Nikon D600 sensor dust/oil survey results


With over 13,000 response, those are the results of theΒ Nikon D600 sensor dust/oil survey I posted last week:

Obviously this is a non-scientific survey with an unknown margin of error - I tried to keep it quick and simple and did not cover all possible scenarios.

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  • lello


    • jayohh

      I can actually create dust spots on demand. Just jerk the camera left or right while taking continuous shots. Think of taking pictures of racing cars trying to get the blurred background. Repeatable everytime. And the camera cleaning mechanism cleans it pretty well.

      But the fact that any camera (not to say 64% from the survey) coming back from Nikon still generates dust spots shows that Nikon has NOT FIXED the problem and this is unacceptable at these price points. When the D601 comes out Nikon better have an upgrade program or they will be sorry. If not, it may be time to trade my lenses in for Canon.

      • Andrew

        If only I can trust this survey. It is easy for one motivated individual to respond 1000 times without any technical restriction. It will be nice to know the facts but unfortunately this is not the way to get it.

        • Grimbot

          Just go to Thom Hogan’s site…or any other one of a host of professional camera review sites….this problem has been well documented for over 9 months. Nikon issued an official service advisory on this camera…which they almost never do….so there definitely is a serious problem.

  • patto01

    The results are odd. Either there are a lot of people with an imaginary problem or Nikon’s service people don’t know what they’re doing. I’m leaning toward the former.

    • Gavin

      Nikons service people clean the sensor, they dont fix the area where the dust/oil is getting in at (the upper left). Its not an imaginary problem. If it was the whole nikon community wouldnt be talking about this right now.

      • patto01

        1. They replaced my shutter, even though I sent it in for a different issue.
        2. I said, “a lot of people,” but didn’t mean that to include everyone.
        3. The only reason some members of the Nikon community (whatever that is) are talking about it is that other members won’t shut the hell up about it. I’ve never complained about it, even though I had a mild case, and probably would have attributed it to normal use had it not been for the uproar.

  • Mark

    Unfortunately the survey is fairly useless, as it doesn’t account for confirmation bias, multiple votes, disgruntled users, and the simple fact that “affected” users are many times more likely to search out places to have their voices heard. I suspect the number of affected users relative to total production is much, much, smaller (probably 10% or less). I have 3 D600’s, purchased at different times, none have the issue. My local camera store has sold thousands of units, without a single return or complaint of sensor spots (I am friends with some employees), and I have several colleagues who use D600’s daily, whom do not have the issue. That should be nearly impossible if this survey was accurate. The other problem here is that people are taking F22 shots of white walls and pushing exposures in photoshop to see spots – think of how many Canon or other cameras would show spots if such extreme testing measures were conducted. This whole thing is so blown out of proportion it’s ridiculous. I feel sorry for the users who actually have a serious oil problem, but there is no way they’re the majority.

    • Dpablo unfiltered

      Get ready for some whiny whining voices.

      • NotJustaWhine

        I hope you spend $2000 on a dud some day.

    • bl_wal

      Well Mark that maybe the case however i’ve had all the problems above. If i take a shot above f8 of a blue sky i’m using the clone stamp tool for 20 minutes or more.

      Not being funny but it does get rather infuriating after a while.

      When i got my D600 first it was great but then i noticed the build up of dust and talked to my local camera store to be told to take 3000 shots come back to them and they’ll clean it under warranty and that will solve the problem. I did this and 3 weeks after was back in again with the sensor dirty again. Was cleaned again and then after another 4 to five weeks and sensor was again very bad.

      Nikon then took the camera away and had it for 4 weeks replaced the some parts and gave it yet another clean. Now to the present day and my camera is as dirt as ever. Would also like to say i only have a 1 lens so i don’t change lenses. It’s been awful. I had a D300 previous to this and in all the time i had it, i never once had to get it cleaned.

    • Marc

      have two D600’s. Both were purchases when the camera was first released. (Which may be the reason for all my problems.) Both have had oil spots and have been back to Nikon. One get dirtier somewhat faster than the other. The bad one is going back for its third cleaning. It has only 4000 exposures. The spots accumulate in the upper left corner of the frame and are clearly visible is any shot with a clear blue sky. I do have to stop down the lens, which I often do in bright sunlight. Visible at F16, No pushing the exposure required. I would be happy to send you a sample image.

      • Remedy

        It’s not oil FFS!!!!!!!!!!

        • dhbanes

          Oh yeah, so what exactly is the viscous, non-water soluble substance that I find splattered on my sensor after every few dozen shutter actuations?

          • Remedy

            Probably remains of your IQ dripping out of your brain. So be so kind and spare humanity this fking bullshit. …or maybe you have mistaken your 1Ds with D600, cause it was fucking common to have oil on the sensor with 1Ds.


            Any more Canon idiots talking nonsense?

            • Bill

              Remedy, you are obviously a web troll, crawl back under your rock and stop wasting people’s time with your mindless drivel.

      • Spy Black

        Granted, this issue is more problematic than on most cameras, but if people would just learn to clean their sensors, they wouldn’t be worrying about this issue at all. It’s really not that big a deal. You clean your lenses, right?

        • carl

          The 600D manual indicates that we can only use a blower to clean the sensor! And that is pretty useless.

          • WoutK89

            The 600D however is not a Nikon camera, but a Canon camera and is way old by now already. And if you mean the D600, the manual is a recommended way of cleaning, there are other and better ways if you are experienced with cleaning your sensor.

            • Jan

              Funnily enough 600D is still selling as current active model next to the 700D, being the cheaper option. The 650D was ditched but there is still a lot of stock remaining. D600 is getting the moral number update but 600D will still outlast it in sales πŸ™‚

          • Spy Black

            You can’t be serious.

    • JV

      52% respondents claim to own a D600 so half the respondents should not even be taking the survey. 7.7% claim to still have the problem after repair but if you remove the 48% respondents who do not own D600 cameras this increases to about 15% (without compensating for exaggeration by haters and justifiably disgruntled owners). So it would appear that up to 1 in 6 of owners have an unsolved problem but most likely the real proportion is much less than 1 in 6.
      If you are repeatedly getting a cluster of spots in the upper left and seldom change lenses, then clearly there is a problem. However, this survey does not take account of dust spots due to normal use. My D800 has about 2900 actuations and I have had to clean the sensor twice to date. I change lenses at least once a week and I take precautions to avoid dust when changing.

      • SS

        If you answered no the the first question, the survey closed and you were not asked the remaining questions

        • JV

          OK…that explains the strange looking numbers. 6193 respondents claim to have a D600 and 1010 of them still claim a problem after repair. 1 in 6. So I still stand by the rest of my post. Assuming as many as half of them are exaggerating or lying or getting spots as result of normal usage it is 1 in 12 (8%) and that is still serious. I am a long time Nikon fan but I do not think the company has treated its customers fairly in this case.

    • Canonroomerzzzz

      Love the internet, where else can “clickbait” be marketed as a “non-scientific survey with an unkown margin of error”. This is ambush marketing at work my naive Nikon chums, maybe its 6D sales that are stalling so only Canon has something to gain here. Actually the $7000 1DX has same problem, and THEIR fix doesnt work eithe. This brought to you by Nikon Rumors, Canon’s preferred online marketing platform.

      • J Dub

        “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain

        • Sandy Bartlett

          Thats actually from the bible.

          • Bill

            The biblical phrase does not refer to fools either directly or indirectly so while similar, it is not the source of the quote.

            • Spanky

              The Bible is the source never the less. That’s a good point; but the Bible is the source of more than we like to admit. A perfect source and yes the balanced meanings can be and is misinterpreted. Until we admit we are not perfect, then we will remain lost. Mankinds obvious imperfections do not make the Bible imperfect. When we admit there is a common truth, among us all, unmovable and that we can all see partly, only then can we embrace The Lord, and His perfect Word in some balance. Without a common truth to us all, nothing could be. That is right in front of our face. True and real hope is that heaven is with God, and then seeing fully. Either you are moving that way, or the other. It’s your personal responsibility and this freedom that’s often abused is and can be only a gift from God; to us.

            • Spanky

              …while faith with no works is dead, and that means we should do good, and rightly divide what is good (which way) and not evil, with The Bible… I am by no means suggesting our sins can be covered by our good works. We can’t pay that. Only Jesus has done that. For only He is deity and so able. That means God with us, in man form. Now risen as The His Holy Spirit and can be accepted into and around you, now. We do not no how many days we are allotted. Choose wisely. Do not lean on your own understanding. We must do better than that. It’s what Jesus actually said, and did. That’s how you can know. If your asking where is God and what He has to say… He wrote down folks and in such a away, through His saints; that alone is evidence it is directly from His timeless Spirit, and not those men alone. We can easily see that it is not possible to have the congruity, among all the writings, over such many ages; but that would require an honest look and there is your false man made religions, raising there deathly heads. Don’t even start to think not knowing this isn’t extremely dangerous. Most people do not know this. If your are not willing to go with God; and against the majority, then you have given up your gift, for the temporary illusion, from death. We will reap what we sow.

