Dust extraction function for Nikon cameras

If you don’t have the right tools to clean the matrix of the Nikon camera from dust, you can use one interesting feature that can seriously reduce photo artifacts due to dust and dirt on the matrix.

Removing artifacts from dust and dirt on the camera sensor with interchangeable lenses.

Removing artifacts from dust and dirt on the camera sensor with interchangeable lenses.

Sooner or later, owners of interchangeable lens cameras will have to deal with contamination of the camera matrix. The best way to get rid of dust and dirt on an infrared filter of modern SLR cameras is to use special cleaning, but such cleaning can be quite expensive, and cleaning the camera’s matrix yourself may not be so easy. Because u CZK Nikon there is a special function in the camera menu called 'Sample image for dust removal'. This function should not be confused with the die cleaning function.

The essence of this function is very simple - a test shot is taken, with the help of which the camera determines the positions of the contaminant particles on the matrix, and then, using this test shot, a special program tries to correct the desired picture automatically. Everything modern CZK Nikon have such a function. To use it, you need to take a picture of a white object (sheet of paper) from a distance of 10 cm with the lens focusing at infinity and the maximum number of F. It is better to use the minimum allowed ISO. During such a test shot, the information panel will display the inscription 'rEF', the camera itself will focus to infinity, it is better to use a long-focus lens to identify dust and dirt on the matrix as clearly as possible.

Due to the frequent change of the lens, I was not particularly lucky with the dust

Due to the frequent change of the lens, I was not particularly lucky with the dust on the matrix

Sometimes you really do not know when the problem of a dirty matrix can overtake. For example, recently I took several hundred shots on vacation in a couple of days, most of which were made with a covered diaphragm, which is why not the most pleasant artifacts showed up because of the dust on the matrix.

Here is a step-by-step instruction for batch cleaning images from the effects of dust and dirt for Nikon CZK:

  1. When shooting set RAW image recording formatotherwise, the dust removal function will not work. On a RAW memory card, Nikon camera files are in '.NEF' format. NEF and RAW are the same thing for Nikon cameras.
  2. Before or after shooting shoot a white object using the 'Sample Dust Removal' function at maximum focal length, maximum F-number, minimum ISO. How to do this is described in detail in the instructions for the camera, or in the camera menu when you press the 'question mark' button while being in the 'Sample shot for dust removal' function menu. I'm taking a test shot in aperture priority mode. After a successful test snapshot, a '.NDF' file will be created. If the test shot fails the first time, the camera will ask you to take it again. This is something similar to the manual installation method white balance on a white sheet.
  3. After shooting copy all RAW files to one folder.
  4. Create anywhere a folder where the 'cleaned up' photos will be placed. For example, I created a folder called 'Test' on my desktop.
  5. Open the dirty RAW files folder with Capture NX.
  6. Select any file and correct it with the .NDF file, as shown below.

    Adjustment in Capture NX 2

    Adjustment in Capture NX 2

  7. Save Adjustment Settingsas shown below. It turns out something like a press or a mini plug-in for quickly applying corrections to any photo.

    Saving settings

    Saving settings

  8. Зto start batch processing (Run Batch Process) images using the saved setting. In batch processing, you need to specify a folder with RAW files that need to be cleaned. And a number of additional features to your liking.

    Set up batch processing

    Set up batch processing

  9. Wait for the cleaning to complete. The process itself looks as shown below.
It looks like batch processing

This is what batch processing looks like. For 1000 files from the camera Nikon D40 my 4-core computer worked for about 8 hours.

