Thursday, September 26, 2013

Comparison of dust and oil spots, D7000

Some cool change background image images:

Comparison of dust and oil spots, D7000
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Image by imaginedhorizons
I briefly owned a Nikon D7000 but found large spots appearing on my images. I discovered that oil was being flicked on to the sensor when the shutter fired.

A small number of D7000 users have had similar problems and have lengthy sagas to relate about the trouble getting the problem fixed.

The problem is disbelief at Nikon service centres and equal disbelief (often delivered in an ill-mannered fashion) by Nikon fans online. Nothing is perfect and a few misbehaving D7000s may not turn out to be a big issue, but the way the owners of these cameras are treated most certainly is. It is ungracious for them to be accused of negligent use, allegedly resulting in dust contamination, when they are innocent victims.

I thought that this pair of images might better illustrate the difference between dust on a sensor and oil spots. The images were taken at similar apertures, f8 at the top and f6.3 at the bottom.

The top image was taken with a Pentax K10. It was about three years old when the shot was taken and had 40,000 shutter actuations, numerous lens changes and considerable mucky field use. The sensor has never been wet-cleaned (actually never cleaned at all except the occasional puff of air). A few small dark spots can be seen (two are arrowed) and smaller ones do show at higher apertures. They appear anywhere on the image.

The bottom image was taken by a four week old Nikon D7000 which had about 800 shutter actuations. The camera had the same lens attached over the four week period so absolutely zero lens changes. The spots are larger, rounded and predominantly appear at the bottom right (i.e. there's a bias to where they appear, not randomly like dust). I have arrowed a few but you may well see some others that form a stream of splashes running diagonally up and right. A real challenge to 'Photoshop' out due to their size. Also, bear in mind that the image was taken at f6.3 so avoiding high apertures is not going to work. Yet this hardly credible suggestion has been posted in the forums. What is the point of having aperture rings on lenses if we're told to not go beyond f5.6 or something?

I am aware that the bottom image may appear dim on some monitors (I edited the image on a Mac with a bright screen) but hopefully the spots will show up. Click on it to get a view against a dark background.

Copying this image? Please do and show to anyone you like, especially service technicians. They keep saying that haven't seen this before...repeatedly.

I hope this settles the argument but I am not counting on it (actually, by spring 2012 it seems that the problem is now widely acknowleged; it seems only Nikon has never openly written about it). Intelligent feedback welcome; unhelpful remarks may be deleted.

How to improve contrast
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Image by ClaraDon
Here is a cool little trick for you Photoshoppers that I happened across. When you have photos that need more contrast, be they people, flowers, or whatever, here is a simple fix.
Make a duplicate copy of your background. Go to Image, Adjust and De-Saturate the copy. Now change the blending mode of the copy from Normal to Soft Light. And you are done.
Normally that is all it takes and I've used this many times. On this particular photo, as you can see by the leaves the whole photo darkens a bit so I lost that pretty yellow color on the stem. Not a problem I just used the eraser tool with a soft brush on the copy and got it back.

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Image by mrbill78636
... the background music is from The Tex-Czechs album of Paul & Lina Hybner. Paul and Lina were the musical entertainment for Michele's birthday party and agreed to let me use their music as background for my slide-shows. Here's the link to their website ...

... They have one polka on this album dedicated to their dog, PeeGee or as he has now come to be called The Peege and we're planning a best canine friend and family slide show in the future. If you would like to include your loyal friend, send me a JPEG and I'll be sure and include him or her.

...this is just another Dada, nonsense, fun and hopefully entertaining slide show with some art work I'm inviting you to view and have whatever feelings you are programed to have about it. Art is about you and no one else. In art, nothing is right or wrong, good or bad; there are simply differences. Just the simple juxtaposition of looking up at someone or looking down on them, which is even a part of our language, makes the other person different and that's the way it is with art, so no titles, no narratives, just images with background music. I could change the music to one of Lina's ballads and it would change the perception of the images. Your job in this is simply to respond, which could be anything from a "play it again" to a prompt "delete" and whatever you do is not mean or kind, good or bad, it's just the way it is. It's a lot like "no-fault" insurance.

...even the name has no meaning, of course the butterfly is a bug, we knew that.