Nikon Finally Acknowledges D600 Dust Problem

Today, Nikon has released a Service Advisory on Nikon D600 sensor dust issue. As you may very well know, the camera has been plagued by sensor dust accumulation problems ever since its release, which caused a lot of doubt among potential buyers. Finally, Nikon realizes the problem is very real and of concern to many. Here are separate links for US and EU customers:

Nikon D600

Why is their acknowledgement so important? At times, new cameras may exhibit certain defects or issues when launched. Some are rather minor and easy to fix, like the Canon 5D Mark III light-leak issue, while others may be more persistent and annoying, or even render cameras unusable. It is difficult to expect everything to go perfect every time, to be completely fair. Yet recently, Nikon seemed to have gotten a lot worse at avoiding manufacturing defects.

A few years ago a lot of attention was given to D7000 dead pixel problem and imaginary or real AF inaccuracies. There were some user reports of Nikon D4′s locking-up, and mind you, this is the most expensive, pro-targeted Nikon DSLR we are talking about. Finally, the very well-known D800 AF issue caused a lot of debate. Even we were less than impressed with an otherwise swell camera and gave a lot of thought to the very real and serious problem. Many photographers gave up on D800 due to such issues, but the AF problems weren’t what angered photographers the most. It was the fact that Nikon never publicly acknowledged there was a manufacturing defect to begin with. Eventually tired of the silence we thought we’d find out if it was so hard to come up with a press release. It wasn’t hard at all, but obviously Nikon didn’t find time for such an effort.

If photographers, especially those who gave up on D800′s, hoped a D600 would avoid its bigger brother’s faults, well, it did. Unfortunately, it brought some of its own. Early units of this camera suffered from sensor dust accumulation problem: even after some light use, sensors of these cameras would accumulate with dust and dirt that was sometimes difficult to remove using conventional tools. This time, Nikon chose to react – they’ve officially acknowledged the problem and offered advice. Finally! Let’s hope Nikon has learned that keeping things quiet doesn’t help loyal users solve issues and is, at the very least, disrespectful.


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Avatar of Romanas Naryškin About Romanas Naryškin

A student and a wedding photographer with a passion for cinematography and writing. You'll see me buying film even when there's no food in the fridge. Follow me on Google+, Facebook or visit my wedding photography website to see some of my work.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Vince

    What exactly has Nikon done here?

    Nothing.

    Have they apologized for their total lack of quality control over the last two years? No.
    Have they apologized for their complete lack of customer care (much less service) over those quality control issues? No.
    Have they acknowledged the problem was a manufacturing defect, and they’ve addressed it? No.
    Have they said they’d pay for shipping and expedite return since it was their defective product? No.

    All they did is tell you to do what was being done already — hey, pay to send it to us, and live without it for a few weeks, and maybe we’ll fix it.

    This is why I still own a D700 today and not either of it’s newer siblings, and why if I don’t own that same D700 in two or three or five years it won’t be one of its siblings that took its place, it will be another manufacturer’s camera.

    • Kedves Vince !

      Ez a “dust” nem por, hanem olajcsepp, amelyet a zár fröcsköl !

      Nekem is problémám volt a D7000 ben, amíg ki nem cserélték !

      Üdvözlettel,
      Ferenc

      • 76
        ) Tyrker

        Dear Ferenc,

        There is no reason to presume that someone named Vince must automatically be Hungarian.

        Vince can be an English name too: http://www.babynames.com/name/Vince

        [Of course if you know for a fact that the Vince whose comment you replied to happens to be Hungarian, that's a different story. But still, this is an English-language website, so commenting in Hungarian is probably not the best idea anyway.]

        • 77
          ) Ferenc

          OK, you’re absolutely right ! : ))
          I’m sorry !

    • 7
      ) Brian Smith

      Couldn’t agree with you more, Vince!

    • I’m getting fed up with Nikon as well. Make no mistake, I love their cameras. I have a d800 and a d7000 as a backup, and there is no camera on the market from any manufacturer today that I would replace them with. But long term?

      Now I don’t think the Canon camp is better. There are no technical reasons to go that way for me to go that way at the moment. I also prefer Nikon’s ergonomics to Canon’s (and this is more important than most people would think). But at least Canon is not outright hostile to it’s high end and most loyal customers. How many months did it take them to issue this almost non-statement? In fact, their last semi-official statement on this matter was a mockery of the people having this problem.

      And then let’s see after-sales support. Canon released a 2.0 firmware for a 3 year old camera, the 7D with improved or added features. They just made an already good camera better. Nikon? Don’t even dream about it. Buy the next model. I remember years back when there was a missing feature that could be easily added in a firmware update some people still expressed hope that Nikon will add it in a firmware update. No longer. Now we all know and accept that Nikon’s after-sales support is basically zero.

      I’m actually eyeing M4/3 offerings for my d7000 replacement. They are not there yet. But I’m in no rush to buy the d7100, my d7k works just fine and M4/3 cameras are getting there. Yes, the d7100 will be better than anything at the moment. But the OM-D, for example, is already almost at the d7000 level (but AF-C sucks big time and I need that). Still, sooner rather than later there will be something out there that matches the d7k performance in all respects. And than I’m going to think about the benefits of mirrorless. Smaller cameras, nifty in-camera VR so all lenses are stabilized, and a far greater selection of lenses. At any rate, if an OM-D comes out with just a slightly better sensor, and a good focusing system, Nikon will have lost a DX user.

      I don’t think I’m alone with this. The d800 is pretty much future proof. If it doesn’t break, I don’t see wanting any other camera for at least 3-5 years. But still, I find what Sony does quite interesting. The A99 is a pretty good camera. It does have some deal-breakers for me, but in 5 years I hope Sony will be there to provide some competition to the Big Two.

      Luckily I’m not a tele shooter with $10.000 lenses. Yes, a switch would be still a bit painful, but so is the hassle of buying a Nikon camera. I had my ordeal with the d800 like so many other people, then there’s the d600 and the complete lack of after-market support, far slower rate of bugfixes than the competition, the incompetence of the Nikon Service Centre staff in my town, and for some people these will add up to a “breaking point.” This will be made worse if Nikon truly decides that the d300 crowd doesn’t need an upgrade.

    • 38
      ) Peter

      Agree with you. I own a D700 and have no plans to buy another Nikon. I’ll get the D700 fixed rather than buy another. Why go through all this BS?

      • 97
        ) John Adams

        I’m also a Nikon D700 fan and bought a second D700 for back-up just before they were discontinued by Nikon. I keep my 50mm 1.4g lens on one D700 and my 24-120mm 4.0 lens on the other. As an amateur, this pretty much covers me for anything and everything I want to shoot. If you can find one, I would recommend you go with the D700. It will give you great pictures with no problems right out of the box.

    • 70
      ) Sandeep

      While people on the internet complain, I go out and shoot with my D800. Hasn’t failed me a single time. Incredible pictures come out of it.

      As for the D600, it’s sensor dust. Not the end of the world. Learn to clean your sensor. If they sent you the camera with a few ounces of sawdust around the mirror, that’s when you complain.

      • 71
        ) Vince

        “People on the internet” complain who have real problems, which are well-documented with both of these cameras. It’s great you haven’t had a problem, but that doesn’t make the problems any less real, and Nikon’s refusal to admit or correct them any less irritating.

        • 72
          ) Sandeep

          Every camera in the history of ever has had complaints, but never has the whining reached such peaks as in the internet age.

          Having shooting since 2001 with digital cameras, I have encountered sensor dust in cameras from all brands. It is not a deal breaker. It has never been for me.

          If you want REAL problems, try shooting with a vintage soviet Camera. I doubt if Kiev or Zenit had stellar customer service back in the day.

          • 73
            ) Vince

            It’s not whining when it’s real, unacknowledge, uncorrected problem.

            And it’s not just sensor dust, it’s sensor oil, so you might want to educate yourself on the actual problem before you comment on it.

            What dust you have or haven’t encountered is immaterial. This dust (and oil) is a manufacturing problem, not a user problem. Thus it should be fixed by, you guessed it, the manufacturer.

            Don’t care a whit about Soviet camera’s. Never bought one, never going to. If I had, I wouldn’t have expected any customer service, because they don’t have any history of it. Nikon does.

            Feel free to troll further, but I’m done.

            • 74
              ) Sandeep

              I know exactly what it is, thank you very much. It’s oil thrown out by the shutter. Guess what? Several Canon cameras did it too. Even the 1D series. Guess what those pros did? They did a wet cleaning and carried on with their shooting.

              That’s what people who shoot do. They shoot. I do too. What you call “Trolling” is just straight up facts from someone who shoots more than he talks. You may prefer to do the opposite, but that’s OK. That’s what the internet is for.

              I don’t have much time to bicker either. Saw a bunch of you whining on this corner of the internet, thought I’ll set the facts straight. Carry on whining, shooting test charts and brick walls. I’ll do some real shooting in the meantime.

    • Great response Vince! Same here for my D3. It has a terrible oil/dust problem that builds up over the course of one day of architectural photography, meaning not very many shutter clicks.

  2. 2
    ) Elizabeth Crellin

    Hi Romanus,

    Thank you for your very detailed report on Nikon’s inaction on problems with their cameras. I don’t understand how they have been able to get away with this for so long. I’ve had a D90 for two years and it has been perfect from day one. How long should one wait before purchasing the new D7100 to ensure that the camera doesn’t have any manufacturing defects?

