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Thread: Nikon D7000 oil (lubricant on sensor) problem resolved

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    Member occifer nick's Avatar
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    Nikon D7000 oil (lubricant on sensor) problem resolved

    Hello everyone,
    Firstly let me just say that this is a good news post and one that I hope will help resolve any issues with other worried Nikon D7000 owners on our forum and point them in the right direction.

    Background;
    I recently received a Nikon D7000 housing and had mounted a Tokina 11-16mm straight on to it. I proceeded to take photographs from people to wildlife and scenery. About 5 weeks later and 300 actuations I noticed some artefacts in my photographs that weren’t there the day before. I took a test picture of a white piece of paper and the way that I did that was to switch my lens to manual stepped it down to f22 and snapped off a shot. This clearly showed the artefacts. I started to research where to get a sensor clean and came across a few posts detailing a problem with the new Nikon D7000 and oil on the sensor. After more research there seemed to be a lot of speculation on what this substance was and what the cause was related to. People were reporting that they contacted Nikon who denied there was a problem and even going so far as to say that they don’t use oil of any kind. I sought advice from other people who's opinion varied from cleaning it myself to taking it back and getting a new body. In the end I decided to go to Nikon Australia and try to have my issue resolved personally. Besides it was brand new with 300 actuations and covered by Nikon Australia Warranty. So off I went.

    Resolution;
    This morning I drove to Nikon Australia Unit F1, Lidcombe Business Park, 3-29 Birnie Avenue Lidcombe NSW 2141 there I was met by Robert Lindsay Assistant National Manager, Nikon Professional Services. I proceeded to pull out my Nikon D7000 camera and my Ipad2 with the photographic proof of my sensor bunnies. I introduced myself and started to detail my experience from being given a D7000 body as a present and not having a receipt, finding artefacts in my photographs after only 300 actuations and my research indicating that there may be a similar problem with other D7000 owners. Whilst I was doing this Robert was smiling and didn’t interrupt me at all he was nodding his head and as I took a breath he said, "I know exactly what the problems is". Just like that and I asked him to explain it to me. He stated and I quote, "It is an excessive application of lubricant." I asked him if it was a new lubricant that was less viscous and slightly runnier and he nodded. He went on to tell me that it wasn’t a batch problem but he has heard of several cases and they all related to too much lubricant on the parts in the actuation assembly.

    Robert told me that there were a number of things that they could do to rectify it the first being to clean the sensor which he stated wasn’t what he really liked to do. The second was to replace the body, again which was something that he didn’t really like doing as who was to say that it would happen again. The third solution was to have a technician strip the assembly clean it and lubricate it with the correct amount.

    I asked him "what if" my problem comes back after your service. He told me that they would fix it for me "if" the problem was to reoccur. Robert took my camera and assured me actually he promised me that it would be ready for pick Thursday morning prior to my flight to Maroochydore where I was spending a week with my mum and her new Nikon D90 out taking pictures. Oh and watching an occasional movie with my dad haha. He also said that if I hadn’t heard from them by midday on Wednesday to call him.

    I shook Roberts hand and thanked him for his excellent service and was glad that I had taken the time to visit Nikon and resolve the issue myself. At this stage my D7000 body is in the hands of a technician being cared for and made better again. If I have a follow up problem I am confident after speaking to Robert that Nikon will resolve the situation to my satisfaction.

    If any other fellow forum users and Nikon D7000 owners have a similar problem I highly recommend that you go and see your local Nikon Service Centre or call them to explain the situation and I’m sure they will assist you in fixing the problem.

    Regards
    Nick

    Ps: Rick, I created a new thread so that if any of our fellow forum members and D7000 owners had a similar problem they could search our forums and find this topic addressing the problem. Is that ok?
    Regards
    Occifer Nick

    Nikon D7000 | Tokina 11-16/2.8 | Cokin P Series 121M Grad | Nikon 60mm 2.8D | Nauticam NA-D7000V underwater housing |


  2. #2
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Thanks Nick.

    I will move this to the Nikon forum and "sticky" it.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Hi Nick,

    Sorry to show my ignorance, but what are "artefacts"? Are they "dust bunnies"? How can you tell if they are from the sensor or from the lens? Yes, I am a D7000 owner (purchased Dec 2010) and have observed a lot of what I've got to know as dust bunnies even after fastidiously cleaning all glass. I have performed a sensor clean.

