D800e and oil spots

Mart356Mart356 Posts: 4Member
edited March 2013 in D6x0/D7x0/D8x0
Well, got my D800e in January. Had my first really good trip with it in Iceland and by the end of the trip the images were almost unusable with so many dark spots appearing. I do a lot of HDR (maybe 9 images) and that just compounds the problem a WHOLE lot. This image show just how bad it got towards the end - the image is edited to highlight the dots not make the best image. http://www.flickr.com/photos/martynday/8536916996/in/photostream/lightbox/

Ive talked to Nikon and sending the camera back under warranty to have it checked out. It's had the same lens on since January and the dots are just growing by the day it seemed. I suspect, it's oil not dust. Seems my D800e could be suffering the same as the D600.

Anyone else out there in trouble?

Ho hum. Anyway, here are some of the images in Iceland. I highly recommend landscapers to get out there. http://www.flickr.com/photos/martynday/sets/72157632921149461/


  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    For reasons I cannot explain, the Nikon pro bodies and the D600 seem to have this problem of early oil spots. My D4 had about 70 when I cleaned the sensor at 10,000 clicks, and at 19,000 I have seen only a couple vague spots, not enough to bother with. If you have sent you body to Nikon with less than 2,000 clicks, it may occur again when it is returned. In the majority of case on the D800 it tends to decease dramatically with more shutter clicks.

    This is very frustrating as most of us know, but apparently nikon feels this is the way to deal with it and clean sensors for free.
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,722Member
    I just cleaned the sensor on my D800 at 6,591 exposures. It had 5 "spots" that could not be blown off and needed a wet cleaning to remove. That is quite a bit different than my D600.
  • Mart356Mart356 Posts: 4Member
    My camera is at less than 2k exposures. I will speak to them again. How long did it take for them to get the camera back?
  • EiTaroEiTaro Posts: 35Member
    I have the same problem on D800 but with less than 2.000 clicks. Only one major spot with a bacteria like shape and a few more subtle round spots. Mostly on the upper left quadrant of the photos. I'm aware of the problem and I'll wait to make a few more thousand clicks before send it to Nikon for cleaning. I presume that I'll happen when the 10 pin socket collapse :)>- The Capture NX 2 with the dust off ref photo cleans the raw photos perfectly by the way.
    D800 | 16-35mm f4 | 50mm f1.4 | 70-200mm f2.8 | 150-600 Sport | SB910 | RRS
  • Mart356Mart356 Posts: 4Member
    ooh thanks, I have not installed NX as I use Aperture with Nik. Dust off app sounds very useful. HDR photos really need a very very clear sensor as layering multiple shots just builds up the oil/dust shadows. The guy at Nikon said that the benefit of film is that every photo has a fresh sensor! Nice way of thinking about it but did't help my problem!
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    Problem arises from the lubrication used on the shutter system being flung by the shutter onto the sensor. Took mine to a local shop, had it cleaned under warrantee at 4,000 frames and haven't had the problem since.
    Only took one day.... Sending it back to nikon is something I avoid at all costs.... But from your posted image OP, that really looks much less like oil spots and more like lens dirt. Oil spots tend to be large, round and blotchy, not pinpoint black dots. If you say you used the same lens the whole time... what was the lens? Have you since used any different lenses? Was it a zoom lens? Zoom lenses tend to suck in dirt if they're not sealed properly. I'd put 10 bucks on you getting your camera body back and still getting those spots.
    If it were me I'd clean the lens too.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • Mart356Mart356 Posts: 4Member
    You have to remember this is an HDR which brings out the dots as very black and small as the shadows are combined. You can't see these on a normal single exposure. Add 9 together....different picture
    It's a 24-85 FX lens.
    Hmm, will try a better self clean first as i really don't want to lose the camera for long
  • jackdavisphotomanjackdavisphotoman Posts: 9Member
    edited March 2013
    I was looking through your photos, very nice looks like a fantastic place to visit. I had also looked at your setting your ISO was at 400 and F/22 and the others were at a higher ISO of either 640 or 800. One thing that happens when stopping down F/11 to F/16 or above is if there is any dust or oil on the filter it will show up. Normally, keep the ISO on the low 100 or lower for most, unless its interior shooting and there is no light equipment. How many have cleaned their sensor, I have thought about sending my old cameras in, but never did cleaned them with out any problems and will do the same with this model.
    Post edited by jackdavisphotoman on
    D800, D7100, D700, 14-24f/2.8, 24-70f/2.8, 70-200f/2.8, 50f/1.4, 24f/1.4, 150-500, 300f/2.8
  • D900ED900E Posts: 26Member
    > when stopping down F/11 to F/16 or above is if there is any dust or oil on the filter it will show up...