    • Nikon’s standard seems to be at least a year these days. By the way, the d7000 is a pretty good upgrade to the d90. Far better focusing system, at least a stop better in low light, much better dynamic range, dual card slots, weather sealing, etc. And now it’s pretty cheap ;)

    • 43
      ) Ron

      I like my D90 which I’ve had for 4 years. It takes great photos and I will continue to use it until it breaks before I upgrade.

  3. 3
    ) Ray Burn

    Thanks for the heads up!

    I have a tiny oil smear on mine. I was going to deal with it myself but after reading the service advisory I might send mine in. This will be more out of curiosity to see if anything more than a clean is performed. I have another body so can be without for a week or two.

  4. 5
    ) Faz

    hello Romanas and Nasim,

    Nikon finally acknowledging the issue in D600 is no surprise. But what are they actually doing for to fix the defect. Nothing at all. They have just issued that you need to clean the sensor or get it serviced by its authorized service center. This is no solution for the defective bodies. I was hoping that someday they would acknowledge the autofocus issue of D800 but they chose not to. I have given up on my D800. Took the body twice to service center and they could not fix the problem. In fact I was told not to compare the focus sharpness with live mode. I am not happy with the auto focus sharpness. I don’t know what should I do. In India we do not have return policy. All i can do is just keep sending the body for repair which is quite time consuming.

    Nikon should have acknowledged this issue. In the meantime can’t they release a new firmware which would automatically fix the issue? Is it a big deal to do so? If not can’t they help in assisting to fix this issue using some conventional method? Someone please help me in understand why can’t this issue be fixed after paying such a huge price for it?

  5. 6
    ) Starred

    How about the current line of D600s. Don’t they have the dust/oil issues anymore?

    • 8
      ) Brian Smith

      Some people thought the cameras with serial number 305—- or higher didn’t have the problem; but there are reports that they actually do, perhaps just less frequently. Nikon’s service advisory is so obnoxious because it doesn’t admit that there were manufacturing issues, and it doesn’t really provide a fix, just a temporary solution.

      We went through three D600 bodies before we got one where the dust is hardly noticeable. It could show up soon though, once it’s used more. Frustratingly, there is no better camera in this price range, and it’s just so hard to switch to something else! We’d either have to buy a much more expensive body, or downgrade to something worse. And if we switched to Canon, we’d have thousands and thousands of dollars of lenses to replace.

  6. 9
    ) Edward Liu

    Just to play devil’s advocate for a minute, the way the press release is worded doesn’t mention the word “defect.” It is possible that Nikon still does not know what causes the dust and oil issues and hasn’t been able to reproduce the problem reliably on their cameras. That makes this press release serve 2 purposes: 1) damage control so they can say they’re doing something about it, and 2) a way to get multiple cameras that have the same problem so they can find out the root cause of it and fix it for good.

    Of course, even seen in this best possible light, Nikon doesn’t look very good. Now they’re just hapless and clueless instead of the even less kind ways to view them after their many QC issues of late.

    I’ve checked my camera (bought in December) twice so far for dust and haven’t seen anything significant after about 2100 shutter actuations (and I’m in the 305-series serial #’s). Crossing my fingers I won’t have to do much more than the occasional rocket blower or wet-swab cleaning on it.

  7. 10
    ) Peter

    I usually wait 1 month or so after a camera is introduced and read all the Internet reviews before I consider buying it. Based on the fierce competition between Nikon and Canon (which I think is the root cause of problems like this), I’ll now wait from 4-6 months, at least, before I buy a newly introduced camera. Fortunately, I have a Nikon D700 and will not be in the market for some time.

    Nikon and Canon should consider the customer more when it comes to quality and stop worrying about market share so much.

    Finally, the customer’s impact on issues like this. What can they do to help? Simple. Stop buying new cameras when you don’t really need them. That just adds fuel to the fire and causes this market frenzy which in turn causes quality problems.

  8. 11
    ) HomoSapiensWannaBe

    Thanks for the notice, but this Nikon announcement means little. At almost 3000 exposures, my early D600 still requires swiping with a charged sensor brush about every 200 shots to remove a few large specs. No big deal now that I know how to do it, and have the tools. When I first discovered this problem, Nikon’s lack of acknowledgement and action almost caused me to change to the Sony A99. At this point, I guess I’m staying with Nikon, but nothing’s written in stone. The 85/1.8G bought on rebate, using the link from this site, is awesome on the D600!

    • 54
      ) Paolo

      Is there an article on how to deal with this problem and what tools to use?

  9. 12
    ) Manuel

    I just sent my D600 camera back to Nikon because I noticed some oil and dust spots on my images when I shot at a F5 and higher. I purchased my D600 when it first came out and its serial number began with #301….. That was the only minor issue I had with the camera and its not a deal breaker for me nor am I going to bash or stop using Nikon. I’m glad they addressed and offered a remedy for this minor problem.

  10. 13
    ) Gregor

    Peters comment is right on the money.
    I considered upgrading to the D800 and after doing lots of research and having a good look at the photos I’vs shot I came to the conclusion to keep shooting with my D300 . The D300 has served me well and had no issues so why buy an epensive headache. Ill just spend some $ on a very good tripod .

  11. 14
    ) JR

    I’m sure some of you got tired of reading my posts on this forum about the D600′s shortcomings. In my case, the dust is a minor problem. I’m not going to harp about it here since I’ve expounded on it elsewhere with enough fury to have angered the fan boys. Suffice to say that my camera is currently at Nikon’s Los Angeles Service center being taken apart after six months of use.

    Now, my concern is whether Nikon will work on the dust issue, too, while the camera is in their hands. It costs $50 to ship this camera and per the service rep I spoke with yesterday, typical turn around time is three weeks for most issues.

    Another concern is that my camera is not even in their system yet, even though its been in their hands since Wednesday. I’ve called Nikon but they have no way of tracking it down yet.

    My camera was bought at B&H on pre-order and it’s from the very first lot that they sold and shipped. My body’s serial number begins with 3004xyz.

  12. 17
    ) Richard D

    This is quite disappointing in several aspects. First, it’s disappointing just because the problem does exist.
    Second, it’s disappointing because it took so long for Nokia to acknowledge the problem. Third, it’s disappointing that their press release really does not seem to say what the problem is.

    But I’d also like to point out another reason this is disappointing. I hope PhotographyLife takes this as honest, constructive criticsm, but one reason this is disappointing is that I think PhotographyLife should have been more critical of Nokia (and others) about this and other problems. When Nokia announced the sale of the D600 with the kit lens (24-85 mm f/3.5 – 4.5 ED VR), that looked like a great deal. But I, as well as others, still had concerns about the dust problem. When we asked about it, PhotographyLife did seem to downplay the problem. I even don’t think I received a response about my question about if this was perhaps an oil problem in addition to or instead of a dust problem.

    Last year, when I asked a local camera dealer about the dust problem, he really downplayed the problem and basically said that there was not a problem. Yet, I was still skeptical, based on things I read and saw, notably the one where the photographer made a video of his tests.

    I’d also like to point out a similar situation with that kit lens that came with the D600. I made a comment that I wish Nokia would give a bigger discount on the body rather than, in effect, give that lens out for “free.” And the response I got was that I could sell that kit lens and use the money to go towards a fast lens, which is what I would like instead of the kit lens. But I replied that I thought the market would be flooded with those lenses and it would be hard to sell. Two months later, Nokia has this particular lens for $100 off, and PhotographyLife states that “By now, it is probably worth nothing in the used lens market.”

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that sometimes, it appears as if people are pushing a product compared to analyzing a product, which is what I would prefer to happen. Would I have still purchased that D600 with kit lens had PhotographyLife been more critical of the dust problem? I don’t know. Possibly. I have been looking at purchasing a new camera for close to 3 or more years….I like my old D200, but I did buy that in I think 2005 and wanted a camera with better low light capabilities and one with better dynamic range, so I’ve been on the cusp of purchasing a new camera for awhile. I’ve read quite a bit about that D600 ever since it was announced and possibly would have bought it anyway, even if PhotographyLife was more critical (I do look at other websites, as well, and perhaps they should have been more critical as well).

    I do seem to have that dust problem. I didn’t realize there was some data indicating that serial numbers above 305 might not have the problem, as Edward points out….mine starts with 304. I have not tested it much, but after about 400 shots over Christmas, I did take a picture of a white wall with a small aperture. I did see dust spots (or, perhaps oil?) on the image, notably in the upper left hand corner of the shot, but in other areas as well. I have taken very few shots outside with sky as a background, where I would probably notice these spots.

    Overall, I am happy with the D600. I have taken some nice shots with it, including low light shots I would not have been able to get with the D200. I’ve been able to boost the ISO to 6400 and clean up those shots a great extent with Lightroom noise reduction. But, it is disappointing that this problem does exist. I wish Nikon (and other manufacturers) would be more forthcoming with problems, and I wish people who review their equipment would tend to be a bit more critical of potential problems.

    Again, I do hope PhotographyLife takes this as constructive criticsm. I like the site a lot, but everyone can always improve. And, I think if a site like PhotographyLife, which seems to have a large following, was more critical, perhaps these manufacturers would be more forthright in admitting faults with their equipment.

