Saturday, March 16, 2013

My first sensor cleaning

As I have noted before, I am one of the many who has experienced the dirty sensor issues of the Nikon D600.  After already sending my camera to Nikon once (at around 2500 images) for a "real" cleaning, I was not in the mood to wait 3 more weeks for another cleaning by Nikon.

I am at around 4000 shutter clicks right now and images taken at f16 using my 50mm Nikon lens were full of probably 40 small dust spots.The spots were not nearly as visible with my Tokina 17-35mm lens.

50mm at f16. Image enhanced to show the spots
I purchased a wet cleaning kit and used probably 10 or more swabs over the sensor in an effort to get things clean.  Pretty scary process at first, since I had never done this before. At one point I had made things worse. The end results were far from perfect but I still think it is an improvement. What do you think?

Below is a sample image after cleaning.

50mm lens at f16 AFTER cleaning. Image enhanced

50mm at f8 AFTER cleaning. Image enhanced
Image enhancements done with Color Efex Pro.


I have been shooting for over a week since I cleaned the sensor myself and so far I haven't seen a single spot. This has probably been the first time since sending the camera back to Nikon that I have been dust free.

Image 4500 taken today:

Cleaning was done with a Sensor Swab kit:


  1. yes yes but more on the particulars for those of us who are willing and ready to follow in your footsteps!!! why were you scared, how did you make it worse? these are the questions we need answered so we know just how scared we need to be, and to be offered hope when we make things worse!

    1. The best advice for anyone willing to do a cleaning yourself is to watch some of the sensor cleaning youtube videos. The last thing I want to do is cause damage to the sensor and so i was worried about that. But with a steady hand everything should be ok. In my case at least one of the cleaning attempts left a large smudge on the sensor, so I had to clean it again. Also some pet hair snuck inside and I had to carefully remove it. I have a sensor loop but it didn't seem to help very much. I couldn't get it "in focus" although the light it provided was very helpful.

      Copper Hill sells everything you would need in the way of supplies.

      Some videos and tutorials you can watch: