Nikon D600 Sensor Dust

My Nikon d600 camera body just came back from Nikon Canada. This was the second time that I had sent the camera in for servicing.

Last year, just before I left for Europe, I had my sensor professionally cleaned to ensure optimal performance. I was using a 24-85mm lens on that camera and I had not changed the glass for the first part of the trip. After three days of shooting — about 1,200 exposures — this is what happened to the sensor.

One shot taken at F8 does not look too bad. If you click on the image, you may notice a few spots on the frame primarily in the upper left side.

Image at f8

The same frame exposed at f22 shows noticeable spots on the upper left side. Again, click on the image for a larger photo and you should be able to make out the spots.

Image at f22

Using Lightroom’s visible spots tool and it is shocking to see just how bad the sensor dust problem is on the Nikon D600. The upper left side looks like a snowstorm. I have never seen this much residue on a freshly cleaned sensor. Ever. I had roughly 5,000 total frames shot on the camera at this point in time. Some Nikon D600 owners report that the situation seems to resolve itself after 7,000 or so frames.

Spots On D600 Sensor

I returned the camera for servicing after the trip. And all Nikon did was clean the sensor. Needless to say, a few thousand frames later and the problem was back.

Nikon Canada issued a service advisory earlier this year to help correct the issue. I sent the camera in last week. They performed the following steps:

Replaced the shutter mechanism (hopefully this resolves the problem)
General check and clean of the camera
Cleaned the low pass filter
Adjusted auto focus operation
Adjusted shutter speeds
Checked auto exposure operation

The Nikon D600 sensor issue has been widely discussed on the Internet. Photography Life has an excellent overview which you can find here. A number of photographers are reporting that the replacement shutter mechanism does not necessarily correct the issue. Nikon has been replacing the D600 with a newer model D610 after multiple repair visits.

I will shoot enough frames to determine whether the fix has worked. If not, I will send it in a third time and request a replacement.

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