I want to ask about my Nikon D90

I was encountering a light leak or something like it. I'm not really sure what it is. This is a sample picture:

enter image description here

Here's another one:

enter image description here

All of my photos are now like that. There is a white thing at the top or a leak... I don't know how to fix it. In 1 year of use, I've never seen anything like it on my DSLR. When I cover the camera the whites thing are gone. I tried putting a finger covering some lights; this lessens the leak.

The leak only shows on photos taken, or the shutter pumped. The leak does not show in video or live view, nor the in the viewfinder.


  • It's a Nikon D90.
  • I tried different lenses. Nothing happened.

  • I tried to reset the camera.

  • I tried Sensor Cleaning.

  • I tried to clean it.

  • I'm still asking the community before going to the fixer.

  • When I cover the camera the leak is gone. So I think it is a light leak.

If it is a light leak, what can I do to fix it? It is not just happening on a single photo or a certain event. I don't know what happened, it just became like that.

Tell me what's happening. Feel free to ask more questions.

ADD: Hi ! Thank you for all of the Replies. i just wanna add that there is no Leak when the Flash is ON.

This is the Image with the Flash ON:

enter image description here

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you please take an image of a dark grey wall and post the picture? It'll make the problem clearer to see. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2018 at 14:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, and welcome to photo.se :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2018 at 14:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with you that it appears to be caused by light; but, not a leak so much as flare during the exposure. As Caleb pointed out, the problem occurs when the shutter is used not when the shutter is not. The striations in the streak suggest that it is the trailing polished edge of the mirror causing the issue as it repositions itself. Not a do-it-yourself fix. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Stan your comment really should be an answer. Please put your answers in the answers section, even if they're short \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Apr 6, 2018 at 2:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Whatever it is, the cat seems to be able to see it. \$\endgroup\$
    – JPhi1618
    Apr 6, 2018 at 13:36

4 Answers 4


tell me whats happening

Considering that the White Thing seems to affect an entire band at the top of the image, I don't think it's a light leak. A leak that happened to shine evenly across the entire width of the sensor would be hard to explain.

Instead, it looks like the shutter is getting a little bit stuck near the end of its travel across the sensor. Remember that the image is inverted on the sensor, so the objects near the top of the scene end up at the bottom of the sensor. The opening in the shutter travels from the top edge of the sensor to its bottom edge, and it looks like it slows down a bit near the bottom, causing a slightly longer exposure in that region.

It might be that there's just some dirt in the mechanism that's impeding the shutter at that point, or it might be that the shutter mechanism is starting to wear out and may need to be replaced. Either way, this isn't a repair that you can probably do yourself -- send it in for service.

Update: If the problem goes away when you use the flash, that's consistent with the sticky shutter hypothesis. Light from the flash is obviously very bright, with a very short duration. You use the flash when there's not enough ambient light to get a good exposure. So, when you use the flash, almost all of the exposure happens in the few milliseconds when the flash fires. The shutter still sticks, but the extra exposure that happens at that point makes very little difference because the exposure is determined mainly by the much brighter flash.

Just looking at the shutter won't necessarily tell you anything. The shutter curtains themselves may be in perfect shape; the problem seems to be that something is slowing the second curtain down as it comes to the end of its travel.

  • \$\begingroup\$ i tried looking at the Blades , or Curtains whatever it is Called. the thing is pretty much fine. the Leak is Gone when i take the Photo With Flash. but if it is really the Shutter. ill get a new one if the price is not worth it to be fixed. \$\endgroup\$
    – makuseon
    Apr 27, 2018 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ still. i dont really use Flashes on my Photos. so i Still need what you think about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – makuseon
    Apr 27, 2018 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @makuseon Check my update above. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Apr 27, 2018 at 17:37

You don't have a light leak in your camera body.

Your examples demonstrate the classic symptom of a slow second shutter curtain.

Your second shutter curtain is sticking at the end of it's transit across the sensor.

The fix may require only a bit of cleaning and lubrication, or it may require a new shutter assembly. Unfortunately, a shutter replacement will almost certainly cost more than a D90 is currently worth.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it is really the shutter. but for additional info , i Tried shooting it on different subjects. i took a closer Look then i Saw this Ghosting Motion on the Subject. or its like a Double motion or Something. and its connected to the Light btw. i Cant send a Sample Pic here on the Comment. so its kinda hard to explain \$\endgroup\$
    – makuseon
    Apr 27, 2018 at 15:23

A couple of "debugging" suggestions.

  1. Do you have a second lens? Try mounting that and taking photos. Did the light defect go away?
  2. Can you see the defect in live view?
  3. If it's possible to take a shot with the body cap on without damage (someone please confirm this), perhaps put the body cap on, tape the viewfinder, go into a darkened room, shine a light in various area in the front while taking a shot. Try shining the light at where the lens and body meets.
  4. In the darkened room, shine a light into the viewfinder and take a shot. Did the defect get worse?

If a different lens works fine, then it's probably the lens. The others are meant to help you get more information on where this problem might come from.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The OP specifically mentions using other lenses. \$\endgroup\$
    – Davidw
    Apr 6, 2018 at 6:29
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ points at self derp \$\endgroup\$
    – Calyth
    Apr 6, 2018 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tried with Different Lenses. Not in the Live View The Defect looks like stays in the Same spot. even i take a Vertical Shot. the defect will go to the Bottom. like there is something wrong with the top of the mirror .. IDK \$\endgroup\$
    – makuseon
    Apr 27, 2018 at 15:30

This looks like a faulty shutter to me.

Remove the lens and look behind the reflex mirror. The shutter should consist of a set of curtains which cover the sensor. They should be straight from left to right. If any of these curtains are damaged or out of place, you'll need to get your camera serviced. (Nikon service would probably just replace the shutter assembly, which probably isn't worth the cost.)

I'm pretty sure your camera body does not have a light leak. The Sony A7R had a design flaw causing light leaks and it did not look like a horizontal streak.

  • \$\begingroup\$ the Curtains looks fine. its covering the mirror behind it. for Additional info. the Leak is Gone when the Flash is ON. ( See the additional image on the Top ) \$\endgroup\$
    – makuseon
    Apr 27, 2018 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ still. i dont really use Flashes on my Photos. so i Still need what you think about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – makuseon
    Apr 27, 2018 at 15:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.