Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blogging is something new to me

The RED in these two photographs are circles I drew around oil spots that were on my Nikon D-800 sensor

The RED in these two photographs are circles I drew around oil spots that were on my Nikon D-800 sensor-read more below...



I have never done a blog before, so this is a first for me. I'm just a regular guy that loves his country, dogs and the great outdoors. With this great outdoors comes the love to photograph landscapes of the great American Southwest. I love to hike and there are so many wonderful places to both hike and photograph near my home of Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. Arizona, California, Nevada & Utah offer a lifetime of places to hike and photograph. Please bare with me as I am not much of a writer. Yes there will be grammatical errors and spelling errors but I hope to give you some insight into my world of photography.

I guess I should start by telling you that about the age of 8 my parents bought me a Kodak Brownie box camera. It took 620 film, and had a shutter with a straight through viewfinder. No adjustments, no focusing, nothing.  I had a keen interest in astronomy and lightning at that age and wanted to be able to photograph both.  The box camera did not have a bulb setting so I used a wood screw to hold down the shutter release so I could capture lightning and star trails.  Pretty basic back in those days.

My father was in the USAF and stationed in Japan during my early teenage years and I learned how to develop black & white film and take it to print. I spent a lot of time at the base hobby shop doing this.  In my junior and senior year of high school I was on the yearbook staff.  Many of the photos in the yearbook were black and white so I was all set as far as developing pictures for our yearbooks.  I remember loving working in the dark room of our high school.  What a great memory!

Fast forward to today I no longer shoot film. I have used digital cameras now for several years and love them. Nikon and Canon are excellent camera companies with equally awesome products. I decided to go with Nikon.  If it wasn't for the amount of money you sink into lenses I probably would shoot with Canon also or would have at some point possibly switched over to Canon.

Something I am concerned with today are oil spots on the sensors of the Nikon digital cameras. For me this is very hard to understand how an excellent camera company such as Nikon can let this happen and at the same time keep turning out cameras over and over again with the same problems.  Not only that but they keep quiet about the problem. I will get into this a bit more in my next blog entry but have found the mirror mechanism on the D-300, D-800 and D-4 all throw oil onto the sensor of these cameras which I own.  I've included a couple of photographs to show you what the oil spots look like (circled in red).  These two photographs were taken with my D-800 and the camera less than 6 months old. Once you correspond with Nikon and prove to them you have oil spots they agree to clean it for free but only during the warranty period.  They even paid for shipping. Here is the problem I have with that.  I had Nikon clean my sensor. It took me two weeks to get it back. I took three photographs and then noticed I have another four oil spots on the sensor.  Not sure if this is a good analogy but to me as a photographer it's like having to get your oil changed in your car every weekend but it takes the garage two weeks to do it.  Sure it's all under warranty but I want to be able to use my camera, not keep sending it to Nikon to have the sensor cleaned. I have read that possibly after the first year or around 7,000 photographs the mirror mechanism doesn't splatter as much oil or stops completely.  I'll have to let you know if that is true or not in a later post.  At some point I would like to have Nikon acknowledge the problem but that has been fruitless so far. My camera is my life and this really hurts so I have decided to do my own sensor cleaning. Watch for my next blog entry and I'll let you know how it's going.