What might be the cause of these spots?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Guitar Jones, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Guitar Jones

    Guitar Jones TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    Noticed these spots on my D500 with 200-500. I've checked the lens and the polarizing filter, I cannot see any marks or debris that would make these spots. They are on every shot.

    Might it be dust on the sensor? Is this a home fix or should it go to a pro?

    Thanks in advance.


     
  2. zulu42

    zulu42 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sensor spots: common issue. I bought a sensor cleaning kit on Amazon and clean my own - it's a pretty straight forward process. You should be able to find a youtube video and decide if you want to do it yourself.
     
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  3. Guitar Jones

    Guitar Jones TPF Noob!

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    I figured it out. I should have looked at camera end of the lens, it was filthy. Lesson learned.
     
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  4. zulu42

    zulu42 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Cool. You may also need to clean your sensor in the future. Something to plan for down the road.
     
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  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What you see there are dust spots caused by dust on the sensor itself, they will often be invisible in highly detailed backgrounds and if you're using a wide open aperture; however if you're using a smaller aperture and have a very clear scene (like you've got above) then they stand out proudly.

    In camera there's a few resolutions:
    1) Mirror lock-up mode and a small blower (rocket blowers are good). You just want natural air from a puffer; nothing electronic and don't get canned air (it often contains particles). Just flip the camera up and activate mirror lockup so that the mirror is opened up and the sensor exposed then puff the air up into it to blow the dust off.

    2) Dust-Delete-Data or similar modes - check the cameras manual for details on this. This basically lets you use a photo to map the dust an the camera then auto-filters it out. The dust is still there; this is purely a digital solution

    3) Wet and Dry cleaning methods exist; some people like to use them others let a camera store clean their camera for them. It's not hard, but you do want to read a few guides/watch youtubes to get the method clear before approaching.

    In editing you can use the "spot heal tool" in Photoshop (other programs have similar buttons) which lets you heal out the spots. For a scene like yours above they would be removed effortlessly with this tool. Check youtube/guides for clear instructions on how to access this feature. Lightroom and Photoshop both have it.


    Dust on the rear of the lens appears somewhat differently and might manifest more as dull contrast and issues with light reflection when youv'e a strong light source in the scene. Dust on the front of the lens and, indeed, inside it will typically not have any effect. To have an effect you need a LOT of it in those two areas to have any meaningful impact.
     
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  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Any spots on or inside your lens will not be in focus, and therefore won't show up as "spots", but rather will degrade your images in other ways.

    The spots in the photo above are on your sensor (or on the filter that is in front of your sensor).

    While it's a good idea to carefully clean your lenses, cleaning the sensor can be tricky.
     
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  7. Guitar Jones

    Guitar Jones TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for replies. I am going to try the tips posted Overread and reassess.
     
  8. DarkShadow

    DarkShadow Birdographer Supporting Member

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    I have around 25,000 shutter clicks on the D7500 no spots yet but when i had the D7200 the first few thousands clicks looked like it was slinging some lubricant so i cleaned it my self rather then sending to Nikon even under warranty and seem to stay clean forever after that.
     
  9. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you dont keep the backside of your lenses clean, the dirt from the backside of your lens will find its way to the sensor sooner or later.
     
  10. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Dust spots won't be visible in an image unless the dust is located at (or at least very near) to a focus point. This usually means the dust is located on the sensor (or, more accurately, the filter in front of the sensor).

    At very low focal ratios (e.g. f/2 or lower) the spots are often so diffuse that they are difficult to notice. At high focal ratios (e.g. f/16) the spots are usually well-defined.

    I suggest pointing the camera at something with no contrast (a plain blue sky... a plain white wall, etc.) and take a photo at a high focal ratio such as f/16 or f/22 and see what you get.

    There are sensor cleaning kits that are designed for the tasks and if you read directions and are gentle, it is pretty safe and easy to do (or you can take it to a camera shop to have it cleaned).

    A hand-squeezed air blower (avoid cans of compressed air such as "dust off" because the propellant leaves a foggy residue behind and that has to be wiped clean.)

    A pristinely clean soft brush (such as an artists pain-brush). They make version of these that have a grounding wire so that the bristles can discharge any static charge that might be causing dust to "cling" to the sensor surface.

    And then there are supplies to "wet" clean the sensor. Photographic Solutions, Inc. makes something called "Eclipse" cleaning solutions. It's actually nearly pure methanol ... which means it evaporates very quickly and it leaves virtually no residue behind. To go with it, they make something called "Sensor Swabs" and they come in different widths depending on the camera sensor size. The important part is to not be too cheap ... don't re-use the swaps. Apply a few drops of solution and immediately give the sensor a gentle wipe from one edge to the other (before the solution evaporates).
     
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  11. Guitar Jones

    Guitar Jones TPF Noob!

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    So far my efforts have not been successful. I’ve ordered and received a sensor cleaning kit and will use it tomorrow.

    Thank you all.
     
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  12. otherprof

    otherprof TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I had dust on the sensor of my a6000 and brought it to Sammy’s to have it cleaned. The tech took A Rocket blower and squeezed it a few times at the sensor. He gave me back the camera, no charge for the service, and made me a loyal Sammy’s customer. I asked how the dust got in since I only have one lens for the camera, and it stays on. He pointed out that zooms suck air in all the time.
     

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