Question #1 I've been lurking about for a few weeks now and it is time I tapped into the wealth of experienced knowledge here at nikonians.
Bought a new D700 with a couple of new lenses. The AF-S 24-120mm fits nice and snug in the mount to the camera with little movement, hard to detect unless I really go looking for it. The AF-S 70-200mm is another story.
The best way to describe it is I have a Nikon hand strap, AH-4?. If I fit my hand into the strap and secure my grip with the hand strap, drop the camera to my side and start walking I feel a jiggle in the camera.
Grabbing the camera body and the lens with both hands individually and give a twist back and forth, I have approx. 3mm play/slap.
Is this acceptable in a new camera and lens? I always feel it jiggling and it is bugging me.
I cleaned my lenses next to a sunny window. Lens glass on both lenses was clear but the neutrals needed a bit of dusting and a smudge on one filter needed to be worked out. Shot into a blue sky with both lenses and both shots had the dot. Removed the lens and looked at the mirror. Saw a fleck of dust and removed it. MUP'ed and I could see nothing on the sensor with a cursory look. With a better look at the sensor, will I find the dot creating culprit or is it a pixel problem?
If sensor cleaning is all that is needed, is there a good tutorial on cleaning a sensor somewhere around here? I don't want to screw something up as I'm a bit nervous playing behind the mount area.
#1. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 12-Jan-12 02:28 PM by agitater
There are very slight variations of lens play from mount to mount and from camera to camera. What you're describing seems normal - especially so if image quality is excellent (as it should be with that combo). The rattle you described is more likely the disengaged parts of the VR system making noise as you swing your arm or flex your hand while you walk. It's probably not advisable to swing the camera rig like that, back and forth, while you walk because I don't think the system is designed to absorb that kind of wear over the long term. A more stable carry - or rather, a carry with less constant movement is generally safer and easier on your gear IMO. There could also be a slight rattle coming from a mounted lens hood. Plastic or metal cinch or ladder clips on hand straps and shoulder straps also make noise when they come into contact with clothing buttons, the camera or lens body, and so on.
Tiny bits of dust on the front element of a lens or on either side of a filter don't show up in photos. Same is true with mirror dust. The mirror reflects up into the viewfinder prism so that you can see through the lens (TTL) when framing and focusing. It's impossible for dust on that mirror to appear in one of your photos.
Sensor dust is not a scary monster. The apparently exposed surface of your camera sensor is, in fact, not exposed to anything. It's covered/protected by a filter glass. Dust and other junk periodically find their way onto that glass, sometimes during lens changes, sometimes because some zoom lenses (when repeatedly zoomed quickly especially) can pump dust past the rear lens element and into the mirror box.
If you go to the Visible Dust web site, you'll find a number of video tutorials which instruct the 'sensor' cleaning process using Visible Dust products. I have a kit from Visible Dust which includes and an LED-based sensor loupe (so I can examine the surface of the sensor filter under strong magnification), an Arctic Butterfly sensor brush (which, when properly static charged, picks up most loose dust from the surface of the sensor filter; do not allow even a single hair of that brush to touch the inside of the mirror/sensor box in the camera), two different sizes of cleaning pads (one for APS-C/DX sensors, one for full frame/FX sensors, and a bottle of VDust Plus cleaning solution (should a wet cleaning be needed - which is rare for me).
#2. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 0
Powder Springs, US
Welcome to Nikonians! What Howard said.
Aside from that, I cannot see the spot, but I am on a ViewSonic monitor at work, so that might limit me. Also, your image is 14"-15" wide on my monitor, so your 1/2" and 1/4" might not apply to me. If you give your coordinates in percentage of frame dimensions, I might spot it.
I like the shot BTW. The way some geese are in front of the hills and one is against the sky is just great.
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
#4. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 3
I stared and stared and stared and finally found the spot just where you said it was. Very hard to see. That is a classic bit of dust on the sensor filter.
Until you have a chance to research sensor cleaning (i.e., view some of the online tutorials, decide on which system to purchase, and so on), it's easier - and a matter of a couple of seconds of effort - to just clone out the spot in your photo editing software.
