I'd guess oil by the concentric rings I'm seeing but who knows. It honestly doesn't matter which it is. If it doesn't blow away with a rocket blower, then you'll get rid of it with a wet cleaning. Check out the Copperhills cleaning kits...it'll quickly become your favorite photography accessory since it's so empowering.
John, I've had four Nikon digitals: a D100, D2x, D3, and now a D800. All of them had the oil spitting problem when they were brand new. From what I read, the problem's not confined to Nikon. I read about people complaining about oil spatters on the Leica M8 and M9. It's just part of the breaking-in process.
I agree with Russ and had the same problem with several of my Nikon's and in particular with my D700. After a couple of clicks I took an image and the sensor was clean - after 50 clicks the sensor had about 10 of these oil spots on it. I had it cleaned however and after several thousand clicks it was still spotless.
I probably shouldn't tell this story, but this is what led to the first wet cleaning on my brand new D800: After about 100 clicks I made a sky shot and saw some sensor contamination. I'm so used to cleaning occasonaly dust on my D3 that I got out the blower and used that, then found that the spots were still there. I got out the Arctic Butterfly and carefully brushed the sensor, just barely touching it with the ends of the bristles. Guess what. . . Right! Smears. I've been through this enough times that I should have learned. But those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
Thu 13-Sep-12 03:17 AM | edited Thu 13-Sep-12 04:28 AM by lukaswerth
Coincidence! Just yesterday evening I noted something very similar in a picture I was developing. I think my -also new - camera's sensor needs a cleaning, too. Could someone please give some hands-on advices of how to do this? Nikon says don't touch the sensor, send it in - but i live in a place where I am very much reluctant to give such a sophisticated new product in the hands of any repair center. How to remove this? A "copperhill kit" was mentioned; but I have problems here with getting international orders. So if someone could tell me a proper way using the right instruments and chemicals so not to damage the low pass filter, it would be a big help.
Editing this post a few minutes later: I just read the copper hill website; it is really very informative - I would order their kit any time - I will in fact, next time I will be out of Pakistan - but I should be able to get methanol even here, and also some lint-free special tissue, having contact to chemical traders here.
Are there some caveats you can think of? And, how broad exactly is their swiper - 24 mm, or a little bit smaller to accommodate the cleaning tissue?
Lukas, Check http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/index.html. Copper Hill was one of the very first, maybe the very first outfit to come to grips with sensor cleaning, and I used their stuff for years. But wrapping Pec Pads on a swipe can be a risky business, especially if you're in a dusty areas. Sensor Swabs, made by Photographic Solutions are more expensive, but they're guaranteed not to damage your sensor.
thank you very much for this link, this is really very helpful, possibly not only for me, but for many others. I think that for better or worse, I will have to do the cleaning myself, which should be possible with careful preparation and a calm mindset. I am thinking of cutting a swipe wand myself from some stable, but not too stable, that is still bendable carton, and to find some first quality cleaning tissue to put over it. If you or someone else has any suggestions here regarding material or method, they would be very welcome. On another thought, provided that what I seem to see - still have to check systematically - is a spot of oil on the low pass filter, could it be that the camera's tendency to sprinkle oil in the sensor chamber gets enhanced in higher temperatures? I noticed nothing like this when trying my camera out in Germany in not too hot summer weather, but here, after having been out on two still quite warm days in a Punjabi village (temperature was easily up to 40°C/104°F) I noticed the spot.