    • I’m fairly certain that ‘NOKIA’ make cell phones and had nothing to do with the NIKON D600? ;)

      My serial number is 606xxxx and had a ton of dust after about 1100 shots. But I changed lenses a lot so this wasn’t a shock to me. I gave it a wet clean, and so far it seems to be fine. In any case, I had to MAKE the dust show up by shooting a blue sky and then running auto levels. Nothing showed up in any of my images.
      I think a lot of people who move up to FX are caught by surprise by how much more dust FX sensors accumulate (bigger area, higher charge) than DX sensors. Not saying there isn’t a problem, but I’m not that surprised by the dust on my sensor. Also, one needs to bear in mind the dust on/in their lenses when shooting blue skies at F/22. A dusty lens element will give a difference picture to a clean one.

      All companies these days cut corners on QC, except maybe Leica. It seems bizarre that the bean counters in theses companies don’t realise that cutting such corners probably costs them a ton of money in the long run. Maybe they’re just not that smart.

      Vehicle companies issues recalls all the time as they know that they simply cannot afford to lose face in such a competitive market. They have to be seen to be addressing issues.
      So in a way, it does seem like these camera/electronics companies have a certain amount of contempt for their customers. Which is a real shame, for us and them.

      • 29
        ) Richard D

        Thanks, Alpha. As I pointed out in a reply elsewhere, I did a lot of business with Nokia network systems in Finland in the past….but don’t know why I had them on my mind this morning instead of Nikon!

        • No worries, Richard. You made some good points. And as it happens, I have a Nokia N8 which has a pretty good camera on it too! I use it a lot when I can’t be bothered to lug the DSLR around. :)

      • 69
        ) Chin

        I think car companies like Toyota, Honda, or Ford they recalled b/c of live & dead issue. They gonna be sued by consumers for the damage. You can see how much Toyota to pay fine to US government for the ignorance. But for Nikon why they need to take action, its defect not hazardous to life and health (mental health ??). Moreover, even people know well about defect but the demands are still so high. Me…too : ( (but not yet buy it). I believe that camera companies will pay more attention to their QA, once consumers think about suing or complain to consumer protection agency.

    • Richard,

      I have taken my time with my answers to some of the comments under this article. Plenty of people seem to be rather offended by Nikon’s lack of QC with their most recent cameras. Quite understandable, too – most of these cameras are very expensive and targeted at professionals, who are and should be much less forgiving than hobbyists. After all, we buy products we depend on, and it’s not a very good feeling having to depend on something that has serious manufacturing defects. I completely understand how you feel.

      I would first of all like to say why I’m glad Nikon made at least a little effort with D600. As JR mentioned a few comments below, Japanese always expect excellence and will take no less. That is why they seem to be very stubborn when it comes to admitting faults. Which doesn’t go all that well with actual owners. To be completely fair, not admitting D800 had serious AF issues was extremely disrespectful – does Nikon think us idiots? With D600, they may not have said much in a straightforward manner, but the fact such a Service Advisory was published shows they recognize there to be a real issue. They just don’t want to escalate it, being proud and all. Perhaps I’m just making guesses. But, with D600, at least they’ve admitted their customers are not idiots, which is a step towards admitting their mistakes. All I can hope for it’s not their last step.

      Now, on to your thoughts about our involvement. Firstly, and please don’t take it the wrong way, we can’t answer every single comment we get. It’s just physically impossible. We do our best, of course, but that takes our time off writing articles – what our website is all about, after all. And so we miss some of the comments – quite a lot of them, in fact. There’s nothing we can do about it.

      If you remember, we gave way to a lot of heated discussions about D800 AF issues. We’ve had a number of articles written. So many, in fact, a lot of our readers got annoyed by the sheer attention D800 was receiving. And our readers were right. With D600, we were the first or among the very first to notice and give voice concerning the dust issue. If you read Nasim’s review, you will find he was not at all impressed with such a defect in an otherwise excellent camera. This time, however, we restrained ourselves from too much bashing instead focusing on things like tutorials and tips and reviews, something most of our readers are much more interested in.

      And here lies our dilemma – what do we say to someone who’s considering such a purchase? D600, when absent issues, is spectacular, both on paper and in real world. But only when absent issues – dust. I’ve heard the issue disappears after around 3000 shots and a thorough clean. We give credit where credit is due, Richard. I would, even now, recommend D600, but with caution, as we always had. The final choice is up to the photographer.

      We are not pushing our products, you can be sure of that. There are no “our” products. Nikon does not support us and no one gives us gear for free expecting raving reviews. We are photographers, some of us – working professionals, and we recommend gear we would buy ourselves. Nikon D600 is among those cameras. We were deeply impressed by it. We would use it for our work. When absent issues we are also not exactly happy about.

      In any case, thank you for your thoughts. Be sure we will take your criticism with all seriousness.

      • 60
        ) Richard D

        Roman,

        Thanks for your reply. I appreciate and understand everything you have said here.

        I worked for a very long time in the cellphone network design business, and I had dealings with major manufacturers like Motorola, Ericsson, AT&T, and Nokia, all of whom sell billions of dollars worth of network equipment to network operators, like the companies I’ve worked for. We always found significant problems and issues with their equipment, well before they admitted such problems and in fact denied for long periods of time. So I know what it’s like to deal with these large companies who don’t want to admit faults. It’s the same for Nikon, and, I’m sure, for Canon.

        I know you cannot possibly cover every aspect, every problem, of every camera manufacturer and their products, so, again, I appreciate the efforts and decisions you have to make to put out articles. I am impressed with what you do put out…..it seems that you make a great effort to respond to many questions and other comments that your readers have.

        It is upsetting that Nikon has been slow to respond to the problems, and it is disconcerting to find out that perhaps the problem I have read about before I bought the camera (dust) may be worse than what I thought it initially was….I was dismayed when I saw an article last night, with pictures, describing how that dust might be coming from scratches on the shutter curtain. I had not seen that potential issue before. What’s causing those scratches, and is this common for any camera, were my first 2 questions…..is the problem deeper than we thought? I was even more dismayed when I saw the potential problems with the D600 perhaps not properly stepping down to the correct aperture. All of this, after I just spent over $2000 for a new camera.

        Again, I like your website a lot. I appreciate the reviews, the comparisons, and the analyses. I know you cannot possibly cover everything, but keep trying to cover as much as you can!

  13. 18
    ) Dinah

    I enjoyed this article, but I have a question and if it is a redundent question could you direct me to a previously written source(s) regarding the following question.

    I have a Nikon D90, and there are so many different camera names that I have no idea what the difference is (i.e. D700; d7100, etc) is there an article written or web site source I can go to to see why the differences which would be a step up and down from the D90 (yes I know there are many and I think okay after the D90 come D100 (but I have a D100 and the 90 seems to be better) Can you assist me in becoming unconfused? Is there a site that list all the cameras after the90 and shows all the important issues so you can see it all with a quick look? Or is this a redicious question?

    I do appreciate your help…. Thank you…

    • Hello, Dinah. I can do a quick write-up for you. I will list these cameras now starting with the entry-level class (oldest-newest) and moving down to the most professional gear (again, oldest-newest). It’s quite simple, really.

      (oldest) D40->D40x->D3000->D3100->D3200 (current, newest)
      (oldest) D60->D5000->D5100->D5200 (current, newest)
      (oldest) D70/s->D80->D90->D7000->D7100 (current, newest)
      (oldest) D100->D200->D300->D300s (current, quite old, may be replaced)
      D600 (new line)
      D700->D800 (current)
      D1->D2 (with variantions)->D3 (with variations)->D4 (current, newest)

      The numeric system has changed somewhat recently, because Nikon ran out of numbers. Basically, the less numbers there are next to D, the higher class camera it is. The bigger the number within such a class, the newer the camera. That is true for current Nikon cameras. The table has entry-level cameras listed at the top, and all the way down to most professional cameras.

      Hope that helps.

      • 82
        ) John

        You forgot the D50, my first DSLR.

  14. 19
    ) JR

    In all fairness to Nasim, he did address the dust issue in his D600 review. He mentioned that the problem was real and that he was dissapointed with Nikon’s other issues, such as the D800′s focus problem, etc. He spoke quite adamantly about it. ( Search his D600 review)

    If you’d read what other users had to say you may have seen that we, too, hit this sensor dust problem the VERY FIRST TIME we took the camera out on a shoot. I posted about it quite fervently and provided samples, and so did others. I’m not assuming you did/didn’t read those posts, I’m just saying that it’s not something that should have taken you by surprise.

    Where I’ve been critical of photographylife.com, and I’ve posted to Nasim directly as recently as yesterday, is that the site didn’t devote a SPECIFIC blog to the problem, even though the D600′s ratings are THE POOREST for any Nikon digital camera in recent history. Go over to the Nikon site and you will see how every other camera has a rating of at least 4.5 stars, and the D600 around three stars. That’s BAD for a product that costs $2K.

    And, in more fairness to Nasim, Roman et al, they may not realize the influence they have over the consumer. If you read through the posts on this site most are of this nature: “Nasim/Roman, what do you think I should do? Should I sell X, to buy Y? What do you recommend?”

    Which is OK. But, there’s a price to pay for popularity: RESPONSIBILITY.

    Reminds me of what Charles Barkley said some years back, when asked if he was a role model to younger ones; to which her replied: “no…I’m not a role model….I’m a terrible role model”.

    Sir Charles was WRONG! Anyone in the spot light, having a forum(literally!) that’s read and visited by hundreds of thousands world wide needs to be a bit more balanced with their editorial vision.

    That said, I have the UTMOST respect for Nasim, Roman and everyone on this site. But, their popularity has grown beyond their bandwidth and why Nasim was asking for contributors a few weeks back. He needs folks to cover product reviews and perhaps issues like the ones we’re discussing here.

