Nikon D600 sensor dust/oil survey


Pattern of Nikon D600 dust spotsΒ (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 promisedΒ 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.

This entry was posted in Nikon D600 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Joe

    “Do you own a Nikon D600”

    (Selected No)

    “Thanks for taking the survey”

    Well, that was informative…

    • Yes, I do not want people who do not own the camera to influence the results.

      • Read the FAQ

        And unfortunately nothing keeps people who don’t own the camera from saying they do and then saying that they experienced dust and oil issues. After all, this is the interwebs. It needs to be registered owners with real serial numbers and with access only to those people. Of course, Nikon won’t ever ask owners these questions; it’s all water under the bridge for them now.

        fwiw, I own the camera and it is what it is. Again, it’s all history now. It’s too late for any ‘polls’ or surveys. The camera won’t even exist in Nikon’s mind after the D610 is released and all the existing warranties for all the purchased D600 cameras have finally expired.

        • Yes, I cannot prevent that but I also do not have the resources to do a survey that will contain the serial numbers and even then people still can provide wrong information.

          • fjfjjj

            Many people will say “yes” they do own a D600, just to see what the survey questions are. You can avoid this by publishing the list of questions as part of this article.

      • eventhorizon

        But don’t we want to know why someone who doesn’t own the camera didn’t purchase it?

        And it is possible that they owned a D600 before but disposed it. Don’t we want to know why they did that?


        • Yes, there are many other possibility that can be covered in the survey, but I am not Gallup and wanted to keep it simple and quick.

      • Keith Sparbanie

        A follow up question would be, “Did you NOT purchase a D600 because of the dust/oil issue?

      • AM

        A fair question would have been: Do you own or did you own a D600?.
        You need to take into account the people who bought the D600 and returned it because of the dust/oil problem.
        By the way, I own a D600 and have not had any issue.

      • Shane

        i dont own one but used one the other day and it was full of spots. Felt like i could have contributed

  • vitaya

    used the name “nikon D600s” is better than “D610”. Please Call it “D600s” to look like “D70s D300s”

  • sjk

    bought a refurbished D600 in April of 2013. I think it had about 3,000 clicks on the shutter. A FEW spots, but I can ONLY see them if I shoot a pure white wall at the smallest aperture possible. Therefore, I never ever see them under real use.

    Love the camera.

    • luckan

      that’s it!

      I knew about the issue and I bought this camera (new) anyway

      now I am about 2800 shots and I start to see spots, but..

      .. but only on a uniform light background and at f22 (which I almost never use)

      will son clean it (myself) just as I did in the past with my old d70s and some friends are doing it with their canons

      actually I really can’t see wher is the problem

      • Conguero

        “actually I really can’t see wher is the problem”

        Only because you got “lucky” with your copy of the D600 doesn’t mean that others don’t have more serious problems with it. Mine was practically unusable for any landscape shots starting at f11 and that after about only 2000-2500 shots.

        • luckan

          wait wait, it might be that I did not explain myself.

          I do have the “problem” (spots), but I don’t think is a problem:

          1) I can remove them from the pictures if they are annoying (almost never)

          2) I can clean the sensor (takes 5 minutes)

          The fact is that you can almost never see those spots in the pictures unless you close a lot the diaphragm and then really look for them; which is something I don’t do

          Moreover, cleaning a sensor is not a tragedy, anyone can do it.

          I am sorry, but I didn’t get the comment from “unlucky guy”: wht should I see takeing photos at midnight?

        • Dpablo unfiltered

          I’ve found that I get more effective depth of field out of almost all my better lenses opening them up to f5.6. And yes I’m talking landscape here. I know this is counter intuitive. The reason is that they are that much sharper at that aperture that even the stuff that is a bit outside the range is a little crisper. Of course, you then can see where the lens is focused.
          I have some old screwmount lenses and the 75-150 zoom that work great at f11, but better lenses outperform them, so I really don’t use them anymore…

      • unlucky guy

        You will see it later when you take photo on mid night. six months ago I feel lucky I got a no duct D600. Finally the nightmare happened. And Nikon deny that defeat. They just told me I can free for repair on this year (He says like a bouns for me). I fully broke heart on Nikon brand.

  • If you only primarily shoot at f2.8 on the d600, is it still fair to say you don’t have any oil issues even if they may, may be noticeable at f16>?

    This seems like such a small issue to require and updated camera that has no new functionality. Isn’t the d600 in need of an update in about 14 months anyways?

    • Spy Black

      If your sensor is dirty enough, regardless whether it’s D600 or any other camera, you can still see sensor spots shot at large apertures.

    • Michael Sloan

      Releasing a D610 in time for Christmas is a way for Nikon to try and capture what may have been lost sales of the D600 due to all of the internet flaming. Nikon can hardly acknowledge the problems of the D600 for numerous reasons: 1.) Stores with D600 inventory will be pissed at Nikon 2.) Customers won’t buy the left over discounted D600, they’ll opt for the D610 instead, which then cycles back to point 1 above. 3.) Everyone will start waiting for the x10 version of the product before buying 4.) People who own the D600 but are not expierencing the issue, will all of the sudden find a problem where it doesn’t exist, just so they can get the replacement shutter. 5.) Its too little too late…
      I don’t agree with this practice at all. Early on, Nikon should have acknowledged that an unknown number of D600 cameras are suspected of having the problem. Then they should have offered any customer who bought the camera, free shipping, inspection and repair to and from an authorized Nikon repair facility. At the facility, Nikon should have inspected the camera and cleaned the sensor. Then they should have fired off 3000 shutter releases, reinspected and cleaned as necessary. Then fire off another 3000 shutter releases, reinspect and replace shutter as necessary. Nikon could have then offered a fraction of a refund for those cameras they added 6K releases to (i.e. 6000/150,000 = 4% of MSRP) during their troubleshooting efforts. So that would have been 4% of MSRP refund or a 20% off certificate towards their next Nikon lens purchase (customer’s choice). I think they would have had much better customer relations had they done something similiar to this.
      As it stands now, everyone is either dismissing the D600 problem as a problem that has been overhyped, or it is a devious Nikon cover up to maximize corporate profits. Chances are, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

