Nikon issues official statement on the D600 dust/oil issue


For the first time Nikon officially acknowledged the dust/oil spots on the sensor inside the D600 camera. The suggested solution is to clean your sensor and if this doesn't resolve the problem, contact Nikon support. The article did not mention that the sensor doesn’t get any more oil/dust spots after aprox. 3000 shots. Here is the full text:

To users of the Nikon D600 digital SLR camera

Some users have indicated the appearance of multiple granular dust spots in images captured with the Nikon D600 digital-SLR camera. These granular dust spots are reflections of internal dust generated with camera operation, or external dust particles that have found their way into the camera, either, or both of which, have adhered to the camera's low-pass filter.

While the structure and concept of digital-SLR cameras makes the complete elimination of these dust spots very difficult, it has come to our attention that, in some rare cases, they may be reflected noticeably in images. Therefore, Nikon is informing users of a service to reduce this issue.


As a first step, please follow the guidance from the User’s Manual (pages 301-305) related to the “Clean Image Sensor” function and manual cleaning using a blower. If these measures do not remove all dust particles and you are still experiencing problems, then please consult your nearest Nikon service center. They will keep your camera, examine it thoroughly, and service it as needed.

Nikon USA article

Nikon Europe article

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  • ericnl

    hopefully the next thing they will do is to finally release that firmware update for the D600. I’m thinking they were waiting with this for the D7100 to be released, so now is the time.

    I’m hoping it will not only let you switch your aperture in live view mode, but it will actually let you set your shutterspeed in shutterspeed priority while using video…

  • scottmcc

    I now have 6000 shots on my d600 and due to dust spots on the top left of images got it cleaned at 2000 shots, 4000, and now am about to get it cleaned again. so I think it is incorrect to say the problem goes away after 3000 images.

  • CaNoN

    And they expect DX shooters to upgrade to full frame?
    What a joke.

  • I’ve cleaned my sensors on all my bodies over the years D70, D200, D7000 and now D600. It’s no big deal and a pleasure to see clean blue skies! Just get some swabs and get it done! I use a mini tripod to hold the body and an LED flashlight to view the sensor – you can see the dirt with your eyes. Just wipe it off and be amazed. Hardly a class action lawsuit! Not worth sending out for repair. You don’t send your car back to the manufacturer for a clean, do you?

    • Did u know that

      >> You don’t send your car back to the manufacturer for a clean, do you?

      I would if I had to clean it after every trip just to keep it working as good as any of my older cars. That’s the problem with quite a few D600 (including mine): You can clean it and it will return to being an oily mess in a few hundred shots. None of my previous DSLRs have had this much dirt on the sensor (as the D600 has after a few hundred shots) even after tens of thousands of shots without any wet cleaning.

  • Main words in Nikon official statement: “internal dust generated with camera operation”. So Nikon confirmed, that camera Nikon D600 produce more dust than other Nikon cameras. Internal dust can to arise due to internal wearing of camera’s parts only.

  • Bachphoto

    What a joke. It is so sad that Nikon can’t own up to anything. It’s o-i-l damn it! To call it anything else is a lie.

    • Calibrator

      Full ACK!

  • KOM

    Is the sensor cleaning free of charge?

  • This “problem” is so overblown. Basically the worst thing seen is “shadows in blue sky shots” Clean it yourself, its not rocket science. I have way too much nice older film glass I have been holding on to waiting for an affordable full frame like this. Go to Cannon over this? Really?

    • Did u know that

      Really? You think being ‘forced’ to wet clean a camera after every 3-400 expoures to avoid tons of spots is something one should expect from a camera in 2013? Especially since none of the previous DSLRs from Nikon has had this problem on this scale before? Gimme a break, you obviously have not experienced this problem first hand – it is far far worse than any other ‘dust’-related issues I have ever experienced.

      • The oil will go away reportedly after 3000 shots. Why aren’t you at 3000 yet if it is so bad? A dearth of subjects in your back yard huh?

  • My confidence is that there are actually very few wet cleanings going on. Only a noisy and inconvenienced minority making small waves is why Nikon could drag its feet on this tepid response. Adorama and BH photo reviews hardly mention it.