    If you clarify this for me, I'd really appreciate it.

    Cheers,
    D7000, Nikon 18-200mm, Nikon 105mm Macro, Sigma 150-500mm
    CC always welcome
    "Be satisfied with your life, and you'll put yourself in the optimum position to make it even better"
    Cheryl

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    Hiya Cheryl,

    Have a look at my original post here which discusses my artefacts. I didnt call them dust bunnies as i didnt think it was dust and was in fact some sort of liquid due to the type of halo around the dark spot. Picture in the other post.
    If this doesnt clarify it for you just send me a private message and ill try and clarify it for you in more detail ok.

    Regards,

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    thanks Nick for the thumbs up. I`ll keep a check on things and see how mine handles the problem.
    Graeme
    "May the good Lord look down and smile upon your face"......Norman Gunston___________________________________________________
    Nikon: D7000, D80, 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, 18-135, 70-300VR, 35f2, SB 400, SB 600, TC-201 2x converter. Tamron: 90 macro 2.8 Kenko ext. tubes. Photoshop CS2.


  6. #6
    It's all about the Light!
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    The first batch of Pentax K-5s had a dirty sensor issue, which meant a replacement body if you had the problem.
    I did and got a new body via CR Kennedy. Great service.

    Is this the same issue in Nikon land? (The K-5 and the D7000 share the same Sony sensor)
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    The first batch of Pentax K-5s had a dirty sensor issue, which meant a replacement body if you had the problem.
    I did and got a new body via CR Kennedy. Great service.

    Is this the same issue in Nikon land? (The K-5 and the D7000 share the same Sony sensor)
    My initial reaction to Nick original thread, and that 'artefact' dust bunny with the halo was a dirty sensor, but dirty from under the filter pack.
    More so than an oil based infringement, it looks a lot like a dust spot you see on an LCD screen where a protector has been applied over it.

    Of course it could be oil based as Nikon's man insinuated, and Nick found out, but I've seen oil based stains on other gear and they don't look like that.
    I don't have enough experience with the issue to know anything about it tho, just a gut feeling really.
    And the length of the service/clean on Nick's camera is more of a pointer to a deeper issue, than simply oil on the sensor trapping dust.
    A sensor clean is only a few minutes job, and to have it ready to go by Thursday, seems a wee bit excessive in terms of turn over time.. To me this sounds like more of a strip down job.. ie. stripping it down to the sensor type of job(I suspect a replacement sensor is almost certainly going to happen too!

    As Kym implied, this, then is a Sony issue as the sensor is built by Sony for both the Pentax and Nikon.
    It's all starting to make more sense.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    Yes mate the guy told me that they were going to strip the camera and clean the shutter assembly before applying the correct amount of lubricant. He said that i could just get a sensor clean but it would more than likely need another one very soon and then another until finally the excess lubricant was gone but he didnt recommend that course of action. He also said that just giving me a new body might not resolve it and that the problem could exist on that camera body. If I really wanted it I could have gone that option but im flying out to Maroochydore to spend some time with my family and go on some picture shoots with mum and her new D90 so I wanted a camera body that was working as it should and this was the best course of action for me. Besides mine is a new body just getting a good cleaning. At least it should be 100% after this and he assured me that if it wasnt they would fix the problem to my satisfaction. Thats all I needed to know from a good outcome point of view for me.
    Last edited by occifer nick; 02-08-2011 at 6:37am.

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    Update on my camera,

    I received a text message yesterday informing me that my camera was ready for pick up. (24hr turn around) Due to the seemingly quick turnaround I decided to telephone them and ask if they had actually stripped the camera and cleaned it as opposed to just doing a sensor clean. The guy from Nikon read out the job sheet to me which stated a strip down and clean of the shutter assembly satisfied I drove over there to pick it up.

    When I arrived I gave them my job number and they called Robert again. He turned up about 30 seconds later carrying my camera. I asked him how it went and he stated that as soon as I left he bumped into one of the head techies and handed it to him. Apparently they stripped it and cleaned it as promised. I shot off a couple of high speed continuous burst pics in the office to see if there were any lubricant still flying around inside my camera haha I formatted the memory card and took a test shot of a white background. I transferred it to my ipad and couldn’t see any artefacts and neither could Robert. He said if there happened to be any further issues which there shouldn’t just call him and bring it back in.

