Until a couple of days ago, there was no problem, but now my images have a dark band at the top of them. What could be the reason?

See an example below

Is there anything I can do, or does the camera need to be repaired?

My camera is Nikon D5100. I bought it 3 years ago, so the warranty period is over.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just this once, or all of your photos since a certain point? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 28, 2014 at 1:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ All photos (from today) showing this :( \$\endgroup\$
    – Biju
    Sep 28, 2014 at 1:42
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ looks like your shutter blinds (or your mirror) are still in the way when the sensor data is being accumulated. \$\endgroup\$
    – db9dreamer
    Sep 28, 2014 at 2:42
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, then it is likely the shutter. It will need servicing. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 28, 2014 at 9:17
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ If you can take a picture without the lens, and in bulb mode (or long exposure time), you could watch if the mirror flips up all the way, and if the shutter reveals all of the sensor. (Do this where there is as little dust as possible, and out of direct sunlight.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Guffa
    Sep 28, 2014 at 13:05

2 Answers 2


The mirror is interposed between the viewfinder and the sensor. The shutter is interposed between the mirror and the sensor. The mirror throws the image into the viewfinder, bypassing the sensor, so if you have a clear viewfinder image but live view (or an actual photo) shows a dark band, this suggests the problem is a sticky shutter. You will need to have it serviced.


Yes. The shutter is jamming, i.e. not opening/closing fully.

It "probably" will need servicing.

I had this happen recently on holiday, after I dropped it. The shutter went out of alignment, Which I could see with the lens removed.

But with the help of a table knife, and gentle pushing, I was able to free it. It seems to be OK since, but TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK. I was lucky.


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