Seeing Spots on My D600

I posted yesterday about not updating the blog, citing some reasons why - but I didn't mention that I am presently without my "big camera" (the one that Hubby refers to as my third child - does anyone else get comments like that about their cameras or is it just me?).

I am without my D600 because I sent it into Nikon for what I thought would be a quick easy sensor cleaning, but unfortunately, it's more than that and I've been without it for over two weeks. So what's wrong with my "third child"?

Spots on my sensor.

For those of you who follow mainstream photo sites like dpreview or petapixel or any of the rumor sites, it is widely documented that many D600 models suffer from "dust" or oil spots on the sensor. (I'm pretty sure the spots are oil and not dust, but I've seen it posted both ways) I knew this potential issue existed when I bought my camera last November, but hey, there's risk in anything, so I took the chance that mine wouldn't be impacted.

I had over 3000 actuations on the shutter and figured my camera was in the clear until I tried to execute a star burst with a peek of setting sun, much like what I had on this photo:

Setting Sun
Taken in 2012 with the D300

This effect is achieved by setting the aperture of the lens as small as it can be, which is denoted by the f-stop setting of f/22. I normally shoot no higher than f/8 and most of my shots are between f/2.8 and f/5.6. So imagine my surprise when I saw this photo, shot with my D600 at f/22:

Oh yeah, the photo really sucks and it was a total fail on the star burst thing. Actually it's a total fail in many regards! The left edge of the photo is covered with spots - you can see them if you click on the photo and get the enlarged view. I took two other photos (they are just as bad as this one - spots notwithstanding) with similar spots.

The thing is, you cannot see them at.all at lower apertures.

I decided to contact Nikon Service (and they have been very accommodating) - per their instructions, I uploaded the photo above to their system and was instructed to send my camera in for service. I received a prepaid UPS shipping label, packed it up and sent it out. Since then, I've heard back that my camera is "awaiting spare parts", so apparently, the issue was more that just a simple sensor cleaning. The camera is still under warranty since I've owned it less than one year. I'm hoping the fix is effective and the spots don't come back. And I hope I get my camera back soon!

So.... if YOU happen to shoot with a Nikon D600, please, please, please - take some test shots at f/22. As I stated above, I could not see any spots at my normal settings, but there are plenty at f/22. For those considering buying a D600 - yes, I would buy this camera again in a heartbeat - it is a great camera. Yes, it is a pain not having my big camera around, but I'm making due.

Nicki  – (August 20, 2013 at 6:23 AM)  

Wow, that stinks. Your first shot has an awesome sunburst which would have been super cool with the 2nd location (hate when I can visualize something in my mind but my camera is on a different page). Hope your 3rd child is home soon. My family refers to my camera as my 'other baby' I guess because they have given Ike the distinction as my '3rd child'.

Denise at Autumn Sky  – (August 20, 2013 at 9:06 AM)  

I need to have my D7000 cleaned but hopefully the camera store in SLO can just do an overall cleaning for me. Shooting at the coast means I get mist, shooting at home in dry summer months means I get dust.

I hope your third child comes home soon.

Lisa Gordon  – (August 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM)  

I am so sorry this happened, Shirley, and I hope you are able to get it back real soon.

Catherine  – (August 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM)  

I was wondering where you had ventured off to Shirley. So sorry to hear about your Nikon... I'm a Canon girl so can't relate to the D600 issues, but my camera was sent to the shop a year ago so I know it's not fun having your baby gone for so long. Hoping for your third child's quick return :)

Nancy  – (August 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM)  

Thanks for the information Shirley. I have a D90 and I imagine it's ready for some type of service, but I just haven't gone there yet.

Hope your other issues have ironed themselves out. xo

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