              That goes for trolls, and companies where money is there only God. I’d like to say, we simply must require quality, or quit.

              Remember: It’s ALL about the Light.

    • J Dub

      Is a shot of the sky that extreme of a condition?

    • Simon Goldsworthy

      Mark, I entirely agree. I’ve also had three D600s, but none of them have this problem

    • Darius

      Sorry Mark, but on the other side how do we know what you are saying is accurate either ???? I have been reading this stuff for too many months now to disbelieve much of it. There is a problem – and not just F22 – and Nikon should own up to it. Do you work for Nikon?

    • Roberto Cunha

      10% is a small proportion of serious enginnering defect ??? You are a Nikon dealer, that’s a big bias. Nikon reputation is forever damaged, and the release of the D6100 instead of a recall is a corporation shame. Deserves a Hara-kiri

  • yosemite

    I will say this again: this survey could have been an order of magnitude more informative had you included the question whether people specifically looked for dust spots by taking a picture of a structureless object like the sky at high aperture. As is, many of those claiming they don’t have a dust issue will actually have no clue whether they have it or not, because they never did this test.

    • thomas

      is it a issue if it doesn’t show up on their photos? do you check your tires every time you leave your house, or do you just wait untill one goes flat? i had oil spots on my sensor, where they effected the pictures, i cleaned it twice and now there seems to not be any issue. I took a white photo at f22 yesterday and there is spots, i am not worried about it untill it starts effecting the photos.

      • Conguero

        If it doesn’t show up in their photos then they are not affected by the problem due to their photographic style. But it does not mean that the problem doesn’t exist or doesn’t affect other people who shoot differently!

        • thomas

          i am just wondering how big of a problem it actually is? yes i believe some have this issue, but it is difficult to put numbers on it since the vocal ones are vocal for a reason. is it a big issue because people are looking for it and therefore any spots they attrubute to oil issue, or are some making it a big issue because they have some oil spots and think they are being treated unfair? this being the internet and everyone having a say in this tends to skew the data and information.
          i would like nikon to release the repair data vs the number of cameras sold, but for some tin-foil-hat wearing-people out there that will still not be enough.

          • Conguero

            Yes I’m wondering too. But unfortunately Nikon has decided to not disclose any information about this issue. And in my opinion this was a very wrong decision because it leaves us all to our speculations. I know for sure that the problem is real and that it is very serious because my D600 was affected by it very badly (after 2000-2500 shots anything beyound f10 was unusable). And no, I didn’t do any special tests to find that out. I just came back from a nice trip to Salzburg, Austria with what I thought would be a nice bunch of pictures of that wonderful city just to discover at home that about half of the pictures I took there with the D600 where affected by this issue. So yes, maybe checking the tires before driving the car is not a bad idea after all (even if the car is from Nikon).

            Based on Nikon’s behavior in this regard I tend to believe now that every D600 must have been affected by this issue and that it must have been an unfixable design issue, hence the too early introduction of a D610 (if true). Your speculations may vary πŸ˜‰

  • Matt

    I had a ton of oil spots on my sensor shortly after I got my D600 but I cleaned them and that was the end of it.

    The problem isn’t imaginary but I don’t think it’s chronic, either.

    • Conguero

      Looks like Nikon is thinking differently about the D600 problem (if the rumored D610 announcement is real). Or when was the last time they replaced an FX model within only one year after its introduction?

    • Grimbot

      look on the Nikon website and see how many D600 owners are complaining about oil spots on the sensor….there are plenty! Right now the D600 is the lowest rated DSLR on the Nikon web site…only scoring 3.5 out of 5….and the vast majority of low scores are coming from the oil on sensor issue.

      • thomas

        hate to play devil’s advocate, but of thoes reviewers who actually owned the camera? i take ratings with a grain of salt, never know who is bumping up or down.

      • Matt

        None of that speculation changes what happened to me.

  • Bud

    Also, the survey puzzles me because more than half the respondents said they don’t even own a D600 camera.

    • If you clicked that you don’t own one, it ends the survey right then and there, so the next question is only counting those who answered “Yes” to the previous question.

      • Grimbot

        I do not own a D600 right now…but did have three different copies…so I answered the survey ‘yes’ and completed it….so assuming that people answered the survey literally is not accurate.

        Whether the survey is statistically accurate or not is a moot point. The oil on sensor problem with the D600 is very well known and documented. If Nikon is replacing this camera with a D610 that is a wise move….assuming that the D610 actually works properly.

        I loved the image quality of the D600s I had…but since it was my main camera for video work the oil spot issue was a deal breaker. Since moving up to the D800 I have no complaints at all….and given the situation with the D600 I also have no complaints with how I was treated by Nikon Canada. They did the best they could with a design problem that could not be fixed.

        The fundamental issue was that the D600 is a flawed design and should not have been launched in the first place. It has tarnished Nikon’s reputation seriously.

    • thomas

      and those who answered “No” to the first question was the end of the survey for them. sadly the first question should have been “Do you own or have owned a D600.” that would includ all the owners who returned their camera.

    • carl

      6193 said that they own a D600 and 6193 answered the second question. Unless you believe in coincidences that have probability close to zero you could infer that the people who answered the second question were exactly those who own the D600.

  • Grimbot

    My experience is different than the one you had Mark. I had three different copies of the D600 and ALL of them had terrible problems with oil on the sensor. Not just a few specs…HUNDREDS of specs and blobs. The first one went in 7 times for cleaning and the dealer I bought it from took it back and gave me a store credit. I then bought the kit again when it went on sale. Same issue. This time Nikon Canada had it for 9 weeks…disassembled, cleaned and reassembled the camera…problem was not fixed. It went back for another 3 weeks and a new shutter was put in. Problem not fixed. Nikon took it back and gave me a new replacement body….still had terrible problems with a brand new body from current production. I finally gave up and moved up to a D800. I am aware of a number of folks who have had similar problems. My Nikon dealer has had a number of ongoing issues with D600s.

    • neversink

      If you live in the US, call the Attorney General in your state and tell them about this. Tell them you are not an isolated victim of Nikon’s inability and apparent refusal to fix the problem properly or offer you a refund or a new product without those problems. When you purchase an item, by law in many states, there is a legal guarantee that the product needs to work as specified. I would also contact the US FTA, and Attorney General. I am sure a smart lawyer would be interested in a class-action suit against Nikon. I don’t own a D600, so I couldn’t answer the survey. I’m always getting some dust in my sensors here in Africa in my D4 and D800. This is just one way film is better than digital. But lets not get into that dusty issue.

      • Andrew

        I recommend a point-and-shoot camera where you do not change your lens. Changing your lens can introduce dust on your sensors especially in those windy/”desert like” African countries. Hope this helps!

        • Gavin

          sure, and completely take the talent, fun, and professionalism away from photography.

        • Grimbot

          This is just a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ comment….right? You can’t possibly be suggesting that any point and shoot could replace the image quality of a camera like the D600.

        • rhlpetrus

          Did you see the video where the lens was attached and the dust would accumulate on the sensor? It was posted here and in various sites.

        • neversink

          Andrew — you are kidding me. Of course I only get a few dust spots here and there on my sensors, but I don’t use a D600? I blow out my sensor with air and voila, the problem is solved. So far I only get a little dust on my sensor here, which I did on all my cameras back in the States, but not tons of oily unclean splattersthat might render my images useless and worthless. Yuck. Nikon should be compensating everyone for this problem. Lots of companies will do a lot more than Nikon does when their products don’t work as advertised. I would think that not being able to use a camera properly because of Nikon’s failure to market one without dust spots abrogates the terms of agreement and actually breaks consumer protection laws. Nikon needs to take responsibility for putting out an obviously poor product. If they don’t do it on their own then the courts need to force them to do it.
          I like Nikon products but am scratching my head over their poor attitudetoward their customer. I have used their cameras for more than 40 years.

      • patto01

        I don’t think there would be a case. The D600 DOES work as specified. There is no guarantee, explicit or implied, that you won’t get dust/oil on your sensor. In fact, most dSLRs DO get dust and possibly oil eventually. I’m sure you can find a lawyer to take the case though. I get emails from lawyers in Africa, coincidentally, all the time that would probably be happy for the business…

        • Thom Hogan

          More to the point: there wouldn’t be a case because Nikon is honoring warranties and attempting to fix cameras that have reported problems; I know of no instance where they’ve declined to do so. You’d have to show that Nikon is NOT fixing cameras in order to have any real basis for a suit, at least under US law.

