"Nikon D7000 Nightmare" Mon 16-Jul-12 12:25 AM by hamjam
From an initial happy D7000 owner, I've become very disappointed with recent issues I seem to be having with my D7000.
Short story, I've had issues with spots/smudges appearing in almost every image since ownership of a little over a year. I've had the camera into a camera shop, had the sensor cleaned about 20 times since owning it, sent the camera into Nikon Service Center twice, once for new mirror box install, back again for a new image sensor install.
I just got back from a weeks trip to WA. State using a new Nikon 18-300MM lens (never taken off the camera just back from repair) and I've got spots/smudges on every image again.
Do I have a lemon here, or have other experienced users of this camera had any of the same issues?
Anyone's thoughts would be appreciated. I'm pretty frustrated.
I've updated this note to include two images to show where the spots appear in each image.
#3. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 0
That is a sad story. It seems you have had an unusual problem with oil or dust. In 14 months of ownership, I have cleaned the sensor 2 times on my D7000 and it is clean with no dust or oil. When I change lenses, I usually do it in the least dusty place I can find, hold the camera lens mount down and keep the time between lens changes very short.
My experience with a Canon 5D MIII was not so good. It seemed to attract dust. It went back to Canon dealer for good last week due to really poor AF and AE. So I am finding the D7000 (and my D800) to be much less problematic.
#11. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 10
> >Can you clarify this for me? How is dust entering the sensor >area? > > >>Leaving the lens on will NOT prevent dust from entering >the >>camera. >
If I were to guess, if you shoot in live view, the mirror is up, the shutter is open and the sensor is exposed. Combine that with a non-pro push / pull lens, and there is a better chance of the lens sucking dust in when you zoom in and blow dust back at the sensor when you zoom out. Again, I'm saying better chance, not that this will happen every time.
I never use live view (Just not a fan of it) and my sensor has been spotless since I picked it up.
#12. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 10
The seal between lenses and the camera are not exactly air tight. Zoom lenses must allow air to move so that the elements can move.
Some dust on your image sensor is inevitable.
I noticed that the two posted image were shot at f/22. Small apertures make dust spots more visible in image. Try shooting at f/11 or f/16. It is likely that those apertures are small enough to provide the depth of field that you need especially with a wide angle shot.
Shooting at very small apertures not only makes sensor dust more visible but it can cause the images to be softer then they should be due to diffraction.
Dave Summers Lowden, Iowa Nikonians Photo Contest Director
Nikonians membership - "My most important photographic investment, after the camera"
#13. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 0
Imo that's not many dust spots, hardly noticeable (maybe because of my eyesight) and could be easily removed in pp.
I've had my D7000 almost two years and just recently have noticed spots about the same as shown here. I'm not concerned at this time as some are inevitable and I doubt if you'll ever have a body to be completely dust free all of the time. Once they become more than a few I'll have it cleaned. Dust is common.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
#17. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 16
One thing that I've found helps is using a rocket blower to blow off any dust that might be hanging out on the rear element or mount of my lenses before mounting them to the camera. I've gotten fairly religious about doing that and have not had any (noticeable) dust issues since.
#18. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 17
Had mine for 2 years and it's picked up the odd dust spot. I just use a blower and, like others, always hold the camera facing down when I change lenses and try to be as quick as possible(without dropping it!).
'Spots' when they occur always seem to show up on areas in the sky and I find them easy to remove on the computer(I use Aperture)
I just wonder if the OP was shooting in a particularly dusty environment? My earlier camera was a D5000 and I used that on safari in Tanzania without any serious problems(and it can get very dusty there. I was changing lenses in the back of a Land Rover too-not an ideal place!
It does seem that some bodies(and users) suffer more than others and there seem to be 2 issues - one oil from the body itself(send it back for Nikon to fix) and dust incursion
#19. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 18
St. Louis, US
In addition to using a Giotto blower on my sensor and lenses, I use Sensor Swabs on the sensor. I change lenses a lot and do a thorough cleaning as needed. After paying $100 to have a local camera repair shop clean the sensor on my D100 several years ago, I decided to learn how to do it myself.
#25. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 0
OK, it happened to me I have D7000 since about a month and a half (around 1200 photos) and already I see the spots at f22 or smaller. I was frustrated and filled the form on Customer's Service section of Nikon Canada. I sent them two photos with spots encircled and received the answer several hours later to bring my camera to my local Nikon Canada Service center after the Holidays Season (because I didn't want to stop shooting during Christmas and New Year). Great. I hope they'll fix it for good. Service Center is only a few miles from my office so it won't be difficult When I read on the internet about the nightmare some people had with Nikon Service who denied the spots were manufacturing failure, I can consider myself as lucky to have good service in Canada.
#26. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 25
St Petersburg, RU
How can they "fix it for good"? Dust is dust and you and your camera are bathed in it. There is one solution to dust, get a camera with no openings or removable lens. Dust is not a repair issue the exact same way dirty windshields on new cars are not warranty issues. But many dealers will clean them for customers just to be nice. Learning to use the camera or to post process is much more of a learning curve than learning basic camera/lens maintenance. All sensors are dirty to some small extent but shooting at normal apertures results in few people seeing a problem. More users would notice a few spots if they shot at f/22, a point way beyond the onset of diffraction on a high density sensor. Ordinary dust is not a defect in a camera and if you think it is, there is no camera with interchangeable lenses, being shot at f/22 that will make you happy. Cleaning lasts as long as there is no dust in the environment, which means do not expect a cleaning to be the end of dust or fixing it for good.
Some time in the recent past, normal maintenance, for some people, has been redefined as a defect or the manufacturers fault. I am at a loss as to why that change has occurred but a DSLR might not be a good camera choice for those who believe pulling out a credit card at the store was the last active participation and responsibility they assume. It just would not occur to me that a car or camera manufacturer is responsible for the wear and tear or dirt I subject a car or camera to. Can someone explain where this strange notion of dirt being a defect came from? It did not exist as far as I recall 5 years ago. Is it only a North American phenomena, because I have not heard of it elsewhere. My GF read some of the posts, and while not a techie at all, she was puzzled by the same question. Even as picky as she can be, when she walks on the street with a new pair of high heels she would be happy to concede that if her shoes got dirty, it was her responsibility to clean them. She does just that more often than I clean my lenses or camera but I do it every time I go out on an event shoot, speeding 20 minutes cleaning and looking after my gear. Since I do not shoot at f/22, I obviously miss some noticing minor dust. I am also curious why diffraction that is a very real problem at f/22 is not a concern but a bit of dust is? Maybe I am just too old and logical to understand the thinking involved in that mental gymnastics. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#27. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 26
>Dust is not a repair issue the exact same way >dirty windshields on new cars are not warranty issues. But >many dealers will clean them for customers just to be nice.
That's a pretty good analogy. Where the cases differ for most people is that cleaning a windshield is much less daunting than cleaning a DSLR sensor. Also, no car manufacturer recommends against cleaning the windshield yourself. If cleaning the DSLR sensor were as easy and risk-free as cleaning a windshield, we wouldn't be seeing people treating it as a defect. Which, I agree, it is not. It is an artifact of the technology we are using, and the benefits of that technology so much outweigh this annoyance that we live with it.
We have seen manufacturers try to address this issue with vibrating sensors. That's a useful but not complete solution. If/when a manufacturer comes up with a system that fully resolves the problem, it will be a huge win for them. (I have no idea what such a solution might look like.)
>Some time in the recent past, normal maintenance, for some >people, has been redefined as a defect or the manufacturers >fault.
Perhaps the better automotive analogy is an oil change. While you can do it yourself and many do, most people take their car to a shop to have it done. The difference is that people understand and accept the need for it, and it is made explicit right in the owner's manual. It would be less of an issue if the camera manufacturers did treat sensor cleaning as an issue of routine maintenance and if it were more convenient to have done. (Most of us don't live within drop-off distance of a Nikon service bureau.)
I clean my sensors myself, but I understand why the less technically inclined balk at reaching into their expensive camera to perform a procedure that the manufacturer frowns upon.
#28. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 27
St Petersburg, RU
I have never seen a camera manufacturer explicitly say not to clean a camera except by taking it to one of their shops. A better analogy is the car paint. The difference is that the paint on a car, if not washed carefully is more likely to be damaged and is much more difficult and expensive to replace. But people think they are competent with the tools even though the surface is a lot softer and damage prone than the AA filter made of lithium niobate which has a hardness in the 5.5 Mohs range, much more difficult to scratch than car paint. That is about the same as quality window glass, which is scratched by not many materials. Last time I checked few people have called the factory names for allowing their windows to be defective by needing to be cleaned. I even occasionally wash my own windows and have yet to damage one. Nor have I heard of there being a rash of people sending their windows to the factory for official cleaning.
So, since Nikon does not mention that cleaning is not permitted, and camera and lens cleaning has been a traditional photographer's task in maintaining his equipment, I am still trying to figure out who came up with the notion, just recently, that cleaning and dust as a defect that needed to be addressed by repair techs. It is a new claim that I have only run into on some forums in the last couple years. It is a pretty bizarre notion on the face of it. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#29. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 28
This issue goes back to at least 2004, when I got my first Nikon DSLR, a D70. In the D70 manual, it says:
The low-pass filter is extremely delicate and easily damaged. Nikon recommends that filter be cleaned only by Nikon-authorized service personnel.
Should you choose to clean the filter yourself, follow the steps below.
1 Raise the mirror as described in steps 1–4 on the preceding page.
2 Remove dust and lint from the filter with a blower. Do not use a blower-brush, as the bristles could damage the filter. Dirt that can not be removed with a blower can only be removed by Nikon-authorized service personnel. Under no circumstances should you touch or wipe the filter.
No doubt earlier Nikon DSLRs had similar warnings, although I have no first-hand knowledge of that.
That language is still present, nearly unchanged, in the D7000 manual. So, you see, people's angst about sensor cleaning isn't something they made up; it comes directly from their user's manual, where Nikon tells them the low-pass filter is extremely delicate and recommends (strongly, I would say) that only Nikon service personnel should clean it.
#32. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 29
St Petersburg, RU
The wording is rather mild compared to manufacturers usually say and besides we know that what was written is not true. Every company that has independent service centers includes a recommendation to take any minor jobs to the shops as a bone to toss to shops for increased out of warranty work to compensate for the low reimbursement rates they pay. I used to have one of the largest pro audio service centers in the US and depended on those referrals because the 54 brands we were the warranty service for, we were paid less that the cost of repairs. That is normal and the shops do it because of all the referrals at full shop rate. That is the case with almost any repair field. That $100 cleaning if under warranty is probably $18 if a warranty claim is paid to the shop.
If the writing in owners manuals were followed you could only use Ford spark plugs in your Ford but that was resolved decades ago in court. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#33. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 30
I bought mine from a fellow Nikonian here a while ago. I noticed some spots and tried to remove them with my Giotto rocket blower, but ended up using the sensor cleaning swabs. Had to do it a few times to get the spots off, it may have been stubborn dust or a little oil and dust.
I change my lenses a lot and am very careful, but now I do a test shot once and a while and the blower has been able to remove the dust so far.
Don't be afraid to clean your sensor, it is easy and works well. Just follow the directions and take your time. There is a good video by Moose Peterson on cleaning, do a web search.
By the way, my eyes are not that great, but I don't really see the spots in your images.
#35. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" In response to Reply # 34 Fri 21-Dec-12 02:09 PM by richardd300
I have the full Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly cleaning kit including the inspection loupe and I was trained how to use it to remove dust and clean the sensor. I've had 5 cameras since I bought it, D90,D700,D7000,D800 and a Nikon 1. When I learned the correct way to change lenses (tilt the camera forward towards the ground", I found I was using the cleaning kit to clean the sensor less and less. I have a feeling however, as the Nikon 1 doesn't have the luxury of the mirror, this may become a more likely candidate for cleaning.
I do however use the butterfly regularly to clean the mirror area and internals to help prevent dust entering the sensor chamber.
Dust is dust and there's no way of eradicating it completely, where there's static, there's dust. However with care there are ways to prevent spits and spots getting on the sensor.