  • Finally

  • Curious, Do any of you have “oil” after 3000 shutter actuations?

  • One More Thought

    Part of the problem is that Nikon does not clearly explain that the dust/oil issue is more prevalent on the D600 than on other DSLRs, nor give any good explanation as to its cause.

    So naturally many consumers worry that this excessive dust/oil is caused by something defective inside of the unit…some part that is misaligned or does not fit correctly, etc. So it’s not only that people don’t want excessive dust spots on their sensor, it’s that in this case they worry about what else is wrong inside of the unit that is causing this problem.

    Nikon needs to come up with a full explanation, or else they will continue to lose D600 sales. That would be a pity; it’s a very nice camera otherwise.

    As an aside, I surely hope that Nikon gets the quality control right with their D7100 unit; a lot is riding on that for them. And of course, thanks to the negative buzz created by the D800 and D600 problems, some consumers will be wondering about the D7100 when it ships. This is what happens when you let your reputation for quality slip away.

  • JG

    Thanks to the oil splatter issue I got my D600 with 24-85 kit lens, 32gb card, spare battery and shoulder bag for well under $2000 (B&H). One can only hope each new camera launch has the same problem. I don’t really miss my D700 even though after five years of use I never had to wet clean it.

  • JG

    Thanks to the oil splatter issue I got my D600 with 24-85 kit lens, 32gb card, spare battery and shoulder bag for well under $2000 (B&H). One can only hope each new camera launch has the same problem. I don’t really miss my D700 even though after five years of use I never had to wet clean it.

  • KW

    Reading the various problems related to the latest batch of Nikon cameras, I wonder how much may be down to the tsunami that hit Japan ?? The nikon factory was damaged I recall, Maybe they didn’t clean up well enough! Canon is also not without problems either. May be wise to to allow the teething problems to be resolved before grabbing the latest gear.

  • got a D700 and still dont want to change it for D600 or D800. D600 is weak, useless video and 24MP, D800 is good but too much pixels. Dont need it.

  • Max

    Thanks God, I didn’t sell my lovely D700….Nikon, please, go back to start making them again, before you fully bedbug these new models.

  • Guest

    Nikon will “keep” my camera?

  • Tondu

    After one cleaning from Nikon service the dust problem is now a (very) minor one. Two or three spots reappered, thats all (and I have taken nearly 10.000 shots till today with my D600).

  • Sahaja

    That’s a pretty weak “acknowledgement”

  • j.r.

    I am a staunch Nikon user. But reading all these dust, oil and focusing issues
    Is making me loose confidence.

  • jake

    actually my D800E has this issue but my D600 has not issue at all.
    my D800 that I sold for my current D600 had some annoying dust issue and left side AF issue.

  • neversink

    Why don’t they just do a recall?

    • because it is a small percentage of cameras?

  • Rowly

    Ok, we shouldn’t have to clean the sensor every 1500 – 2k shots. After 5500 shots, my D600 is in for its 3rd clean. I’ve been told that the coating on one of the mirrors can peel, I’ve noticed a wear mark on the bottom of one of the mirrors, and I’ve noticed wear on the shutter curtains.

    At least Nikon are now ‘fessing up that there might be a problem, whether design or manufacturing fault.

    At this stage I’ve told them I don’t want another clean; there is a problem with it and I want it resolved. If Nikon don’t know exactly what the problem is, then I don’t want bits and pieces replaced, I want a new unit. If they DO know what the problem is then they better make it public.

  • The Nikon Japan release reads a bit better. The one thing that I did not know is the actual repair in Japan is only 10 minutes from my house. I am going to try and see if i can just drop it off there. If not, Nikon will pick it up at my house for free. I have some dust but nothing too bad, but I want to see if they will replace any parts. I want to get all this done before Cherry Blossom season here in Japan!

  • The Nikon Japan release reads a bit better. The one thing that I did not know is the actual repair in Japan is only 10 minutes from my house. I am going to try and see if i can just drop it off there. If not, Nikon will pick it up at my house for free. I have some dust but nothing too bad, but I want to see if they will replace any parts. I want to get all this done before Cherry Blossom season here in Japan!