    So at this stage my camera is all fixed and I’m hoping that my trip to Maroochydore to see my family and do a sunrise shoot with mum and her D90 is event free and full of just good memories and some photo keepers.

    If you have a D7000 with a similar problem I encourage you to contact Nikon Australia as my experience with them was exceptional. Thank you to Robert Lindsay Assistant National Manager, Nikon Professional Services.

    ps: I’m sure the uniform had nothing to do with my good fortune and the high level of customer service received

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    Quote Nick : ps: I’m sure the uniform had nothing to do with my good fortune and the high level of customer service received

    I was going to ask you yesterday if you wore your Uniform when you dropped it off I'm sure that had nothing to do with the Service you recieved

    So everybody in Sydney can just say my friend Nick sent me over
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    "ps: I’m sure the uniform had nothing to do with my good fortune and the high level of customer service received"

    It was probably the way you kept tapping your hand on your holster....
    David

    Nikon D810
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  12. #12
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I think it is probably oil on the sensor from the shutter/miror mechansim. My D700 at new and I had this and was cleaned and has been fine ever since. However, my D7000 has had no such issues.

    Like most issues like this, it all depends on how you approach the situation and plead your case. Ranting and raving will get you nothing but troubles, but if you approach with a happy disposition and are courteous, you can get almost anything done without worry. In all my dealings with warranty or even just outside of warranty, I have always been successful simply because I use a courteous manner.

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    I totally agree Lance, I went in there all smiles and gun drawn, just kidding lol
    Seriously if you start out with a smile and still get no joy you can always ramp it up. But if you start out angry there is nowhere to go but up and the situation will only get worse.
    'You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar'

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    Great..
    New D7000 cleaned : Check
    photography session coming up : Check
    Who gets the best shot : ME see ya tomorrow...

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    Nick,
    My D300 had the same problem when new a few years ago. I had two trips to Lidcombe, four if you count both directions, but Nikon denied it could be a lubricant problem. At one stage they were blaming the lens zooming system. By that stage I was getting a tad annoyed with the whole process.
    As someone who has looked at microscope slides a lot in the past it was clear to me that the doughnut type artefacts are from a liquid and the only possible liquid around a sensor is lubricating oil. Yet despite all this Nikon refused to contemplate this - well not to me anyway. Trapped air bubbles in a histopath slide show a similar appearance. By the third time they appeared I had learned to do sensor cleans myself and bought the appropriate gear to do it. And around that time the problem stopped happening. I assume that at that point the shutter had run out of excess lubrication.

    I am glad they now recognise this can be a legitimate problem.

    FWIW, the way I find sensor bunnies is to shoot a clear blue sky with the lens fully defocussed and at a small aperture.
    Robert
    Nikon D300 and various Nikkor and Sigma lenses

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    UPDATE;

    Ok after the problem reoccurring whilst shooting the S.S.Dicky I have been in contact with Nikon who stated that I was the first person to have this problem with the D7000 come back after the full strip and clean of the mechanism. They have decided to replace the "mechanism" (I’m assuming that’s the shutter assembly they are talking about). So off I drove to Nikon HQ and dropped it off. When it gets replaced and I get the camera back I will update again but hopefully this will be the end of it.

    Regards,

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    UPDATE;

    Contacted by Nikon who told me my camera was ready for pick up. I drove out to Nikon HQ and spoke to Robert again. He told me that they had replaced the mirror assembly (not the shutter assembly as I had previously thought) and I should not have any further problems.

    I will go out and take some photos and update this post on how the camera performed and whether I encounter any further problems. Fingers crossed the problem has been resolved.

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    Member stevenh120's Avatar
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    I've had my D7000 cleaned twice now and still have a couple of spots on the sensor. Hopefully it will be 3rd time lucky.

    Cheers
    Steve
    Nikon D7000 | Nikkor 35/1.8| Nikkor 105/2.8 VR| Nikkor 18-105/3.5 VR| Nikkor 55-200/3.5 VR | Nikon Speedlight SB-900 |
    |Tamron 10-24/DiII 3.5 | Tamron 18-270/3.5 DiII VC |Sigma 24-70 EX DG/2.8|
    stevenh120@hotmail.com

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    Well so far so good. Ive had the mirror assembly changed and looks to have solved the excess lubricant issue. Had awesome service from Nikon Australia and am a very happy chappy again.

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    Have most people that have had this issue had it covered under warranty?

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