          • patto01

            Your reply is better but mine was funnier πŸ˜‰

          • El Aura

            To play the Devil’s Advocate, is there a point when let’s say the camera is in for service several days per months that one would have a case? I’d say there certainly is but it might be very high (eg, 50%).

          • Sahaja

            I’ve read a few posts by people who have bought a used D600 found the problem and say Nikon has replaced the shutter for them. That’s highly unusual since the warranty is not normally transferable. Maybe Nikon are now seriously if belatedly trying to recover their reputation.

          • neversink

            Thom… Wrong … They honor the warranty, but they aren’t able to fix the camera. If you read these comments carefully, many people have brought their camera to Nikon for multiple cleanings to Nikon but only for the problem to reappear. If the problem can’t be fixed, then Nikon is not honoring the warranty, and their are laws in the US and elsewhere protecting the consumer from this type of swindle. Nikon needs to compensate owners of the d600 fairly. Owners of any product have the legal right to expect the product to work and not have to continually send it back. The warranty is worthless is Nikon cAn’t properly repair the camera.

            • Thom Hogan

              If anyone here has had a camera sent in for repair to Nikon and it hasn’t been repaired, please send me the full set of communication between you and Nikon, a full, clear description of what the problem you still have is, and I’ll see what I can do to resolve your issue.

              I’ve acted as a middleman for quite a few people over the years, and I know of no situation where the result was an unrepaired camera. I know of a lot of situations where the communications were vague on the part of the complainer, or they failed to understand how something works, but again, I know of no situation that I’ve been involved in where Nikon didn’t do the right thing if there was something physically wrong with the product.

              But I’ll repeat something else: Nikon is making their problems worse by their lack of clear response. The D800 focus issue was probably the worst of it, as Nikon’s lack of response meant that ANYONE that couldn’t get accurate focus was sending their D800’s into Nikon for “repair.” I probably looked at nearly a thousand different “test” results from D800 users, and as I wrote on my site, only about 20% of those actually showed the issue that needed fixing. Basically, if someone bought a D800 and had any focus issues at all, they assumed they had the problem and many of those just sent it into Nikon to have the “focus fixed.” Nikon would run their tests on the camera, see that it was within tolerance, and send it back. The user would see that they still had the same focus problem and send it back again. I’ve examined a few cameras that went several rounds to Nikon, and they didn’t have the focus problem. They had a user understanding problem.

              Still, that problem was Nikon’s problem. They didn’t ever clearly describe the issue, didn’t tell people how to identify it, and certainly didn’t try to help those that just weren’t understanding how the focus system works. Thus, Nikon essentially perpetuated the return of not broken cameras and this continued to fuel the posts that said “Nikon didn’t fix my camera.”

        • neversink

          You are wrong, as is Thom. I have had no real oil or horrid dust problems on my D 800 or D4. However the d600 seems to have a repeated and unfixable problem, according to many users.There is an implied warranty that your camera will work properly. If oil is spilling onto the sensor do to the failings of Nikon to construct and market a usable product, and is unable to fix the problem, then there are legal grounds for a lawsuit. Do you think people shouldn’t care about their rights as consumers and just plunk down their money for a substandard product and just roll over and forget about it?. Their are many cases from refrigerators to cell phones where people have been fairly compensated when the product has failed. Nikon has a responsibility to its customers to do the same. If not, they are liable,

          • Thom Hogan

            Again, show me some concrete examples of where Nikon hasn’t repaired a camera that had a real problem. Not random Internet posts and complaints, but a concrete, demonstrable, fact-driven example. Then send that person to me and I’m pretty sure we’ll get their camera fixed.

            You’re making the assumption that everything you read on the Internet is accurate and true. One of the things I’ve tried to do with my Web sites for over a decade is to ferret out what really is true. What’s true here is that some number of D600 cameras have a shutter that is causing the debris issue, and that Nikon is replacing shutters in repair. What’s unclear is whether anyone is getting a camera back from Nikon repair that still has a defective shutter. Every time I ask for evidence of that, I’m not getting any.

            • neversink

              I have to admit that Nikon has done a great job of repairing my cameras and lenses the few times over the years when they needed to go in for work. The professional work done in the service centers is phenomenal. They are quick, communicative and very competent and efficient. The days of sending my equipment to third-party repair services is long over. The days of great independent camera repair men like Marty Forscher (may he rest in peace) is long over with.

              It’s not the repair service I am complaining about, it is the fact that Nikon’s quality control has gotten so bad that defective products like this make it out on the market. it is worrisome. And it is worrisome that many people are reporting multiple incidents of this oil and dust problem, despite bringing the camera in for repair.

              Yes, there is a real problem of misinformation on the internet, and shills who probably get paid to destroy the rep of a company. (and some who just do it for the hell of it.) That Nikon is being so secretive about this issue just makes me wonder what other problems they are having. And this D600 survey, as well intentioned as it is, also throws fodder on the issue via the internet.

    • Kelly Jones

      That’s pretty much the same experience as me. I had two D600’s with terrible amounts of spots. My dealer was great and attempted to clean it but said it was the worst they had ever seen and offered up an exchange for a new D600. I accepted the exchange and within a few hundred shots the sensor was already very, very dirty. My dealer then offered up a refurb D800 in exchange + a little cash. I tested the D800 twice, once at around 500 shots and once at around 1500 shots. The D800 was nearly spotless. I hope the D610 fixes the problem because the D600 was an awesome camera except for the sensor.

      • Everlasting Visions

        Has any sad D600 owners like me considered a class action lwasuit to force Nikon to rebate our money? Realize lawyers are usually the ones to come out ahead on class action suits but I’d be a willing joiner, something has to get Nikon to behave better for their customers. Canon is now running a PR ad pointing out their exemplary customer service, has to hurt Nikon even if not entirely true!!!

    • Giannos Menelaou

      This mean i am the most unlucky.. i am from Cyprus the worst country for any service.. I sent it the first time for cleaning, they don’t charge me anything, but they tell me there is no problem with my camera.. the second time they wanted to charge me and after 1 hour of disagreement on the phone they don’t charge me.. not any store credit or new shutter.. not in Cyprus πŸ™‚

  • brett

    From personal experience, my guess is that not only are the 67% who claim excessive dust/oil reporting correctly based on a real problem, but that a good number of the remaining 33% are simply missing the problem due to a lack of testing or use at small apertures. I’ve had: (2) refurb D600s that had absolutely filthy sensors out of the box and accumulated new spots quickly, (4) used D600s I inquired about and got f/22 blue sky tests from the potential sellers, with all four showing excessive spots in the upper-left quadrant, and (1) new D600 that my friend purchased in June and developed numerous spots (upper-left biased) after a few hundred actuations.

    I’m absolutely in love with the D600 in every facet but this, but I’ve concluded, after much gnashing of teeth, that it is a defective product. The apologists will claim that I and those like me are making stuff up to defame or to stir up trouble. If only they knew how much I *want* to like this model.

    • neversink

      Please see my reply above and go find a lawyer, or at least call your Attorney General. Don’t just sit back and let Nikon get away with this. I love my Nikon cameras, but if I owned a D600 with the problems everyone is having, I would not sit back and accept it. If Nikon could not truly fix the problem, I would demand a full refund. Whatever you do, take some action.

      • Andrew

        Is it good to speculate and then talk about your rights based upon a hypothetical scenario? A fix as been available. Now get your shutters replaced if the oil does not disappear after 2,000 shots; this is how manufacturers support their products. Nikon has honored their warranty so you really do not have much to talk about.

        • neversink

          There is no hypothetical scenario. Nikon has failed to fix the problem despite the warranty. that is not hypothetical. It is a real problem for many of the users here. Therefore consumer protection laws come in play. When this happens to other companies, they compensate, replace the product, and/or extend the warranty. Or they end up in court. A warranty is no good if the product continually fails and cannot be fixed.

    • Andrew

      Actually no one is saying you do not have a problem. They are saying that there are no safeguards for people who want to skew the results by voting multiple times.

      • Thom Hogan

        That’s true. But one reason why I thought it a good idea for Admin to do this was that there is type of statistical analysis that uses multiple sets of data. I’m doing an n person survey, and I have access to another set of data, so I suspect I’ll be able to run that test to see if the data here is anywhere close to valid and to predict to a population from the total data set. It’s tricky, and I might have to find a larger third data set, but this is one of the ways that I isolated the extent of the D800 focus problem.

        • El Aura

          Wouldn’t a question that asked those who said their camera still has the problem after at least one cleaning job when they bought their D600 provide a potentially very useful results?

