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Thread: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    Hi Fellas,

    First of all, sorry for the long rant..Mods, please take it to the feedback if this deemed fit there..

    I just recently noticed about 3 dust specks on my sensor. They were quite prominent right in the middle of the sensor. Though they were appearing only in a clear sky or low contrast pictures, I felt uneasy about it and gave it a clean with Giottos Rocket blower. Unfortunately it didn't help much and as Thom Hogan says, it was more like a welded dust which required a wet clean. I had an event in my office in the office to shoot and I was nearby Nikon Service Centre in the morning for a meeting. I thought I'd give it to Nikon this time for a proper clean.

    Guess what? I was briefed that the Cleaning is chargeable and I agreed to pay the $26.75 including GST. The Camera was taken in and brought back to me within 20 mins. I looked through the viewfinder and the viewfinder had 3 to 4 very prominent specks. Then I asked the engineer for a gray card or a pure white card to focus and shoot. The answer came back as Nikon doesn't have them and worse yesterday's sky was hazy and dark. The glass window through which you can focus the sky was filled with dust as well.

    I took an A4 sized paper and focussed it at infinity with F22 and the sensor now had about 6 -7 specks instead of the initial 3. The engineer apologized and brought back the camera in for cleaning and came back with the viewfinder filled with dust (more than 40 specks).

    To cut the long story short, the engineer cleaned the sensor and the viewfinder focus screen 7 times and every time it was worse than before. And by the 7th time he got it back to me, I asked him why is it that every time when you clean the dust is increased in 10 folds. Then the engineer said that Nikon Singapore doesn't have a clean room and Nikon never guarantees that the sensor will be dust free after the cleaning.

    I gave up at this time and asked him to return the camera. The camera was tested again with the A4 Sheet and there were very tiny dust specks. The engineer then asked me, why are you shooting at F22 as they will not be visible in wider aperture. I was almost furious but kept my cool and said that it's the way I ensure that my sensor is dust free.

    I came back to my office and the sky had cleared up a bit. I gave a test shot and again, it was back to square one with 3 specks but on the top left corner instead of the mid screen. I called up Nikon again and the same engineer was brought on line and he asked me to bring the camera back for cleaning at FOC. I politely rejected it and said that I'm traveling and I have no time to come for another 7 to 8 sessions of cleaning.

    I've to go to Cathay later tonight to pick up the sensor swabs and E2 as I'm flying off tomorrow morning.

    My piece of advise to everyone here, if you think Nikon does a better job than you in cleaning, good luck to you all..

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    My piece of advise to everyone here, if you think Nikon does a better job than you in cleaning, good luck to you all..
    Errr... ya? You do wrongly, you die lor... they do wrongly, you won't know also cuz if it happens they will prolly have it fixed upon collection. Thing is you have to check your camera upon collection.

    FWIW, I have yet to experience any problems sending mine to Canon.
    Last edited by rendition; 7th August 2009 at 03:04 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    Ugh. That's not a good experience with NSC. I had my D300's sensor cleaned a few months ago myself, just a week before the free cleaning service was removed, and they did a better job then.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by rendition View Post
    Errr... ya? You do wrongly, you die lor... they do wrongly, you won't know also cuz if it happens they will prolly have it fixed upon collection.
    i have been cleaning my own sensor, on 3 different cameras for close to 3 years now

    i never died once, it is much easier than people think, as long as never do anything silly..

    i have also helped 3 or 4 other people clean.. cost very low so i do foc, i don't even use sensor swabs all satisfied and ask me to clean again afterward. that said, i only do it for people who pass it to me with the knowledge that they are doing it at their own risk, anything can happen.

    btw, i do it in hawker centre before, no need clean room one.. all you need is no wind.
    Last edited by night86mare; 7th August 2009 at 03:04 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    I prefer to do everything by myself as long as I can. When I noticed dust in sensor in my D300 I went to Google to learn how to clean it. Very easy and 100% perfect. I have noticed dust in my D3 and yesterday I Googled and tonight I am going to clean it. I believe it is very simple. Well, this far air blow has been enough to clean. Basically, lock the mirror w/out lense, point camera downwards and blow...and have a look or test.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by Lokomotiv View Post
    I prefer to do everything by myself as long as I can. When I noticed dust in sensor in my D300 I went to Google to learn how to clean it. Very easy and 100% perfect. I have noticed dust in my D3 and yesterday I Googled and tonight I am going to clean it. I believe it is very simple. Well, this far air blow has been enough to clean. Basically, lock the mirror w/out lense, point camera downwards and blow...and have a look or test.
    that works for unwelded dust, i.e. dust without moisture

    for welded dust, you will need some form of wet cleaning so that it will come off the sensor, blowing will not help.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    Night86mare, you're right..Blowing helps on most of the dry dust sticking to the low pass / ir filter due to static charge.

    Lokomotiv, there are certain specks which are not sticking due to static but due to moisture or smear of shutter oil. Those can only be effectively cleaned by a wet method and that was the reason that I sent my camera to NSC and paid for it. To get a meagre result with professional services of Nikon, I'd better be off doing it myself and save some hard earned $$

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by rendition View Post
    Errr... ya? You do wrongly, you die lor... they do wrongly, you won't know also cuz if it happens they will prolly have it fixed upon collection. Thing is you have to check your camera upon collection.

    FWIW, I have yet to experience any problems sending mine to Canon.
    My checking was the reason that took the engineer 7 times to clean it with thousand apologies. My doubt is, are our equipments given as play toys for the rookies?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by rendition View Post
    Errr... ya? You do wrongly, you die lor... they do wrongly, you won't know also cuz if it happens they will prolly have it fixed upon collection. Thing is you have to check your camera upon collection.

    FWIW, I have yet to experience any problems sending mine to Canon.
    I second with u. Recently i also attempted to clean the sensor of my 5D but the marks still remained. Sent it in to Canon and it's clean as a whistle.
    Canon EOS 5D, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2 L, 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS, 600EX-RT. Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    I second with u. Recently i also attempted to clean the sensor of my 5D but the marks still remained. Sent it in to Canon and it's clean as a whistle.
    No biasness but since I changed from to Canon from Nikon, I realised that the Canon staff are much better in terms of service and can fix problems at a much lower price.(1D rubber seal replacement = $39 vs D200 = $60+. Not to mention D200 is much smaller)
    Only thing about Nikon service centre is that they are much more willing to loan equipment to you when yours is in for servicing.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Cleaning a D300 Sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by PrimePhotog View Post
    No biasness but since I changed from to Canon from Nikon, I realised that the Canon staff are much better in terms of service and can fix problems at a much lower price.(1D rubber seal replacement = $39 vs D200 = $60+. Not to mention D200 is much smaller)
    Only thing about Nikon service centre is that they are much more willing to loan equipment to you when yours is in for servicing.
    Yeah, I knew that the service charges are a bit exorbitant in NSC. My friend and I shoot both on Canon and Nikon and last week I sent his 400D for cleaning and some focus alignment in CSC. With a replacement focus screen, focus calibration and paid cleaning the total charge was 46$.

    The engineer in NSC really made me panic as he was just seated behind the door of the customer service and I could hear loud blowing noise every time when I sent him back to clean it properly.

    I did enquire whether he's only trying to blow off the dust and he mentioned "yes" and said that they do use a special blower

    Worse when he asked me why am I shooting at F22

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