Nikon D600 sensor dust/oil survey


Pattern of Nikon D600 dust spots (credit: LensRentals)

With the latest rumors for a new D610 camera, there have been many discussions on this blog regarding the Nikon D600 dust/oil issue. I promised to do a quick survey that will give us some basic statistics on how wide spread the problem is (thanks to Thom Hogan for suggesting the survey questions). I will publish the results online in few days. Here is the survey:

If the survey does not appear above, you can access it directly on this link.

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  • Rebel

    bought a new D600 one month ago. I had about 150 clicks on the shutter and many many spots also at f/9


  • RxGus

    I own a D600 that was repaired (twice). After the second repair I still developed large oil spots on the sensor (25,000 clicks in). I cleaned the sensor myself after the most recent oil spots and it has stayed clean for the last 2,000 clicks. Hopefully I am now done with all of this junk.

  • Celtic

    I owned it, used it, and got rid of it because of it; Yes, I lied. However, you should still listened to the victims…

  • Ted

    I normally like what you guys are doing on this forum, but this is a terrible survey. I used to owe 3 Nikon D600s, but returned all 3 due to oil/stain issues. Does this count for anything? Is this survey for only people who bought and still has their D600, and who may or may not know or care about the oil/stain issue. If this is the case, then you might as well ask who still likes their D600? You will get a more accurate respond with this type of question.

    • PeterO

      After the “Do you own a D600” question, which I answered – no, perhaps they should have asked why. Then again, it’s not my survey and frankly I really don’t care anymore. Nikon is correcting the problem by sort of replacing it, but never admitting that there was anything wrong. What do business professors say about that continued strategy?

  • lololalallll

    I’m not sure I understand, why don’t people just clean the sensor? I do it to my D700 once every 6mo or so with these.

    Also this is a great video.

    • Sahaja

      Once every 6mo or so is normal with any DSLR – but some D600 users are saying they need to do it once a week or even more frequently.

  • ManFromGlad

    That poll was not very comprehensive. I had a ton of dust spots after a few thousand clicks, so I checked Yes on that question, but there were no oil issues. Most spots blew off. I did a wet clean one time and that worked, too.

    You should ask if owners are satisfied with the camera. Digital sensors are going to get dirty over time. The unique thing about the D600 seems to be that some spots are oil. At the same time, I know a guy with a lesser Nikon, but his shutter is starting to fail after 2k clicks, probably because there is not enough lubrication. So, it’s a tricky middle.

    My D600 has about 30k clicks on it now (lots of timelapse stuff). If the price of new bodies drops a lot in anticipation of the D610, I will buy another D600.

  • Sahaja

    Are there options in the survey for users who returned the camera for a refund because of this problem which they failed to get an adequate fix for?

    How about for those that have exchanged bodies (some say they have done this two or three times)?

  • Lincoln

    This is such bull sh*t, if you have dust and or oil on your sensor, return it to Nikon for warranty service! I just don’t get this lame survey.

  • thomas

    i own an D600, and bought one knowing about the oil issue, i have a low serial number. had spots start showing up and did a wet clean, no more issues since then. i am going to send it to nikon before the warranty is up i heard that there was some soft recall about the sutter on low serial number cameras. I am very happy with my purchase since i could have done either way (nikon/canon). yes Nikon could have done things differently and addressed the issue better, but the real numbers are still up in the air as if this is an issue. of all the D600 sold how many are being sent in, or are being sent in due to “normal” use because they are scared of the oil issue.

    • RC

      Why would you send in a perfectly working camera? What if oil spots start appearing after the “fix?”

      • thomas

        mainly something about the soft recall about the shutter. i can work around the oil issue, but if my shutter stops working i am really SOL

        • RC

          Based on the replies on this board, I would be very worried about sending in my D600 for that kind of work. Are you sure the recall isn’t related to the oil/specks? I feel like there’s a really high chance that your perfectly functioning D600 could be turned into one of these oil monsters people fear.

  • jk

    I sent in for cleaning service mine for 6 times total, and the 6th time , Nikon replaced the shutter unit and the sensor itself.
    I heard that the D610 will get a Toshiba 24.1mp sensor , not the same old Sony sensor.

    • Sahaja

      Heard from where? Since they appear to be changing little else but the shutter it seems pretty unlikely that they’d adopt a new sensor which might take them several months to fine tune the image processing for.

