Oil spotlets on sensor filters
One problem all my Nikon DSLR bodies develop is spot marks on the sensor filter. I do not mean with the usual nuisance, dust particles, but microscopic circular grey spots which, when viewed on a computer monitor at 100% are about the diameter of a pea. The longer they are left unattended, the sharper edged and more dried-out they look. I suspect these spots are from oil spray thrown off by an over lubricated shutter mechanism, but that is a guess.
I remove these spots with difficulty using VisibleDust orange swabs and VDust Formula (which is multi-ingredient and isopropanol based), but even after using several (expensive) swabs, I can see, by directly viewing the sensor in a good light, that there is a light smearing still visible broadly across the filter surface.
I have never seen this oil spotting problem mentioned anywhere, but others must surely have experienced it. If anyone has a procedure for cleaning off these oil spots completely, I would be most grateful to hear it.
#1. "RE: Oil spotlets on sensor filters" | In response to Reply # 0Sat 01-Sep-12 05:52 PM
I successfully cleaned oil spots like those using Eclipse Fluid from Copper Hill. It took many passes with the swabs to get it done. I followed the instructions on the Copper Hill site to the letter, but I found I wasn't very good at it until the fourth or fifth pass.
There is a thread about this on the D700 forum, in which many of us were discussing our methods, trials, and tribulations.
#2. "RE: Oil spotlets on sensor filters" | In response to Reply # 1Sun 02-Sep-12 01:14 PM | edited Sun 02-Sep-12 01:29 PM by Bert Shelton
Thanks for your very useful comments, James, and for the tip about the relevant thread in the D700 Forum, which, of course I have carefully read. The impression I get from that thread is that successful sensor filter cleaning takes a lot more perseverance and practice than the cleaning kit suppliers would have one to believe, and it uses up a lot more material than they indicate!
So I had another more determined go, and eventually got a very clean 300s.
I am surprised, however, that only you and I, and no-one in that thread, mention oil droplets being sprayed onto the sensor filter. If I have this oil droplet problem on 3 out of 3 Nikon DSLR bodies, produced years apart, surely the issue must be quite widespread.
It's too bad, by the way, that we don't have a forum on "Nikon DSLR Bodies - General". I planted my question, more or less at random in this forum, for lack of a more appropriate forum, and the same was the case for the thread posted in the D700 forum - there is nothing critically unique about cleaning any one DSLR body model.
Other Nikonians interested in this non-model-specific subject may never find either of these threads, being buried under fora that they do not monitor because they do not own the titled camera bodies.
#3. "RE: Oil spotlets on sensor filters" | In response to Reply # 2marsmail Registered since 27th Aug 2010Sun 02-Sep-12 02:34 PM
I too have had this problem in the past.
Being relatively new to digital it was a scary thing to try cleaning a sensor, but after the first go, I realised that it was really not such a big thing, just needing to be calm and work gently.
I use "Visible Dust" swabs and cleaning fluid and after fixing the initial problem (not long after getting my D300s), have not had a recurrance of the oil spots.
As you say, it would appear that this might be a fairly common problem.
#4. "RE: Oil spotlets on sensor filters" | In response to Reply # 2Mon 03-Sep-12 01:50 AM | edited Mon 03-Sep-12 01:55 AM by grizzly200
I actually brought much of my oil spot problem on myself when I stupidly used a blower brush with bristles inside the mirror box area before boning up on how to deal with these sensors. Of course, after doing that, I had moist fragments from inside the box, and oil spots which I had stirred up myself. That's when I went to CopperHill and educated myself.
Next cleaning will be much calmer and much more efficient, I'm sure.
Regarding difficulty finding posts on these matters, you make a good point. I haven't checked the NikoScope feature, but if one searched on "sensor cleaning," these threads might come up. Actually, the Nikonians Cafe would probably be the place to post this type of info.
UPDATE: I tried NikoScope search feature, and it did bring up many posts on the subject. I'm glad you got your sensor well cleaned!
#5. "RE: Oil spotlets on sensor filters" | In response to Reply # 4Mon 03-Sep-12 01:01 PM | edited Mon 03-Sep-12 01:03 PM by Bert Shelton
James, thanks for your tip about the Nikon Cafe as a general forum - I did look into it before posting, but what topics I saw there seemed even too general for my needs.
NikoScope has me foxed! Is that just a fancy name for the "Search" feature?
I did a "Search" for "NikoScope" and came up with a mass of postings from 2007 complaining that it was not much good!
#6. "RE: Oil spotlets on sensor filters" | In response to Reply # 5Tue 04-Sep-12 12:03 AM
Yes, it's the search feature. It does show every post in which the term "sensor cleaning" was ever mentioned. I went to about page 4 or 5, and started finding some of the more recent posts.