Experience report: The oil spot issue - sending in a D600 to Nikon Service for shutter replacement

Thanks to a widely reported problem with oil spots repeatedly making their way onto the sensors of many D600 cameras, Nikon finally relented to pressure and has been offering a free replacement of faulty shutter mechanisms to all D600 owners (click here to read the official service advisory).

I've been a D600 user for a couple years now and have been wanting to send my camera in to get serviced, but unfortunately being my only camera body, I couldn't afford to pull it of of service for a week or more in order to get it fixed. I did observe the problem with oil spots as many have, even if they only showed up when I shot at tight apertures above F9. Despite repeated cleanings, the spots always came back and managed to be a continued annoyance (see below).

Nikon D600 sensor oil spots

Sensor oil spots often show up in landscapes, especially in areas of light colored sky

Since I recently added a new D750 to my kit for the holidays, it was finally time to send in the D600 to Nikon and get the problem fixed once and for all. Here's my report:

Nikon offers free shipping for your problem D600 to and from the service center and you can just print out a label at the above advisory link with the correct info and address. Since I live in Los Angeles and there's a Nikon Service center in town, I decided to take the camera there in person rather than dealing with shipping delays.

Nikon service center in Los Angeles

Nikon Service Center near Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles

I dropped the camera off on December 23rd just before Christmas. The Nikon service center in LA is not big but the guy at the desk was super helpful and friendly, taking all the info needed and sending me off with a receipt and a promise to call when it was ready. Note that no warranty card is needed, Nikon is offering the free service regardless of warranty status.

Nikon service center in Los Angeles

Inside the Nikon Service Center

Even though I brought the camera in just before Christmas, it only took 10 days to complete the work

Since it was the Christmas/New Year holidays I didn't expect a rapid turnaround but nonetheless the camera was ready to pickup on January 2rd, only 10 days later.

D600 shutter replacement

Getting the camera back

D600 shutter replacement

The camera was neatly packed in plastic wrap along with a list of work performed:

  • replace shutter assembly
  • checked auto focus operation
  • checked bayonet mount
  • checked mirror box
  • checked shutter release
  • clean image sensor
  • firmware upgrade
  • general check and clean

Note that even though they install a new shutter assembly, they don't reset the number of camera actuations back to zero, so your camera will still list the same number of shutter clicks as before, even though the shutter assembly is completely new and effectively has zero clicks.

Total time to complete repair: 10 days. Total cost $0.0. Thanks Nikon!


Nikon announces free service and shutter replacement for D600 cameras

NIkon has finally responded to the ongoing D600 sensor spot issue by releasing an official service advisory and offering a free shutter replacement to owners of D600 cameras:

Nikon is making available to all owners of D600 cameras (even if Nikon’s product warranty has expired) this customer-service measure, which includes the inspection, cleaning and replacement of the shutter assembly and related parts of your camera, FREE OF CHARGE as well as the cost of shipping D600 cameras to Nikon and their return to customers. Once again, please understand that regardless of this service, your D600 camera as is the case with all D-SLR cameras, will continue to require normal periodic sensor cleanings.

Click here to read the service advisory and learn how to send your D600 into Nikon's service center for free servicing


Nikon D600 Hands-On Field Test

The Camera Store's Chris Niccolls checks out Nikon's latest full-frame, the D600