      Nothing wrong with the existing sensor – so why change it for a different untried sensor of the same mp?

  • Anthony Woodruffe

    done the survey and said I didn’t have dust on sensor… Well just took a shot at f16.. alas dust bunnies everywhere

  • Rob

    Don’t get me started on this…
    My D7000 was one with a focus issue (known Nikon problem that they do nothing about) and replace it with a D600 that is worth nothing on trade now because of this oil sensor BS…

    If I liked the ergonomics of Canon and didn’t have so much $ in glass I would switch tomorrow.

    D600 early adopters should get a voucher for $ off a D610 to make up for this screwup. I’m going to lose my shirt on trade in because of this. I could have spent less on a D700 and it would still be worth more…

    Thanks again Nikon.

    • RC

      It’s very easy to get rid of your glass. Just sell it on eBay. I’ve sold dozens if not hundreds of lenses on eBay. It’s easy once you start. I’m only sticking with Nikon because I’m convinced that they have higher image quality.

    • Sahaja

      If you own a D600 with problems – send it to Nikon. The camera has only been available for less than a year, so it must still be under warranty.

  • longdongvanshclongerstong

    Nikon piece of shot looks like someone blee their load on the sensor…fucking sick….poor qc as always from neeekon!

  • Michael Flores

    Bought refurbished, and was practically new back in July. I think it had less than 100 actuations. First few hundred clicks there was a little dust. Cleaned it myself with SensorKlear and a blower. Haven’t had any issues since. I’m glad the issue didn’t affect me. I wasn’t worried since I’m pretty comfortable cleaning sensors on my cameras.

  • Sopfoel

    Own a 600, no issue.

  • honu

    have you experienced dust issues after 5000 frames ? yes or no

    might have been better than just have you experienced ? yes everyone seem to but many seem to say it clears up after 3000 or so frames like mine has ?

  • Wang Bo

    Keep watching..

  • Wang Bo

    Keep watching..

  • DrZak

    I have D600, and there was the problem present about the first 3000+ shots, right now i am at about 7ooo and i havent had to clean the sensor for the past 3000 shots, even during some summer activities

  • RichMonster

    The dust spots certainly put me off. I went for the D800 and kept my D700. I now use each camera for specific roles rather than have the one, ‘do it all’ body. Very happy with my decision too. The best of both worlds. One body for faster frame rate and smaller file sizes and the other when quality really is the only factor.The D700 is still getting more work put through it. 12Mp really is enough for most things in my case.

  • Paul Digney

    The survey doesn’t consider multiple “repairs”. I had mine cleaned at about 4,000 (60 to 80 spots) images and again (with somewhat fewer spots ) at 9,000 and 2 weeks ago (with many fewer spots) at about 25,000 images. This time they ordered in some parts and fixed it permanently I am told. There has never been any cost to me for the work and the turn around on the cleanings/fix has been about a week (a little longer for the last one while waiting for parts). It has been inconvenient but not a huge problem for me.

  • Savann

    I love everything about Nikon d600 but one thing which prevent from buying it because of dust/oil sensor.

  • Summ Ting Wong

    The survey should have asked if we had ever owned a D600. I owned one very briefly, but I returned it due to a dirty sensor–fresh out of the box brand new. I bought a D800 instead.

  • tom b.

    I got this unit & had a few dust spots on new/refurb, but the thing is like new and IQ of camera is worth it for me as semi-pro hobbyist without rush deadlines to meet.

    If I was pro, then likely would not order it & get a 800 or used D700 or wait for 610, but hobbyists should not be turned off just send it back within warranty to get a new shutter replaced. The new “610” is likely all the returned 600’s with a new label, firmware & shutter. I’ve had zero dust on mine in a week after 1000 clicks more, no oil spots at all. I think most are mistaking dust for oil since a micron dust particle looks like ufo on 24 mpx.

  • Shay

    I’ve owned the D600 for about a month now. Not dust issues so far.

  • captaindash

    Yup. Oil. Blowers don’t work, neither do wet swabs (haven’t tried Smear Away yet). Was going to wait to send it to Nikon after 5000 actuations, but I was encouraged to send it to Nikon sooner as I was watched it move at 9.8m/s squared. Fell from about 3′ off a tripod, slowed down considerably by my leg. Hit the ground with a 70-200 on it, and the mounts from both ripped off. Camera shows nary a scratch, same with the lens, but Nikon says the body is a write off. What a piece of garbage. Lens is $700 to fix too. I’m seriously disappointed in the build quality here. Not sure I wanna drop (pardon the pun) another $2g’s for another porcelain doll. For $4500 combined new price, I expect more ruggedness.

