Sensor Cleaning

I have a Nikon D600.

Nikon D600
Nikon D600

I love it.

A great camera.

But it has oil problems.

The shutter is depositing oil on the sensor – or rather the AA filter in front of the sensor.

I knew that it would probably have this problem when I purchased the camera, so I can’t really moan about it. So, I have had to learn how to clean the sensor. I have never had to do this before, I have always used Olympus DSLR’s and I have never had any dust or marks to contend with or had to clean a sensor.

I could always have sent the camera back to Nikon to have it cleaned under warranty, but I would be without the camera for a couple of weeks. Taking it into a camera dealer to have it cleaned would cost £50 – £70 and the oil problem wasn’t going to go away, it would keep returning and the cost would just keep mounting. So I had to find how to clean the sensor myself. I scoured the internet and watched various videos. It all looked fairly straight forward. I decided to use the Visible Dust method of cleaning. Most people who commented on this manufacturer said they thought the results were good albeit that the cleaning materials were quite expensive.

Visible Dust
Visible Dust

So I purchased the oil cleaning version of the kit and cleaned the sensor. It worked fine. You purchase the swabs that fit your sensor size, in my case that was 1.0 and putting a couple of drops of fluid on the swab, you gently but firmly drag it across the sensor. The first time I had to use three swabs as I used to much cleaning fluid to start with with, but I think I have it down quite well now.

Because of the cost of the swabs, I have looked at other cleaning options, in particular Dust Aid.

Dust Aid
Dust Aid

In this case, you have to build the swabs yourself using the small sheets of cloth that reside in a dust-proof bag. You wrap the cloth around the supplied plastic spatulas, fasten the cloth with a clip, add some of their sensor cleaning fluid, and drag the swab across the sensor. However even the biggest spatula they supply is smaller that the sensor so that you have to run it down twice and that’s where I had the problem. The cloth wrapped around the stick must have touched the side of the sensor and dragged oil onto the filter. Instant mess. Trying to get rid of it with the Dust-Aid system only made it worse. I had to use Visible-Dust to remove the streaks and oil deposits.

Now, I’m not saying Dust Aid is no good, I am sure that it was just my technique, but despite the price I think I will stick to Visible Dust in the future.


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