  • patto01

    I’m not sure what the point was but it asked me if I own the D600: Yes; Have you had excessive dust/oil spots: Yes; Did you send it in to Nikon for repairs: No; Thanks for taking the survey.
    Why didn’t it ask how long I had the problem or if it’s ongoing? I think there’s a difference between having it a short time, which I did, and having a long-term problem.
    Also, how about defining “excessive”? I took it to mean noticeable, even if only barely, but others might think it means every dog photo looks like it’s of a Dalmatian. A lot of people had to do the “small aperture/shoot the sky” test to see it; is that excessive?

    • Your answer will still be recorded, but since you did not send the camera to Nikon there was no reason to display the last question. How long you had the issue is irrelevant for this survey – you either have the issue or you don’t. Excessive means more than you would get from regular use.

      • mikeswitz

        Again I ask, how can you take this. It must be the vast amounts of money you make administering this site.

      • patto01

        I meant no disrespect; I just fail to see the point of the survey. If you had stated that, in advance, you wouldn’t have to endure stupid comments like mine. Of course, a lot of others would have filled the void πŸ˜‰

    • Dimitrii1130

      i also did not send it in. There was no time to now.. And you can clearly see many spots and they are annoying..

    • Robert Alatalo

      The survey doesn’t even ask how long you’ve had or how many shorts you took, so if you didn’t have a problem it doesn’t matter if you have shot 10 or 1000 or 10000 frames.

      • patto01

        I’m not sure if I understand your point but, my point was how long you’ve had the problem, not the camera or number of shots. As far as the latter, I guess I mistakenly assume that I shoot about as frequently as the average guy (500-1000 shots/wk, sometimes a lot more).

        • Robert Alatalo

          My point was the survey was very limited. If you reported you didn’t have the problem you only got to the second question.

  • Angelgreg

    I have 2 D600’s and Nikon LA replaced the shutters on both last week. Haven’t had them long enough to see if the oil came back.

    • Jarret O’Shea

      In the same boat with mine. Just had the shutter replaced, so I’m not sure if it fixed the problem, but I’m crossing my fingers.

  • jefferylewis

    I have a D600 – some spots, wet cleaned. Have had a couple since. Is it excessive? Doesn’t every camera suffer spots with use? I had spots on my D7000 too. Hard to say if more or less. Great camera either way.

    • Michael

      I have to clean my D700 twice a year, and I am actually looking for dust at full res and f/22 or even smaller when possible. No comparison.

  • Andrew Goh Wei Li

    i have d600 frm last year. went nikon service center 10times. During march 2013 they release a free change shuttle motor. after replaced still having spot. I went back again for cleaning. August 2013 went back again they got 2nd shuttle motor. Until now i still see some spots. They say this version is better… And the engineer did clean sensor but the dust went into my viewfinder.. -___- really regret getting nikon.

    • RC

      Did you find out that your D600 was affected after the initial return period?

  • bgbs

    The worst survey. When u answer no u get kicked out. At least show some survey results.

    • I already said that I will publish the results in few days. There is no option to display the results right away.

      • bgbs

        well, the result stats should appear right after the survey.

    • RC

      If you don’t own a D600, why should it do otherwise?

    • ELK

      Guys, this website is free for reading. The poll is free too. You are also free to say your opininon about the quality or content of the poll. You said your opinion? Feel happy? Remember also, you are also free to leave this website, both before and after commenting. Ok, I’m free now too.

    • robert

      ur right but at least a “plan on buying a d600” “plan on buying d610” and show those stats

  • Michael

    I actually bought a D600 and returned it after a short use, while still under return policy. Decided I will not want to be in dusty area where changing lenses is difficult, but still have to clean dust/oil spots in midday.

  • Billy Gates

    i went through 3 different bodies and one body went back twice before was swapped for the 800, biggest let down ever in a camera

  • Dave Ingram

    I’ve got a D600, sent it in for cleaning/servicing in April. I’ve said on NR elsewhere that I was pretty happy with the camera since then – but I haven’t really been looking for oil/dust and haven’t had a lot of landscapes with blue sky to photograph this summer.

    So …. tried a series of blue sky images today out of curiosity. Oil spotting definitely noticeable at f/11 and above, some smeary blobs at f/8 and three large weird blobs that became noticeable at f/5.6. Not sure why those didn’t show up at smaller apertures …. and while some of the spots were consistent, others came and went. No longer confident that a shutter replacement will solve the problem with this camera.

    I’m going to throw these up on my Flickr, will post a reply with the link when I do.

    Now thinking that this truly is a lemon of a camera, no matter what kind of positive spin you try to put on it.

    • RC

      It’s unfortunate that this happened to you but just because you have a defective camera doesn’t mean that they’re all affected.

      • Dave Ingram

        I guess I’m just disappointed. For a camera that cost $2K I expected better QC.

        • Sahaja

          Modern QC seems to thoroughly inspect only a small percentage of units – the rest may get only a cursory inspection.

