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Nikon D7000 Nightmare

hamjam

Lincoln, US
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hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Sun 15-Jul-12 06:37 PM | edited Sun 15-Jul-12 11:25 PM by hamjam

Hi Folks,

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.

Click on image to view larger version



Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)

Jim

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four eighty sparky

US
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#1. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 0

four eighty sparky Registered since 08th Apr 2011
Sun 15-Jul-12 04:42 PM

What is the reason for all the previous spots? Oil? Dust?

What is the cause of the current spot?

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hamjam

Lincoln, US
256 posts

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#2. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 1

hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Sun 15-Jul-12 05:53 PM | edited Sun 15-Jul-12 05:54 PM by hamjam

Previous spots were due to oil on the sensor, hence the replacement of the mirror box assembly.

Current spots IMHO are a repeat of the oil spots, same as before, but I do not know for sure.

Jim

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FFN

Hudson, US
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#3. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 0

FFN Gold Member Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Charter Member
Sun 15-Jul-12 08:36 PM

Jim,

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.

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ChrisPlatt

US
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#4. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 0

ChrisPlatt Registered since 04th Jun 2011
Sun 15-Jul-12 08:59 PM

In the year and a half that I have owned my D7000, I haven't had to clean the sensor. I've had to blow dust off the sensor occasionally with a Rocket Blower, but that's all.

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hamjam

Lincoln, US
256 posts

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#5. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 4

hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Sun 15-Jul-12 09:06 PM

That's what I've expected also, but not the case.

If you don't mind my asking what lens have you been using to shoot all the great bird shots? Did you take them with your D7000?

Jim

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ChrisPlatt

US
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#6. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 5

ChrisPlatt Registered since 04th Jun 2011
Sun 15-Jul-12 09:16 PM

Thank you. The vast majority of the bird shots were taken with a Sigma 800mm. Almost all were taken with either a D200 or D7000. There may be a few left in the gallery that were taken with a D70.

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hamjam

Lincoln, US
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#7. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 6

hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Sun 15-Jul-12 09:30 PM

Thanks,

You've captured some outstanding images!

Jim

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ChrisPlatt

US
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#8. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 7

ChrisPlatt Registered since 04th Jun 2011
Sun 15-Jul-12 09:56 PM

Thank you.

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four eighty sparky

US
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#9. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 0

four eighty sparky Registered since 08th Apr 2011
Sun 15-Jul-12 10:52 PM | edited Sun 15-Jul-12 10:53 PM by four eighty sparky

They both look like dust on the sensor.

I've had my D7000 for 1½ years, and have cleaned the sensor about a dozen times.


Leaving the lens on will NOT prevent dust from entering the camera.

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hamjam

Lincoln, US
256 posts

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#10. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 9

hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Sun 15-Jul-12 11:06 PM


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.

Jim

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SirPuttsAlot

Poughquag, US
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#11. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 10

SirPuttsAlot Registered since 26th Sep 2011
Sun 15-Jul-12 11:37 PM

>
>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.

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
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#12. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 10

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sun 15-Jul-12 11:58 PM

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
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Gamecocks

Joanna, US
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#13. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 0

Gamecocks Registered since 22nd Jul 2010
Mon 16-Jul-12 12:28 AM

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.

John

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hamjam

Lincoln, US
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#15. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 12

hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Mon 16-Jul-12 01:25 PM | edited Mon 16-Jul-12 01:32 PM by hamjam

Dave,

Thanks for your post and comments. Some of my latest images I shot at f22, but for the most part I do usually shoot at f16-f18, and sometimes at f11.

I was using on this trip for all shots my new 18-300mm and did zoom in and out a lot, so perhaps that could have caused the dust.

A question on cleaning, do you do your own sensor cleaning or have it done at a local camera store?

Jim

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hamjam

Lincoln, US
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#16. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 13

hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Mon 16-Jul-12 01:29 PM

John,

Thanks for your comments. Perhaps I might be a bit picky, I guess because I've had a lot of problems, mirror box and sensor replaced.

I know some dust is inevitable, I just seem to get a lot of it. With a new mirror box and sensor, I was hoping to see hardly any at all.

Jim

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korbin

US
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#17. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 16

korbin Registered since 04th Dec 2009
Mon 16-Jul-12 03:24 PM

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.

---
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Squirri

Nottingham, UK
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#18. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 17

Squirri Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Apr 2012
Mon 16-Jul-12 03:50 PM

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

I have no solution to offer though!

res ipsa loquitur

singlerosa

St. Louis, US
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#19. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 18

singlerosa Silver Member Charter Member
Mon 16-Jul-12 06:25 PM

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.