    If by filter you talk about the AA (or whatever is on top of the sensor) I don't really agree on that.
    The aperture and the ISO should not influence the visibility of dust and oil on the sensor.
    If in theory that dust was inside the lens, it might (but it is not in focus) show up at small apertures.
    Cameras: Coolpix P330, D100, D300s, D800E.
    Lenses: FX: 14 f/2.8; 14-24 f/2.8; 16-35 f/4, 24 f/1.4; 24-70 f/2.8; 24-120 f/4; 35 f/1.4; 50 f/1.8; 70-200 f/2.8; 70-300 f/4.5; 80-400 f/4.5; 85 f/1.4; 50-500 f/6.3 Sigma; DX: 10.5 f/2.8; 10-24 f/3.5; 16-85 f/3.5,18-70 f/3.5; 18-200 f/3.5; Manual 1000 reflex f/11
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    that's a lot of spots. though as msmoto wrote, it all should be gone by 10000. I had my first cleaning after 3 months of use of my d800 and since than no problems at all - though I shoot mostly in the 2.8-5.6 f range.
  • jackdavisphotomanjackdavisphotoman Posts: 9Member
    edited March 2013
    >If by filter you talk about the AA (or whatever is on top of the sensor) I don't really agree on that.
    Not not on the AA filter as the 800E is lacking, but the low pass filter that the dust and oil falls on prior to the sensor. Yes if you are shooting a wide open F/1.4 or up to F/11 many small dust particles will not be visible, but if you stop down to F/16 or greater you'll see crap on the low pass filter .

    >The aperture and the ISO should not influence the visibility of dust and oil on the sensor.
    The ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed make up the exposure triangle, change one it effect the others. Take an ISO of 800 with F/22 and decreased to ISO 100 or 50 it can then reduce the aperture to F/8 or F/5.6. An ISO of 400 F/22 to ISO 100 or 50 would reduce the aperture to F/11 or F/8. Decreasing the ISO decreases the F/stop which increases the size of the aperture, thus making it possible to achieve great vacation pictures without the crap on the photos until it could be cleaned. I agree with you that if it was a dirty lens it would not matter what the settings one used but then the spots would show up throughout.

    Ade posted this link which this is one of many sources.
    Post edited by jackdavisphotoman on
    D800, D7100, D700, 14-24f/2.8, 24-70f/2.8, 70-200f/2.8, 50f/1.4, 24f/1.4, 150-500, 300f/2.8
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited June 2013
    Killerbob said:

    On my D800 I have noticed that in >f/14 pictures there is small smudge/dust visible. However, when I lift the mirror and open the shutter I can't see anything. Ii must be really small, but it's kind of difficult to do something about when I can't even see it.

    Besides using an airblower I guess it's back to Nikon, but I am definitely open for suggestions?
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    How do I go about convincing Nikon it is indeed a oil spot and not "just" a dusty (if it is indeed that)? Also, I'm only at about 2K shoots and it looks like I got this spot at around 1K, so when is a good time to expect this issue to be done with? I have to pay shipping to/from DK myself and it takes forever, even by airmail:(
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Take a shot at f16 or smaller against a light background - if the contamination still looks like a spot of oil (circular, possibly with a ring around it), chances are it is oil, but if it has a hard black (possibly irregular) form to it, chances are it is dust.

    Another low-risk rough check is; if it comes off with a blower it is dust, if it doesn't it is oil. I like this last test myself.