        • RC

          I agree, and based on all these dissatisfied customers, I’m disappointed in the way Nikon has handled this situation. They need to greatly improve their customer service.

          In my mind, it’s ok to make a mistake but how you handle yourself afterwards makes all the difference. Nikon needs to make us feel safe when we buy from them. Right now, they’re doing a poor job.

  • Alistair Nicol

    I have the oil spot issue on my D800. But after a couple of months it is mostly cleared. πŸ™‚

    • StarF

      Repaired by itself?

      • peterw

        it has dried up…
        … no oil left in the camera πŸ™‚

        (we had that with our car once πŸ™ )

    • robert


    • Alistair Nicol

      Yes, I still get a few spots after 12 months, but it’s extremely limited.

      • Sahaja

        I have d D800E for 8 months and almost nothing on the sensor. On the D7000 I got a tiny bit of oil and some dust – but nothing excessive like some people are experiencing with the D600.

        The fact that Nikon are now replacing many D600 shutters indicates it is a pretty major problem with some

    • Sahaja

      I think the D800 just has the usual amount of dust, oil any new Nikon DSLR may get.

      With the D600 it seems to be far more common and far more excessive than with other cameras.

  • Aldo

    Something tells me this survey will be inaccurate..

    • Andrew

      To increase the accuracy, filter out anyone who created a new account immediately after the survey was posted, those who post consistently negative comments about the D600 and include the word Canon (or one of their cameras) in a few of their posts, filter out all known or highly suspected trolls, and anyone calling Nikon “that company”. A few legitimate users will be affected, but on the whole the accuracy level should go up considerably.

      • FredBear

        This is the problem with this type of survey – there’s no verification of whether the responder does or doesn’t have a D600 so anyone wanting to skew the results can just say ‘yes’ and answer what they want.
        If anyone knows how many D600’s have been sold then perhaps we can form some more educated opinion as to whether the results are reliable or not – whatever the result is.

        • Sahaja

          Respondents should asked to submit an a unmodified picture of an out of focus white wall taken at F/22 – with intact EXIF data.

          • FredBear

            Out of focus? Thought they were talking about D600 not D800.

          • FredBear

            “Out of focus”. We talking D600 or D800?

          • skaarj

            All D600 who claim to have no oil/dust issues should do this without a prior wet clean. That would be a good survey.

            • AM

              And all who claim to have had the issue need to submit the proof. That will filter out all the trolls.

        • df

          I love wasting my time filling out fake d600 survey answers. I have already done over 100 bogus responses.

          • FredBear

            I did the same – then I realised it was a Nikon camera and not Canon …

          • You bogus responses will not change the results if we get 10,000 people to participate.

  • The great dane

    In the survey if you answer no to own a D600, why not ask for if you wanted to buy one if it haven’t the dust issue

  • StarF

    Some people who don’t have a D600 will more care this survey.

    • RC

      If people really wanted this camera, they’d buy it and return it until they got a good one. It only took me 2 tries to get a good one (2nd one was perfect). I love this camera!

    • metsatsu

      I have a D600 and I did the survey

  • Spy Black

    I got my D600 back around March, had dust/oil then. Cleaned the sensor once then, just cleaned it again this past week. They say after 3000 actuation’s the problem diminishes. I’m at 2335 at this writing. I’ll see how things look after then. This mostly has been a non-issue for me.

    • patto01

      Is this a spare camera? Only 2335 actuations since March??

      • Will

        not everybody shoots everyday, not everybody is pro. amateurs have the right to own camera. not necessary to question like that.

        • patto01

          Of course you’re right. But if you frequent this site, you’ll recognize Spy Black as a regular poster. Typically (but not necessarily), that’s indicative of a frequent shooter, for whatever reason(pro, enthusiast). Had someone who doesn’t post that often made the same comment, I wouldn’t have said anything.

      • Spy Black

        It is a third camera. I shoot semi-pro. No, I don’t use it every day.

        • patto01

          Really? Three cameras? What do you normally shoot and why three? I’m not trying to be nosy…I’m just a curious fellow.

          • mfletch

            Is 3 a lot? I shoot a D600 and still own and shoot the D700. I also still have a D70s and D2h that I prefer to keep rather than sell for pocket change. They still get occasional use by me or as a loaner. I’m a hobbiest, but don’t feel I have too many cameras.

            • patto01

              I don’t know – I guess it depends on the individual. When I bought my D600, I sold my old camera to my sister. When my D600 was being serviced (non-dust related issue) I borrowed my old camera from her and it took a little bit to get used to the old controls and I still missed my camera. I know a lot of people have backup cameras (typically similar cameras with similar controls) but I can’t imagine keeping track of the various settings and personalities of more than that.

          • Spy Black

            I use mostly primes. I have a different prime on each body. I usually don’t use more than two bodies at a time.

            • patto01

              That makes sense, not that you have to adhere to my sense of logic (or lack thereof).

  • RC

    I preordered the D600 the moment it appeared on Amazon. That one had oil issues, so I returned it. Amazon made that go as smoothly as possible. They sent UPS to my house and paid for return shipping.

    The second D600 I bought was in October of 2012 (11 months ago). That one has been perfect after only one initial wet clean. It is now almost a year later, and I’m loving it to the max! I’m at 10,612 actuations now.

    This camera is so unbelievably awesome! It’s replacing a D300 (oh my goodness the D600 blows that camera out of the water!). The AF system is so much faster! I still have the D300, and every time I go back to it, I wonder how I ever put up with it.

    It’s unfortunate that people have had a nightmare situation but people need to return their defective cameras within the return period if possible. It should be very easy to determine if you have a defective unit within hours, especially if you’re aware of the issue.