That's what I do. Make no mistake about it, I don't jump into a sensor cleaning the moment I see a spot like the one in your shot. Cloning away a spot like that provides a result that is indistinguishable from the same shot made with a perfectly clean sensor.
#5. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 0
Rancho Cordova, US
If I fit my hand into the strap and secure my grip with the hand strap, drop the camera to my side and start walking I feel a jiggle in the camera.
I just wanted to comment on this...the D700 is no light camera and the 70-200 f/2.8 (either version) is no light lens. I would be hesitant to be carrying that combo by the camera body as that is a lot of weight to be supporting at the end of your hand. Sure, you may be holding it mostly vertical but when you lift it up, you may be putting a lot of stress on the camera portion of the bayonet mount.
I would recommend supporting the lens and having the lens support the camera.
My logic: The 70-200 f/2.8 has a tripod foot. If you were to moun this combo on a tripod, you would secure the lens foot to the tripod, not the camera. Likewise, I think you should be carrying this combo by the lens, and not by the camera. I know that you support the camera with a strap with this lens, it is essentially supporting the lens, too, but were this my body and lens combo, I would probably be cradling that lens in my left hand, even with the camera strap around my neck.
#6. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 0
Thank you for the good advice, Anthony and Howard.
Weighing myself on a bathroom scale, with and without camera, there was a 7lb difference using 8 double "A" batteries in the grip. Lots of camera there. I will be more conscience of how I carry and lift.
Howard I've been using Lightroom 3.6 which has the nifty little spot remover. I'm a Photoshop guy from way back but am trying to get use to Lightroom. I like the program for certain things, and the spot remover is one.
Out of interest, what would be a ball park figure on having a sensor replaced in the D700?
#8. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 0
>MUP'ed and I could see nothing on the sensor with >a cursory look. With a better look at the sensor, will I find >the dot creating culprit or is it a pixel problem? >
To help put things into a perspective, the spot on your example is about 15 pixels in diameter. Your example was a down sample, so accounting for that the spot probably covered a diameter of around 53 pixels. You have a pixel pitch of about 8.46 microns. That makes the debris only about 448 microns or about 1/60th of an inch (at least I think I calculated all that correctly).
So with a cursory look you most likely will not see anything. You would need something like a sensor loupe to really see most dust specks on the sensor. And being that it is fairly visible in the image at an f/8 aperture, it probably is fairly low profile and flat on the hot filter making it less visible (I’m reluctant to suggest it’s a liquid, but it’s a good possibility from my experience). If you want to really see all the dust, just take an image of a cloud free daytime sky or a properly exposed sheet of white paper at the narrowest aperture your lens has (should be unfocused). You would probably be surprise how much debris is really there that isn’t apparent at normal working apertures.
Cleaning the sensor, as mentioned, is no big deal. It is more intimidating especially if you have never done one. The hot filter is rather hard and would take carelessness to really damage things. As mentioned, go to the link provided and follow the directions carefully and you’ll complete your first cleaning without incident and be more confident should the next time you need to do it.
#9. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 8
Thanks Pete. Of course every little bit helps. That is why I came to you, Nikonians. All of you are steering me in the right direction. Howard with the sensor cleaning, Anthony with the care and attention of how I handle my camera with it's load of a large lens and now you with the technical perspective of what I'm looking at in depth. I love it and am soaking this info up.
#11. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 9
North Potomac, US
I agree with what has been said here, and I want to add my two cents. Once you get rid of your dust, this is I what I do. (1) To change lenses, I always hold the camera pointing to the floor, if possible blow air on the camera end off the lens, and then attach the lens. (2) Using the "wrench" of the Set Up Menu scrawl down to Clean Image Sensor > Clean at start/shutdown > Clean at start up. Click OK. This setting will automatically vibrate the sensor filter to clean it every time you start your camera. I have not had to clean my filters for over a year. This tidbit courtesy of the Young and Johnson's "Mastering the Nikon 700," from NikoniansPress.
#12. "RE: Loose lens mount?" In response to Reply # 11
My D700 and 70-200 VR also show a little play in the mount...I was pretty worried too but it didn't seem to be affecting image quality. I did some digging around in forums and it seems like a common occurance, with it even being suggested it's a design feature to ease the strain on the mount?! Anyway, we're not alone so that's good...!