently (so basically do nothing) to help affected users, or at least not on their own dime.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
iseethelight
By iseethelight (Feb 23, 2013)

I think you read it wrong?

"Resolution

As a first step, please follow the guidance from the D600 User's Manual (pages 301-305) related to the Clean Image Sensor function and manual cleaning using a blower bulb.

If these measures do not remove all dust particles and you are still experiencing problems, then please consult your nearest Nikon service center. The technicians will examine the camera thoroughly, and service it as needed."

1 upvote
marbo uk
By marbo uk (Feb 22, 2013)

It's simple, just buy 2 D600's so your covered for the 2 weeks while it's away being cleaned every 3000 shots :-)

17 upvotes
GPW
By GPW (Feb 22, 2013)

Two weeks!!!here in Ontario is more like 2-4 months

7 upvotes
McCool69
By McCool69 (Feb 22, 2013)

Considering mine is a mess after less than 3-400 shots (even without any lens changes) I would estimate that I need at least 10 D600s in rotation to have one freshly serviced and usable at any time...

8 upvotes
Benarm
By Benarm (Feb 22, 2013)

pretty bad damage control

11 upvotes
Wubslin
By Wubslin (Feb 22, 2013)

So now you're stuck with a lemon. Too bad. Just think what else that money could have bought.

6 upvotes
jamesfrmphilly
By jamesfrmphilly (Feb 22, 2013)

FWIW : i was thinking about buying Nikon. after reading about their QC issues and the way they have responded to them i decided i will NOT buy Nikon.
when i pay $3k for something i want it to WORK. no excuses.

36 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (Feb 22, 2013)

Right words! Facepalm, Nikon!

1 upvote
backupgeek
By backupgeek (Feb 22, 2013)

Still not very happy. Sent mine in around 3000 shots to get serviced at my shipping expense. Waited 2 weeks. Took under 500 shots and the problem returned. Rocket blower doesn't help much. Question is, will they NOW do a different service beyond standard cleaning?

9 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Feb 22, 2013)

I am glad that they are trying to rectify the situation. However, this is not a good issue to have.

4 upvotes
HiRez
By HiRez (Feb 22, 2013)

I wouldn't exactly call "send it in to be serviced" (which can take months) "recifying the situation". Especially for something that probably can continue to happen. Did they say they'd FIX the issue? No. They'll clean it for you, and you'll probably have to send it in again when it inevitably gets dirty again. That's not a solution.

I was thinking about selling my D700 and getting a D600, this fiasco pretty much took that deal off the table for me.

3 upvotes
bofo777
By bofo777 (Feb 23, 2013)

Funny the only dust my camera gets is on the front of the lens--no matter how many times I switch lenses. Maybe Nikon should have copied more of that terrible Olympus technology.....

0 upvotes
pacman69
By pacman69 (11 months ago)

Facts - bought D600 with kit lens through grey market (non Authorised nikon reseller) specifically asking for serial 607xxxx and guess what. NO ISSUES. No spots. Over 1500 shots.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 240
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