  • brett maxwell

    I got one from the very first US shipment, I’ve put 9000 frames through it, and I shoot all primes so I’m changing lenses a lot. I’ve never cleaned the sensor other than an rocket blower 2 or 3 times ever. I just checked mine at f16 and it looks better than I expected, some dust for sure, but far less than the photo above and no sign of oily, wavy stuff.

    • tobi

      If you read the source of the photo above it will tell you that that photo is a composite from 20 D600 sensors so it will never be that dirty !

      • Spy Black

        Except for those streaks, my D600 was easily that dirty. A quick sensor cleaning eliminated the problem however.

      • Gil Aegerter

        My D600 was pretty dirty a month after purchase. I had it cleaned by a local shop, then had to have it done again a few months later, but it’s been fine since then. Still, annoying.

  • sevencrossing

    Two more questions

    Do you own a D600 – No

    Does your camera have dust / oils spots?

    Do you own a D600- No

    have you added to the on line discussion on the D600s dust / oils spots?

  • D600 fail

    Dust was horrendous after ~2000 shots. I got it cleaned, now it’s better. Ask me what it’s like when I’ve done another 2000 shots… that will be the kicker.

  • Andrew

    I have an early D600 and have taken over 15,000 shots. I have used a rocket blower 3-4 times in the past 11 months and each time any dust specks have vanished. I have not even bothered to use the camera’s sensor clean function. I have not seen any evidence at all of “oil” on the sensor. BTW, I find the D600 simply amazing!

  • Nick

    I bought a D600 in October 2012. It immediately showed very bad spots, but the rate of accumulation seemed to slow. I sent it to Nikon France and they had it for a few weeks. I think all they did is clean it. After that it still accumulated spots but never as bad as the first use out of the box. Since then I’ve learned how to clean the sensor myself, because losing the camera for a few weeks every time I get a spot is obviously not a solution (and neither is paying someone €25 for two minutes work). Usually some of the spots go away with a blower but I still need an occasional wet clean. The problem seems to be clearing. My shutter count is still pretty low at around 7000.

  • Laurent

    I am from France and I have a D600 since early February 2013. He has now made 7000 shots for me. I have not been confronted with the problem of dirt, two wet cleaning before 2000 shots allowed me to remove some dust appeared. I am very satisfied with this DSLR and I really appreciate his possibilities, which are great.
    I am very worried since the publication of the rumor about the release of a D610. I’ll wait until the D610 comes true before being very angry against NIKON. Here the coast for a used D600 is 645 € when a D700 is 950 € and a D300S is 670. It is not to be a genious to guess what it would if a D610 came out. In less than a year, I have would have lost more than 1000 €, more than 60% of the value of my purchase. Unable to sell it, I should keep this device for years and so do not move to a higher model. I would have also lost confidence in NIKON who, after denying the problem with the utmost bad faith, would have wiped their feet on people like me who trusted him.

    • McGraffix

      I wonder if there are any people saying this about their washing machine or fridge…
      Come on, speak up you people who go out and buy a new fridge every time a new model comes out!

      What is it with digital stuff that makes people so dissatisfied so quickly? I very regularly read comments on tech sites about people who yesterday were perfectly happy with their device and the next, when they read that a newer model is announced, suddely think it’s crap and start to grumble and seemingly NEED to buy that newer device. And because of what??

      • Laurent

        Thank you for your pleasant comparisons. In addition to be Nikon’s poodle, you are really a very nice guy! The kind of sinister conservative that spends his time defending the poor firms on tech sites.
        If I chose NIKON, it is among other things because of its seriousness and persistence of the value of its products. This sad D600 experience goes against it, and it’s NIKON who is responsible for this degradation: He released a new product without having it fully tested, it is a first fault, industrial. He denied the existence of this industrial fault, which it was a new fault, communicational this time. And these are the customers who trusted him, like me, who will pay the price. No offense to Mister Mc Poodle.

        • McGraffix

          Woof :)!

          Well, let me be VERY clear on the point of tech firms: my comparison was to express a sentiment exactly the opposite of what you suggest: I do not like it al all that the renewal cycle of products seems to become faster and faster. I still have a washing machine that is now in its 21st year of operation, working and I’m still very satisfied with it. It still does what I want it to do (like cleaing the dust of my clothes πŸ˜‰ ). (as an aside: I consider myself neither a conservative nor sinister (which accidentally meant “left” or “from the left side” in Latin, which is more my political direction).
          Now, while comparing washing machines and cameras is like comparing apples and pears, as we say in Holland, my point was more about the seeming sudden change in satisfaction as a new product comes out.
          Products should do what you can reasonably expect them to do (and what the manufacturer claims it will do) and have an appropiate quality. I too would expect a camera like a D600 to conform to more stringent quality control. It would be nice to know how this issue could have occured. Other manufacturers have the same problems (like Apple with their ‘Antenna-gate’-issue) and maybe some whistleblower could shed some light on how the decisionmaking process runs when putting out these serious instruments. Is it market pressure, wanting to keep the perceived same pace with competitors? Shareholders?
          Or is it simply a matter of doing the sums? Putting out a camera in this case knowing that a certain percentage has an issue, but that the cost of delaying it’s release is higher than bringing it to market and taking the cost of having to repair or replace a number of them? I fear it might be this…..

        • patto01

          “Poodle”? Is that a French insult? “sinister conservative”? And, what price did you pay? You have a camera that needs/needed additional sensor cleanings for the first few thousand clicks. Regrettable but not the end of the world. Grow up!

