D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
bydavidrosen
New MemberPosts: 5
Like?
D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
6 months ago

So I was out doing an outdoor photoshoot the other day. Light was fine. Taking some great pictures of a model. Using a D800 with a 28-75 f2.8 Tamron lens.

I'd shoot 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 great shots in a row, and totally randomly, exact same location, exact same lighting conditions, using my camera in the exact same way, it would just completely refuse to focus and/or take a picture. I tried turning away from my subject and focusing on something else but nothing.

I shut the camera off, disconnected and reconnected the lens, and we're back in business shooting again for again it could be 1 or 2 or 5 or 20 or whatever more perfect shots before it stops working again. It happened like probably 10 times before we decided to call it a day (we were towards the end of the shoot anyway). Probably 2 or 3 of those times it didn't work after turning off and disconnecting the lens, but disconnecting/reconnecting a 2nd time got it working again.

So my question is... Any ideas what's going on here? I'm shooting in manual and I know how to use my camera... But I can't seem to figure out what could be happening. I suppose it could have to do with the camera OR the lens... But I'm not sure which. Any suggestions?

Thanks

Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
coronawithlime
Senior MemberPosts: 1,963Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
In reply to bydavidrosen, 6 months ago

I can't tell you what's wrong, but I have a troubleshooting routine I use myself that more often than not works for me. Generally, I discover that it's pilot error

1) Two button reset. Wouldn't hurt to reset all the other settings to default either. Don't change ANY settings before retesting.

2) Depending on the nature of the problem, I MAY try some shots WITHOUT a memory card.

3) Try a DIFFERENT, preferably brand new from a REPUTABLE (no eBay, because of counterfeits) seller, FAST memory card.

4) Thoroughly and properly clean both the lens electrical contacts and the body electrical contacts.

5) Try a different, late model, NIKON PRIME lens. Try both focus and release priority.

6) Have a friend try it in case I've got a momentary brain **** and doing something stupid.

Usually it's me, not the camera.

-- hide signature --

http://www.nightstreets.com
-
One day long ago, a sorcerer and a warrior did battle, as such things were commonplace in that age. Sometimes the sorcerer won, and the sum value of human abilities was improved some trifling amount. Sometimes the warrior won, and again the human race improved by some insignificant amount, for a sorcerer who can't defeat one miserable warrior is a poor sorcerer indeed.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
chrisd107
Regular MemberPosts: 498Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
In reply to bydavidrosen, 6 months ago

Try a different lens, that would be my first step. Do you also get an 'ERR' on the display?

Chrisp
Even a broken clock is right twice a day!

 chrisd107's gear list:chrisd107's gear list
Nikon D610 Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bydavidrosen
New MemberPosts: 5
Like?
Re: D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
In reply to chrisd107, 6 months ago

Thanks for the responses so far. Definitely first thing I'm gonna try is cleaning the connectors before the next time I test it out.

I have a couple Nikon lenses and 3 different SD cards I can test out too (I switch between all this stuff regularly), but what would that tell me exactly? That the Tamron lens is defective or something? It's one of my favorite lenses to shoot with and if there's something wrong with it I'd love to find out for certain. Also what if I go back and try again a different day and the problem isn't happening at all... same lens... Would I chalk it up as just some weird coincidence thing or is there still something I could check for (aside from cleaning the connectors which is more of like an actual "THING" that could be wrong that I could fix).

Thanks

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mlewan
Senior MemberPosts: 1,137Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
In reply to bydavidrosen, 6 months ago

Try a different lens on the camera. Try the lens on a different camera. Switch on and off and remove batteries.

I had a scare like that once with my 70-200mm. Switched on and off, removed and reattached. And tried the lens on a different camera. Then suddenly everything worked fine. Never had a problem since. The technical term is "magic".

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
coronawithlime
Senior MemberPosts: 1,963Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
In reply to bydavidrosen, 6 months ago

bydavidrosen wrote:

I have a couple Nikon lenses and 3 different SD cards I can test out too (I switch between all this stuff regularly), but what would that tell me exactly?

Well, if you do the checks in more or less the order listed, it's possible that you may progressively rule out potential sources of trouble, one at a time. If nothing else it's good to know what ISN'T a problem.  I am assuming you are not filling up the buffer shooting and experiencing a difficulty there.  If it's still trying to save to the card (green light is on), because the card's slow, bad, the buffer is full, or the stars are not in proper alignment the camera may freeze.

Once you eliminate any camera problems that could be solved by a reset, move to the memory cards.

I suggest that you positively eliminate the memory cards as an issue. Memory cards are a frequent source of problems. There are large numbers of counterfeit memory cards out there, and my personal experience with them is that they can appear to operate normally initially, then begin to have odd problems. They may also operate correctly in one camera and not another. Legitimate cards can also just fail. I have no explanation for this, just a personal observation from a very limited sample.

If you just keep on testing with the same memory cards, then you have not eliminated them as a potential problem area, even if they work fine under other conditions.

If you make more than one change at a time, you will not be able to identify which was the source of the problem.

If the problem does not persist after the testing, then you may assume that somewhere along the line you took some action that accidentally fixed it or that you have inadvertently exorcised a poltergeist from your CPU.    Weird stuff sometimes happens.

Also, as I mentioned, most of the problems I experience personally are pilot error

-- hide signature --

--

http://www.nightstreets.com
-
One day long ago, a sorcerer and a warrior did battle, as such things were commonplace in that age. Sometimes the sorcerer won, and the sum value of human abilities was improved some trifling amount. Sometimes the warrior won, and again the human race improved by some insignificant amount, for a sorcerer who can't defeat one miserable warrior is a poor sorcerer indeed.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
hikerdoc
Regular MemberPosts: 355Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
In reply to bydavidrosen, 6 months ago

Could lens firmware/camera firmware communication be an issue as this lens did exist well before the D800? I think it was Sigma had recent difficulties with lens firmware with some of the newer Nikons.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Simone S
Regular MemberPosts: 157Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
In reply to bydavidrosen, 6 months ago

..could also relate to this problem: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53042134

 Simone S's gear list:Simone S's gear list
Sony RX1 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Carsten Pauer 2
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,080
Like?
Re: D800 Kept randomly refusing to focus & shoot the other day...
In reply to bydavidrosen, 6 months ago

Any suggestions?

Possible a HF problem on this Place.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads