Bad oil | Nikon D610 crashes on take-off

This is the post I thought I’d never be writing. But here we are again in snake oil territory.

On the 4th and 5th of July I took my relatively new D610 and old faithful Canon 50D for a workout along the South Coast from Batehaven to Tuross Heads.

All appeared to be going well until the files were loaded from the respective cameras into Lightroom on Saturday evening (5th July). From the first batch out of the D610 starting at DSC0343.NEF through the next one hundred and twenty or so shots there they were, those telltale oil marks I was so familiar with from a previous and thoroughly unpleasant experience with my ex D600. I couldn’t believe it. The previous 300 + shots gave no hint that this was going to be an issue I would have to contend with again.

Whilst there were some unpleasant issues with Moire in the 610’s video output and I was preparing a write up for that, this took me completely by surprise. The worst part of this was it started out with just two spots in the upper left (a familiar pattern) and just over 120 shutter actuation’s later had increased to a spread of 10 spots of oil, indicating a worsening problem.

It’s possibly a fair argument to say that most of these are shot with the aperture stopped well down and so it’s more likely that oil on the sensor is going to have increased visibility, however, in the image below shot the following day, Sunday 6th July you can see visible oil at f4.5. These images have been pushed and processed a little to increase the visibility of the spots. Whilst there aren’t as many to be seen at this aperture the fact that they are visible at all is a serious concern.

The earliest reports of an oil problem with the D610 began appearing mid Jan 2014, see here and here.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this news will be received by Nikon Sydney when I take it in this week.

Do I wish I had read these before collecting my D610 replacement in May this year? Yes indeed.

I had argued with the people at Harvey Norman that I did not consider replacing the D600 with a D610 a particularly wise course of action and had at the time suggested other options; now my initial reservations have been verified. I can’t really see how Nikon can resolve this other than by abandoning production of this camera series. It’s an extreme suggestion I know, call me old fashioned but this model roll-out appears to be jinxed in the true sense of the word.

I have a couple of Canon cameras and problems like this are simply not on the spectrum at all.

Here are some detail captures

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