Shadows on Nikon Z7 Sensor

Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
2
I was recently out shooting photos over night with my Nikon Z7 and Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8 lens, when I started noticing a shadow in the upper right corner of my night shots. I wasn't sure it was really there since I was just looking at the shots in the view finder. However, by morning, the shadow had expanded into a blob in the upper right corner and there was a smaller one in the lower left corner. I took the lens off the camera and inspected both the lens and the sensor. There was a bit of dew on the front of the lens, so cleaned that up. However, I didn't see anything else suspect, and the blobs didn't change to any degree after putting the lens back on. I also ran the "clean sensor" function, and likewise no improvement. Concerned that the camera sensor was damaged in some way, I packed up and traveled home. When I took the camera back out of the bag once I got home 8 hours later, the blobs on the sensor were gone. I've taken a few photos and inspected them and there is no hint of a shadow any more in the images. The only thing I can think of is that the dew from shooting over night somehow affected the sensor. However, I wasn't changing lenses out there, and I have no idea how a little dew could have gotten past the weather seals. These cameras can typically put up with far worse abuse. Any ideas what might have caused this? I am concerned about going out on expedition and having the sensor fail. As a measure of added moisture protection, I may take my Pelican case along and keep the camera in there with desiccant over nights when not using it.

Slight shadowed area in upper right corner of image:
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Big dark blobs in upper right and lower left:
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Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
27,006
Location
Moscow, Idaho
To me looks like your petal lens hood WAS not fully set in the center position during night.
Spot on. Notice how at f/1.8 it is out of focus, but visible and at f/8 it is very obvious, all due to depth of field. Also, blobs are at opposite corners.
I had something similar happen when I mistakingly used my 24-120 hood on my 16-35. Drove me nuts!
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Toronto
Spot on. Notice how at f/1.8 it is out of focus, but visible and at f/8 it is very obvious, all due to depth of field. Also, blobs are at opposite corners.
I had something similar happen when I mistakingly used my 24-120 hood on my 16-35. Drove me nuts!
Hahah. Yes, you should try mounting a lens hood on the 24-70/4 Z lens lol. Takes a lot of effort to lock that puppy in place :)
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Well, that was silly. Yeah, it was the lens hood not seated properly. I had done that with my 24-70mm before and recognized the issue before getting too far, but with that lens it looks more like vignette. I only recently got this 20mm lens, and I didn't recognize this for what it was since it looks different. Thanks for clearing this up...
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
727
Location
MN, USA
Well, that was silly. Yeah, it was the lens hood not seated properly. I had done that with my 24-70mm before and recognized the issue before getting too far, but with that lens it looks more like vignette. I only recently got this 20mm lens, and I didn't recognize this for what it was since it looks different. Thanks for clearing this up...
Trust me we've all made similar errors. I once mistakenly left exposure bracketing on and it took me 20 minutes to figure out why I was getting underexposure, overexposure, perfect!, underexposure, overexposure, perfect!
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
27,006
Location
Moscow, Idaho
Well, that was silly. Yeah, it was the lens hood not seated properly. I had done that with my 24-70mm before and recognized the issue before getting too far, but with that lens it looks more like vignette. I only recently got this 20mm lens, and I didn't recognize this for what it was since it looks different. Thanks for clearing this up...
Welcome to the club!
And welcome to Nikon Café, great folks, great advice and great pictures.
So, post often, share experiences, pictures and knowledge; ask questions and provide answers, and above all . . . have fun!
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Oakland
Real Name
John Van Atta
It's also worth noting that weather sealing only works on water droplets. If the air itself is saturated with moisture, it can condense inside the camera or lens when the temperature and humidity change. I had to 'dry out' condensation in the EVF on my sealed Olympus bodies a few times. I've never heard of moisture condensing on the sensor, but overnight a lot can happen.
 

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