Friday, October 12, 2012

Nikon D600 Oil Spots

The Nikon D600 has generally been free of complaints such as the AF point focus issues that plagued some D800s.  However, one complaint I had heard about sometimes is oil spots on the sensor.  Sometimes there's a little too much lubricant on the shutter.  This is an issue that has affected the Nikon D7000 as well.

Oil spots look different from dust in a couple of ways: first they are visible at wider apertures like f/5.6 or f/8, unlike dust which is more likely to be seen at f/16 or f/22.  Second, oil spots have varying brightness.

I took shots yesterday, and found what indeed look like oil spots on mine. :(  See the top part of the shot above.  I'm going to request Nikon to fix it.  Hopefully they won't tie up the camera too long.  Alternatively, I might ask for an exchange at Bel-Air Camera, where I bought mine (that's one benefit of buying from your local camera store).  I'll update this post with the results of my request to Nikon or Bel-Air.

10/15/12 UPDATE: Picked up the D600 from Bel-Air Camera today.  Their repair guys said they found no oil on the sensor, just dust.  They said they were able to clean it with just a blower.  I was surprised that the spots were just dust given all the characteristics I saw, and they said you can't really tell unless you look at the sensor with a loupe.

I took some test shots at f/8 through f/22.  The spots that I saw were gone (there were a few specks that were visible at f/22 if I maximized contrast).  See the test shots below.  So it appears I didn't have any problems with my D600 after all.  Meanwhile, one of the staff showed me how to use a sensor cleaning kit, which I will try on the D70 and I'll post about it then.




11/13/12 UPDATE: Follow-up post after around 4500 shots here.
10/22/12 UPDATE: LensRentals' Roger Cicala has a related post

Nikon D600 Resource Page (see under "Dust Spots")
Firefly DSC-2000 Review