          Not that it is without problems, the sales among the enthusiasts that would take part in a survey might mostly be bunched up at the beginning and there are returns as well. But couple that with a serial number range and you have not results as in per participant but per serial number range.

        • Sahaja

          Another data source might be ask camera stores how many returns they’ve had for this camera because of this problem

        • Kristian

          Here is my story: I live in Bulgaria. In the beginning of June, 2013 I bought a brand new D600 from a dealer of the local Nikon’s representative. A week later went to Greece on a 3-week vacation, where I took the camera, and the spots started to appear at around 600 (what a coincidence!) shots, predominantly in the upper left corner, but I had some even in the upper right corner. Not to mention that I have around 3000 frames in Greece ruined by tens of spots, when I returned from the vacation, in the beginning of July I went to the local Nikon representative for sensor cleaning. They said that if the problem appears again in two weeks of “normal use” (I still wonder what they mean by that), I should call them to send the camera to Netherlands for repair which would solve the problem forever, as they can’t repair it locally. Well, I took back the camera, and after another around 700 actuations, I started noticing the spots again. I brought them the camera back in the beginning of August, and they send it to Netherlands. I’ve got my camera back one month later, at the beginning of September. In the protocol for repair there was written only: “Shutter play tuned”, so I am not sure whether the shutter has actually been replaced or not. Since then I’ve made around 500 actuations, and these days I started noticing the spots again – I have already some 10-20 currently, and I have one even in the lower right corner, although most of them are again in the upper left one. Called the local service yesterday, and they said that it is impossible after the repair the problem to be still there, and told me that most probably they will not replace the camera, but will send it again to Netherlands for another month. Here is where I’ve got really mad, since I would like to use the camera extensively during the autumn, and losing another month without it is really terrible. Now I would like to state, that although this camera’s colors, and dynamic range are not up to the standards set to my former Fuji S5, I like it overall for many other reasons, and moreover I invested a lot of additional money in new lenses, filters, etc., so I would really like to keep the camera, and continue shooting with it, but I would not like to do a sensor-cleaning each week. My previous camera did get some spots occasionally, but not with that speed and amount – it was cleaned only two or three times in four years for having lees than ten spots each time! Obviously Nikon are trying to service the defective camera, but they are NOT ABLE, so for me they are not standing to their warranty, as the appliance is constantly not working properly, thus affecting the consumer’s experience. Unfortunately, I am not sure whether the local laws agree with me completely, and moreover, whether a law suit like this will have some chance here, but I will not give up definitely, and if they don’t give me a proper resolution, this will be my first, and last camera from Nikon.

          P.S. Thanks God I am not that suspicious, otherwise I would start thinking even that Nikon are doing this purposely to gather new FF users, which once entering the FF-world by buying the “cheap” D600 and FF-lenses, have no choice except to upgrade to D800 etc. after being exhausted from fighting with the D600 issues.

    • 12vman

      How long ago did you purchase the refurbished cameras? I’ve been told by several camera shops that Nikon is quietly fixing the issue when they get these back to refurb… I’m on the fence about waiting for the new D610, which will be priced over $2k, or grabbing a bargain Refurb D600 for around $1500…

      • brett

        Both of the refurbs I was referring to were purchased over the past two weeks. One just got returned, the second just arrived. The serial numbers were 304xxxx and 306xxxx. The latter was considerably worse than the former, dropping horrifyingly large blobs every 25-50 frames. The 304 was slightly better, going perhaps 100-150 before things were bad enough to show at “normal” f/8-f/10 apertures.

    • Sahaja

      Come on – by now pretty well everyone reading this site knows how to properly check for dust or oil on their sensor. The proper way to do this has been written so many times on every website discussing the D600 “issue”

  • Niku

    Unfortunately, i can answer YES at all these questions… πŸ™

  • DonD

    Wow! I’m not a D600 owner, but own 3 other Nikon DSLR bodies and as such I’m very interested in this from a quality standpoint for other Nikon bodies that I will purchase in the future. This issue is WAY more pervasive than thought. I was thinking that only a few were experience this problem, but, WOW, this is a very high percentage. I wonder how many people just took them back and said, “No thanks, let me look at a different camera.” Maybe that is why there are so many refurbished D600s out there.

  • jk

    well, those saying no to this , just do not know how to test it or their D600s are just too new to develop the issue.
    if they shoot it something include sky at f8 or slower aperture , they will see it.
    I am sure all D600 cameras sold this and last year have the issue.
    you do not see it now or you do not know how to test it does not mean your D600 is fine.
    if there is no issue at all , then why Nikon is now replacing it? why have many many D600 cameras that had the issue many times got replaced their shutter units?

    Nikon does not do it if it is not feeling guilty about it.
    the D600 has issue and it is a flawed camera , just admit it.
    I sold mine before it’s too late and I can’t be happier , lucky for me , it was not my main camera and my main cameras(D800/D800E) have no issues.
    I think it is much safer to buy at least D800 class of body if we have to stick with Nikon for long time.Honestly, I am really seriously considering about going all Sony or maybe Canon this time. But since I have 17 Nikon FX lenses and 3 Zeiss primes for my Nikon F mount bodies , it is not very easy to do it soon.
    I guess Nikon knows it most of us are stuck with lots of Nikon F glass and it is not very realistic to switch to C or S or something else.
    Maybe as an insurance , I may just get the cheap 6D or new NEX9t in addition to my Nikon kit.
    All that said , I admit Sony also has quality control issue , my A99v had broken speaker and headphone jack issue and I had to send it in for repair service 2 times and never got fixed.
    So I guess unless we all go Leica , we’ll have to deal with serious QC issues with all mounts.
    My film Leica M6 and R8 never had this kind of annoying issues at all and they still work very fine today.
    Nikon really needs to get serious or lose many many long time Nikon customers like us.

    • patto01

      I’ve had mine for almost 10 months. I did have a few spots at first but after two cleanings (I did them myself) I haven’t had the problem anymore. I know how to test for it but, you’re right, I wouldn’t have seen it had I not tested for it. A few months ago, I sent it in for an unrelated problem but Nikon replaced the shutter anyway, along with repairing the issue it was sent in for.
      Maybe it’s because I’m a cynic by nature, but I always assume something will go wrong so when it does, as in this case, it doesn’t really bother me.

    • Andrew

      Well, I would rather have an oil leak that can be cleaned and then fixed with a new shutter than have Canon’s light leak which occurred on their high end camera that was later fixed with a tape! Every company has their quality control problem. I have seen certain Sony products that have had quality control problems though most of their products have incredible quality. My point is that there is no safe company when it comes to quality. If you are concerned then wait about two to three months before buying that new product to be certain there are no major issues.

      • Groosome

        The problem is Joe Public can’t be sure the problem is fixed because of retarded business accountability culture after 12 months much less 2 or 3

    • Sahaja

      There has been so much written about this, pretty well everyone reading this site knows how to check for dust or oil on their sensor.

  • RayJ

    I bet the appearance of oil spots would be higher for the D7000!

    • grimbot

      I also own a D7000 and have never had any kind of an issue with dust or oil on the sensor. I had it cleaned after 10,000+ shutter actuations….but only because one small spot on the sensor was causing issues when shooting video (can’t fix a video file the same way you can with a still image)

    • Thom Hogan

      Having observed a lot of samples of every Nikon DSLR, I can say that the D600 with the problem clearly stands out as different than any other post D3/D300 DSLR. Virtually all of those cameras will eventually have some spotting if used heavily, but a D600 with the problem is a very different beast than the others: more spots, faster generation, localized to a specific area, and more. I spotted this anomaly without doing surveys; I only did surveys and additional observations to verify what I was seeing.

      • Celtic

        My comments above notwithstanding, when I received my D7000 it had a great big (2mm) chunk of styrofoam on the sensor; that’s when I really needed the arctic butterfly to break the static attraction ;->

    • Celtic

      I do own or have owned the D40X, D90, D7000, and D5200, and never had any trouble anywhere near the trouble I had with the D600. All other D’s could be cleaned with a few puffs of a blower or my arctic butterfly. The D40X was a real saint when it came to dust, and my D7000 has been my web page workhorse, and it rarely needs to be dusted.

  • L. McBeth

    “Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!β€”One; two: why, then ’tis time to do’t.”

    Internet neurotics….

  • You can do a quick and dirty napkin calculation for margin of error if you assume that NR’s readership is not significantly different from the general population of D600 owners. Using MOE = (1.96)sqrt[p(1-p)/(n)] where p=0.67, the proportion of owners that are experiencing debris problems and n=6193, the sample size, then the margin of error at a 95% confidence interval is roughly +/- 3.5%. (This formula assumes “a very large true population”, but assuming at least 3 shipments of 20,000 for a total of 60,000, that’s good enough for our purposes; however what makes the math work is that the sample size is sufficient enough to keep the MOE down).

