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D600 Dust/Oil/Lubricant Issue discussion/Discontinuation and price reductions

roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member
edited October 2013 in D6x0/D7x0/D8x0
Discussion topic for D600 dust/oil/lubricant issues...
Post edited by Msmoto on


  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member
    Unfortunately, I have this issue with my D600.  I sent it in to Nikon, but I think they must have just cleaned the sensor.  I took 10 more pictures and I've already got spots coming back.  I have about 2,000 shutter actuations. 

    If you have this problem, what are all of you doing? 
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 536Member
    Hi all,

    I have the D600 on my list to get soon, but some of these problems are troubling to me.

    Are they significant enough to warrant a pass on the D600?

    My best,

  • DHendoDHendo Posts: 3Member
    I had my sensor cleaned at a pro shop after 3500 shots and have only had 1 oil spot since. I didn't notice any spots in my shots because I'm usually below f/9. They just sort of blur away at larger apertures.
    If I remember correctly there was an earlier story that said 3000 is the magic number of shutter actuations before the residue stops.
    I also read that early d800's suffered from an unusual amount of residue on the sensor, but later batches didn't.

    I love my d600 for video and photos. Upgraded from a 5d ii with no regrets.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 4,864Moderator

    I think Nikon has fixed the problem in later production models.  Would suggest waiting until all stock is gone, then obtain one from a retailer who will exchange the body if problems exist.  

    And, as this is a major topic for Nikon D600 users I will leave the thread instead of combining it in the D600 thread.
  • edubyatxedubyatx Posts: 1Member
    For what it's worth, I picked up a new D600 from B&H last week and haven't had any problems after a few hundred shots. The bundle deals are too good to pass up!
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 536Member
    Hi all, 

    @Msmoto - Thanks - this is what I'm hoping and why I'm waiting. I may pickup a refurbish, but then the question is, 'is it a systemic problem in the design that can't be fixed?'  (Is it something that is re-engineered out of the newer models?) Or should I just pick a later numbered body? Hope those questions make sense, and if they do, someone has some definitive skinny as to which way to go. My gut tells me it's a crap shoot.

    I typically shoot up to 3000 shots per rehearsal x 3 or more rehearsals per week in season, plus my other projects, cycling the number counter several times a year, nearly 80K on this one.

    @DHendo - Thanks - I appreciate the answer. I really want no residue from oil or splatters - that's sort of manufacturers problem to fix.

    @edubyatx, - Yep - I felt the tug at my hind-end and it was my wallet letting me know it was begging to lighten up...

    The only (onlies -as they are plurals) things are that I will want to include some lenses (in the fullness of time) to the mix, which will raise the cost significantly - I'm not naive or blind to that. When I really look at the cost it's 4 times the camera, so I kind of slow down a bit on pulling out the checkbook. 

    Thanks and my best,

  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    Nikon has not acknowledged the problem, nor has their service department acknowledged a fix.  Some say that later runs do not have this issue (serial number 305xx or greater), but if you look at dpreview some with those later serial numbers still report the problem.  Many say that the issues lessen with the number of shots, but it is not conclusive.

    That is about all that is known about this topic, I've been following it very closely, as I have this issue with my D600. 

    Unfortunately, the discussions over at dpreview have been quite disrespectful.  It seems that some who don't have this issue or even this camera enjoy attacking those that do.  I have seen comments ranging from ones saying that if you "can't use a real camera, buy a point and shoot" to another that said that the spots are the least concern compared to the quality of my photos.  Many just say to suck it up and clean the sensor and also to fix any spots in post.  I maintain, as do many who have this camera/issue, that this problem is not acceptable, nor is fixing it regular maintenance.  I take very good care of my equipment and am fine doing regular maintenance, but this issue is not like changing oil in a car, it is like a new car that flings oil all over the windshield. 

    I am still hoping for a fix.  My D600 produces beautiful images, but it stinks to be worried that when I get home I will find black spots in my skies.  I don't like doing post-production work on my images, I don't have Photoshop, and I don't want to spend my time stamping out black spots in my skies from a new camera.  I spent a TON of hard-earned money on this system, way more than I have ever spent on electronics.  First the body at retail, then a handful of FX lenses, so I have spent many thousands!  I love the camera and just want to enjoy it without abnormal spots. 