          • McGraffix

            It just might be :). I’m not taking offense though (although I don’t like poodles).
            It might be an effect of: NP-BIS: New Product – Buy Immediately Syndrome ;). I have to say I did it with the D7000 and had to exchange for a new body AND lens. Huge – well, very, very noticable – focus problems with both lens and body, strangely enough. After that, until it got stolen, very happy.
            In future I won’t rush out and buy any new stuff as it comes out. Normally you’ll already have something that you were happy with before the new thing. Why would it be obsolete or inferior all of a sudden just because some company decided to introduce a new product? Sure, it might be ‘better’, or ‘lighter’ or ‘thinner’. But it’s also the marketing that’ll get you confused on your own needs and desires. The new thing might have something useful, of course! But you did without yesterday, so you probably could do without a little longer and wait to see the real-world experiences of the new product, then decide if it will give you additional value enough to justify a buy. I would think that following that procedure, some – or al lot – of those who bought a D600 might have thought twice, regardless of Nikon coming with a D610.
            Wait until you get a satisfactory answer to the question: “Does it look to good to be true?”.

      • RC

        I don’t know about others but the reason I’m dissatisfied and want to upgrade is because what I had was never ideal from the beginning. I remember how happy I was with the D300 when I bought it but I also knew the D3 existed. I knew what was possible but there was no way I could afford one.

        With the D600, suddenly the best image quality was within the grasp of the masses. I truly believe that I could not gain much by upgrading to their top pro camera (this is not to say others won’t gain much). I mean sure I’d love to have a faster frame rate but that’s not that important to me.

        As far as a refrigerator is concerned, as long as it works properly, I couldn’t care less. =) Some may argue higher efficiency but they use less than 200 watts. That’s less than a typical desktop computer, so I also am not overly concerned about that marketing gimmick.

    • kotozafy

      Bonjour, Please tell me where to buy used D600 for 645 € in France, I’ll pick two or three!

      ( I’ve had a Minolta 7000i and used it during 18 years then sold it in good shape for 40 € 3 years ago )

  • Giannos Menelaou

    I was saving money for a long time to get a full frame camera. When D600 came out i said this is my dream camera. I bought it around February, i was really happy, after 500 shots i saw the first spots, i sent it for cleaning and the same happen after 1000 shots.. after that i get fired from my job and now i have a useless camera if i use smaller than F8 because i don’t have extra money to spend every 2000 shots to clean this f….. camera.
    I am really disappointed from Nikon.. they do not admit there is a problem with this camera but they are going to release a new camera (exactly the same specs) but with an extra “10” on the name

    • McGraffix

      Ehm… Dust is not something that just ‘happens’ (Oil internally is). There is a good chance of dust entering your camera regardless of what camera you use if you are in an environment that has dust and you get out your camera. Now, unless you only shoot in cleanrooms, there will be dust. And everytime you change lenses, you create an opportunity for dust entering. So it greatly depends on how and where you handle your camera. Blaming the manufacturer would be a strange thing to do then…
      It’s not magic dust πŸ™‚

      • Giannos Menelaou

        if I was the only one having this problem i will blame myself.. but explain me please, why Nikon is going to release D610 only one year later after D600 was release? And from what i read it will be exactly the same? this is my second Nikon body.. on the first body i noticed some spots after one year of extreme use, this is normal for me not after 500 shots i see so many spots on my D600 πŸ™‚

        • McGraffix

          As I wrote in a comment below: the life-cycle of – mostly electronic – products seems to become shorter and shorter. I’m not happy with that at all. It’s a rat race. I think it makes manufacturers rush in bringing products to market and skimp on the QC as they are afraid the competition – who’s thinking and doing the same – might take a lead. So they can do the sums and conclude that the presumed cost of delaying the introduction is supposedly higher than just going ahead and taking some losses for repair and exchange…
          And although I do not own a D600 ( I was very happy with my D7000 with lenses, but it all got stolen :(( and I do not currently have enough cash to buy a (any) camera…) I would not be pleased if this would happen.
          I’m sorry if my reply to you seemed to suggest it was all your fault :). I was trying to comment on what I see is often the easy way out of bashing someone/something else for your own mistakes or faults. Or at least your own part in them.

          • Giannos Menelaou

            i misunderstood you sorry πŸ™‚ thanks anyways

    • patto01

      I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything but before buying a full frame camera, or any dSLR for that matter, you should have made sure you had saved up enough money for the extras (e.g. blower, bag, etc..) including sensor cleaning supplies. If you have a dSLR, you *WILL* need to clean the sensor eventually. Premium cleaning supplies aren’t exactly inexpensive but there are cheaper versions available.

      • Giannos Menelaou

        Thanks for the advise.. i am Unemployed for 8 months now.. i save enough money for many more extras, but when i buy the camera after one month later i was fired πŸ™ .. now after 8 months i pearly make it.. I hate this crisis πŸ™‚ anw thanks again.. my problem is why Nikon don’t admit the problem

        • patto01

          Well, I feel bad for you. Really. Eight months is a long time to be unemployed. Not to trivialize your situation but, a whole lot of years ago, I lost my job on the day my first son was born and was unemployed for about a year. No unemployment benefits or food stamps or anything. Luckily, my wife’s family, who were borderline poor, helped us through.

          • Giannos Menelaou

            thanks for the compassion.. better days will come i hope :/

    • Spy Black

      The camera is not useless. Being out of work sucks, I’m in the same situation. However if you can afford $25 for a sensor cleaning kit, your camera problem is easily solved.