Jim Singler D7000

hamjam

Lincoln, US
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#20. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 19

hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Mon 16-Jul-12 07:32 PM

I did buy some of those also, but have been hesitant to try them, especially since my local camera store offers a free sensor cleaning service.

I've also got a blower, and will have to start using it more often for sure.

Jim

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
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#21. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 15

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Mon 16-Jul-12 08:42 PM

I clean my own once or twice a year.

I got the cooperhill sensor swabs 3-4 years ago. It seemed a bit expensive but still have cleaning fluid and pads from the original kit.

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jdphotos

US
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#22. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 20

jdphotos Registered since 12th Jun 2012
Thu 19-Jul-12 11:24 PM

I have experienced oily spots problem twice. After the mirror box was changed, it seems OK now.

William Rounds

Rambouillet, FR
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#23. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 22

William Rounds Gold Member Nikonian since 25th Mar 2011
Thu 16-Aug-12 10:52 AM

I am experiencing repeated oil drop spots as well. Had my sensor cleaned a couple of months ago and the problem came back in no time at all.

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hamjam

Lincoln, US
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#24. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 23

hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008
Thu 16-Aug-12 11:49 AM

You may have the same problem that I had with bad seals in the mirror box. You might want to contact Nikon USA about sending it in.

Before I sent mine in and Nikon replaced the mirror box, I'd have the sensor cleaned by my local camera shop and within a week, the oil spots would be back, and always in the same place.

Jim

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mikija11

CA
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#25. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 0

mikija11 Registered since 22nd Nov 2012
Tue 18-Dec-12 02:49 AM

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.

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
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#26. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 25

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Tue 18-Dec-12 10:43 AM

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

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jbloom

Wethersfield, US
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#27. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 26

jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004
Tue 18-Dec-12 11:42 AM

>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.

Except that according to Nikon, this is not "normal maintenance." You can hardly blame people for feeling they shouldn't have to do something themselves when Nikon has told them explicitly not to do it! (Nikon says: "To properly and thoroughly clean the lower pass filter, have it cleaned by an authorized Nikon Authorized Service Center.") Nikon has chosen to act as though the dust problem is so infrequent as to be negligible. If you complain about it loudly enough, they may clean your sensor for you for free, but that's not guaranteed, and they do not support you cleaning it yourself.

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.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#28. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 27

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Tue 18-Dec-12 09:43 PM

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

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jbloom

Wethersfield, US
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#29. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 28

jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004
Wed 19-Dec-12 12:48 AM

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.
(My italics.)

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.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

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mikija11

CA
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#30. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 26

mikija11 Registered since 22nd Nov 2012
Wed 19-Dec-12 01:55 AM

When I say "fix for good" means this: Replace the mirror box with the excess lubricant because this is well known problem with D7000.
The dust is a completely different story.

A camera should not show these signs (spots) after only a month and a half of use, right? And not everyday changes of lenses or so.

Besides, as I sent them the samples of photos with spots, I suppose that the guys from Nikon Canada could conclude by themselves what was the problem, without speculating.

Moreover, do you believe any company would invite you to send their product for repair if the problem was on the user's side? No? That's what I think, too.

Cheers,

Mike

kippford

falkirk, UK
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#31. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 24

kippford Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Feb 2012
Wed 19-Dec-12 07:47 PM

theyd probablyh tell him to cantact nikon in franc

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
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#32. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 29

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 19-Dec-12 09:26 PM

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

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ctdrummer

Southern CT, US
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#33. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 30

ctdrummer Registered since 09th Feb 2012
Thu 20-Dec-12 02:29 PM


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.


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cosmicfires

Lynnwood, US
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#34. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 0

cosmicfires Registered since 22nd Nov 2011
Thu 20-Dec-12 09:23 PM

I clean my D7000's sensor when ever I see a build up of dust, usually it needs a wet cleaning with swabs to be nice and clean.

I got a Micro-Tools 14mm SensorWand which takes PecPads because the swabs are so costly.

I also bought a Lens Pen Sensor Loupe which is much faster that taking a picture of a blank object at a small aperature and downloading it to look for dust.

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#35. "RE: Nikon D7000 Nightmare" | In response to Reply # 34

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Fri 21-Dec-12 11:45 AM | edited Fri 21-Dec-12 12:09 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.

Richard

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