  • Hey Nikon guys, give us the firmware, fiixng all that bugs, promised even in Nov. 2012 !!!

  • Paulp

    Where’s the firmware update we were told about months ago?

  • Scott M

    I was in a brick and mortar camera shop today buying two kits to clean sensors. One for DX and one for FX. He said something interesting about sensor. They are little electro-magnets and attract dust with static electricity.
    Maybe the D600 is having more magnet action than normal?

  • Borgie

    It is not dust. It is OIL. How do I know? Because the spots don’t move. No amount of cleaning, blowing, huffing or puffing can even alter the position of these spots — much less make them go away. Shame on Nikon for not owning up to this fact. In fact, what pusillanimous mendacity!

  • riceboy2049


  • AnotherCountry

    words that taiwan users have a chance to change their d600’s shutter module. I’m not sure about it. Cause im not from taiwan. wondering is this problem going to be solve?

  • mg

    Left mine at the dealers right after the statement came out. Today they said that the repair center mailed them stating that they are waiting for parts. Seems they are changing some bits and pieces at least.

    • mg

      OK, took 39 days and the camera was back at the dealer. Picked it up today. All is clean. The paper from Nikon said that they have “applied preventive measures to stop the dust from leaking into and spreading over the sensor”. Plus additional hoo-haa that no dslr is prone to dust blablabla tell it to someone who has not been shooting digital for 7 years. Well, anyway, today I have been shooting with my D600 again. The camera is so cool compared to my oldie… I hope they fixed the problem for good.

      • mg

        Soooo… we continue. They had to clean it again after another 2k shots from first cleanup (btw, rubber hand grip started pealing off as well by now). Again same story after the camera came back- repair center says they took preventive measures, same as first time. OK, this time I’ve learned my lesson. Went out the shop door, took a shot, returned it right away as the first shot straight after service cleanup had new spots… Lame.

  • Alan Cring

    I just encountered a photographer on Facebook who’s dealing with this problem, so I filled him in on the larger story (paraphrased here to limit the length of the rant):

    I’ve written about this on several forums. Nikon knew about it early in the life cycle of the D7000, and they’ve been doing everything they can to cover up the design defect. In fact, knowing very well about the problem with the D7000, they went right to that defective part in the D600 and the D800.

    Unfortunately, my first in-warranty repair (eight months after buying the D7000) resulted in having my camera at Nikon over a month (with more than two weeks of that time waiting for higher-ups to approve of fixing the company’s mistake).

    Now, eight months after that repair (and about 45,000 shots taken), the accumulation of “lube spit” has returned so severely that my camera is virtually useless without considerable editing of photographs taken with it. Before I sell the camera, I will have to spend the money for a cleaning of the sensor (but not by Nikon).

    Ideally, companies that engage in this kind of behavior would face mandatory product recalls and prohibitive fines; but despite claims to the contrary, consumer protections for most defective products are virtually nil unless physical safety is involved.

  • Serious Gearhead

    There are probably many genuine Nikon shooters, here, who have cameras with oil and/or dust on the sensor. The problem is that all who are fanning the flames of the dust issue are not D600 owners. Ever since Canon’s 6D fiasco there have been a lot of bitter Canon fanboys out there who can’t wait to dump on Nikons vastly superior offering. They post on many sites that discuss the dust issue and make themselves out to be long-time Nikon shooters with loads of Nikon gear. Then they blow everything out of proportion even making up things to try to sour the D600’s reputation. It’s gotten to the point that you can’t easily tell how many people really have a problem. So, sadly, we may never know the real numbers of affected cameras unless Nikon releases them.

  • Nikon has had my D600 for 6 weeks now. It was on parts backlog, so “dust issue” clearly is not the whole truth. Nikon has integrity issues, and that integrity clearly has effected their internal inability to respond to issues in a timely manner. Last week, they informed it shipped but could not provide a tracking number. Later the same week, a second call found the camera is in QA and still has not left the facility.

