PDA

View Full Version : Question about dust on ccd sensor



jefframm
08-07-2005, 03:01 PM
Well, I took the plunge and bought a D-70 today, taking advantage of the $100 Nikon rebate. Very excited about my purchase, and wanted to say thanks to all of you, as I've learned a great deal through this forum. (George, thanks to you for your input on the D-70 vs. D-50 price wise).

I bought the camera at a local Wolf Camera (aka Ritz) and they are REALLY pushing their "protection" plan, which costs about $140 per YEAR.

I'm not worried about dropping, water, etc. but included in the coverage is "as many cleanings of the sensor as you want" per year. They say those are "Nikon" cleanings and that without the coverage the starting price for work / cleaning on the D70 from Nikon is about $420. They also say 3-4 weeks for the "send out to get cleaned".

Sounds a little odd to me, but was hoping for feedback on this sort of offering. I noticed on Adorama that Nikon offers a two year extended warranty for about $50, but I suspect that is warranty only, no cleanings, no "damage protection".

My real question is: Is it feasible for a "newbie" DSLR owner to do their own sensor cleaning? Is there a specific set of tools or a cleaning kit that is required?

A couple of years of their plan would equal a nice additional lens, so I didn't jump at it. I have 10 days to decide. Any input / advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
jeff

hollidunn
08-07-2005, 11:16 PM
Congratulations Jeff!! I am also the proud new owner of a D70, purchased today at Ritz Camera. I bougth the 3 yr warranty. It was very expensive, and although the camera was less than at Best Buy, the warranty sure made up for it. So, I am not sure I got the good deal that I thought. But am happy to have the peice of mind that if I drop it in the swimming pool or something else, they will fix or replace it. I liked that they are a place where I could go, buy the camera and try it for a few days. Bring it in and show problems or ask questions etc.

Cold Snail
08-08-2005, 06:19 AM
This is the state of my D70's sensor at the moment.

http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/6729/dsc7408copymedium1lo.jpg

I use the Copperhill method.

http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/ccd_cleaning

It's not 100% perfect, but is a hell of a lot cheaper than sending the camera back to Nikon for a clean every 2-3 weeks.
I'll post the after shot when it's done...

D70FAN
08-08-2005, 05:57 PM
The extended Nikon warranty is probably a good investment. Sending the camera to Nikon for sensor cleaning will cost you about $100 and take about 2-3 weeks. Hint: Nikon doesn't want to do this at their repair facilities but grudgingly offer the service, which is why the cost is so high.

You will be better off learning this simple proceedure yourself.

If you have a professional camera repair/store in your area they may offer a reasonable cleaning service. for example: Locally, Tempe Camera Repair will do this for $35 with a couple of days turn around. I do this once a year just to have a thorough cleaning and check-up.

Cold Snail will tell us how easy this proceedure is. :D

P.S. Man, Snail, have you been dropping your D70 in the dirt? ;)

jefframm
08-08-2005, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll do the Nikon extended and then either learn to clean it or find a more reasonable place locally. I'm in an Atlanta suburb, so there must be some quality places here.

I had the same thought about the sensor shot the Cold showed.... Mud ball fight that you were photographing??

Don't really know what to expect, but the Wolf/Ritz guys really push their policy. As I was testing and then buying the D70 on my last visit (one of five or so visits), a woman bought a Canon Digital Rebel XT and they did the same agressive sales pitch on her.

I've been studying the manual and learning more about the camera. What amazing flexibility! Also, was able to do the firmware update quite easily and am excited to have a D70+ now!

Best,
jeff

Coltess
08-09-2005, 08:51 AM
I was just wondering how big a problem dust/dirt on the sensor is. I mean how fast does it accumulate? Is the sensor static electric so it "sucks up" what ever dust enters the camera body?

thesween
08-09-2005, 04:34 PM
Okay, my D70 had some dandy blobs right out of the box, and at first detecting them, I was furious that they'd ship a body with this slop all over the sensor. In fact, it made me think that what I'd bought was maybe(probably)a return. I still don't know. I've used a "Hurricane" on it with some success, but know full well that getting on top of that crap with a swab is gonna happen sooner or later, I'm not very good resisting the urge to tinker and fix this thing.

Has anyone here sent their D70 body to Nikon Repair for a sensor cleaning UNDER warranty? Isn't this crud on the sensor something that the warranty should cover, and shouldn't they correct the problem? Just curious, mostly because my D70 has another minor problem and I'm waiting until the last month or so of warranty to send it back for repair, and to demand they clean the sensor. Will they do the cleaning as part of warranty repair? If not, has anyone tried raising a fuss? I've had considerable luck with warranty things if you really get in the manufacturer's face about it. Honest, I'm not trying to get something for nothing, but this sensor blob problem is obviously serious, and one that camera manufacturers aren't really eager to address, or to even forewarn you about. Thoughts? All that aside, I love the camera, the kit lens, and digital over all. After twenty-five years of being a serious amateur in film, I cannot envision ever going back to it.

D70FAN
08-09-2005, 07:22 PM
Okay, my D70 had some dandy blobs right out of the box, and at first detecting them, I was furious that they'd ship a body with this slop all over the sensor. In fact, it made me think that what I'd bought was maybe(probably)a return. I still don't know. I've used a "Hurricane" on it with some success, but know full well that getting on top of that crap with a swab is gonna happen sooner or later, I'm not very good resisting the urge to tinker and fix this thing.

Has anyone here sent their D70 body to Nikon Repair for a sensor cleaning UNDER warranty? Isn't this crud on the sensor something that the warranty should cover, and shouldn't they correct the problem? Just curious, mostly because my D70 has another minor problem and I'm waiting until the last month or so of warranty to send it back for repair, and to demand they clean the sensor. Will they do the cleaning as part of warranty repair? If not, has anyone tried raising a fuss? I've had considerable luck with warranty things if you really get in the manufacturer's face about it. Honest, I'm not trying to get something for nothing, but this sensor blob problem is obviously serious, and one that camera manufacturers aren't really eager to address, or to even forewarn you about. Thoughts? All that aside, I love the camera, the kit lens, and digital over all. After twenty-five years of being a serious amateur in film, I cannot envision ever going back to it.

When you send the camera in for a warranty repair they clean and test/adjust the camera, including the sensor, and load the latest firmware if required. Be aware that Nikon will try to turn the camera in 7 working days, and from experience it takes exactly that long (plus transit times).

No manufacturer will clean the camera for free under warranty unless it is in for repair.

Find a good local camera store that does camera repair and they probably offer dSLR cleaning as well.

Of course the best way is just do it yourself. It aint rokit sciance. ;)

thesween
08-10-2005, 12:08 PM
That was precisely my point - if the camera is in for warranty repair, will they clean the sensor, especially if you gripe about it being a mess.

D70FAN
08-10-2005, 03:59 PM
That was precisely my point - if the camera is in for warranty repair, will they clean the sensor, especially if you gripe about it being a mess.

So the anwser is yes. It is part of the service routine, and is even listed on the returned repair invoice.

Griping is optional, but from my own experience, unnecessary. Nikon service is among the best, and most thorough, I have ever used (for anything).