      • Giannos Menelaou

        Thanks for the advise.. i will send it to Nikon for cleaning, i don’t mess up with the sensor. I never touch anything inside the body,I do not have any experience to do this kind of things.. thanks i appreciate your advise

        • Spy Black

          It’s really quite simple, nothing to be afraid of:

          • Giannos Menelaou

            i don’t know how to thank you.. Many many thanks πŸ™‚

        • Sahaja

          All DSLRs need sensor cleaning from time to time – it’s not that difficult.

          But with most cameras you don’t have to do it all that often

          • Giannos Menelaou

            I clean my previous DSLR after a year of extreme use, and the spots wasn’t as bad as the D600, 8 months old and clean the sensor once from Nikon πŸ™‚
            Don’t get me wrong.. Nikon D600 is the best camera that i was dreaming of,i don’t need anything more or less from this camera (MY OPINION).. only the oil spots is the problem with this camera

  • One More Thought

    All you have to do is read the comments to articles like this one to know that Nikon has a problem with the D600.

    In fact the more I read the comments the more I realize that Nikon cannot release the D610 soon enough. Now Nikon should be smart and include at least a few improvements in the D610, other than just fix the oil/dust splatter problem.

    • patto01

      I don’t think Nikon can increase the price of the D610 too much. If they don’t, and they include any improvements, all the current D600 users will be p*ssed. I, for one, think they’re doing the smart thing, if not the right thing.

  • Simon Goldsworthy

    Zero issues here. This (non) “issue” is the biggest shill and troll creation ever. After all, all DSLRs gather dust, so all you need to do is tell inexperienced people to shoot a white wall OOF at f22 and voila, some find dust and complain.

    The shills hired to create this FUD must be rubbing their hands together at the thought of a reputation well tarnished.

    A pity, since the D600 is a terrific camera. It outperforms my D800E in certain circumstances. About the only thing that’s wrong with it is the shutter being limited to 1/4000. The AF is snappier than the D800E!

    • Spy Black

      I don’t think it’s a fabricated issue, it’s certainly real enough. The D600 is certainly having more dust and/or oil spots issues than typical cameras. It’s just not that difficult to fix. A sensor cleaning will last a good while before needing another one.

      • Simon Goldsworthy

        But how real is it? I’ve had (for various reasons) 3 bodies. None has exhibited this issue. So some people early on may have seen some genuine issues, but enough FUD was whipped up to make everyone think if they had a dusty sensor they had this problem. You see this a lot with new cameras (GH3 EVF, NEX-5N clicking, AF problems etc, etc). the ones that stick have a grain of truth, but usually only a grain, and from reading the internet you would swear the relevant manufacturers practiced murder, torture and other crimes!

        • Spy Black

          Have you run the tests to show the dirt, or are you just looking at the images you’ve made so far? You can have quite a dirty sensor, and depending on what and how you’re shooting, not see it.

          • Simon Goldsworthy

            F22, white background OOF – yes I have. I do a lot of landscape work, so it would show up there too. That’s not to say I haven’t had dust, but frankly, if it comes out with a Rocket blower it isn’t oil nor is it a problem!

            • Spy Black

              When did you purchase your body? Most early models, like mine, were problematic. However that doesn’t mean all of them were afflicted, but certainly most were. Consider yourself lucky. Like I said, the issue doesn’t faze me. Great camera, ay?

            • Spy Black

              When did you purchase your body? Most early models, like mine, were problematic. However that doesn’t mean all of them were afflicted, but certainly most were. Consider yourself lucky. Like I said, the issue doesn’t faze me. Great camera, ay?

        • Justinm

          It’s a very real issue for those of us troubled by it. Blower didn’t put much of a dent into my original spots. Sent it in under warranty in May. After 3 weeks received it back (I’m 1 day ground shipping away in L.A.) with them replacing the shutter box assembly and cleaning, as well as fixing a back-focus issue. Less than three months later the spots were back. With the warranty out in Sept I sent it in again with real-world prints thay showed issues (Alaskan HDR landscapes with snow and i didnt have a handy ND filter). Again, just two weeks ago they replaced the shutter box and cleaned the sensor. Came back with one oil spot top left first shot (f/32 and still round, may just be cleaning residue, but its not a problem).

          Since warranty work is guaranteed for 180 days even after original warranty expires, I fully plan to send it back every 5.5 months if the spots keep coming back. New free shutter every 6 months, pro wet sensor cleaning, general body scrub, an a firmware update. That will nicely offset the value lost in the body relative to others, but I never planned on selling it anyway, it’s a fabulous camera.

          • Simon Goldsworthy

            I had a lot of dust and dirt on my sensor… On my D800E sensor, that is, after doing some landscape work in dusty and sandy places. Some of it didn’t come out with the rocket blower, so I used a static brush, but that didn’t remove all the spots. So I wet cleaned my sensor and hey presto they were gone.

            I haven’t owned a full frame camera that didn’t suffer from spots on the sensor (most much, much worse than my nikons). I just learned to deal with it. That’s one reason why I have limited sympathy here.

          • Paul Digney

            I agree. So far I’m getting free cleanings every so often and I’ve got another year of warranty left. The survey should also ask how early the camera is– I ordered mine on rumours and got a very early copy. That is something I will probably avoid in future.

        • animal alex

          I have a D600 that has a very real (and annoying) dirty sensor issue. You can see enough evidence that it is a problem, and not just a whinge.

          Maybe you got lucky with your bodies, or maybe I got unlucky with mine. It doesn’t worry me too much, a wet clean takes about a minute. But it is annoying, especially as I do use smaller apertures fairly often.

