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Droplets on D3 sensor - question

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR Forum' started by BostonRott, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. I've seen mentioned a few times recently oil (or silicone?) droplets getting onto the sensor (or the high pass filter) from the shutter.

    Recently, I've noticed that my sensor is a mess (I think one day shooting at f/8, I cleaned up 10-15 spots via PS ..... I ususally shot f/3.2 and wider, so hadn't noticed any issues previously). Some of the spots are very dark and solid, others not so.

    I had assumed this was dust, and was going to order the appropriate supplies for wet-cleaning the sensor. Now I'm not so sure.....

    I've never been able to see (with my own eye) any of the dust that was on my D200's sensor, I assume I can't see it on the D3 either. Thus, I'm guessing I won't be able to see droplets either, and not be able to distinguish dust from droplets.

    Should I risk my own use of Sensor swabs/E2 to clean? Or could this make a big mess if it's actually droplets and not dust?

    I really hate to be without the camera for several weeks, only having my D70 for back up. :redface:
  2. adaml


    Feb 21, 2006
    Having had my D3 for a little more than a month, I'm no expert, but I trust several of the staff at Calumet in Oakbrook, where I purchased the camera.

    One of them is the designated D3 cleaner for their customers, and he's cleaned dozens since the beginning of the year. He tells me that most, if not all, D3's will need to have the oil/lubricant cleaned off the sensor filter at least once. Many don't develop the problem again, and just require the usual dust removal. In his experience, the D3's that have recurring oil/lubricant on the sensor filter seem to be those that are used heavily in Continuous shooting mode. Somehow, the rapid-fire actuation of the shutter releases the oil/lubricant.

    Finally, he told me that he cleans the oil/lubricant off the sensor filter with a "special ingredient", and then he cleans it again with Eclipse. The special ingredient seems to be a variation of the "Smear Away" product that Visible Dust sells just for this purpose.

    From what he told me and everything I've read, I think I'll have him clean my D3's sensor when I see the first blotch of oil.
  3. Adam,

    Thank you for sharing this, its very interesting! I'm thinking I may just bite the bullet and send it in. Oh boy will I miss it! :redface:

    I do shoot a good bit in continuous high (9 FPS), will be interesting to see how this plays out over time. :smile:
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