    • peterw

      small fall, great expense
      seen the same kind of experience around with different material, from D70 to D700. The only problems you get to see from the workhorses D2 – D4 are the spectacular ones.
      internal damage is killing, a small kick can be to much.
      it eats your confidence in camera, tripod, own skill, mankind…

      a Canon would show the same problems, a Pentax, a Sony…
      it is sad, it will ever be

      I hope you will make beautiful pictures soon that help you forget this.

  • Marcin

    when can we expect to see the results of the survey? it’s been a week since launching the survey now.

  • Greggor2

    Purchased an Adorama refurb in August that was selling on ebay. It had a little over 5,500 clicks on it when it arrived. No dust or oil upon arrival. Hvae shot between one to two thousand more pics since then with no oil accumulation and maybe just a TAD more dust than my D7000 used to accumulate.

  • Pahas

    Adding to the stories, i am an owner of a Nikon D600 since November 2012. I got one of the early ones in the Netherlands and since day 1 i got problems with dust and stains. Got it 3(!) times for repair and the last time (August 2013) they seem to have changed the shutter. Still i get the spots.. I am taking it for repair again but made it clear to Nikon that if it is not fixed once and for all i will claim my money back.

    Too bad since i am a big Nikon fan and i got previous cameras and loads of lenses, flashes etc…

  • Hanan

    Why D7100 not included in survey ? it’s the same problem!

  • Joe Dempsey

    I have owned my D600 for about three weeks and shot around 550 images. Have just been examining the images and am horrified to see spots. I will remove the skylight filter and see if the spots still appear in subsequent new images. Then I will try the sensor cleaning process. But if this does not resolve to my satisfaction then I will want my money back. In Australia we have that right.

  • 전선홍

    I’m S.Korean user of D600. S.Koreans users of D600 (mostly members of SLRCLUB which is famous website in S.Korea) started to gather to evidence(picture) that the Shutter Blade of D600 is easily scratch somehow compare to other cameras’ shutter. Not only for D600, also D7100 seems to have same problem. Even very lately manufactured(June, 2013) ones show the same problem.

  • Tanmay

    its just been 6 months that I purchased My Nikon D600,
    but now i am really disappointed with this issue. These spots probably appears in long exposure shots.

  • Tanmay

    These spots probably appears in long exposure shots.

  • dismayed customer

    Nikon Service Reference Number: 131125-000003. Spots still visible after shutter replacement and cleaning. Original image out of camera uploaded, unmodified in anyway. Shot normally, check it yourself. This is after Nikon cleaning and shutter replacements. Plus, there are now fibers visible through the viewfinder; not there before the camera was sent to nikon.

  • dismayed customer

    Settings: 1/320ƒ/10ISO 10085 mm

    Nikon Service Reference Number: 131125-000003. Spots still visible after shutter replacement and cleaning. Original image out of camera uploaded, unmodified in anyway. Shot normally, check it yourself. This is after Nikon cleaning and shutter replacements. Plus, there are now fibers visible through the viewfinder; not there before the camera was sent to nikon.
    After repair:

    Before repair:

  • dismayed customer

    Truth and you be the judge.

    Nikon D600 spots before Nikon service which include cleaning and shutter replacement. I am including images before and after Nikon service as well as the service numbers. This is not acceptable.

    Reference # 131125-000003 Spots are still visible plus, there are fibers in the view finder. Previous issue unresolved.Updated11/24/201311/24/2013

    Reference # 131023-001381 D600 / Spots In Images / Sample Image Request//SO#6263497/ Statust checkedSolved10/23/201311/09/2013



    Images straight out of camera, shot normally. You can check and judge for yourself.

  • Paul

    Nikon has my d600 again, they just say it is dust spots. Initially I sent it in and they replaced the shutter, got it back, put a lens on it, had it take 3000 shots on its own, by 1000 there were excessive spots. This is on a tripod without exchanging lenses. Current service order number avail. Maybe if people were willing to post service orders and service docs, it would be more clear how bad this is. #6285763

  • Paul

    Before and after Nikon oil spot repair. No lens changes, just put on a lens and shoot on a tripod. Results in the photo.

    • Paul

      Notice the spots appear in the same area.

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