First a couple checks. Have you set the automatic sensor cleaning options from the setup menu? Page 210 and 211 in the manual. This will generally get rid of most of the dust. I doubt you have sand. If you do then you put the camera some place where you shouldn't have.
Use a bulb blower like the Giottos. This normally takes care of 99% of the spots on the sensors filter. It will not clean the sensor if the spots are caused by oil drops.
If everything above fails, then the sensor filter will need a wet cleaning. In the last 10 years or so I've owned maybe 10 digital cameras and only had to wet clean the sensor filter once. And that was my fault. A drop of water got on the sensor.
If you wet clean I would recommend a pro do it. And don't buy a generic cleaning kit you might see advertised by an on-line store. They are a rip off. You only need the Giottos bulb.
I have to respectfully disagree that wet cleaning by a pro is necessary.And a digital camera that you change lenses on often, or out in a field full of pollen..you are bound to get dust spots. I sent my D700 out 2 times to be professionally cleaned..using the artic butterfly the first time.Still flithy..they told me they cleaned it again still flithy.and until I got up the courage to clean it myself with Eclipse and sensor pads..It looked like my sensor has the chicken pox. Yes start with the blower..always..but some things like pollen can stick like glue. And then read the online tutorials and watch the videos.It is very scary the first time..but you can do it.
Sheri I still wouldn't want a beginner to try wet cleaning the first time without at least someone who knows how to do it properly show her. Yes Eclipse is the way to go. If a pro tried cleaning your sensor with an Artic Butterfly then they weren't very professional. Most people don't even know how to properly use one. It is not meant to touch the sensor but to operate above it. And it won't work on stuff stuck to the sensor.
Thank you so much for your insight. Sometimes it is better to do it ourselves than relying on professionals. I have never tried ceaning a sensor so I'll have to start the basic cleaning method first and then go from there. I am hoping that it'll go away agter the first try.
Thank you so much for the advice. I will try the self cleaning first and then if not then i'll have to get a giottos bulb blower and clean it myself. I have never been cleaned a camera sensor so it'll me terrifying for me at first. any suggextions?
I am really hoping and crossing my fingers on the next step. And hopefully I get lucky and be able to clean my sensor with Giottos. I just ordered it on amazon, i am expecting it to arrive next week. I will let you know if I succeed or not, lol.
When you clean your sensor, make sure the battery is fully charged before you start. Also be very careful and make sure that you don't touch the sensor or anything in the mirror box with the tip or sides of the Giottos Rocket Blower. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
You are not cleaning the sensor. You are cleaning a piece of glass on the sensor. It is considerably stronger than you think. Millions have had their sensors cleaned using any means available.
Here's a tip. Avoid smallish apertures. Spots are very hard to see if you shoot wide open. F8 and smaller should be avoided.
I was at the local airport shooting a skycrane as it was warming up. I was using f14 because I din't have time to check aperture. I got there as it was just getting ready to take off. Every bit of dust showed up.
A couple days later I was shooting at f4 and the dirt magically disappeared.
Eclipse is one of the best for cleaning. The trick is to use only one drop of liquid on the pec pad. The first time I did it I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. By the time I did it again (D700) I felt like an old hand.
BTW, I use an old ear syringe I cleaned out well. Much cheaper than the Giottos rocket.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." Miss Piggy