    I hope that we, the Nikon customers, pressure Nikon for a real fix.  That means contacting support if you see the issues and sending it in if you can.  They need to know the extent of this or they will not bother to fix it.  I also hope that, through helpful communities like this, we can share information and help each other.  Thanks all, let's keep together on this! 

    Here are a few of the dpreview topics: 
    Spots on the D600 sensor = 
    Some say that later serial numbers still might have the issue = 
    Several have been to Nikon Service and back without fixing =

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 2,330Member
    @roombarobot, why not crank out a couple of thousand shots, get it cleaned once more and see where you stand? I also felt the tug on my wallet when at Costco yesterday. D600 kit with two lenses, memory card and wireless adapter for $2390. I already have the 70-300 so there's another ~$400 off when I sell that... Damn.
  • friedmudfriedmud Posts: 14Member
    edited December 2012
    I have had my D600 for a few months now, let me see if I can shed some light on this subject.

    1. I do not believe them to be oil spots. I can blow them off using a rocket blower... It just takes patience and persistence. I can see the dust getting blown away as I blow. I believe that it is electrostatically welded dust.

    2. I have about 5000 actuations or so and it has definitely slowed down.

    3. The image quality out of is camera is truly astounding.... and well worth a bit of dust.

    Let me say one final thing to those who have this issue. I believe a lot of you are blowing in the wrong place. If you have your camera in sensor cleaning mode with the lens off and the sensor is facing you (ie you can read the "Nikon" on the front of the camera and that "Nikon" is right side up) if you are having a lot of dust spots showing up in the "upper left" of the image that will correspond to the "lower LEFT" of the sensor as you are looking at it. Blow there and your spots will go away.

    A lot of people get this wrong. The lens flips images both horizontally and vertically, true. BUT when you turn the camera around to look at the sensor you are flipping the image horizontally again... ie undoing the horizontal flip by the lens.

    Think of it this way: When taking a photo in the normal position, what shows up on the left side of your image is captured by the sensor closest to the camera grip (on the right side as you normally hold the camera up to take a picture). Now flip the camera around to clean the sensor.... which side is the grip on? The LEFT.

    If you were to do a vertical flip to clean the sensor (ie the "Nikon" on the front of the camera would be upside down). Then you would need to be cleaning the "TOP right" of the sensor as you see it.

    I have been in these discussions all over the web and have seen so much damn misinformation over this simple issue that I had to post this somewhere. Please pass this knowledge on, and correct others who get it wrong. I believe it is feeding the problem with the D600 as people blow in the wrong area to get rid of their dust!
    Post edited by friedmud on
  • DHendoDHendo Posts: 3Member
    edited December 2012
    friedmud said:

    I believe a lot of you are blowing in the wrong place. If you have your camera in sensor cleaning mode with the lens off and the sensor is facing you (ie you can read the "Nikon" on the front of the camera and that "Nikon" is right side up) if you are having a lot of dust spots showing up in the "upper left" of the image that will correspond to the "lower LEFT" of the sensor as you are looking at it. Blow there and your spots will go away.

    A lot of people get this wrong. 

    Thanks for clearing this up, literally! 
    I just removed that one pesky spot that i thought was oil because i couldn't blow it off. You were right, it was just a little piece of dust. 

    So, to those who are interested, my experience has been after 3500 shots and a professional sensor cleaning I have found 1 new particle on the sensor that i could blow off in a couple of seconds. I'm at 5500 actuations now. Now that i know i was trying to blow in the wrong spot, who knows if i even needed the cleaning at all. 

    A lot of people say they want to send their cameras into Nikon for a cleaning which seems like a pain if you don't live near one of their service centres. I personally hate shipping anything i care about. I do live near a service centre and still found a pro shop that was closer who cleaned my sensor for $30 in an hour while i blew more money on stuff in the store (I also saw a lady bring in a Leica M9 with a cracked sensor!). It may be worth a few calls to save yourself the worry of shipping. 