    Maybe I’ll give Nasim a call and sign up to be the guy who dogs the big boys every time a product goes south. What do you think, Roman? ;-)

    • JR,

      here I am reading all the comments under this article. Just as I suspected, there are many offended by Nikon. I’ve restrained myself from most replies thus far. I am actually thinking of writing a separate article to answer all the doubts and criticism, for which, mind you, I am very grateful.

      • 22
        ) JR

        I had a feeling you were cooking up an article! :-|)

        GO GET ‘EM!!!

        • That put a very broad smile on my face. :)

          Still, I am unsure whether I really should, or should I, perhaps, simply answer the comments here. I’ll think this through. Thank you very much for your time.

          • 27
            ) JR

            This site, thus far, has concentrated on teaching, reviewing, comparing and most of all, listening to photographers. How many forums of this nature, and with this broad of reach, actually allow whinners like me to get on here and harp incessantly about this or that, and the authors will reply directly to me?! That is the power of photographylife.com and why people come to this forum. You, Nasim and Bob are always on here, trading jabs with us and that is what makes this site the best on the net. You guys are REAL PEOPLE.

            One long-standing photography gear review site has become stale because the site’s owner sits atop a perch and talks down to its visitors, while bragging about all of the gear he owns and all the trips he takes, and very rarely does he appear to have any sympathy to the people that made him “famous”. And no, I’m not referring to everyone’s favorite photography gear reviewer from San Diego(who’s a really nice guy), but to another man north of our US border.

            Anyway…

            Writing articles of a critical nature is not an easy thing to do. You certainly don’t want photographylife to be known as a place that bites the hand that feeds it. That would be catastrophic and would choke the life out of something that is fruitful and positive.

            But, there has to be a way to get the point across to Nikon, Canon and all of the other companies that carelessness and lack of interest on their part will not be ignored. If the folks heading sites like photographylife.com DO NOT TAKE THE LEAD in addresssing issues like the topics at hand, then what will Nikon and Canon think? They won’t take the issues seriously.

            I can almost see Nikon’s executives, sitting around a table in Japan angrily pointing fingers at each other and looking for a “goat”. For Nikon to have the D600 tank is not easy on their pride. A head, or two, WILL roll. I’ve often worked with Japanese engineers and, as respectful as they may be, their culture expects EXCELLENCE and the D600 is far from being excellent.

    • 28
      ) Richard D

      JR,

      I hope Nasim, Roman, etc. don’t take my comments negatively. I’m only saying that sometimes, it does appear as if people tend to promote certain products (and not just this website). I described my comments as “constructive criticism,” which I hope they take it as.

      I do read other websites. I don’t have time to read everything PhotographyLife puts out, nor do I have time to read everything other websites put out. It’s just in this particular case, there was a lot of excitement back in the December article (the original posting about the D600 and kit lens for the same price as the body alone), and I did not get the sense in reading that post that PhotographyLife was concerned about the dust problem.

      And, although I don’t have time to read all of the postings, I do see that many do ask Nasim for his advice on what to buy.

      Thanks to whoever pointed out that I said “Nokia” instead of “Nikon!” I worked a long time in the cell phone network design business and actually did business directly with Nokia and their network equipment in Europe! Don’t know why I had them on my mind this morning!

      But, I will repeat what I said earlier….I do like this site. I do appreciate Nasim’s and Roman’s comments, analyses, and opinions. I don’t rely entirely on this site for decisions, as I do look at a number of other sites I like as well (and, I think it’s only been about 6 months or less, anyway, since I have actually found this site).

      In this particular case, I’ve been looking for a new camera for over 3 years and just had not decided to buy one, hoping to keep using my D200 even longer until I saw one with features I like, with good reviews, and at a price I was comfortable with. Since the D600 came out, this appeared to be that camera, although I was hesitant because of the dust issue (and other issues), but the deal in December was what finally pushed me to buy it. Had Nasim been more critical in the December announcement about the dust problem, I don’t know if I still would have purchased the D600…it’s likely I still would have because I really have been wanting a new, better camera, but I can’t say for sure.

      • 31
        ) JR

        Richard,

        You’re right, and I don’t think that Nasim would disagree with you. His review did not give the impression that the dust/oil problem was a deal- breaker or a long-term problem. On the other hand, I don’t think Nasim has the time to follow through on each fault he finds with a particular piece of equipment. I can’t imagine how he would. He reviews a LOT of stuff; plus, he has a wife and kid(s) and a wedding photography business.

        As you and I don’t have time to read every little detail on this forum, neither does Nasim or Roman. They’re human and share the same 24 hrs/day that all of us have to deal with.

        However, after 4-6 months of escalating complaints about the SAME THING, I believe that something should have been said on this site by one of the authors. It simply carries more weight when they write an article. It’s picked up by every search engine and immediately read by hundreds of thousands(and one can bet that a Nikon exec, or two, are part of that readership).

        I will say this, though: I saw the dust problem after 500 or so shutter actuations, but it was not something that alarmed me, since I dealt with plenty of dust/oil on my D7000. I simply used a blower and ALL of the dust was off the senser. I checked very recently, with the typical f22 test against a white background, and there was ZERO dust on the sensor. And that was after another 1k or so actuations. So, I am hopeful that the dust issue will eventually subside.

        And trust me, that does not in any way make me feel comfortable. As you’ve already read, my machine is back at Nikon for servicing a MUCH bigger problem than dust. I’m NERVOUS!!!

        • 35
          ) Richard D

          I agree with everything you’ve written, JR.

          But, now, I’m NERVOUS too about other potential problems! I just recently read about the potential problem with the aperture not stepping down to what it should be. I haven’t looked into this very much, but I plan on doing so soon.

          I also need to check into that dust/oil problem more. Also want to point out that my very first D-SLR was a D70 (all of my previous film cameras were Minoltas). I had dust/maybe oil problems with that camera early on but never thought it was a generic problem with Nikon and just cleaned it often. I’ve never wet cleaned, however….just used the Arctic Butterfly and a blower. I’m now wondering if that D70 had factory problems? But, it did serve me well.

          Just not enough time in the day to check all of these things out!

          Hope your camera gets cured of whatever ails it!

          • Our team very much agrees – a separate article is needed on the topic.

  15. 24
    ) Mike

    This announcement came as no surprise to me, I recently returned from a 3 week trip to the USA from UK with my D600, I started seeing this problem before leaving but thought Lightroom will sort it, but those blue Colorado skies and the snow scenes really hammered the problem home, sure Lightroom did a good job on cleaning them up, but it was such drag going over every pic I selected and applying the spot removal.

    On return I phoned Nikon UK and complained about the problem, to my surprise (about eight days ago) they said OK get it packed up and we will collect and inspect the camera and sort it at no charge to myself, the camera is now with them. The other interesting point on this subject is when I questioned the Nikon Rep on the phone and asked about the oil spot/dust furore on all the forums and camera websites they feigned surprise that there was such a problem, obviously briefed to admit nothing at that time.

    Thanks for the link, but the UK site does not carry the announcement as at this time.

  16. 26
    ) Roberta

    I’m sending mine in today – my serial number begins 3003… also preordered from B&H. I nearly returned the camera at the beginning but finally decided that I would keep it and would try to deal with the problem later. Just sending it in for repair means a big hassle (have to drive quite a way to even ship it), worry about shipping the camera, not to mention the expense. I decided to wait this thing out a while to see what might happen – I just didn’t feel like fighting with Nikon over this problem so I resorted to using the clone tool until now. I love many things about the camera but not this. Back to using my D90, so happy I decided to keep it. Shame on Nikon.

    • 30
      ) JR

      Roberta,

      The problem for us D600 shooters is that the camera produces some *AMAZING* images(it’s an understatement to even call the images amazing). That’s the kicker in the pants!

      When I look through some of my D600 images and see that I can go to 300% on my monitor and not see ANY pixelation or noise, and resolution that I’ve only been able to previously get from large format film, I hope that it’s all a nightmare. I hope to wake up one day and my D600 not have any issues.

      But that’s just a dream. The reality is that the D600 is plagued by this dust/oil problem. And….it may have other problems that, although not as prevelent, will render your camera useless. Search toward the bottom of Nasim’s D600 review and look for my post about why my D600 is at Nikon for servicing. Something a bit more serious than dust and oil.

  17. 32
    ) Roberta

    Thanks for the reply JR – I will go back to read your post. I do appreciate and understand the comments you have made in regards to this most recent article. I haven’t been keeping up with reading comments on this forum lately and probably should have been doing that. I’m pretty much a senior citizen and have reached the point in my life where I don’t want to hassle with problems like this so I’ve just let the problems ride. I may need to be poked from time to time to wake myself up to reality – thanks. And thanks to Photography Life for posting the information.

    • 33
      ) JR

      Look, Roberta, when we pay TWO THOUSAND US dollars for something, whatever that may be, even an old car, we expect it to work! Even more so when those $2k are applied to a camera. It’s not a small chunk of spare change. Sure, there are the “pros” shooting the D3X who may scoff at the rest of us crying over the two grand we threw at this ‘little camera’. But unless you’re wealthy, even Americans in the upper middle class bracket will consider $2k a serious expenditure; specially with the current economy.

      In other words, you don’t have to feel bad for not “keeping up” with evrything on this, or any other, site. You shouldn’t have to worry about keeping up with what MAY BREAK on a camera you’ve just spent $2k on!!! Why would you?