        • chris

          I bought a d600 recently, refurbished, saved $600.00. The camera came with a few spots which I cleaned . If they appear I’ll clean again and the camera is worth every penny. I think that before a new product comes out, it is a good idea to wait and see what happens. Advertising like news is all about what you want to see not what reality really is.

  • Lomskij

    I have around 13k clicks on my D600 and I already wet cleaned it 3 (three) times, i.e. every 4k clicks or so. The speed it gathers the dust is incredible. No oil problems though. For comparison, first time I cleaned my old D300 was after 40k clicks πŸ™

    • From what i’ve heard the amount of dust/oil should reduce gradually. Anyone to clarify that? I too have D600. And yes after 2000 clicks i’ve started to notice dust. I really wish Nikon would arrange a free replacement to D610.

    • Simon Goldsworthy

      Really – that sounds fair to me. I guess it depends on actual use rather than number of actuations and sounds better than my old A900 in any event!

  • Łukasz Szty

    Recently bought Nikon d600. I did the 5000 images – mostly portraits, and later went on a tour and I started doing landscapes and felt sad when I saw horrible dirt on the sensor. Camera did just 5000 photos. I have never had such filth on other cameras, even after several years. I am disappointed with the Nikon. Especially since I knew I would not buy a broken camera and the D610 can wait: (

  • RichardAB

    I clicked on ‘No’ assuming there would be a point in doing that. I’d hoped to see, out of interest, the questions included in the survey (without being able to answer them obviously).

  • D600 no more

    OK, I no longer own a D600 – why? Because of dust. Does that count?

  • malchick743

    I guess if the mirror cage components will need to intricately lubricated in the factory, as either too much or too little lube will equally result in problems…

    Anyway… I don’t have a D600, but I’ve had similar oil/dust issues on someone’s D7000 which I frequently use.

    First spotted oil problem on the D7k’s sensor last year. Had it professionally cleaned, then 8 months later the problem returned. Eventually had the mirror drive replaced and since then I haven’t seen the problem… although I had to manually swap the sensor to remove some minor dust specks. Too early to tell if oil droplets will return…

  • Vittorio

    I do NOT own a D600 but I used one for more than 3000 pics. I would be happy to answer the survey.

  • Yuri Yurchenko

    I think survey should be changed.
    Only one oil/dust question is present.
    But a lot of users can have only one issue.
    For example I haven’t any oil issues, but occasionally have dust on the camera sensor (during lens changing, it is normal) which can be removed by air flow.

  • Mauro Schramm

    I did not send my camera to Nikon for repair. I used the services of a reliable technical. I think you missed this question in the survey.

  • Ryushi Lindsay

    I have this problem with my D7000. Makes it pretty much unusable for video.

    • Spy Black

      Clean your sensor. Very easy. Problem solved:

      • Ryushi Lindsay

        I’ve cleaned my sensor loads of times. A few stills later and it’s a mess again.

  • Robert Alatalo

    Well, I am sure I just jinked myself. I had been holding off posting in any forums due to the silly stupidstition, oh well… I only got 2 questions. For the record I just checked and under high magnification using my body cap pin-hole cover, I can see some fine dust… will try to blow it off after breakfast.

  • david a.

    This survey is a non-scientific troll magnet. Totally useless.

    There was news this morning that Yelp trolls were just fined $350,000 for posting fake restaurant reviews. Online polls are worth the paper they’re written on.

    • Nobody said that this is a scientific survey. Don’t like it, don’t take it! Your comparison with the Yelp fake postings is far stretched from the purpose of this blog post.

      • Mitch

        I still think this survey could be very useful but the outcome will be pretty predictable: most D600’s have had oil/dust problems but they were solved after sent back to Nikon.
        (I’ve had problems after 1500-2000 clicks. Went back to he local shop were I bought the camera. They were aware of the problem and sent it over to Nikon. After that, no problems! Great camera.)

  • he3a

    At 5000 shots I used Blower, almost all spots are gone. At 10,000 wet cleaning. It is now 15,000 shots, no new spots.

  • lfg

    Is there a lot of people dealing with a dust problem with the d800/d800e?

  • Steven Hyatt

    My D600’s sensor is a mess, particularly in the upper left. I’m in the process of sending it back to Nikon (as an NPS member) as we speak.

    An interesting note, I have a friend who recently (within the past 6 months) has taken a job with Nikon NPS. I called him about this. His response: “I’ve never heard of any oil issues on a D600”.

  • TrP

    So what are the improvements again for the D610? OR what improvements would we want in the D610 is the conversation I want to have.
    -Aperture control during live view.
    -51 AF points over the entire viewfinder
    -improved lSO (to make it a true update)

  • Steven Hyatt

    And thank you for taking the initiative to do this.

  • jekyll

    I bought my D600 in January 2013 (in Luxembourg). I returned it to the dealer in March for a Sensor cleaning, then again in August, then again 2 weeks ago. Told them I wouldn’t want the camera back. They agreed to buy it back, now I upgraded to an D800 since I want to keep my Nikon lenses and don’t want another D600.

    • PeterO

      Bingo – Nikon wins. They got you to upgrade and spend more money, which is exactly their strategy.