    Or in others words, we would have 95% confidence that the true proportion of D600 owners experience debris issue is between 63-70%. Note that even though there are a lot of ways that this calculation can be wrong (i.e., skewed respondent population) it’s not hard to draw the conclusion that something is amiss with the D600. I also wouldn’t dismiss this survey because it is self-reported; often, companies are dependant on self-reported data when they are doing market research for forward-looking activities, although Nikon would certainly be building up historical data accumulated through repair records.

    Also, if these numbers are close to what the true defect rate is, it’s no wonder Nikon is going with the change in model designation.

    • Thom Hogan

      Right. And when we have two additional data sets to use, we can either narrow that down more or show that this survey’s results were skewed somehow.

      But I think a lot of folk are missing a big point I made a long time ago about this: it doesn’t matter whether it is 20% or 40% or 60% or any other number of cameras that have a real problem. What matters is what likely D600 buyers THINK. Nikon is marketing the D600 against the perception that it has a dust/lubricant problem. I think it’s clear that the number of people with that perception is relatively high.

      From what I see from those that have had a D600 shutter replaced, they are perfectly happy with their camera. Thus, we have three interesting groups to consider here:
      1. Those that might consider a D600 but are hearing about problems.
      2. Those that have a D600 and think they have a problem.
      3. Those that have a D600 and had it fixed and now have no problem.
      (There are other groups, but these are the ones that are most interesting to this discussion.)

      • rhlpetrus

        Hi Thom, I’m one that delayed purchase but was actually never sure issue had been solved. Nikon never said they had replaced the shutters in newer batches. Now, if D610 is real and they say it carries a new shutter, it’s like a confession that that was at least part of problem. This has really hurt Nikon, D600 initially outsold almost any Nikon release, staying for weeks at the top at Amazon, something unthinkable for a 2000+ camera, not even D700 sold as much (since they didn’t make enough of those, it was backlogged for some time). As the issue showed up, sales decreased and since then the 6D has been selling in higher numbers, despite the similar price and the much less able camera. Now, every FF camera NIkon releases will be overscrutinized by people, like D800 was for AF issues. =Canon suffered through that after the 1D3 AF fiasco, only with the 5D3 and 1DX they have finally overcome that, after losing a lot of the pro market to the D3/D3s models. Will I get the D610. Maybe.

      • neversink

        Thom, you seem to conveniently leave out one of those other groups that is extremely pertinent to this discussion. and that is the large number of people who have brought the D600 repeatedly and the fix still hasn’t worked. Why are you protecting Nikon so much. They have a legal responsibility under many consumer protection laws to compensate their customers fairly if they can’t fix the problem.
        Thom, you make a living off of Nikon products. I have no problem with that, and congratulate you for doing so. However, I think you need to be fair and put a disclosure in on everyone of your comments about whether or not you have been paid, or otherwise compensated by Nikon before you hit the “post” button.

        • John H

          If you knew anything about Thom you’d know he is as independent a reviewer as can be. You should also spend some time reading what he writes about corporate nikon and their failures to disclose problems…if anyone needs to issue a disclaimer it’s you….something like, “I don’t read highly regarded reviewers sites like yours before I hit the post button….”

          • Name

            The original poster claims Nikon is paying Hogan to write in depth and ad nauseum about the ‘corporate failures’ of a brand he is supposed to er, love? WTF. Who is writing about Canon’s corporate failures is my point, jumping all over me confirms this site is run by and populated by people with a Canon agenda and nothing else.

          • neversink

            Thank you for your honest reply… I admit that I over reacted, but I am still miffed about the way Nikon has been handling this whole situation.

        • Darkness

          You really think Nikon is paying Hogan? To do what? Invent nonsense roadmaps and lengthy justifications when its wrong? Thom’s mission seems to benefit only Canon. Anyone found a site that hammers Canon the way Thom bullies Nikon? Show me. Same goes for Rumors. You have Nikon Rumors, Photo Rumors, but strangely the Canon rumors is run by someone else with a totally and dramatically softer agenda. How convenient. When will someone really stand up to Canon’s fuck ups and leaks every day the way Admin here does I wonder? So now who is paying who?

          • neversink

            I’ve already reached out to Thom. However, I was not insinuating he was paid by Nikon to defend their D600 policies. I was merely thinking that if he had ever been paid by Nikon to do a shoot, then he should disclose it. Sometimes it is hard to be objective when this is the case. It was wrong and not very thoughtful of me to do so.
            I regret writing the post, and have spent the afternoon, between editing photos, reviewing his site, which I can see is one of the better photo sites out there.
            I still think Nikon has a lot of issues to deal with, and they have not been honest about this problem.
            As far as Canon goes, I don’t use them although a lot of my colleagues do. I think Nikon is a much better product outside of the D600.

          • Ian Dangerzone

            I wish I could double like this post. I started shooting a NIkon but one of the reasons I stay with them is *because* there’s ongoing, vigorous, and active criticism of them which means you’ll have a more balanced idea of what is happening with the hobby or profession you’re investing 4 or 5 figures in a year (speaking for myself, here but I imagine most serious shooters are in the same boat). I don’t know if it’s people just drinking Canon Kool-aid, or if it’s just that, as an avid Nikon guy I don’t seek out that info about Canon, or if Canon is just *that good.* (I don’t think they are) They certainly have a few lenses I wish Nikon produced (50mm 1.2 AF, MP-E 65mm), and they obviously make a fine product, but I’ll stick with my community of staunch critics and exacting expectations. Nikon hasn’t let me down so far that I’ll jump ship–yet.

        • Thom Hogan

          >”Large number of people who…”
          I have no evidence that your adjective is correct (“large”). I have noted on my site in the past (and will update it in the future when I do my next repair survey) that almost 10% of the gear that goes into NikonUSA for “repair” seems to not get fixed the first time around. That seems to be true no matter what the repair, and I suspect that it is mostly a communication problem. Vague complaints tend to be the real culprit here (“sensor not clean”, “doesn’t focus”).

          I have helped a number of people over the years who’ve had “not repaired repairs” get satisfaction: I have a reasonably good relationship with someone at NikonUSA that attempts to do the right thing in those cases. Anyone that thinks that I “protect” Nikon must not have been reading my Web site for the last 15 years (yes 15).

          I’ve answered your “compensation” question elsewhere. Again, I don’t think you’ve been reading my site much.

      • Ian Dangerzone

        I’m not a D600 user but you’re dead right in terms of perception. Even if the survey results are inaccurate up to 50%, ie; only 2000 of the 4000 respondents claiming they had issues were telling the truth, that’s still a staggering 50% of people getting a defective product out the gate, which, if you’re buying a $2000 toy, requires that toy to purr when you wind it up.

        It’s because of this that I’m not even considering a D600 now. Not even a blip on my radar. When it was launched my ears went up quicker than a dog when you take out the kibbles: an “affordable” (yes, relative) FF as my trusty D7000 makes its way into obsolescence? Yes please! But now, I’ll probably wait for the D900 or start saving for a D5. As an enthusiast trying to get some pro gigs, I need to know that my equipment will meet my demands, and one of my demands is that the damn thing works as intended.

        The D600 is going to get Ford Pinto’d to the dustbin of history and likely Nikon will have to sweep it under the rug, hopefully advancing a legitimate upgrade to it sooner rather than later.

      • neversink

        Thom — I hope my above reply didn’t sound too belligerent. You have a wonderful informative website. Because you are well-known in photography circles, it might appear to some that you might have ties with Nikon, or that your business somehow depends upon Nikon. That is the only reason why I think you should make a disclosure as I suggested some where here in this topic. It might clear up a lot of uncertainties about any professional relationship you might or might not have with Nikon.
        I do believe corporations must rise to higher standards, and unfortunately Nikon has not been quick to resolve these issues. When companies are callous toward. Their customers and e Ben worse, when they fail to solve a problem t ha t has been going on for months and months, then consumers must find another remedy. T his is what claSs-action lawsuits are about.
        Disclosure: I have never sued anyone nor been sued (except for divorce by my ex-wife.)

        • Thom Hogan

          I’ve been very clear for almost two decades on the Internet about any relationships I have with Nikon. In the mid-90’s I ran a company that was attempting to get Nikon to use our software (they did not choose us). Since then, the only relationship is that I’m a member of NPS, as are most Nikon-shooting professionals. I’ve continued to lobby Nikon directly for various ideas and changes to their products, and I have some direct contact with Nikon managers and executives from time to time. That’s it. I buy the cameras and lenses I review and write books about.