    It is one thing to have a defect on new equipment. it is an entirely other failure when the root is not acknowledged and you fail to rally internal resources around effective corrective actions. If I were not neck deep in Nikon mount lenses and flash, I would already have rendered a change. In the meantime, every recommendation has been “not Nikon”.

    • Corey Solotorovsky

      Update: the spots returned even after nikon performed service and supposedly replaced the shutter. Same splatter pattern. Nikon’s response to this 2nd experience is to return it’ll nikon so they can inspect it and return it to nikon quality standards.

      I am selling it and have an 800 on hold already.

  • Marian

    I have more 15000 shots, 3 times in service for oil and now AGAIN OIL!!! this camera, D600 is like McDonald, full of oil. I get crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Little Rocket

    Bought mine from Grays. Dust appeared. They sent it for cleaning under warranty and refunded my postage. Said Nikon would do this as many times as necessary, but tha after 2-3000 shutter actualtions the problem would disappear.

  • abavera

    This feedback is about:

    I planned buying the camera and currently holding off until this Dust/Oil issue is clearly addressed and resolved.

    Via Email (David D.)

    05/02/2013 08:44 AM


    You can be sure that any new stock at your dealer is current and won’t have issues. If you do see any problems (apart from normal dust) please let me know. Thanks


  • Jimbob Billydee

    I think the real tragedy of the whole fiasco is that this is a camera geared towards professionals. That means they’re making their living taking pictures. If something like this ruins a photo shoot, it reflects badly on the photographer, who certainly can’t say, “Oh, yeah, um, that’s Nikon’s fault.”

    It delivers less-than-professional results, and when reputations are built on the final product, there’s no way you can rely 100% on this camera to take a quality image.

    I’d really love to buy one because this looks like the best camera on the market now, but I have not purchased it solely because of this issue. But my one voice means nothing, and my $2K means nothing to a billion dollar company.

    • PSAGuy

      “Best camera on the market now” ??? Seriously ?? You are forgetting the existence of something called a D4 and a D800E. The D600 is a Prosumer camera.

  • Brad

    Nikon quality has dropped alot over the past few years. Its too bad , as I have always shot with Nikon and these issues such as the one with the D600 has stopped me from upgrading any of my equipment.

  • Patrick

    I just received my D600 back from Nikon service yesterday (July 1). They had it since May 29 waiting for parts. They replaced the shutter mechanism. Obviously, they thought there was something wrong with the original or they would have just cleaned the sensor.

    • Totem


      When Nikon wrote:

      Some D600 users have reported the appearance of random spots on their
      images which is generally attributed to the natural accumulation of dust”

      Some D600 users ??

  • argel_ph

    Woh! This is scary. I’m currently saving money for the D600.

  • Michael

    After just short of 1 year shooting my D600 I sent it off to Nikon to remedy. Hopefully to have a more comprehensive solution. I am now awaiting parts. Parts for cleaning the sensor? I am glad I handled it this way – I will let you know when I get it back.

  • stanleyyelnatsDotCom

    The bottom line is the issue could hurt sales of the D600 and now I learn there is a D610. guess they fixed the problem.

  • Maurice Vose

    I have oil spot issues for a second time and scheduled a repair with Nikon to clean the sensor. My warranty expired 3 weeks ago 🙁 Today I received an email from Nikon and they said that they know there is a “dust” issue and they will repair it for free and pay for all shipping. At least they are taking care of the issue!

  • nomorenikon4me

    Just got my camera back from its’ second sensor spot cleaning at Nikon UK and they sent me a new D610! Paperwork states ‘Exchange of product on goodwill basis.’ In the notes when I submitted the returns form I stated that the replacement parts/cleaning had been unsuccessful and that the camera was not fit for purpose, requesting (preferably a refund) or replacement. I fully expected to have to send the camera back a third time.

  • Jean GODBOUT

    My D600 have been service (b2) last March 2014, and the body have been shipped again today (August 25, 2014) to NIKON CANADA. Even with a new shutter (b2) the problem of spots came back. I hope that NIKON will replace the body for a D610. I’m tired of waisting my time eareasing spots on my pictures.

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