  • Sad Photographer

    I was looking forward to buying my first DSLR and was very excited about the prospects of buying a Nikon D600. I had asked to get this as a Christmas (2012) gift, but then learned of the dust and oil issue and decided to wait for Nikon to fix it (like they did with the weak F100 rewind fork or the oily 35mm f/2 lens). I waited for the all-clear news, but it didn’t come. I thought I would get it for my Spring 2013 birthday, but still didn’t have the confidence to spend all that money on something that may have been a troublesome purchase.
    So, I tried to learn more about how D600s were doing more recently. Some said that it was a complete mess and to avoid it. Others said that there was no problem at all and that it was all only the imagination of Internet trolls.
    I spoke to one camera salesman who seemed very truthful and determined that in his experience the problem was real but had gotten better, yet was not solved. Think “half way to the goal line” each time; that is, from his experience the problem still exists but that the frequency has lessened and lessened over time. There is no way to truly quantify this that I know of (although your survey results will be interesting), but that did ring true to me.
    So, I just pulled the trigger and bought the D600 with the 24-85mm lens. Learning to use the new camera and getting out there to have fun with it reinvigorated my longtime love for photography. While there has been a little bit of a learning curve, it has been a true joy to use, and the results have been amazing.
    I signed up for a photography class, and when doing one of my assignments, with about 1,500 clicks on the shutter, I did notice some spotting. It isn’t the black filings of dust that others have reported, but a splatter of little jelly-like circular dots, which I assume are oil/lubricant.
    It really is discouraging. I know I could have it cleaned (I have never cleaned a sensor before, and would be a bit wary of doing that myself, but could learn). I know I could send it in to Nikon for cleaning and/or repair. But, I would always worry that the problem might reoccur once the warranty is over and would always have to be concerned about it ruining an important photograph and face the inconvenience of continuous cleanings.
    So, I am not sure exactly what I will do. I am leaning toward exchanging it at the shop I bought it at for a second copy of the D600 hoping that I will get luckier the second time out. I might just return it altogether and delay being a DSLR user for a different model down the road like the rumored D610 if reports are better. I don’t think I am interested in obtaining a D800, given my needs. While I am interested in using the Nikkor lenses I have from film photography, I guess I could return the Nikon camera and buy another brand such as the new Fujifilm cameras or other mirrorless offerings that seem so appealing for the type of photography I do.
    So, while I was hoping to report that the problem did not affect me, I did answer on the survey that I did experience spots. I did not send it in to Nikon, but will be returning it or exchanging it at the point of purchase. The reinvigoration of my love of photography has been put on hold for now.
    And, yes, if it weren’t for what seems like poor quality control, Nikon would have sold me the D600/24-85mm combo last year, and would have sold me numerous lenses and other accessories this year. I am just one customer, but I suspect there are many others like me.

    • Sad Photographer

      That’s odd. It looks like it is changing the names of various commenters to Dimitrii. πŸ™‚

      • Sad Photographer

        There we go. Our names are back.

  • Monty D.

    I would bet my (clean) d600 that most “oil issues” are several micro specs of dust on the 24mp sensor. How many people have actually locked the mirror up and looked? You need to shine a bright light on the sensor just to see the actual size of a common dust speck.

    Or instead, totally freak-out when looking at the sky at f22 and see these big huge dark spots of micro dust particles resolved at 24 megapixels in the image shot?

    • Nick

      Well then you’d be wrong. This problem is not a paranoid invention from pixel peepers. For many of us it’s real. I’ve had recurrent big spots that are very visible. Sharp at f22 of course, but still annoying at f8. They don’t all go away with a blower. Some of them do and that’s normal, but not all. It’s not just dust. Your D600 is clean and trouble free. I believe you. But that’s not a reason to disblieve me when I tell you that mine isn’t. I cope with my problem by cleaning the sensor occasionally. It’s not the end of the word but it is annoying. I’m at 7000 shots now and I’m optimistic. I’m certainly not gonna trade in for a D610. But if you want to send me your clean D600 then go ahead πŸ˜‰

      • Simon Goldsworthy

        if you have big spots it’s unlikely to be the kind of oil spots seen by Lens rentals in their picture above. Have you wet cleaned the sensor?

        • Nick

          My spots look pretty much like the ones in the picture above. I’d call that big. Definitely still an annoying distraction on a clear sky at normal shooting apertures. And yeah, I’ve wet cleaned my sensor several times now (which works for me).

    • RC

      I agree with you that most of these so-called “oil spots” are probably just particles but from the shutter mechanism. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be happening, so whatever they really are doesn’t matter. Nikon should fix all these issues for free and not require the customer to pay shipping charges to have their camera sent in.

  • yf

    1: Do you own a D600
    2: For real?
    3: Do you promise you are telling the truth?
    4: Have you ever lied on the internet?
    5: Do you like to fill out fake survey answers to skew results?
    6: Have you ever noticed oil on your sensor?
    7: For real?

    8: Again, do you promise you are telling the truth?

  • Dave

    i bought a refurbished D600 in April – I have had some sensor spots, but no oil. A thorough blowing with a rocket blower after about 5000 shots took care of everything.

  • adamflath

    What is the purpose? I answered yes to dust, but I am in the crowd of “Clean your own sensor” which takes less than 5 mins and BOOM, good for another couple weeks. And still hard on what is excessive? All my DSLR’s have dust and need the sensor cleaned.

    • RC

      I don’t know what conditions you shoot under but I changes lenses all the time, and I’ve practically never had to clean the sensor on my D300 after about 5 years of use. There is something clearly wrong with many D600s, so just telling someone to just “deal with it” is not reasonable.

      I have a D600 right now (11 months old), and I’ve only had to wet clean it once when it was brand new. This is how it should be. I am over 10k actuations later, and I have not had to wet clean it one more time.

  • phottoboy

    Awesome survey!

    And totally what Thom Hogan would suggest.
    I’m not being facetious, I think it’s sort of a great way to push the concept of “talking” compared to “owning, doing”.

  • Back to top