          As for class action suits, I have a cynical view: they’re for lawyers, not consumers. The true consumer action is always simple: don’t buy products from vendors who you think don’t have high standards or are trying to fool consumers. This has a much more direct impact on a company than suing them. Most companies carry liability insurance that covers most of the costs of suits, so you actually don’t tend to hurt them financially by suing them. Bad word of mouth, on the other hand, will hurt them in the pocketbook.

          In the case of the D600, I believe Nikon HAS been hurt in the pocketbook. What most Nikon followers are debating these days is their apparent response to the problem: (1) we’ll just quietly repair shutters of D600’s as they come in to us for the issue; and (2) we’ll replace the D600 with the D610 as fast as possible. If that truly is Nikon’s response to a real problem, I think it’s the WRONG response, and it won’t fully correct their problem in terms of sales.

          • neversink

            Well thought out reply. I actually agree with you and am sorry if I questioned your credibility. That was not my intent. You have to admit, many of the people who are complaining on this thread have had horrible results with the D600, which is unfortunate for Nikon who must deal with this. Unfortunately, they appear to deal with this the same way they dealt with the exhibition of portraits of Korean Comfort Women, which they cancelled at the last minute due to pressure from the Japanese government. Their answer to critics was silence and their answer to critics of the D600 “oil-gate” problem is obfuscation and some minor attempt at trying to fix the problem. Perhaps they should give D610 bodies to everyone who has purchased a D600 and still has the oil problem.
            The one positive effect class-action lawsuits have upon corporations is that they are costly, so they try to avoid them by doing the right thing. The consumer rarely gets anything out of them, but the lawyers have a party. Some are frivolous, but many are spot on and puts the offending company in a bad light. The thought of a class-action lawsuit will often make the company, reluctantly, do the right thing, despite the immediate financial burden.
            In the long run, coming clean (no pun intended) with the problem to consumers benefits both the consumer (in this case you and me and our clients) and the corporation (Nikon.)

            • Remedy

              D600 never had an oil problem. So I don’t know what are You talking about.

            • neversink

              I hope you are being tongue and cheek. Just what is that viscous material that seems to be wrecking havoc with some D600 owners’ sensors???

            • Remedy

              You have no idea what you’re talking about.

          • CatLady

            Mr. Hogan, I am a Nikon D600 owner and a follower of your blog. I am also a beginner photographer and I have not had any problem of oil spots in my D600, thanks God!. However, all the discussion on the D600 has made me very nervous and I am in fact in the dilemma that you mention above. I am very distressed by Nikon’s response (or I should say, no response) to this issue. Nikon has let us all down. As you cleverly say in your previous post, if Nikon just had the decency to say: “We’ve determined that some D600 shutters are incorrectly operating and spreading debris on the sensor. You can test your camera for this issue by [procedure] and send us the resulting image. Cameras that have the problem will have the shutter repaired or replaced free of charge. Cameras made after [date/serial#] shouldn’t have this issue”. Not only the D600 problems would disappear from the blogs but also faithful Nikon customers would have renovated trust in the brand. It is sad that Nikon has abandoned us and its “only” solution has been to “invent” a new model that brings down the price of our investment. Shame on you Nikon! BTW, I disagree with you Mr. Hogan, I am all for a class action lawsuit because the intention is not to hurt the company. The intention is to make the company face the responsibility with its customers.

            • Thom Hogan

              The problem is simple: a class action lawsuit against Nikon on this would be thrown out by the judge on summary judgment, almost certainly. It would have little effect on NikonUSA other than to give the lawyers they retain some basic work to do.

              Why would it be thrown out? Here in the US warranty and lemon laws come into play. As long as a company repairs known defects and complies with California’s tough three-strikes lemon law, then the way our laws are written is that manufacturers are basically indemnified from lawsuit. I’ve seen a lot of data on this now, and Nikon has repaired or replaced every proven problematic camera in ways that fulfill their obligation under those laws.

              You claim that Nikon isn’t facing their responsibility to customers. But as far as I can tell, they are legally. More minimally than you and I want them to, and more minimally than any MBA program teaches its students to do in cases like this, but they are repairing and replacing defective cameras within their obligations under the law. But that’s all they’re doing, which is the thing that’s irritating long-term Nikon users.

            • I agree and have said it few times in other threads – I think there is no chance for such class action lawsuit. I am sure Nikon has consulted their legal team before releasing the D610.

      • Simon Goldsworthy

        Nikon’s response here isn’t a million miles away from what Fujifilm did when the X100 developed sticky aperture blades left and right. Yet Fuji didn’t suffer lasting damage and sold a ton of X100s. The difference is likely that Fuji put their hand up quicker which came across better and allowed a line to be drawn.

      • Sandy Bartlett

        One of the biggest problems is the scrutiny the D600 is getting. Everyone is checking their sensors. If hundreds of thousands of D700 users all did the same thing at the same time, there would be similar howling. Note: Search for D700 dirty sensor.
        I am not saying their is no issue, their clearly is, mine has it. But the level of scrutiny is magnifying the issue. People with no clue read about this issue, check their D600, see a few dust bunnies and start screaming bloody murder. It has turned into a perception problem that won’t go away, and is purely Nikons mismangement of an issue that has probably fatally injured one of the finest general purpose FF cameras ever made.

        • Thom Hogan

          Exactly. Which is why I’ve said from the beginning that Nikon’s silence on the issue is the biggest problem of all. Had they issued a user advisory that said “We’ve determined that some D600 shutters are incorrectly operating and spreading debris on the sensor. You can test your camera for this issue by [procedure] and send us the resulting image. Cameras that have the problem will have the shutter repaired or replaced free of charge. Cameras made after [date/serial#] shouldn’t have this issue” then we wouldn’t have all this Internet chatter nonsense that’s caused the drop in D600 sales.

          Nikon keeps shooting themselves in the foot with their non-responses. The D800 focus fiasco did the same thing, and now we have back-to-back high end cameras that the quality control buzz is negative on.

    • thomas

      over 85% of all statistics are made up on the spot. I kid, I kid

  • Global

    So its at least 50-50% out of a 50-50% chance you’ll get a FIXED D600, if you buy a used D600. That’s not very good odds, considering that most people with a GOOD D600 won’t be selling it.

    In other words: Buy a used D600 at your risk (there will be oil).

  • JJ168

    Can someone explain to me about this….13,000 people took part of the survey. 52% voted NO on the first question which would have stopped them from taking part of the next question. But why there are still 13,000 people went through to the last question?

    • umeshrw

      Out of 13000 for 1st question approx 6000 answered yes which get to second question.Out of those 4000 answer yes to 2nd so they go to 3rd. 1500 answer yes to 3rd question. 1000 out of those are still having spots even after getting camera repaired from nikon.

      • JJ168

        Thanks, I noted after i post the above and not able to delete the post.

    • Thom Hogan

      Read more carefully. 1590 answered the last question. The other number is labeled “Skips”, meaning that there was no answer for them on that question because it was skipped (due to their answer on the first question).

      • Sahaja

        If you said No to the first question you didn’t even get to see the rest.

      • JJ168

        Thanks Thom. Noted after posting. It wouldn’t let me edit or delete the post.

  • MB

    Nikon is now releasing D610 and the only thing improved (we know so far) is shutter … probably to resolve this particular issue …

    This could also mean that by doing this Nikon is actually admitting that D600 was faulty product beyond repair.
    I wonder if there is a low against this kind of company misbehavior and what will happen if someone sue Nikon on this ground …

  • regis

    I agree totally with Mark;the survey is of no use whatsoever as you should have first define the meaning of “excessive” dust/oil spots; I am a proud owner of a D600 for 1 year,changing often lenses and had never more than 4 or 5 spots every,say,1 000 shots which I blow off with an air can; nothing excessive compare to what I had on the D90 or D7000;
    The net forums are always putting things out of proportion;

  • Duff

    The problem with question 04 is that the repaired cameras will have problems even after a shutter change – for ca. 1500 more exposures (at least that’s the common experience with Nikon Hungary).

  • Aldo

    Half the non-issue reported votes by sply black and patto =P

    • Spy Black

      Dude, my clicking finger was SOOOO sore…

    • patto01

      We’re the only non-whiners. Well, except for Spy Black! πŸ˜‰

  • Remedy

    I love how statistically nearly 50% people shooting Nikon have D600.

    • AM

      This is how I interpret the numbers:
      Only 641 people really own a D600 (6834 – 6193).
      6193 responded No the first time they were asked if they owned a D600, and when they realized that there were no more questions, they did the survey again but this time they lied and answered Yes.
      So, in reality, only 9.38% of the surveyed people really own a D600 (641 / 6834).