    Post edited by DHendo on
  • GilAegerterGilAegerter Posts: 1Member
    edited December 2012
    I got my D600 on Sept. 18, and after a hiking trip in mid-October, I noticed the telltale spots. I couldn't blow them away, and because of the round/oval nature, I believed them to be oil. At this point, I had about 3,000 frames on the body. I took the body into a service center and they cleaned the sensor and I have had no problems since then. It's a fantastic lightweight full-frame DSLR body that does extraordinarily well in high ISO situations. The last frame at the bottom of this page is an example, a three-frame panorama, hand held at ISO 3200:

    Post edited by GilAegerter on
  • whmittywhmitty Posts: 2Member
    edited December 2012
    Even knowing about the sensor contamination complaints I bought the D600 body-only back in October (no discount for me!) and when I received it from JR.COM I immediately did the F/22.0 "sky test" and lo and behold there were the dots and spots. I wet swabbed the sensor and following that the contamination only very gradually began to appear again. In fact it was of zero consequence unless I shot a sky at small apertures and even then it was barely noticeable. That said, I decided to send it to the Los Angeles Nikon service center complaining about the problem which by that time Nikon had fully acknowledged. They specifically cleaned the "mirror box" which I've heard was the main source of the dust,etc. I have had it back for nearly a month and have not had any problems with contamination since. This is one fine camera and even though I paid full pop for it I have no regrets whatsoever. Nikon, though, needs to get it's quality control protocols in order as I had the same problem with my D7000.
    Post edited by whmitty on
  • NWPhoto21NWPhoto21 Posts: 13Member
    RE:  Nikon D600,   B2 - "Moderate repair:  Major parts replaced.          

    I sent in my D600 to Nikon, Los Angeles after 1500 shots because of significant spots on the sensor, far more than I had on my D7000 with 5000 shots. I should have my camera back in a few days.

    Nikon listed the service category as: B2 - "Moderate repair:  Major parts replaced." I emailed Nikon and asked what major parts they replaced and why and they have not yet replied.

    Does anyone have an idea what Nikon actually did to my camera for B2 service? Does this solve the spots on sensor problem?
  • pippigurlpippigurl Posts: 241Member
    Well I received my D600 for Christmas and immediately starting shooting. After about 30 snaps I downloaded them to LR4 and saw two very dark spots on the image. However, the spots were only visible with the body rotated into the portrait posture, they were not present when holding landscape. I then went outside for a check using a blank sheet of white paper and checked those on the computer. Nothing! I concluded it may have been some dust that dislodged and landed on the sensor. I now have about 650 clicks and all is clear. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member
    edited December 2012

    @NWPhoto21 - B2, eh?  That sounds like a lot, I wonder what they replaced as well.  Perhaps it is the mirror box, some think that is where the lubricant is coming from.  Please keep me and the rest of us posted as to if the spots reappear for you, NWPhoto21, I hope for the best for you!

    I had mine come back with B1 for the first repair, details follow.  However, I have more spots now, right out of the box from repair, so I am sending it back again.  Oh, and I tried blowing off the spots, I tried several sessions with a large rocket blower.  A couple spots moved, I picked up a couple, but many did not budge.  For some it may be dust, but I don't think it is in my case.  Back to Nikon it goes, maybe this time I'll have a B2 service.

    Here is what the first service said:

    Service repair rank B1








    Post edited by roombarobot on
  • Kyle_ClementsKyle_Clements Posts: 1Member
    edited December 2012
    After taking 3680 shots, (mostly from three different 1000 shot timelapse sequences), I sent my D600 in to the Toronto service centre.

    I got my camera back from the Nikon Service centre about 3 weeks ago.  The note I got with the camera mentioned "repair" not "cleaning", so I'm guessing they did something to my D600. 

    The first thing I did was take it outside and take a defocused sky shot. Upon close inspection using some aggressive curves correction, the sensor was absolutely perfect! Not a speck on it.

    I've taken it out and taken a few hundred shots without issue, then did another f22 sky test; still no dust spots.  So far things are looking good.