      Hopefully, there will be some light at the end of this D600 tunnel and we can all blog about our great images instead of how upset we are with the product. Let’s hold our hope up high, shall we?

  18. 34
    ) JR

    For those ready to throw their D600s to the dogs, or Ebay, we have *POSITIVE NEWS* about the D600′s dust/oil problem and very consistent with what I saw with my D600. After a while, the dust finally went away with mine.

    Will the problem come back? The folks at LensRentals.com don’t seem to think so; and they have a very good benchmark to work with since they rent the D600s and have seen that the problem lessens over time.

    Copied and pasted from the ‘Imaging Resource’ web site:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2012/11/29/lensrentals-reconfirms-that-Nikon-D600-dust-issues-are-temporary

    It’s been a little over a month since Roger Cicala, founder of LensRentals.com, first reported a possible issue with what appears to be dust accumulating on the sensor of the Nikon D600 digital SLR. More recently, Toronto-based artist and photographer Kyle Clements first shared a time-lapse video demonstrating the problem on his own D600 body, and subsequently reported that the issue’s severity seemed to lessen over time. (Clements now thinks the problem might be oil on the sensor rather than dust.)

    Giving credit where it’s due, Clement’s results are similar to what Cicala predicted about the D600 back in early October. Now, Cicala’s revisited the story with a followup blog post comparing the early results with those from Nikon D600 bodies that have been used for six weeks, and the accumulation of dust (or oil) spots is both less significant and more evenly distributed across the frame.

    As usual, LensRentals’ access to a large number of cameras helps make these results quite meaningful. A total of twenty D600 bodies were considered, and where all of them needed sensor cleaning last time round, almost half were without issue this time. While they’re not necessarily the exact same bodies checked in October, they’re of approximately the same age, so the comparison should be valid.

    There is light at the end of the dark D600 tunnel, after all ;- [)

    • 37
      ) HomoSapiensWannaBe

      Every couple of hundred shots, I inspect the sensor with a VisibleDust Quasar Loupe, then clean with an air-charged DustPatrol 24mm brush. This takes perhaps 5 minutes. As I approach having shot 3000 frames, I see perhaps 2-4 specs each time now. Earlier, it was more like a dozen! With the camera lying on its back, prism to the top, I usually see these specs in the bottom right corner. I have only this week acquired a 2nd lens, the 85/1.8G, so I haven’t been changing lenses until now. On the plus side, I’m pretty good at doing wet and dry sensor cleanings!

      • 39
        ) JR

        VisibleDust Quasar Loupe and air-charged DustPatrol … LOL!!!! Sounds like lingo from a sci-fi novel!

        I’m pretty confident that the ‘dust will settle’ and we will have D600s that will get past this initial dust/oil phase. Now, for the OTHER stuff that’s breaking(aperture control, in my case), or may break, put on your seat belts.

  19. 40
    ) Gary

    I take these reviews as a guide not a bible. Very helpful but the buyer has to make the final call

    The dust oil issue didn’t sound like it was going to be easy to fix…sounded like a great camera….too bad

  20. 41
    ) Peter

    BOTTOM LINE QUESTIONS

    Ok, after reading all these comments, if there were 100 people looking to buy a Nikon DSLR (all other things being equal), how many do you think would buy a D600? 0? 1? 2? 25?

    If all current Nikon D600 owners represented by the above comments could do it all over again, how many of you would buy the D600? 0?, 1? 25″ All?

    The rational answer to both questions should be 0.

    If I had one, I would sent it back to Nikon (Amazon, B&H) and hope that I got my money back. Would I ask for a replacement? You’ve got to be kidding!

    • 42
      ) HomoSapiensWannaBe

      Peter,
      A lot of words have been written about this issue. Here’s my 2 cents today.

      As you probably know, humans are often NOT rational creatures, even those who profess to live and think rationally. The book “Kludge” by Gary Marcus is a good explanation why.

      I am not usually an early adopter with high technology products. I’d rather wait for bugs and unknowns to get sorted out before buying something. An old saying goes something like, “Those who live on the leading edge of technology will get sacrificed on it.”

      I made an exception with the D600. I was a couple of weeks away from leaving for a NE leaf viewing trip when the D600 was announced with immedate availability. I’d been waiting for a FF DSLR that I thought was a good value. The D600 was it. I shot with it a week or so before leaving and was blown away with the results, using just the 24-85 VR lens. I have made many images with this combination that I’m very pleased with. When I discovered the dust issue, I was frustrated. Then, I assembled a wet/dry cleaning kit with inspection loup, etc. that cost nearly $200 and learned to deal with it. Now I can dry clean in less than 5 minutes, wet just a bit longer, but that hasn’t been required in a while. I’m able to deal with dust from whatever cause from here on.

      What bothered me more than the dust issue was Nikon offering the 24-85 lens for free during the December D600 promotion. Now, because of that, I’m not buying the 70-200/4VR until they give at least $150 off. I see that this desirable lens is in stock everywhere, so perhaps many others feel the same way. On the other hand, the 85/1.8G with UV and circular-polarizer from B&H for less than $400 is an incredible deal with the current rebate. The images from this lens wide open are remarkable!

      For me, the answer is yes, I’d buy the D600 again. The images are that good. I’ve had loads of fun using it for the past few months.

      The expectation of always getting a perfect product and buying experience for something as complex as a full-frame digital camera in such a crowded, competive market, in this down economy with intense market pressures, with the Tsunami having damaged Nikon’s Thai plant, blah, blah — is probably unrealistic, even irrational.

      • 45
        ) Peter

        HSWB, I agree with you that most humans are not rational creatures, witness the recent US presidential election results.

        Your particular situation was brought about because of “leaf expediency syndome” (I live in the NE, too), so I understand. But, that being said, I have also found that when time pressures influence your buying …watch out! Get ready for risk.

        As far as being “blown away with the results” that’s because you are probably a good photographer not because you have a D600. I bet you’d get the same results with a D300 or a D200.

        I own a D700 and a P7100. There are times when I cannot tell the differce between the two when In Photoshop. Also, past files from my D300 are just as good. As a side note, I think that proficient use of Photoshop and other pieces of software can improve the quality and beauty of photo output far more than a new camera.

        I also agree with your conclusion in the last paragraph :)

        • 46
          ) Richard D

          Peter,

          I can’t speak for HSWB, but for me, I also have been “blown away with the results,” but for me, that means the low light/high ISO capability, and it means the high pixel count. In one respect, the high pixel count is a burden because it does take up much more hard drive space, especially since I shoot a lot of RAW images, and I do need more memory and/or a faster computer, now, because LR has slowed down with the larger images. It’s very true that I can take great shots with the D200, but I can’t get the same shots in low light conditions; I can’t make as big of a crop as I can with the D600.

          I’d also like to mention that although I’ve only shot perhaps 1600 shots in the 2 months I’ve had the D600, my very general impression is that in order to make a shot look better, I have to use less edits in Lightroom than I did with my D200. This is just an impression, and I cannot say with certainty that this is the case. But, I think the white balance is better than the D200; I think because of the wider dynamic range of the D600, I don’t have to make as many or as drastic changes in the highlights and shadows, in the white and black points.

          Yes, you can get great shots with the D200, as with the D600, but I think some of the technical improvements on the D600 help you get better shots in certain conditions.

          • 47
            ) Peter

            I have a 12 MP camera (Nikon D700).

            Annually, I take hundreds of landscapes and farm shots for several local websites and publish in others venues like the local newspaper and bank calendar. I get incredible dynamic range by shooting HDR (5 shots 1 ev apart and handheld) and processing in Photomatix, Photoshop, and NIK plug-ins. Do I need more than 12MP? No! Can I think of any technical improvements that would help me? No. Do I love my software? Yes. Do I love my D700? Yes.

            I must admit that I lucked out when I bought the D700. ZERO problems. Who wants to deal with constant BS from a camera when your whole objective is to have fun. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

            • 48
              ) Richard D

              Actually, the D700 is one camera I seriously considered purchasing after it came out. I just did not want to spend that type of money, especially considering that I’d want to get at least one FX lens for it. Now the D700 has been discontinued.

              There are features on the D700 I really like, some of which are on my D200. I really like the top control dial, where you can very easily change ISO, Quality, and WB quickly. I miss that in the D600.

              I’m not sure how many frames you can bracket with the D700, but I imagine you can go up to 9, like the D200 does. I like HDR shots as well; I typically have shot with 5 frames at 1 ev apart, like you do. The D200 is limited to 3 frames. Of course, if you put the camera on a tripod, you can manually change the exposure to get more, but that’s cumbersome, and it’s likely you might bump the camera position when making changes. And, I have taken HDR shots hand holding my camera, when I don’t have or don’t want to bother with a tripod. I guess the dynamic range may make up for the need for HDR, but I like HDR more for the “artistic” images you can get. I haven’t experimented too much with the D600 and HDR shots, yet. But I do like HDR, especially for landscape type shots….I like going to photo workshops in places like Death Valley and the Eastern Sierras.

              I have a mental thing against SD cards, which the D600 uses. I prefer the CF cards, which the D200 and D700 use. SD cards are smaller and can be lost more easily; SD cards seem more fragile. I am much more careful plugging them into my card reader because they seem like if I push too hard, they might snap in half.

              The D200 is built a little better than the D600. I’m kind of rough on my cameras and gear.

