In October 2012, LensRentals owner Roger Cicala reported that the Nikon D600 seems to collect more sensor dust than other DSLRs. Other owners began reporting the same thing, and different theories began emerging to explain the origins of the annoying specks.
When Imaging Resource reached out to Nikon for comment, it was told that Nikon customers are encouraged to have their cameras serviced if the dust becomes “bothersome.” Nikon finally issued an official advisory this past Wednesday regarding the issue, but its message is the same.
Some users have indicated the appearance of multiple granular dust spots in images captured with the Nikon D600 digital-SLR camera. These granular dust spots are reflections of internal dust generated with camera operation, or external dust particles that have found their way into the camera, either, or both of which, have adhered to the camera’s low-pass filter.
While the structure and concept of digital-SLR cameras makes the complete elimination of these dust spots very difficult, it has come to our attention that, in some rare cases, they may be reflected noticeably in images. Therefore, Nikon is informing users of a service to reduce this issue.
As a first step, please follow the guidance from the User’s Manual (pages 301-305) related to the “Clean Image Sensor” function and manual cleaning using a blower. If these measures do not remove all dust particles and you are still experiencing problems, then please consult your nearest Nikon service center. They will keep your camera, examine it thoroughly, and service it as needed.
So the basic stance is still: the “problem” is still within the acceptable spectrum of what’s considered “normal.” Therefore, try self-cleaning with a standard blower, and have official repair people take a look if that still doesn’t work.
The problem is, that might not solve things for good. At the end of January, photographer Kyle Clements reported that his dust accumulation was still happening even after 5000 shots and having the camera serviced. He created this new time-lapse video showing the accumulation in action:
If you’re a proud and happy owner of a Nikon D600, you probably shouldn’t worry too much about this since your photography isn’t being affected. Unfortunately, for owners who have been annoyed by speck buildup, this latest service advisory probably won’t do much to satisfy you. Your best option appears to be having your camera serviced every time the buildup becomes unbearable.