The disadvantage Such a method of 'cleaning' photos are:

  1. A prerequisite for shooting in RAW format. If you shoot in JPEG, TIFF, then automatic correction will not work.
  2. Mandatory availability of additional software Capture NX. Capture NX costs decent money, for example, Capture NX 2 will have to buy for almost $ 200 - see for yourself. If conscience allows, then you can download anywhere hacked version of the program :)
  3. Function badly copes with heavy pollution, anyway, some artifacts from dust and dirt remain, especially when the pollution is strong enough.
  4. To remove dust, you need to understand both the camera itself and the program. To export cleaned photos requires a powerful computer. The process itself takes a very, very long timeespecially if you need to 'clean up' a couple of hundred photos.
Remaining stains after treatment with this method

Remaining stains after treatment with this method

I believe that for serious work this method of combating dust is unacceptable, it’s much more efficient to manually clean the matrix sensor, for example, like this, or use manual correction of artifacts in more advanced programs. Nevertheless, sometimes such a function copes quite well with the task.


One can automatically clean photos with artifacts from dust on the matrix using a special feature on Nikon cameras. If someone used such a thing, please unsubscribe in the comments.

Do not forget to press the buttons social networks ↓ - it is important for me. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

Add a comment:



Comments: 31, on the topic: Dust removal function for Nikon cameras

  • Alexey

    Damn, every time I go here and am surprised at how little I know about my camera! But the most useful thing, I’ll download the caption nks)

    • Ivan

      You just have to carefully read the instructions, the camera is not a vacuum cleaner :)

      • Dmitriy

        Another one! :)

  • Levani

    useful article)

  • Dimitry

    If conditions allow, then first, before changing the lens, I brush off dust from the area around the lens mount with a brush and blow it off with a pear. I change the lens by orienting the carcass with a bayonet down. Dust is gradually falling, but so far bearable. I used automated dust removal in kapchura, but I mainly show RAW in lightroom or in Capture One Pro. C for the fight against dust there is also a very powerful toolbox.

  • Tandem_K

    And maybe add the phrase “in manual focus mode”? Because in “auto focus” and “focus priority” modes, the camera will not let you take a picture.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I take a picture in any mode. The camera takes the lens to infinity itself and releases the shutter.

      • Tandem_K

        Sorry, I'm taking my words back.
        The motto of the advanced user: If something doesn't work out, then you need to read the manual ...

  • Nicholas

    Arkady, are not afraid to give links to pirated software? We don’t need your problems :-)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This software is not on Radozhiva.

  • MaX

    Good afternoon. The problem is very relevant, at least for me. I did not understand a bit, I want to clarify. With the maximum aperture or closed, are test shots taken?
    "From a distance of 10 cm with the lens focusing at infinity and the maximum closed aperture"
    "At maximum focal length, minimum aperture, minimum ISO."

    • Arkady Shapoval


  • Alexey

    I read your article and once again made sure that you shouldn't buy a digital camera ... ... ...

  • Oleg

    Hello. Yesterday, while cleaning the matrix, I accidentally scratched the matte focusing screen. When focusing through the viewfinder, this scratch is very annoying. How can it be? Is it possible to replace it in the service? Is it possible to replace it with any difficulties and troubles for the camera itself? Tell me somebody, please, or else I was going to carry the camera to the service and would like to know what I’m getting ready for. There’s no camera for another year.

  • Anatoly

    The problem of dust on the camera’s inf.filter is primarily a problem for the photographer to understand what, where and how to do things when changing glasses in the camera.
    Many people do not at all represent the very essence of our environment, therefore the lens change occurs in most cases without thinking about elementary concepts where, how and why this dust can be and how and under what actions, it is dust, can get into the camera.
    Blowing with a pear around the lens seat before changing the lens, tilting down the camera itself, slowly removing and setting the lens itself. Proper blowing of the back of the lens with a bulb before installing it on the camera. Do not talk when the camera without a lens and the rear lens of the lens are turned up, microparticles of saliva from your mouth fly like rain while settling on the matrix and this is no longer dust and requires only wet cleaning. Elementary and simple rules will extend the cleaning of the matrix for many months.