              I don’t like the smaller AF sensor range with the D600. I’ll have to learn to live with it, but, like all the things listed above, this was one of the reasons I was hesitant to go with the D600.

              I certainly do not need more than the 10 MP I had with the D200, but it is nice to have in case I really want to postprocess and make a big crop. The higher megapixel count is not why I purchased the D600. I bought it more for the high ISO/low light and dynamic range capabilities. I could push the D200 to perhaps 800 ISO, but I sometimes saw noise when you even got just over 400.

              If I wanted to spend the $3000 back when the D700 came out, I probably would have purchased that camera, but with the D600 pricing, including the deal with the lens, it was kind of hard for me to turn down, especially considering I have been wanting a new camera for a long while. If I had purchased the D700, I probably would not have upgraded to the D600.

              I was also getting concerned with the number of shutter activations on my D200. I shoot a number of races/marathons throughout the year, and I easily take at least 2,000 shots an event and have been known to shoot close to 5,000 shots for longer events and/or events with many thousands of runners. I should have a ways to go to get to the quoted figure of 150,000 images, but that’s an average, and I have been seeing some odd problems with my D200 lately. It froze up on me after about an hour into a race three weeks ago. Good thing I had my D600 with me as a backup!

              Lastly, for quite some time, there has been some sort of a smudge on my D200 sensor. It usually is not that noticeable, unless I’m shooting a scene with much sky in it. I have never been able to clean it, and I have never figured out where it came from. I have never, ever touched that sensor with other than the brushes of the Arctic Circle.

              So, there were reasons I have been hesitant to buy the D600, but there are also reasons why I really wanted a new camera. As mentioned, the higher mexapixel count was not one of those reasons. It’s nice, but not necessary.

              And, by the way, my first DSLR was a D70, which originally was a backup for my D200. Now that I still have the D70, the D200, and the D600, I’m probably going to have my D70 converted over to infrared usage. Always wanted to dabble with that, even with film, but never have.

              I’m just hoping that the dust/oil problem with the D600 does go away or greatly diminishes over time, as it appears many are saying. I also hope I don’t have that aperture problem I’ve been seeing a bit about lately. That remains to be seen.

            • 49
              ) Richard D

              Correction in my post, #48…..third paragraph down….it’s the D600 which is limited to bracketing only 3 frames, not the D200, the latter of which can go upto 9.

    • 44
      ) Richard D

      Peter,

      I’m not sure of the answer to your question. Both JR and HOMOSAPIENSWANNABE have expressed something important, and that is, the D600 does take incredible images. That has been my experience as well, and that’s just using the kit 24 – 85 VR lens. I’ve also shot a racing event using a 70 – 200 mm f/2.8 VRII lens, and the shots were very nice, although until I get used to the full frame, I think I still like using my D200 better just because of the crop factor. I get more reach with the D200′s sensor and don’t have to get as close to the finish line.

      I am very impressed with the low noise, high ISO capabilities. I shot some nighttime shots of some new office buildings in my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, and I am amazed at how crisp and sharp they are, even though the camera was hand-held. I shot around 3200 ISO, and in the original RAW shots, yes, I can see some noise, but it’s not bad, and I was able to reduce it quite a bit in Lightroom. I am also quite impressed with how much I can enlarge an image on screen and not see the pixelation because of the 24 mpixel resolution.

      But, yes, I have seen this dust problem. I unfortunately did not check for the problem when I first got the camera, but I checked it after about 400 shots. I did see the dust spots. I have used the Arctic Butterfly dry clean method on my D200, but I haven’t yet tried it on my D600. With the holidays and the fact that I moved in very late December, I’m still unpacking and just haven’t had much time to do these sorts of tests and clean my sensor. I have never wet cleaned a sensor, but will probably do this one of these days.

      I am worried about the aperture step-down problem that I have seen reported. I haven’t had time to look into this.

      As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I had been using a D200, which I bought around 2005. I have been considering a new camera for 3 or more years and have been waiting for a full frame version with a “reasonable” price. I really wanted a camera with much better low light/high ISO performance. The D600 looked like that camera, even with the price of the body alone, so I was close to saying, “yes,” I will buy it, but I did hesitate because of the reported dust problem, which I have read about for a while. But, with the deal Nikon was giving in December, that finally pushed me over the edge to go ahead and get the camera.

      Having said all of this, I really don’t know what I would have done had I know more about this dust problem and the other reported problem with the aperture not properly stepping down. If Nikon had admitted one or both of these before I made my purchase, I might have waited just a little longer to buy the D600, waiting for some fixes to come out; but, because I’ve long wanted a new camera, and because of the deal, as long as Nikon admitted the problem, that would have made me feel that at least Nikon was more on top of it and perhaps there would be a fix for it soon.

  21. I think you guys are blowing this out of proportion. The ‘dust’ is caused by break-in of the shutter curtains.

    I had this problem with dust. All I did was clean the sensor myself and the problem never occurred again. If you guys are holding off on buying this camera because of this issue – you are doing a great disservice to yourself, missing out on a great camera.

    • 51
      ) Richard D

      Sounds like you’ve had a good experience, but I have read others have not. They say they also cleaned the sensor, but the problem comes back. Many do say that over time, the problem isn’t as bad and may go away.

      My first DSLR was a D70. My first big use of it was a photo workshop in Death Valley. When I looked at the probably 1000 shots I took over three days, most of them had very noticeable dust spots in them. I don’t know what caused those dust spots, but, since I was out in the desert, maybe it was sand. But, regardless of the cause, it was really disappointing that these showed up. I spent a long, long time using the clone/heal tool in Lightroom to fix these problems (and, I really never finished with all of the images…..only some of the ones I really liked).

      I did clean the sensor after that, but I still had dust spots show up periodically. That is something that does happen with digital cameras, and you do learn to live with it and clean the sensors periodically. This problem may be just as you say, the breaking in of the shutter curtains, but it may be something else. If it is indeed just the shutter curtains, I’m wondering why Nikon just wouldn’t come out and say that?

      Anyway, I do like my D600 a lot. I did delay a purchase of it for probably 3 months because of a number of reasons, including the dust issue, but I still did buy it, even with those concerns. Like JR, I am more concerned with a possible problem with the camera not stopping down to the proper aperture. I haven’t seen it, but I haven’t really tested or looked into it yet.

  22. 52
    ) Peter

    Break-in of the shutter curtain? I never heard this one before on all the other millions of Nikon DSLRs. Why just the D600? See comments below with source back-up. Look at the photos of the problem.

    “Photographer Daniel Gaworski has been experiencing the same problem, and decided to take a closer look at his D600. He discovered that his camera’s shutter curtain contains scratch marks on the bottom flap (see above), particularly in one corner of the camera.”

    http://www.petapixel.com/2012/11/22/theory-nikon-d600-sensor-spots-caused-by-scratched-shutter-curtain/

  23. 53
    ) Peter

    Facts are stubborn things. For example:

    -I bought my D700 on 2/2009 from B&H.
    -As of last week, it had 15,000+ shutter actuations.
    -It was cleaned it for the first time with a wet swab about 1 month ago. (There was 1 speck on it that was annoying and couldn’t be blown off)
    -I blew minor sensor dust off twice during this 4 year period
    -I had the same pattern of cleaning experience with my D300

    I consider this nomal and would see anything more than this as a defect in the camera or sloppiness on my part.

    I use zoom lenses so I don’t remove lenses very often. The 24-120 sometimes is left on the camera for 3 months at a time. That’s why I like that lens so much.
    I change my lenses in areas with littleor no dust and no blowing wind.

  24. 55
    ) peter

    I guess we’re done here. The factual evidence was so overpowering that this case is closed.

    I’m leaving now to “dust off” a few brews!

    • 61
      ) JR

      Peter, you’re patting yourself on the back, gloating and touting your D700 as some sort of gift from the heavens; an impeccable machine crafted on Mt. Olympus. Sorry to inform you that I’d rather have my D600, with the dust problems and sitting in a Nikon repair shop as I type, than your D700. Irrespective of how reliable your machine may have been.

      Have you ever tried printing one of your D700 “landscape” images at 24×36 or 30×45? I didn’t think so. The D700 can’t cut it for prints that large; no matter what they tell you, the resolution isn’t there. For some folks, large prints is the main reason why they bought their D600. Believe it or not, some folks actually print, mount, frame and sell their landscape images; and some even make enough money to pay for their D600, and then some.

      Eventually, in another batch release or two, Nikon will figure out the issue/s with the D600 as they’ve done with every other professional and semi-pro camera they’ve produced. Unfortunately, fixing the issues with the D600 won’t correlate to fixing the shortcomings of the D700.

      • 62
        ) Peter

        Dear JR:

        You’re right! My D700 is great, and it in my cabinet NOW ready to go anytime I am. It was, however, crafted on Mt Fuji not Mt Olympus.

        I have zero interest in printing 3ox45 photos. Do you realize how much that would cost to get framed?

        By the way, I love classical music especially Puccini and Delius.

        • 63
          ) JR

          Q: Do you realize how much that would cost to get framed?
          A: Yes, very much so, and why I brought up the topic in the first place ;-)

          The trick is getting someone with deep pockets to pay for the ENTIRE shabang; printing, mounting, framing et al. For instance, a business man building a $1.2 home who’d like a BIG picture over their fire place; or a Dr. wanting one to hang in their office, or in their Vail ski home. Not easy finding these people, but networking is part of the fun. Luxury home builders is a good place to start.

          The easiest part of the process is taking the pictures; with the right camera, of course.

