DSLR - Sensor dust

Started Dec 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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philipW99 New Member • Posts: 14
DSLR - Sensor dust

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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