    I haven't gotten around to shooting/posting a 4th (and hopefully final) timelapse sequence looking for problems, (and hopefully confirming that the problem is solved) but so far, everything is looking good.
    Post edited by Kyle_Clements on
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member
    edited December 2012

    Thanks Kyle and thank you for documenting the problem so well on your blog.  You helped us all by doing that!  I hope your D600 is fully fixed now, please keep us posted on your testing and analysis. 

    When you said the note mentioned "repair", did you get a code, like B1 or B2?  Any other details from the note?  My D600 is on its way back to Nikon for a second time, so I too hope for better results.

    Best of luck!

    P.S.  I continue to be annoyed by disrespectful posters on other forums saying that these spots are not an issue.  It is frustrating enough to be dealing with our camera problems and the lack of help from Nikon, let alone being attacked by other enthusiasts.  I mentioned a few of them above.  Another one that gets me is saying that you only see spots when shooting a white wall at f/32.  That simply isn't true.  The first time I sent my D600 in was because I had spots that were easily seen in the sky at f/8!  One wants to shoot landscapes at close to the diffraction limit and, from what I have read, the diffraction limit of the D600 is f/8 or likely even smaller.   We Nikon owners need to stick together. 

    Post edited by roombarobot on
  • ben_v3ben_v3 Posts: 59Member
    I noticed the other day that I now have a spot on my D600. Its only viewable in bright backgrounds and smaller apertures. Im heading down to the LCS today to see what they have in stock for cleaning supplies.
  • whmittywhmitty Posts: 2Member
    As I mentioned in a previous post here on 12/28/2012 my D600 seems to be doing fine with respect to dust/oil spots after sending it in for repair to Nikon in Los Angeles. I should add that they described the repair as "B1" with minor parts replacement. They otherwise did the generic "clean and adjust". As I mentioned they were specific about cleaning the mirror box. I don't know whether they replaced the box and cleaned the area where it is installed or simply cleaned it but the "B1" class repair calls for parts replacement although they did not specify in the body of their report that they replaced anything. So it's anyone's guess as to what was actually done. My cycnical guess is that something was defective and they're just fixing them as they come in. So I highly recommend that while your camera is still in warranty to send it to Nikon if you are in the least dissatisfied with sensor contamination. Also those of us who have had this problem may now become hypersensitive to "normal" dust which may eventually appear and go ballistic thinking it's more of the original problem. This whole debacle is rather disappointing given Nikon's huge profile in the camera equipment market.
  • ben_v3ben_v3 Posts: 59Member
    While I was successful in getting the oil spot off of my sensor using a VSwab with VDust Plus, I now have two pieces of dust somewhere in my mirror box. They are very sharp without a lens mounted. I also picked up the Giotto Rocket Air but cant seem to blow in the right places to even nudge these little buggers. Any advice?
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,143Member
    I know the feeling. I have a blower that I have used to try and dislodge dust from the sensor of my D700. I think I get more dust on the sensor each time I clean it, rather than getting any off. Either that or my D700 has oil spot problems like the D600.
  • ben_v3ben_v3 Posts: 59Member
    PB_PM said:

    I know the feeling. I have a blower that I have used to try and dislodge dust from the sensor of my D700. I think I get more dust on the sensor each time I clean it, rather than getting any off. Either that or my D700 has oil spot problems like the D600.

    These spots are not on captured images, only through the viewfinder.
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    @whmitty, how did you hear that Nikon service cleaned your mirror box?  Was that on the repair receipt? 

    @ben_v3, could the dust be on your focusing screen?  There is a lot of info about cleaning that, if you google it.  There was even a thread about it in the old NR forums.  Best of luck!
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,143Member
    @ben_v3 ah yes that seems to be common as well. I think the dust gets stuck on the back of the focusing screen, which is extremely hard to clean.
  • ben_v3ben_v3 Posts: 59Member
    Following this video: 

    I cleared the dust from the focus screen. Thanks to @PB_PM for letting me know what that part was called.

    The only difference on the D600 is you have to free the silver spring part that holds the screen in place instead of lifting the black part to release it. I applied a good amount of pressure and that black part wouldn't release.
This discussion has been closed.