Westminster fountain at sunset

by Jorge Córdoba

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After shooting for about a month with my new D7100 I discovered some dust in the viewfinder / focusing screen or the prism area.

The dust is not visible in the images and it does not have any effect on image quality because the dust is not located on the sensor. It's only visible when looking carefully into the viewfinder and you can see a few tiny black spots on the edges of the viewfinder screen. On the Internet this particular issue seems to be quite common.

Is this a normal thing and something I have to get used to when shooting with my D7100?

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It's not specific to nikon. This can happen in any DSLR. Anyone who uses their camera for more than a few months whilst swapping lenses will have this problem. It's just dust in the view finder mirror system. –  Good Gravy May 9 '13 at 18:45
    
Got my D7100 today, I too have a tiny black speck next to the centre focus point. Done all the eliminations and it seems to be inside the view finder. The speck doesn't appear in photos. Seems Nikon aren't manufacturing these in a clean area! Never had the problem with my old Canon or Nikon D90. If anymore bits of crud appear, I'll send it back. –  user20284 Jun 4 '13 at 16:22

2 Answers 2

Yes completely normal and nothing to worry about.

As you are aware all SLR / DSLR cameras have a prism / mirror / eyepiece, which can collect dust just as easily as any other part of your camera.

I can only assume that you do not keep your D7100 in a particularly sanitary conditions - as my D70, D300 and D800 have never suffered with viewfinder dust to a noticeable degree, I am not a clean-freak, but I always keep my camera body free of dust and in a closed camera bag.

The only thing that I would really worry about is the fact that there is now dust INSIDE your camera body, and if it continues to get in at the same rate, it will soon find its way to the sensor, which is where it will start to cause image quality issues.

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I've had that problem on my 400d. If the spots do not show up if you photograph a white wall with at F22, you have dust on either the focus screen or the viewfinder glass. First clean the glass and see if the spots are gone. Then check if your camera has a interchangeable focus screen. Then you can take it out to clean it. I believe yours does not, so you need to dust blow it (with a bulb blower) to see if you get lucky and blow the dust away.

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