          • 68
            ) Jorge Balarin

            JR, you must talk with more respect of a camera like the D700, that served very well it’s owners since the begining, without presenting any dust, oil or autofocus problems. To do reportage or street photography the D700 is still a better camera than the D600, that has a ridiculous DX autofocus system. Greetings.

  25. 58
    ) Jorge Balarin

    Is it a real Nikon acknowledge or is it another joke of Bob Vishneski ? : )

    • It’s not a joke, although I should argue that Bob never wanted to fool our readers – only poke well deserved fun at Nikon :)

      • 67
        ) Jorge Balarin

        For me Bob’s joke was great.

  26. 64
    ) Lisa

    I think Nikon knows full well that there are real issues with both the D600 and the D800 and I suspect they do not know how to fix them yet. I say this because I have come across Nikon factory refurbished bodies that come with only a 90 day warranty instead of the standard one year warranty. More telling though is that these bodies are not eligible to be covered under the two year Nikon extended warranty, which can be purchased for new units. So my question is, are they really refurbished (read fixed) or just cleaned up and sent back out to soften the blow to the corporate financial bottom line? If ever there were two camera bodies I would not risk buying a refurb. on these are the ones. After returning my 3rd D600 body I gave up and bought a used D800 (absent the autofocus issues) instead for about the same price. What no one talks about is the hit future resale value will take on these cameras. Nikon screwed early kit buyers by subsequently giving away the kit lens at Christmas. They’ve screwed everyone over with the doubt cast by these QC issues.

  27. 65
    ) JR

    Lisa, I’m probably more cynical than the average Nikon shooter; specially after having my D600 sitting at their repair facility for nearly a week without it being touched yet(not even an email alerting me that it’d arrived). But I’ve been down this repair road before with a Canon pro EOS body and a Pentax medium format system. Both were repaired and neither gave me trouble ever again. I don’t see the D600 as perpetually doomed for failure.

    Cameras are not rocket science, really. I’m sure there are a number of engineers, software and hardware, who frequent this site and any will tell you that a camera is a pretty simple little box when compared to some of the systems these people work on. Nikon will fix the problems; that is a given. The D600 has a finite number of parts, and if not by any other troubleshooting method, if they use the process of eliminiation they’re bound to stumble across the solution.

    My D600 is in the shop for something completely unrelated to the dust/oil issue and something that only me and 2-3 others have hit. Mine had some dust, but it went away after the first cleaning(blower). I shot several thousand images after that initial cleaning and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO DUST on my sensor; and keep in mind that my camera is from one of B&H’s first shipments , soon after its release.

    I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this, but I honestly feel that the dust problem has gotten blown out of proportion(no pun intended) by inexperienced photographers who’ve only owned a camera or three in their lifetime. These people are panicking and putting their D600s on Ebay the first time they see dust, thinking that the camera is now worthless.

    The best source for gauging the dust issue is LensRentals.com. They were one of the first to report about the problem after 20 bodies went out for rental and ALL 20 came back with more than average dust.

    Here’s what Roger Cicala of LensRentals.com is saying now:

    Not Surprisingly, D600 Dust Issue Gets Better Over Time
    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/11/not-surprisingly-d600-dust-issue-gets-better-over-time
    “…the D600s look more like other camera’s dust after a couple of months of use”

    Unfortunately, more has been said about the dust problem than about it going away after time and why we’re at this juncture.

    I completely agree with you that people dumping so many D600s on EBay hurts the resale price of the camera. But if folks are selling their D600 on EBay because of the dust issue, others will be getting a LOT of camera for a steal. Experienced photographers wil research the issue and read EVERYTHING being said about it, positive and negative, and conclude that the problem is not long-term and gobble up those EBay D600s for a steal!

    I am not going to get rid of my D600 after it comes back from repair. On the contrary, I’m looking forward to using it on a trip to the Pyrenees in a couple months. I’ve *NEVER*, in more than 25 years shooting, have seen a Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, or any other major brand camera, be rendered useless and taken out of production. I can’t imagine the D600 being the first.

  28. 66
    ) Art

    I think the real issue here is how Nikon approaches customer relations. I am really hesitant to purchase any new Nikon products because they do not back up their products with prompt courteous service when a problem occurs. As with all products there will be problems with certain percentage of them. Over the past few years it seems Nikon’s Quality Control has gotten worse which is another problem but how they handle a problem is a lot more important to me than the problem itself.

    First it took Nikon months to acknowledge the problem, this should have addressed as soon as people started complaining, there must be hundreds of posts on various forums about the dust problem yet Nikon elected to remain silent. If it were my company I would want to address concerns of my customers before it affected sales. And if Nikon thinks that by staying silent it did not affect sales, they are wrong.

    Second the acknowledgement of the problem does not do anything for the customer except tell the customer what he already knows, the sensor gets dirty. Are they paying for shipping to have the problem fixed? No they are not. What Nikon should be doing is paying for the shipping of the product once they confirm the problem is a product defect and not user abuse. Why should a customer who just spent $2000 on a camera have to pay for shipping to get a problem fixed that should have been caught at the factory. This is a sore point with me because I had to spend over $100 to send my D800 back to Nikon for a problem with the autofocus that was clearly a defect in the camera. Shipping from Hawaii is expensive. Also I had to remind them that problem was a factory defect and that I should not be paying for the service.

    Now cleaning the sensor is really no big deal for me as I clean my sensor before all my shoots as I hate fixing dust specks in post. But the way Nikon handles problems with it products is dismal. It takes forever to get anything repaired from them these days and since Nikon is not selling parts to repair shops you are forced to send everything back to them because the local repair shops cannot get parts anymore.

    I think if Nikon continues down this road they are going to start losing customers to companies that value customers instead of taking them for granted. I was going to buy D4 but spending $6000 dollars on a camera that the manufacture does not backup seems silly to me. Now Nikon makes great gear and I have been using their gear for the last 35 years and have been very happy with that choice up until I bought the D800. But again great products that are not backed up by the manufacture are not worth buying IMHO. So instead of buying another Nikon I have instead decided to experiment with a new Canon 5D MK III, a 70-200 2.8 IS, 16-35 2.8, 50mm 1.4, and a 580 ex ii flash. This is an expensive proposition on my part but if Nikon refuses to acknowledge problems with their gear and give me the customer service I expect my money is going somewhere else. The great part about this is that if the Canon gear does not work out I already have a buyer for it and if it does work out I come out ahead.
    Regards
    Art

  29. 75
    ) Howie

    I started with a FE in the early ’80s. Bought a D70 with a 80 to 200 fx lens to replace the FE ten years or so ago. After reading posts about the D600 ad nauseum, I ordered a refurbished D600 today for $1,599 with a 24-120 f4 for $996, and will hope for the best. I am excited about being able to use my old 80-200. Anyone want to wish me luck and teach me to clean the sensor :<)?

  30. 78
    ) JR

    “I think the real issue here is how Nikon approaches customer relations. I am really hesitant to purchase any new Nikon products because they do not back up their products with prompt courteous service when a problem occurs”

    I don’t know if that’s the case, Art. I have been *** VERY PLEASED *** with my current Nikon service incident.

    I’ve just received the following message from Nikon customer service:

    “The technicians have completed their repairs to the camera, including cleaning the image sensor. Your D600 will soon be returned to you.
    With best regards,
    XYZ”

    Here’s the timeline for my D600′s trip from Colorado to their Los Angeles service facility:

    Thursday, Feb 21: The camera arrived.
    Monday, Feb 25: The camera is entered into their system and appears on my personal Nikon profile.
    Tuesday, Feb 26: I received an email message telling me that the problem was identified and that
    the technician was working to solve it.
    Thursday, Feb 28(10 AM, MST): I get this messsage today telling me that it’s fixed!!!

    That’s an *** EXCELLENT *** turnaround time, by any support standard; software or hardware. Not pitting Canon against Nikon, but when my EOS3 suffered from cold weather exposure(-20 deg F on a winter backpacking trip) and the metering system crashed, Canon took at least a month to return my camera; and it was under warranty(of course, that was 10-12 years ago and Canon most likely has improved its process).

    One part of the Nikon process that needs to be streamlined is the phase between receiving the item and entering it into the system. An email alerting the customer that “the camera has been received and will soon be entered into the Nikon tracking system” shouldn’t be too painful and could be done by the staff at their shipping/receiving dock.

    Beyond that, to identify the problem on Tuesday afternoon and have it ready for shipping Thursday morning, less than 48 hours later, is ….. well, I’m blown away! Of course, it could be that the “over exposing” problem with my D600 has already been reported, entered into their system and a solution was simply pulled “off the shelf”. Regardless, it’s a good turnaround time.

    This is the second piece of Nikon gear that’s needed servicing(the other was an SB600) in over 10 years of Nikon shooting(my previous life was Canon) and both times I can only give them 4.5 out 5 stars. The ONLY glitch is the aforementioned.

    I’m pumped to be getting my camera back so soon. If Nikon handles the rest of the D600 service requests in such prompt fashion it could soothe some of the hurt feelings and hopefully clean up the D600′s reputation.

    For those ready to drop Nikon over the D800/D600 blunders and looking to jump head first into Canon, please keep in mind what Canon did with the 5D MIII:

    http://gizmodo.com/5907024/this-is-canons-shockingly-rudimentary-5d-mark-iii-light-leak-fix

    A light leak issue solved by putting tape over the circuitry! Granted, Canon did acknowledge the problem rather quickly, but it raises questions about Canon’s QA process and how they missed such a basic QA check(like Nikon has done with dust and focusing problems); and it raises further questions about the stability of this fix: Is the adhesive on this tape going to hold up for 5-6 years?