    I gather you have the 'self clean' facility turned on?
    Always learning.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I have the self clean turned on at shut down, and I have tried with a lot of air... it's oil:(

    Good thing is it's in the top-left corner, you only notice it from f/14, and it is rather small, i.e. I can easily retouch it away.
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    As a person who sent his D600 to Nikon several times, I might recommend just getting yours cleaned locally, if you think it is a one time minor issue. The D600 was a continuous spatter fest, so it had to be sent in.

  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    Unfortunately - in this situation - I live in Nuuk, Greenland. There are no local camera gear shops, and the nearest is in Copenhagen, Denmark. Shipping a D800 there and back (they will charge for the return shipping even in warranty cases), is at least USD125.

    However, I will not get the kit and try and clean the sensor myself, I am simply not sure of the result, and might end up harming it in the process.

    Having now taken an f/22 shot against a blue blue sky, I know there are several (10ish or so) small oil spots, and I think I'll let it go for another 1-2K shoots. Then when I am next time in Denmark, have it cleaned under warranty, and an alignment done with my lenses.

    In the meanwhile I guess the Retouch tool in Aperture is my friend:)
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    You can use the dust-off photo and removal system in NX2. I've used it successfully and others have reported it works well for them too.
    You shouldn't be too afraid of wet cleaning a sensor. The material in front of the actual sensor is as hard as glass. Also since you live remotely, it's a tool you should have in your arsenal. There are several cleaning threads here if you search. Also you can PM me and I'll help you.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Having Aperture and tried NX2 several times, there's not a real alternative to Aperture. Aperture's retouch tool can be copied onto multiple images. I would go with Aperture, too.

    Had my first success with sensor swabs this Friday :) there were a lot of dust and some greasy spots on D5100 Sensor and on second attempt most of them were gone. One or two little particles are still on the sensor's surface. I prefer Nikon's service, but sometimes I don't want to send it in. I will do that from time to time, but if I need it done quickly, I'll have a first go for myself.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited June 2013
    @Killerbob: You should Not be scared of cleaning your sensor. It is a very easy process and with the right tools will save you lots of headaches, frustration and down time. Here is a list for you to consider getting...given the investment you have and are going to make in your photography gear.

    1) Sensor Loupe 7X
    2) Eclipse Cleaning System Solution
    3) Sensor Swab Type 3
    4) Petter Greg Sensorsweep

    I have use the Peter Greg Sensorsweep for 95% of the time in cleaning my sensor. However, if the item on your sensor is oil, then you will need the swabs and cleaning solution. Get the Sensor Loupe! It will save you a lot of time in seeing what is on your sensor and if it is truly clean. The entire process of taking a picture and then downloading it to your computer and looking at it is way to cumbersome.

    A few videos to look at to see the process.

    Eclipse Video on Cleaning Your Sensor
    Peter Greg Sensorsweep Video
    Moose Peterson on Sensor Cleaning

    Good reading as well: Thom Hogan -- Cleaning your sensor
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    I followed the Peter Greg method and removed about 70 oil spots on the sensor of my D4. I repeated the process twice each time using a new swab. Had one spot near the edge when finished.

    But, follow the directions exactly!

    With another 15,000 clicks I think i might have a couple new spots, but will wait for a while to clean again if i need to.
    Msmoto, mod
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    And the Peter Greg method is completely liquid free, right? I.e. it really is just the sensorsweep, and it can deal with the all-so-irritating oil spots?

    I took another f/57 shoot against a clear blue sky, and I have about 30 of the small f......
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    One uses condensation from one's breath with the Peter Greg method. It worked for me.
    Msmoto, mod
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I talked to Nikon today, and they said it was perhaps flakes coming off the shutter door, like what is happening on the D600. I know they are having problems with the D600, but it sure looks to me like what I have is oil spots. Anyways, I can turn it in for a clean next time I am in Denmark.

    Still thinking about the DIY clean-job. I'll have to order the parts in though, but will probably get it, if nothing else then just to have it - Better to have it, and not need it, than need it, and not have it:) Funny enough, Amazon will ship most books, SW, and stuff to Greenland, but none of these camera cleaning parts. Could be down to the individual vendors...
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