Oil on the sensor?

Feb 2, 2005
Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
Real Name
Andreas Berglund
Out of nowhere my sensor is full of litttle black dots:
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(in abated breath) I told my wife the camera has to go into Nikon and this is probably going to cost! She said for your expensive camera you should have insurance. I said I do but thats not for repair right? Its part of the camera rider on the home owner insurance....

Then it hit me! I bought an extended 3 year warranty from Mack for the D3 for $89 and yes it is still valid!

As we speak the camera is on its way to New Jersey and Mack Repair services, lets hope they can fix it....

Anyone else had this?
May 4, 2005
Looks like sensor dust to me.
I had the same issue as you, while not as bad. I sent my D3s out to a local repair shop and for $60 came back clean as a whistle.

Nov 5, 2007
Chester, Virginia, USA
Yeah, if they 'repair' it and don't charge you, it would surprise me. That is just sensor dust or possibly excess oil splash.. or both.

A pretty common occurrence and something I would attribute to cleaning and maintenance but not the word 'fix'.
Mar 20, 2011
don't screw around with it, send it in for repairs.

personally, i don't even attempt to clean my own sensors. i get two free sensor cleans per year as an NPS member.

it may just be that you went to change lenses while there was a lot of dust in the air and the dust has gotten on your sensor. it happens to me regularly, which is why i'm always very careful not to have my camera open to the elements without a lens on it for very long.

if some kind of seal has broken and it is oil, i sure wouldn't be mucking around with it. that's a job for Nikon techs.
Apr 21, 2006
Nashua, NH
so to clarify - it went from very clean to this in a day or two, seems like s seal or so broke to me, I tried to clean it but couldnt get it off...

I have cleaned my sensor successfully many times.
Once, I could not do it and the local store could not do it either - turned out it was oil.
Aug 6, 2008
I had the oil hit the sensor too. About 5000 actuations and again I saw some so I cleaned it. It is not hard but I must have cleaned it tern more times to get it all off. It is a process and while each time was not perfect it was better. I watched as the repair place did it the first tie but I learned as much researching it at copper hill. Just take your time and have plenty of swabs on hand. Now I wet clean it after ever time shoot and change lenses especially outside.
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