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Could this be oil on the sensor?

Carmen Tulum

Toronto, CA
43 posts

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Carmen Tulum Registered since 09th Nov 2012
Sat 19-Jan-13 09:40 PM

I recently found some strange minute spots on some of my pictures. Could this be oil on the sensor? Here is and example in the left bottom quarter of the picture towards the middle.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/fvdvpics/8396659690/sizes/k/in/photostream/

If so, what would your advice be (taking Nikon's bad customer service record into account) - to remove them manually and wait to see if they improve, or to send the camera in for repair?

RECONLEY

Marietta, US
586 posts

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#1. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 0

RECONLEY Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jun 2012
Sat 19-Jan-13 09:44 PM

Looks like oil with the lighter ring around the center darker area. Just wet clean the sensor.

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Carmen Tulum

Toronto, CA
43 posts

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#2. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 1

Carmen Tulum Registered since 09th Nov 2012
Sat 19-Jan-13 11:46 PM

Thanks for looking - I did not know I could clean the sensor myself...

RECONLEY

Marietta, US
586 posts

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#3. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 2

RECONLEY Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jun 2012
Sun 20-Jan-13 02:03 AM

I do it when needed to all of my cameras. Many do, not really a big issue.

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icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#4. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 2

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Sun 20-Jan-13 03:12 AM

This is what I use and I know others use the same "kit":

http://www.copperhillimages.com/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=48&=SID#MOREINFO

Their tutorial can be found here:

http://www.copperhillimages.com/index.php?pr=tutorials

The kit is about $50 shipped but you can clean the sensor at least 30+ times (figure 2-3 pads per cleaning). I called a local authorized Nikon repair shop and told me it would cost me about $100 for one cleaning.... So I bought the kit above (also bought the size for DX cameras) and already have the rocket air blower. Spent about $100, but now I'm good to clean for a long time, when and if needed...

Chris

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JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7108 posts

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#5. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 2

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Sun 20-Jan-13 03:12 AM

Good cleaning products and tutorials available here:
http://www.copperhillimages.com/

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#6. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 0

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Sun 20-Jan-13 04:50 AM

It could be oil, or some other contaminant like pollen, dust or others. There is a post pinned to the top of the D800 forum on sensor cleaning you should read.

https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=430&topic_id=20394&mesg_id=20394&page=

Everyone is concerned about damaging their sensors, but it seems that the majority, including myself, feel that there are enough high-tech products on the market designed specifically for sensor cleaning, that if you carefully follow instructions, it can be done safely and is fairly easy to do. Read over the post, and see what you think. I was nervous the first time I did it, but quickly saw that it is not that big of a deal. Just be sure to read the instructions carefully, follow them closely, and you shouldn't have any problem.

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

eliot3b4

Eliot, US
134 posts

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#7. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 6

eliot3b4 Platinum Member Nikonian since 23rd Nov 2008
Mon 21-Jan-13 09:05 AM

I have struggled with cleaning my camera and specifically, the sensor. I do not want to damage the sensor. Yet, many people are telling me I can easily clean the sensor.

Might I suggest someone who is experienced in camera cleaning provide a class on the care and cleaning of your camera? I would gladly pay for a class to learn how to clean the sensor. I'd like to try and clean the camera myself but I want to do this under supervision first.

Just a thought.............

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kamputty

Santa Cruz, US
197 posts

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#8. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 7

kamputty Registered since 04th Jan 2007
Wed 23-Jan-13 02:13 AM

A few months ago, I had to clean my sensor due to dirt etc on it. I was absolutely freaked out about cleaning it. I got the solution and wipes as listed on the liks above, and it was a really simple process. I ended up cleaning it 4 times to remove all the junk etc. I now had no problem with cleaning it.

Give it a shot. Remember, the sensor does have a protective layer of glass on it.

Kam

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icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#9. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 7

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Wed 23-Jan-13 05:02 AM

Jean, it was nerve racking for me also the first time as I was worried about scratching the "sensor". But the sensor has a layer of optical "glass" over it (AA/Low pass filter). Think of it as the front element of one of you lenses. It's glass but just use caution not to apply to much force with the cleaning tools. It will take a few tries to get it clean, my first wet cleaning left streaks on the optical glass. Just take your time and do it again until it's clean enough. Don't worry if there are a couple of small spots left after a few tries. They may fall off after some use of the camera. Just clean when you start noticing spots in images. Also look for some wet cleaning videos online as there are many from what people say.

Chris

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FineArtSnaps

Leesburg, US
401 posts

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#10. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 9

FineArtSnaps Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2012
Wed 23-Jan-13 06:46 PM

Always, always, always blow off the sensor with a hand blower before you do wet cleaning. The kind of hard stuff that might scratch the AA filter is more likely than softer material to respond to the blowing.

Russ Lewis
www.russ-lewis.com
www.FineArtSnaps.com

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#11. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 7

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Thu 24-Jan-13 01:11 PM

Thom Hogan, a well respected Nikon expert, has an excellent article on his website that goes into a lot of detail about cleaning Nikon sensors that you really should read. It provides a lot of information and should help address your concerns about damaging the sensor.

http://bythom.com/cleaning.htm

He points out that in Japan, Nikon sells a sensor cleaning kit with intstructional video to consumers. So, their postion in the US refusing to make this same kit available must have more to do with marketing than it does with the actual risk of damaging the sensor.

I hope this helps.

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

Carmen Tulum

Toronto, CA
43 posts

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#12. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 11

Carmen Tulum Registered since 09th Nov 2012
Tue 26-Feb-13 04:56 PM

I did it! Thanks to everyone.

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#13. "RE: Could this be oil on the sensor?" | In response to Reply # 12

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Wed 27-Feb-13 01:52 AM

Way to go Carmen! Congratulations!!

Aren't support groups wonderful? You, like the rest of us, were almost paralyzed by a bad case of "sensorcleanophobia" - but now you're free!! Dust happens, there's no escaping it. But the knowledge you've gained will empower you to live free from the fear of that next spot!

Seriously though, sound knowledge put into action is very empowering. We are all glad to share what we've learned; and on this issue, you can now do the same! That is what makes Nikonians such a great group!

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

G