      • FredBear

        One could only attempt the survey once unless one uses other methods to beat the checking mechanism.
        However of interest is that why 52% of those responding didn’t have a D600 but were trying to answer it anyway – for what reason?
        Which means that those answering ‘Yes’ to owning a D600 has to be queried as genuine owners (quite easy to answer yes to fill in the rest with gay abandon).
        Of those supposedly with a D600, 67% have a dust/oil problem?
        I doubt anyone in their wildest dreams could come up with such a ‘defect rate’ and indicates that Nikon have done nothing about the problem.

        • p

          “didn’t have a D600 but were trying to answer it anyway – for what reason?”
          curiosity to this survey and its results.
          I speak for my silly self

          “Only 641 people really own a D600”

          it should be at least 642, since I didn’t lie about owning this camera πŸ™‚
          the “truth” could be somewhere between 642 and 6834. Not taking into account people falsly stating they do not own a D600 ;), it is the fastest way out of the survey.
          I love interpreting difficult data. This data surely has some difficult components.

          It would become a great test about the people visiting this site when there is a way to figure out how many people responded twice, thrice, or more.

        • Remedy

          “Of those supposedly with a D600, 67% have a dust/oil problem?” <— this is the quintessence of this D600 "issue". dust/oil <— right from those 2 words you know it's fking bullshit. It's either dust or it's oil, it's should be fking clear by now. And because people are still arguing if it's dust or if it's oil the conclusion is very simply – they have no fking clue what they are yapping about.

          This was NEVER any oil issue but stupid people who never saw oil spot on sensor are spreading their idiotic nonsense on the internet where huge army of stupid people get carried away by that.

          • FredBear

            But It’s neither dust nor oil from the outcry it’s generated. It must be at least 1/2 bricks with some truck loads of Athabasca tar sands thrown in.

      • Remedy

        Also statistically about 20% people are really stupid, 30% have no clue about the gear they have, 27% gets easily “convinced” by the internet cast spellers, 15% are trolls and 6% made a mistake and clicked what they didn’t want. That gives us roughly 1,7 of a D600 affected. There, maths solved it.

    • Sahaja

      Well 48% of those responding. I expect many who don’t have the D600 but do have another Nikon body just didn’t bother to respond.

  • Celtic

    It’s too bad the debunkers had such a field day with this problem. If D600 owners, problem or not, could have shown a unified front on this problem, maybe Nikon would have been forced to replace ALL the shutters that were grossly defective in a more timely manner, instead of denying, obfuscating, and finally making a weak admission (and this after some of us decided to get rid of a camera we felt was unuseable). As it is, Nikon not only had an out, but it had lots of support in the Nikon community for that out. We lost the opportunity convince Nikon that users need better, more caring, support.

    • brett

      My thoughts precisely. The Nikon apologists who’ve made a crusade of obfuscating and pointing fingers at “whiny” customers with a real, crippling problem almost disgust me more than the company itself. It’s fine to report that you have a copy that isn’t giving you any trouble, but leave it at that. It was clear ages ago from the number of complaints that this isn’t a figment of anyone’s imagination.

  • Neopulse

    Did this survey apply to registered users only or guests also? I’m asking since it could be possible the thought of people trolling the survey making it seen worse than it actually is.

  • Rock Kenwell

    a) 50% of the Nikon Rumor readers are interested in buying D600, 50% already owned.
    b) 70% of D600 has sensor issue

    c) 62% of sensor issue from b) = don’t care!
    d) 9% who really looks into their sensor dust and completely unhappy

  • Regardless of the representationality and generalizability of your data, what impresses me the most in this survey is that you got 13,000 responses! Wow! Lots of Kudos for your hard work building your following!

    • FredBear

      Which begs the question if NR keep track of the number of different visitors to the site and how 13,000 stacks up against those numbers.

      • peterw

        hear hear…

        (I’d like to learn in a week or two,
        best wishes)

  • Chris Alleyne-Chin

    Are you sure the D600 users who said they didn’t have problems were even sure what to look for?

    I think it would have been helpful to make the second question instruct them to go outside on a bright day, aim at a white background and shoot it at f/11.

    • Dpablo unfiltered

      Wow. You even sound like you’re on South Park…

    • Robert Alatalo

      People taking the survey were either first time visitors who some how stumbled on this site and the survey or they were repeat visitors who some how managed to miss all the various comments and discussions about the dusk issue… or they knew how to check for the issue.

      I am really starting to get annoyed because while I have a D600 and have this small nagging fear that I will suddenly start to have a problem, the only way that I can see spots is to use a camera body cap that has a pin hole in it, and those spots are spread out. So, I answered that I didn’t have the problem and I have a bunch of people who seem to think that everyone who answered no must be an idiot.

      Here are some samples…

      One picture with my pin hole body cap, and another with F22 showing about half the sky….

      Note: I did use the rocket blower twice after that pin hole test.,.. the second time was to remove the fiber that I put there from the first time. But, tell me if I am really just missing some problem that would be obvious if I just looked harder

      • Chris Alleyne-Chin

        f22 seems a bit extreme. I see it as early as f/8. But yeah, you should have every right to use your camera to f22!

        • Robert Alatalo

          Actually, I don’t see any spots even in this F22 photo…. I only see them when I use a pinhole body cap.

        • Thom Hogan

          Agree. Despite what I said in direct response to the poster, generally the problem is clearly visible by f/8 or f/11, whereas normal dust generally isn’t (at worst it would be a faint gray, not black). Still, the issue is progressive. So a camera that’s only been used casually and with not many shutter activations may not fully exhibit the problem at f/8 or f/11 initially. It will eventually, though, which is why I suggested the original poster run the intervalometer for a while.

      • Thom Hogan

        Actually, you may have the problem. A little difficult to tell from your example, but there are two clues: (1) normal dust (and oil) are circular in nature under normal conditions, the D600 problem is debris caused by a shutter failure, and that debris shows up as non-circular; there is evidence of that in your shot; and (2) the pattern is that most of the debris occurs in the upper left of the resulting shot; again, your shot seems to have that attribute, as well.

        I suggest that you do a better test and send the results of that to NikonUSA asking if they think that the camera needs attention. I’d also suggest that you put the camera on Intervalometer and run off a few thousand shots and see if the problem worsens.

  • EastOfGratiot

    I bought one of the first D600 cameras and I noticed the sensor specks at around 2,000 shots at f/8. I cleaned the sensor and now, at around 16,000 actuations haven’t noticed any more specks during my normal shooting (usually at f/8 or lower). I’ve never been fearful of doing my own sensor cleaning and this issue hasn’t kept me from enjoying my D600 one bit. I AM upset by the residual value of my camera though. If I didn’t already have my perfect camera I’d be thrilled to pick up a refurb at current prices – what a deal!

  • Barry

    I am sure that some users experienced dust problems. Nobody doubts that. It is absurd to suggest that 67% of all D600’s are defective. If that were the case, it would be all over the news, Nikon would be skewed in the press and the Attorney General or FTC would be pushing them to recall the camera. To me, it is about putting this into proportion. How much of this is bad press and disgruntled owners and how many cameras are really affected? I think it is a much smaller number than this survey portrays.

    • FredBear

      Most negative comments are from people having too much idle time on their hands.
      The results are severely flawed as there were no checks that respondents actually had a D600 nor if they were bona fide individuals (as the spam checkers that are used these days on web forms).

      • Mel

        Most negative comments are Canon fanbois who don’t own a Nikon, or who want to sell their Canon gear & gin up the market value on ebay.

  • stefan

    I would just like to share that my D600 got sent back 8 times! That’s right 8 times. It had 3 shutter replacements and was cleaned 5 times until Nikon gave up dealing with me so they replaced the camera with a new one.
    My advice; keep fighting it, because I still am. I’m not giving up until I get a dust free camera.
    I have been a Nikon user for 8 years and never once had a dust issue, until now!

  • Wang Bo

    D600 definitely has the oil issue..
    i bought it 1 years ago.

  • Winfried Heyland

    A strange way of statistics. 13000 responses, but only 6193 own a Nikon D600, which was the whole purspose. So you have 6193 responses.