    Methods of cleaning are effective in 99% of cases: it is a vacuum cleaner, car, for extracting and blowing the filter with inert gas or a blower as a last resort, only under certain conditions.
    These conditions exist only in a birch grove, when calm weather or in a swampy forest, preferably after rain, you can blow there on a matrix pre-ventilated by a pear, at least half a day, the dust on it will only decrease, take care of your clothes in advance. The biggest mistake when cleaning the matrix is ​​the use of a vacuum cleaner in the room, it passes through the filter and lifts a bunch of dust that is harmful to the matrix into the air, which again enters the camera body and settles on the matrix filter.
    Good luck to everyone.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Soviet vacuum cleaners could be used in both directions, now they sell a 400r electric pump for mattresses, etc., it’s good to blow them.

    • Anatoly

      Blow into the pipe. and sleep on the mattress.

      The vacuum cleaner has long been used to clean dust from matrices and is used for extracting in order to create rarefaction of air inside the camera, naturally into it, air from the environment is drawn in, clean after rain, and in the cycle of air swirls the sensor and the inside the camera from accumulated dust.
      And only after such cleaning, wet cleaning of the sensor will give a positive temporary result.
      The dust that settles on the matrix is ​​of two types, it is the dust that came from the external environment and the dust formed due to wear of the mechanics of the camera itself.
      Yes, here's a respected Photographer, if you accumulate dust in the right way, when you suck the wet sensor from the inside of the camera, it will look like a temporary marafet.

  • Dmitriy

    Good day. Thank you so much for all the articles you write, but I would like to say a special thank you for this: in your photo I saw such an expensive place for me. The photo was taken in Crimea Ai-Petri Mountain, in the photo the military unit of the radio engineering battalion with the same name of the mountain, under the white domes of the long-range / medium-range radar station. Most likely the photographer was driving his own car (there is a steep turn near the road). In the old days, I lived there for 5-6 years. If someone is looking for unusual photos, then the landscapes of the mountain Crimea fits perfectly!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, Ai-petri. We went up there from the Grand Canyon, on foot. I go to the Crimean mountains twice a year.

  • Dmitriy

    That damn thing is so similar to Anapa with Utrish!

    • Jury

      Help! Installed? a test snapshot of the sheet is done. If you open the file separately and specify a test snapshot, it removes the stain. When the folder is run, the whole sun goes away as there were all the spots in place

  • Alexander Malyaev

    Arkady, did you get dust in your viewfinder? Focusing screen or prism. And then a blurry speck of dust hangs in the viewfinder and confuses ... They write that it is extremely dangerous to clean and it is better to leave it as it is. But suddenly you will have to sell the carcass, and this speck of dust will stand sideways ...

  • sasha

    Damn, and I had such a problem. Give someone advice on what to do? Maybe someone had to clean the viewfinder.

  • Evavista

    Arkady, can you tell me: for some reason my ndf files are not digested by Nikon utilities. Those. I have two versions of NX-D and NX2 and both files are not found in the folder :( In search of an answer to a question, I came across your article.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I do not know what to answer.

  • Victor

    Guys, how to determine the dust on the matrix or on the lens?

    • Bato

      Change the lens.
      If the dust is there, it means on the matrix.
      If not or in other places, it means on the lens.

  • Eugene

    Please advise that it’s better to leave the function of automatic matrix cleaning on / off, turn it off, or select other functions. They write that the function affects the quality of the pictures. ???

    • Michael

      It does not affect the quality.

  • Eugene

    Thank you!

  • Sergiy

    This is such an important statute and so old. Capture NX has been around for a long time. Protest, the great drank is not very good. Virnishe, I haven’t seen you. From contagion sidzhu, I think - to clean the matrix itself, see the specialists. I’ll try it myself sooner.

Add a comment

Copyright © Radojuva.com. Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2022

English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2013/05/nikon-dust-remove-oceanborn/

Version en español de este artículo https://radojuva.com/es/2013/05/nikon-dust-remove-oceanborn/