Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

Started Nov 13, 2012 | Questions
Larsonongraphy New Member • Posts: 15
Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?
essemmlee
essemmlee Regular Member • Posts: 257
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

Mystery photos it would appear.

David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 11,213
Red cross ....

... not spots!

Can't see your pictures. It's usually dust when people complain of spots at small apertures and the solution is a wet clean with Eclipse and Pec Pads or swabs.

David

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,400
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

I'm replying on a work computer and your image samples are blocked, but from the text of your post I'm pretty confident that you're looking at a dirty sensor. The more you stop down the more defined the spots become, because the depth of field is extending back onto the sensor.  The remedy is to have it cleaned by someone who is skilled, or have someone help you do it.

OP Larsonongraphy New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

I took it to a camera store where the owner used a special solution, swab, and inspected it under an illuminated lupe that fit in the lens hole.  When he was done the sensor was spotless.  He couldn't figure out what the problem was.  The spots were the same both before and after the cleaning.

sky f32 1/10" ISO 100 @ 50%

sky f32 1/10" ISO 100 @ 100%

paper f32 6" ISO 100 @ 50%

paper f32 6" ISO 100 @ 100%

OP Larsonongraphy New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?
1

I just looked at the sensor with a 10x jewelers lupe.  The surface is clean but when seen at an angle it is as though it is microscopically pitted.  If the surface is shiny, clean and smooth, would this be something that is under the low pass filter?

David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 11,213
What was the solution?

Larsonongraphy wrote:

I took it to a camera store where the owner used a special solution, swab, and inspected it under an illuminated lupe that fit in the lens hole. When he was done the sensor was spotless. He couldn't figure out what the problem was. The spots were the same both before and after the cleaning.

I've not read of physical pitting of the sensor cover though I suppose it is possible. At one time there was talk of methanol damaging a (supposed?) tin oxide coating on the glass but I think that idea was subsequently debunked.

I wonder what your store guy's 'special solution' was? I would use only either methanol (Eclipse) or isopropanol (available from microscopy ssuppliers). I wonder if your sensor was cleaned with something that was ineffective?

Often several attempts at cleaning are necessary to achieve the desired result and that is one reason why every DSLR owner should learn how to do this himself.

David

ADeighty Regular Member • Posts: 179
Re: What was the solution?

There are other posts on this issue with D80's. I gave mine away due to the same type spots that cleaning would not eliminate. On my camera the spots seemed to appear around 7K shots and after 4 or 5 cleanings.

 ADeighty's gear list:ADeighty's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 (IF) DX Epson Stylus Photo R2880 +1 more
sixmats
sixmats Regular Member • Posts: 101
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?
1

I have had plenty of dust on my D80 sensor, but I have never seen that before. Could it be mold?

OP Larsonongraphy New Member • Posts: 15
Re: What was the solution?
I wonder what your store guy's 'special solution' was? I would use only either methanol (Eclipse) or isopropanol (available from microscopy ssuppliers). I wonder if your sensor was cleaned with something that was ineffective?

Often several attempts at cleaning are necessary to achieve the desired result and that is one reason why every DSLR owner should learn how to do this himself.

It was Eclipse.  He showed me the bottle.  I just didn't remember the name.  He used one of the square cleaning paddles as well.

Although he did several passes to where the surface looked spotless maybe it is "welded dust" like Thom Hogan has coined.

In that event, if I bought a kit myself, how hard can I press on the sensor in order to try and loosen the dust?

Re.: sixmats :  It does look oddly like it could be mold spots but I don't know how they could have got there.  The camera has been carefully used.

Re.:  ADeighty : This is after 11K shots and one cleaning.  What did you replace it with when you gave it away?  Since it is the standard CCD I am wondering if the problem occurs on other models.

Thanks everyone.

David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 11,213
Re: What was the solution?

Larsonongraphy wrote:

In that event, if I bought a kit myself, how hard can I press on the sensor in order to try and loosen the dust?

I've heard the necessary pressure on the swab described as 'about the same as if writing with a ballpoint pen on paper'. I clean the sensors on my cameras quite regularly and I doubt that I have ever had to press that hard.

Good luck with it.

David

OP Larsonongraphy New Member • Posts: 15
Re: What was the solution?

ADeighty wrote:

There are other posts on this issue with D80's. I gave mine away due to the same type spots that cleaning would not eliminate. On my camera the spots seemed to appear around 7K shots and after 4 or 5 cleanings.

After narrowing the histogram I am thinking this must be mold.  Look at the way it clusters in the center and the lighter dots that go off into the background at 100%.  I have 11K actuations with this camera and one cleaning.  I usually shoot in the f5-11 range so I only noticed this at f22 just recently.  If it is mold, I wonder how it could have gotten on the sensor?  This camera has been babied with a lens on it all the time.  I wonder if this is a problem with the CCD or the body design?

If I may ask, what did you replace it with when you gave it away?

@25% See how dots cluster in a pattern.  Mold?

@100% Note the regularity and layers of dots.  Looks like a petri dish culture.  This sucks!

AcuraCL Senior Member • Posts: 1,503
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

I have noticed these spots on my D80 too, just in the past couple of months.

Haven't tried cleaning the filter yet, will advise results when I do.

ACL

AcuraCL Senior Member • Posts: 1,503
Re: What was the solution?

I doubt it's mold. Even mold needs something to eat.

Contributor to my question at photo.net suggests it may be oil spatter.

ADeighty Regular Member • Posts: 179
Re: What was the solution?

I replaced my D80 with a D90. When I first discovered the spots on my D80 I wet cleaned with Eclipse and made numerous passes with a swab and could not remove the spots. I am sure they are not dust or oil, other than that I have no idea.

 ADeighty's gear list:ADeighty's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 (IF) DX Epson Stylus Photo R2880 +1 more
OP Larsonongraphy New Member • Posts: 15
Re: What was the solution?

I forwarded this thread and another one like it to Nikon.  It seems this problem is consistent and common enough to be a design or production problem with the sensor.  Even though the D80 is out of warranty it would seem they should be aware of this by now.  Maybe when there is an ice storm in Savannah I will hear something back from them.

Patco Forum Pro • Posts: 14,136
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

Larsonongraphy wrote:

Any chance anyone used "canned air" on the sensor?

I've read that some canned air propellants are oily, and your spots do look like oil.

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Patco
A photograph is more than a bunch of pixels

OP Larsonongraphy New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

I've had the camera since it was new and I've never used canned air on it.  Only a bulb blower.  I noticed another thread with the same problems.  http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3129333.  We are not alone.

AcuraCL Senior Member • Posts: 1,503
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

Patco wrote:

Larsonongraphy wrote:

Any chance anyone used "canned air" on the sensor?

I've read that some canned air propellants are oily, and your spots do look like oil.

Nothing. I've used nothing on the sensor, ever. I change lenses rarely, and only leave a lens or cover off for a second or two. I could see perhaps a fleck or two of dust happening. This is beyond that. It almost has to be some spray of oil. Dust is irregularly shaped ... what I have is pretty evenly spread and consistently sized.

FourBeer Contributing Member • Posts: 622
Re: Nikon D80 Mystery Spots on Photos. Any Ideas?

I have seen other posts of mold growing on sensors.  It didn't look round like this, but I think it is a distinct possibility.

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