  • jekyll

    As mentionned in other threads, I owned a D600 since March 2013 (bought in Luxembourg). I had to return it for 3 cleanings to the dealer. The last time it came back with a note from the technician, that although they cleanded the sensor, one spot would remain as they could not get rid of it!
    So I believe that unfortunately “simply blowing away the spots” is no option for affected D600 owners.
    My (very kind) dealer agreed to buy back the D600, and I on the other hand agreed to shell out another 800 € to upgrade to an D800 simply because I could not trust the D600 productline anymore.
    Good luck to everyone, and with all this tech talk…don’t forget to take amazing pictures πŸ™‚

  • installerx

    Coming from D7000, I’ve been eagerly wanting to upgrade to FX with the D600. This dust/sensor issue has helped me get one for a great price 1300 clicks brand new condition and has enabled me to get 24-70 f/2.8 with it for the money i saved. I can’t wait for the D610 to come out so the price of a D600 can go down even more so I can get another one to pair with my 70-200 VRII lens, which right now I use it on my D7000 during events. I’ve had my D600 for a few months now and have shot 3000 plus and have not seen any unusual dust spot accumulation. I’ve made it a point to learn how to clean my sensors as well just in case, no big deal using Copperhill method. I think there really is a problem and people kind of confuses oil versus dust. Dust on your sensor is normal but if you are seeing oil splatter on your sensor not dust then that D600 is an issue.

  • J Dub

    If you have a D600 and aren’t experiencing the issues, you either haven’t taken enough pictures yet (should start showing by 1,500 exposures) or you don’t know how to test. Take a picture of a white wall out of focus and you’ll see them. The good news is that after 3,000 exposures, no more spots appear. Start doing time-lapses or shot gunning your shutter to get to that number, then take it to a local shop for cleaning (as opposed to doing it yourself, and risking damaging your sensor). $60 later and you have an amazingly capable camera… Yes, it sucks that Nikon has chosen to address this issue not by fixing the problem with existing D600’s under warranty, but releasing new (presumably) sensor spot-free D610’s. The good news is that all D600 users will be able to spot a sucker when they see a D610 user…

    • dave

      It’s easier to just to remove the lens and look at the sensor under a light. If you owned the camera, you would have known that.

  • Didi

    There are people thinking that it is normal when you have to clean your sensor twice for 2’500 shots ..
    Well, my D7000 has more than 12’000 shots and I had to clean the sensor only once.
    And believe me, I am VERY picky – and I change lenses quite often.
    I would hate my cam if I had to clean the sensor twice a week …

  • DucatiDad

    I purchased one of the first D600’s, ordering one upon its release. I had a concentration of spots that appeared (~1k shutter actuations) faster than my D200 accumulated dust. I cleaned the sensor with a blower and light dusting and the problem largely disappeared. The spots returned (same size, location and distribution) after another 5k shots (not unreasonable IMO given that I change lenses regularly.) I sent the body back to Nikon for an unrelated service issue (poor low light focusing) and they replaced the shutter mechanism. I am pretty happy with Nikon and their response to what was to me, a minor and acceptable problem. I understand some people had significantly different experiences, but my D600 experience is really very good after 25k clicks.

  • Derek Gaston

    It’s funny to me that people who don’t own this camera chime in on the discussion.

    Personally, I was with Canon for years and sold all of my Canon gear and bought a D600. I _love_ so many things about this camera but it does get dirty (will show with anything beyond about f/11 with a uniform background, like the sky).

    Luckily – I clean my own sensor, so it’s not that big of a deal to me. But I have to make sure I clean it before each trip or I’m stamping out dark spots in skies when I get back (I’m primarily a landscape photographer).

    This problem is _real_… and I can’t understand that people just think the rest of us are making this stuff up!

    A quick tip: it mostly gets dirty in the upper left of a photo. This corresponds to the bottom _left_ of the sensor as you are looking at it from the front of the camera to clean the sensor (it _was_ the bottom _right_ when you had the camera pointed away from you when you took the shot… but when you turned the camera around to see the sensor that side is now on the left… just think about it). If you are in the field and notice some buildup just hit the bottom left of the sensor with a few quick bursts of a Rocket Blower and it will get the most egregious stuff off.

    I feel like a lot of the people who think that this is extremely nefarious liquid are probably cleaning the wrong place on their sensor!

    Anyway – as you can tell, I’m not mad. My D600 is an incredible tool and I take amazing photos with it (check out some of the newest shots at ). I’ll have it for many years to come… just gotta make sure to keep it clean πŸ˜‰

  • Photog

    How is it possible that the first question is almost 50/50. I understand a few people who doesn’t have the D600 answering the survey just out of curosity, but given it’s just random people out of the full nikonrumors population, it doesn’t have any sense for the first question to be splitted by half.

    Let’s assume as well, such a big a number of respondents it’s caused because a big amount of the nikonrumors community wanted to participate in this survey just for the sake of it, then we could say that the given sample it’s really representative of ALL the nikonrumors population, then again, the proportion of Yes vs No in the first question being so incredibly balanced makes a lot less sense, as we would be saying that half of the people in nikonrumors has a Nikon D600……. yeah, sure.

    • Joe

      Because most people that don’t even own a D600 wouldn’t care to take the survey. It’s not something that we are required to take. I took it only to help out.

      • Photog

        Well, yeah.

        If you care to read what I wrote. I’m not asking why people did or didn’t take the survey, I know it wasn’t mandatory, what I’m saying is that given exactly that, that out of the people who answered and did have a D600, the rest it’s just random people. It doesn’t make sense that under this circumstances the proportion of respondents that did and didn’t have the camera it’s splitted by half, it should be about 30% vs 70% or the other way around, something more realistic.

  • Chad Hsieh

    Bought a D600 once it was first released. Dirty as. Most of the time you won’t notice it but as soon as there is light coloured background or the sky you see the dots.

  • jmco

    It is pretty obvious that for Nikon to sell the D600 at the price it has, it had to implement newer technology that could be produced at a lower cost. Corner cutting.
    This was the result.
    Nikon is known for being a bit cheap on the little things in its cameras except for the top pro models. A bit like the old General Motors was.
    But the little things often matter.
    I guess the hundreds more for FF DSLRs/DSLTs we see being sold by Sony, Canon, Pentax, et al is very much about shipping a reliable and proven design.
    Despite the defects, I like that Nikon is putting pressure on Sony and Canon. This nearly pro level gear at great price used to be Sony’s bailiwick. To some degree, it still is but, there was no A88 to be a lower cost version of the excellent but pricy A99. Instead, Sony sees the APC and NEX as the alternatives, not realizing that there remained a demand for FF pro or near pro bodies. The FF NEX coming out looks like it might be Sony’s answer.

  • Derek

    I started getting dust at about 4500 shots. The dust could not be blown out with rocket so I suspect a oil type film was holding it in place. You know what I did? I cleaned the sensor. If it happens again I will clean the sensor again. Part of me wants to complain about all the whiners out there. However, if it was not for the whiners I would have never got a brand new D600 for $1,600.00. It is really pathetic that the people in the US are so spoiled, do you need mommy to wipe your butt?

  • nomadinca

    i was just told by a sales person in Adorama that this issue is long resolved with the new D600 stock. Is there any news about this? I am about to place my order today πŸ˜€

  • rodwally

    Nikon clearly has quality control and product testing issues. But I have to report that I just got my D600 back from Melville, N.Y., and — after two tries — everything seems fixed.
    I bought this D600 only two weeks after they became available, and it gradually developed what I would call a mild oil-spot problem. Worse, the optical viewfinder had what the Nikon technician referred to as a “paralax” problem — some of what appeared in the viewfinder was cut off in the final image. In other words, the viewfinder showed MORE than you got in the recorded image. First time I’d ever seen that in any SLR or DSLR.
    I had to ship the D600 to Nikon twice to get everything resolved. The first time they fixed the oil-spot problem — quite thoroughly by replacing the shutter mechanism. But they totally ignored the viewfinder issue, which I had pointed to as the main problem.
    I sent the D600 back to Melville with all kinds of photos and diagrams pointing out the viewfinder defect — and to my surprise they fixed it, apparently changing out parts to correct the issue. So that raises my rating of Nikon back to acceptable. I know now that if you keep after them about defects, they are capable of responding. Now if they would only test products more thoroughly before they send them out……

  • GeoWes

    Got my D600 last Feb. It came with dust on the sensor but being new to digital, it took me a while to get the courage to clean my sensor. Being a pro for the past 30 years, I learned how to clean my gear, just as I had to learn how to clean all my film gear. So now I just clean my gear and don’t bother to whine about it. You deal with the problem yourself or whine to somebody about it so they can do the job for you.

  • Jennifer

    A friend has had her D600 repaired 3 times now, the first time back in November they just cleaned the sensor, the last 2 times a new shutter was installed, yesterday she had more multiple black spots up the left hand side of her images, after a thousand shots, her camera is 18 months old, and is about to go back agian to Nikon for a 4th time. My D600 is not quite 12 months old and has multiple black spots up the left hand side of images, I had a friend wet clean my sensor, but these spots come back straight away, my camera is currently in Nikon for repairs, my camera has only taken 1400 shots, I only have one lens so lens changing is not the issue. Im not hopeful. We reside in south Australia, our cameras are being freighted to Nikon in Sydney.

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