If you read the blog entry (HERE), or followed the Photo.net thread (HERE), you know I got the camera back three days ago from a wet cleaning at Mike’s Camera and the diagonal lines are still there. The sensor is definitely cleaner–many fewer dust spots, and the dark circles and the light-colored band are all gone, so it looks like the Mike’s service department did their job–but the central problem remains.
To add another layer to the mystery, here is another twist…I turned in the camera for cleaning with about 6,793 shutter actuations (give or take maybe five or so), and got it back with 9,745 actuations. What’s with that!? I stopped by Mike’s to ask them directly and they were as perplexed as I was. They said they might add, at most, fifty or so clicks while cleaning and checking things out, but not anywhere close to 3,000. Odd. Very, very odd.
I am beginning to wonder if the camera body is jinxed…or haunted…or permeated with a heavy dose of citric acid (lemon juice).
While at Mike’s, they just happened to be having a special event and the different camera reps were all there. I found the Nikon rep, Bill Koder (a real nice, very experienced guy), and explained to him the “diagonal-lines-on-the-sensor” issue. Using my iPhone, I showed him the picture from my website that clearly shows it both before and after cleaning. Then I told him about the magical 3,000 additional shutter actuations that showed up after cleaning. He said that, in his 35 years around Nikon and Nikon products, he had never run into either problem. His recommendation was to try going back to the Nikon Store on this even though I am just slightly out of the warranty period. If they don’t elect to honor the warranty (defect was there upon purchase), he recommended I send it back to Nikon repair. They could diagnose the problem, give me a cost estimate, and I could elect to have the repair done or not.
Obviously, my concern is that I have purchased an expensive, defective product.
So, by way of a summary:
–Nikon D800 (Ser # 3064837, refurbished, approximately 3,200 shutter clicks) purchased from The Nikon Store on July 31, 2013.
–I used the D800 very happily for the next 3,000+ shutter actuations…but on occasion, I saw these strange diagonals in the upper right of my images, especially if I had done a Nik Silver Efex B&W conversion and there happened to be blue, white or grey sky in that area (i.e., no texture). The first few times, I assumed it was caused by the light hitting the lens at an unusual angle–that it was just a circumstantial accident.
–After seeing these lines show up a few more times, and in exactly the same place (and struggling with cloning them out of my images), I finally do an experiment with blue sky and all three of my FX lenses. The lines show up in exactly the same place and it doesn’t matter which lens I use. So, I think, the sensor must be the issue.
— On November 15, I begin posting on Photo.net asking for advice.
–On November 18, I take the camera in to Mike’s Camera for a cleaning. I pick it up on November 22. The sensor is much cleaner overall, but the diagonal lines are still there. AND, I discover nearly 3,000 more shutter clicks on the camera.
–On November 22, I send an email to customer support at B&H Photo with a brief summary of the sensor issue. I will surely hear back after the weekend. Since I do pretty much all of my online shopping for camera gear at B&H (their excellent reputation, you know), I am hoping for the best.
We’ll see where this goes…Standby for Update #2 this next week.