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DIY cleaning of a D7000 sensor

William Rounds

Rambouillet, FR
733 posts

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William Rounds Gold Member Nikonian since 25th Mar 2011
Tue 21-Aug-12 11:56 AM

I have been having the recurring oil spots on my sensor issue on my D7000. Given the trouble and time it takes to have a Nikon authorized dealer clean the sensor (already done a couple of times) I am wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for me to learn how to do this myself. Is there anything special about cleaning oil spots, as opposed to just dust? Any special products or techniques needed?

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elec164

US
2575 posts

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#1. "RE: DIY cleaning of a D7000 sensor" | In response to Reply # 0

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Tue 21-Aug-12 11:29 AM | edited Tue 21-Aug-12 11:35 AM by elec164

Nothing special, it may take a few swipes though being that oil tends to be tacky and smear a bit. So one swipe is often not enough. I use Eclipse fluid and Sensor Swabs. I use a Rocket Blower first to remove loose dust, then swipe with Sensor Swab with a few drops of Eclipse fluid. The trick is in applying proper pressure. The first time I tried I was a bit tentative in placing to much pressure. As a result it barely cleaned any oil spots and just smeared most of them. I then re-watched the Copperhill videos and applied more pressure the second time around and removed most spots. After four swipes I was spotless. Now knowing the proper pressure, it takes two swipes most times.

But more important, where is the oil comming from. There was a known seal defect in early units that sprayed oil on the sensor. The oil tended to collect on the right side of the image frame in a random but distinct pattern. If that's the cause and your camera is under warranty ( or even just out of warranty if you can prove the issue started within warranty) then send it in for evaluation. Beyond the hassle of cleaning the sensor every few weeks eventually the mirror mechanism motor will run low on lubricant and fail causing a costly repair.

I sent mine in a few months past warranty and they repaired it as a courtesy service. Since the repair back in Feburary I haven't seen or felt the compelling need to clean the sensor like I did before the repair.

Pete

Pete

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William Rounds

Rambouillet, FR
733 posts

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#2. "RE: DIY cleaning of a D7000 sensor" | In response to Reply # 1

William Rounds Gold Member Nikonian since 25th Mar 2011
Tue 21-Aug-12 12:20 PM

My problem definitely shows up as spots on the right side of images taken (I don't know if that is the right side of the sensor however). I'm no longer under warranty, so I guess I'll have to negotiate with Nikon here in France for box replacement. Dang.

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elec164

US
2575 posts

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#3. "RE: DIY cleaning of a D7000 sensor" | In response to Reply # 2

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Tue 21-Aug-12 02:56 PM

>My problem definitely shows up as spots on the right side of
>images taken (I don't know if that is the right side of the
>sensor however).

Depends on your perspective! The lens does project a rotated image on the sensor so the top left of the scene is projected to the bottom right of the sensor. But when looking into the mirror box at the sensor when cleaning, the spots would be on the right side with the top of the image being on the bottom of the sensor.

>I'm no longer under warranty, so I guess
>I'll have to negotiate with Nikon here in France for box
>replacement. Dang.

If you want to see a documentation of my experience it is related in this thread .

It certainly can't hurt to call Nikon and plead your case as I did. Especially if you documented all the instances with NEF's as I did.

Pete

Pete

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G