    Moral of the story: Nikon or Canon; choose your poison! I’ve grown acustomed to the taste of the Nikon poison and not ready for my taste buds to be shocked by Canon’s flavor.

  31. 79
    ) Eric

    just got my D600 serviced by Nikon and was satisfied with the service! thats done and dusted:-)

  32. 80
    ) Mike

    Just received my dust/lubrication spattered D600 back from Nikon UK, was updated by Nikon on progress by website and phone, mainly because I phoned them for updates, camera was collected, repaired and returned at Nikons expense. Looking at the repair sheet the following items were replaced, Shutter Plate Unit being the main item along with various double stick tapes, I suspect this is a standard repair on those affected cameras.

    Hopefully this is the answer to the problem and after some delay from Nikon to end users concerns over the D600 dust episode they have grasped the nettle and got on with it. I did have to wait 2 weeks but I would think there might have been a few D600′s in the queue, all in all a satisfactory outcome…….so far.

  33. 81
    ) Grimbot

    I bought a D600 when the camera first came out last year. Serious oil/dust issues…some specs were so large they could easily seen with the naked eye and would not come off with a rocket blower. I had the sensor cleaned once at the Nikon dealer…then twice by Nikon Canada and the problem would reappear within a few dozen shots….so that body went back to Nikon and I got a store credit.

    When the D600 with kit lens “sale” was on just before Christmas I bought another copy figuring that I was saving a ton of money and Nikon would eventually fix the problem and I’d still have an amazing camera for still photography….and assuming the oil/dust issue was fixed it would be a great video camera (which was my primary reason for buying it). Not surprisingly I once again had huge oil/dust issues after less than 100 shots…..with many specs large enough to be visible with the naked eye…and not removable by a rocket blower.

    This second D600 went back to Nikon Canada in early January….as did the 24-85 lens as it had an unacceptably stiff and inconsistent zoom ring……totally unacceptable for video….’ok’ for stills.

    Nikon had my camera and lens for 7 weeks during which time the service advisory came out. I was optimistic that meant that they actually had a fix. Well….got my D600 back yesterday…supposedly Nikon took it apart and cleaned it thoroughly. So, I took it out to do some test shots and video yesterday. Shot mainly video and after about 30 still shots….you guessed it…oil/dust started to accumulate yet again. The 24-85 lens is exactly the same as before…even though Nikon claims they ‘adjusted’ it.

    Both the D600 and kit lens will be going back in to my Nikon dealer tomorrow. I really starting to think, that for as good as the D600 is in terms of still image quality, recurring oil/dust makes in unusable for my primary purpose which is video….maybe I’ll just need to give up on having a full frame Nikon. The D800 is not a good video choice as it suffers from significant moire and needs a Mosaic Engineering filter to fix it. Actually, I’m starting to consider a D5200 for video as the camera outperforms both the D600, D800, and D4 in terms of video quality (the D5200 has virtually no moire) and actually rivals the Canon 5d Mark III in some pro tests. The downside is no weather sealing which is an issue for me since much of my work is outdoors.

    To be disappointed, yet again with a D600, after waiting 7 weeks for a warranty fix is absolutely terrible customer service on behalf of Nikon….quite simply they should be ashamed.

  34. 83
    ) Roberta

    Nikon in Los Angeles has had my D600 for two weeks and still no acknowledgement that it has even been checked in. I’ve called and received no help in getting any sort of answer. I’d be somewhat relieved if they would at least acknowledge something, anything. I miss my camera.

  35. 84
    ) Foolish Believer

    Yes, it was a foolish move to buy a D600 because:
    -I believe in Nikon who would take care of their customers,
    -I thought I’ve waited long enough for improved newer shipments,
    -I do not have the skills to clean up Nikon’s inferior D600.
    Yes, I’ll stop buying Nikon products until Nikon fix the problem at no extra cost of us, the foolish buyers.

  36. 85
    ) Foolish Believer

    Give a second thought before trying to fix the oil & dust problem. It might waive the warranty. Follow the procedure send the defective D600 to Nikon Service Centre and let them remedy any defects. Keep a record of all latent defects, and do not forget to request an extension to the original warranty after repairs. We should use our energy to enjoy taking beautiful images, not to work as a technician to repair Nikon’s defects. We should get what we pay for. Let Nikon work harder to re-polish their name. Until then, stop buying anything by Nikon.

  37. 86
    ) Roberta

    My camera was returned today – finally after some badgering received an acknowledgement day before yesterday but there was no information on the website.

    My invoice says Service Repair Rank B2. They replaced the shutter mechanism, cleaned low pass filter, checked auto focus operation, checked flash operation, checked exposure, checked focusing mechanism, general check and clean. I will check the camera out tomorrow and am not anticipating any problems. I am glad the shutter mechanism was replaced because I was concerned there might be problem with it, my serial # is 3003xxx. Onward and upward!

    • 88
      ) Foolish Believer

      Good for you Roberta. It sounds like a thorough repair, but please function test it all.
      Good for all D600 users, finally Nikon took action replacing ”one” shutter mechanism, Would Nikon do the same to all other D600?
      Invoice? Any extra charge? Good luck to all of us.

  38. 87
    ) Foolish Believer

    Good for you Roberta. It sounds like a thorough repair, but please function test it.
    Good for all D600 users, finally Nikon took action replacing “one” shutter mechanism. Would Nikon do the same to all other D600?
    Invoice? Any extra charge? Good luck to all of us.

  39. 89
    ) Roberta

    Hi Foolish Believer,

    There was no charge for any of the work. I am running through the camera and will test everything to the best of my ability. So far it seems to be working just fine and I am happy to have it back in my hands.

  40. While i greatly sympathise with the plight of everyone who has had dust issues with their D600, and indeed I was apprehensive when I acquired mine, I so far haven’t noticed any dust in my regular shooting. I can MAKE a ton of dust show up by shooting a blue sky at F/22 and running through Auto Levels in CS5, but how often would I do that? And using a blower seems to get most of it off, although I do think the sensor is more prone to dust.
    In any case, I managed to get some nice shots with it in Florida, both wildlife and baseball, and thus far nothing has marred the images. I hope that trend continues….

    http://www.slickpic.com/u/AlphaWhiskey/photoblog/post/FloridaWildlife

    http://www.slickpic.com/u/AlphaWhiskey/photoblog/post/Baseball

  41. 91
    ) Foolish Believer

    Hi Roberta,
    Thank you for your reply and info. Please enjoy your shooting.

  42. 92
    ) Foolish Believer

    Interesting. Thank you, ALPHA WHISKEY PHOTOGRAPHY, for your “crocodile tears”. You must be as happy as a “lottery winner”.
    Too bad for myself, that I do not have the skills to shoot landscape, but deliberately avoid blue sky.
    Too curious on the concept that the Nikon D600 designers have included the f/22 but do not expect the users to use it.

    • “Crocodile tears”. Hmm. I waited 6 months before making my purchase precisely because of the dust issue, and then I simply bit the bullet.
      As for shooting at F/22, it’s probably not a good idea to shoot landscapes with a 24MP sensor like this beyond around F/11 or F/13 because of diffraction setting in and softening the images, so my original question stands. And I said I don’t see dust on a blue sky at F/22, only when I run it through auto levels, so I’m not sure what your point about skill was.
      I don’t think Nikon D600 designers ‘included’ F/22 on the camera, since aperture is a feature of the lens. My 50mm F/1.8, for instance, only closes down to F/16.

      I also think it’s useful and perhaps reassuring for people to know that not every Nikon D600, or user of that camera, is affected as badly as other users. I would certainly want to know that before making a purchase.

      You, yourself, just sound angry and bitter, and while that may be justified, it probably doesn’t help you advance your photographic aspirations. Good luck.

  43. 94
    ) Martin Knud

    I have just got my D600 back from check and repair due to “dust” problems.
    I live in Denmark but the camera had to be sent to a European service center somewhere in central eu.
    The following is what i was told about the repair;
    “Repaired under warrenty
    Error description
    Spots on images
    Repair
    thorough cleaning of the mirror box
    mirror mechanism and sensor

    measures to reduce access and spread of dust particles carried”

    This is the really interesting part. What does it mean?
    The official Danish Nikon technician knew what was done, but could not tell me because he had been told not to by Nikon….

    • Martin,

      I would assume Nikon is well aware of the problem and is indeed making sure it’s taken care of when cameras are delivered for service. However, being a Japanese camera giant, they’re still not ready to publicly acknowledge the problem.

      Let us know if any further uncommon dust issues arise. Thank you!

  44. 96
    ) grimbot

    Update to my D600 dust/oil saga…..since I got my second D600 back from Nikon Service (they had it for 7 weeks) I’ve had the sensor cleaned two more times at my dealer….the latest one was today as I’m taking my D600 on holidays with me.

    My Nikon dealer has been very supportive through all of this and has been applying some pressure to Nikon on my behalf. I was advised today that Nikon will be replacing the shutter in my camera after I return from holidays with it. Hopefully that will be the 100% fix…..

  45. 98
    ) RAV

    There is an awfull lot of smoke for no fire. Why is it only the D600?
    Well the D610 evidentlly has a completely redesigned shutter so it won’t be shedding bits on the sensor.

    How I miss film!

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