New time-lapse video sheds light on D600 sensor dust problem, Nikon responds to IR’s query


posted Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM EDT


A new time-lapse shot by Toronto-based artist and photographer Kyle Clements shows what appears to be dust accumulation on the full-frame sensor of Nikon's D600 24.3-megapixel digital SLR. Kyle shot a sequence of 1,000 photos of a white sheet of paper with his brand-new D600, without changing lenses in the process. (So the ambient environment couldn't have been the source of the dust.) In the video below, you can see the slow accumulation of dust (or oil?) specks on the left side of the sensor.

Clements' test follows several recent reports of dust build-up on the D600's sensor, including a story Imaging Resource posted last month by Roger Cicala of LensRentals.

After sharing Clements' video and Cicala's October report with Nikon USA, the company issued the following statement to us. (Unfortunately for those looking for firm answers to this issue, Nikon's statement doesn't offer too many.)

"Measures to reduce effects of dust or foreign matter are optimized for each model. Therefore, the dust reduction system's internal mechanism varies with each model," the Nikon statement reads. "If the effects of dust or foreign matter on photographs become bothersome, customers are encouraged to consult their local Nikon service center."

Here's how Clements' describes the results of his test, for which he used a brand new Nikon D600 and an AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens that was not removed during testing.

"[F]rom that I’ve seen, dust on the D600 is indeed a serious issue. Right out of the box, after taking the very first picture, I could see several dust spots, but as my time-lapse series progressed, I could see more and more spots appearing on the sensor. Keep in mind that I am not changing lenses; all this dust is coming from inside the camera."