D3 flashing Err message today, any advice welcome!

Started Dec 4, 2011 | Discussions thread
Marianne Oelund Veteran Member • Posts: 6,699
Shutter recock failure: Not necessarily a shutter failure

antonoat wrote:

My D3 seems to have died today!

Have constant flashing Err message on top plate.

It will still allow the shutter to fire but just a blank black image is the result.

Not sure if it's my imagination but the shutter does appear to sound slightly different, quieter!

What's happening is that when the camera tries to re-cock the shutter after the exposure, the shutter isn't latching into position and it returns to its "tripped" position. My first D3 started doing this intermittently after 487,000 frames. There is a sense switch which tells the camera when the shutter is in correct position to trip, and that's how the body detects the problem.

Replacing the shutter didn't fix the problem (it seemed to at first, but the problem returned within about 15,000 frames). Replacing the aperture control assembly did the trick. That assembly includes mechanical linkages which are part of the overall re-cock mechanics. The re-cock motor itself is yet another assembly, but I've never had to replace one of those.

If you'd like any photos of the assemblies, I still have all of the old parts from my D3.

You may save yourself quite a bit of labor cost by going ahead with replacing all of the mirror-box mechanicals in one trip. That's the shutter, aperture control assembly, L-plate assembly (left wall and bottom of mirror box) and reflex mirror assembly. The mirror and L-plate assemblies have fragile pinions which wear out and eventually compromise AF. I now have a policy of doing such a complete rebuild on any high-use cameras which are starting to show wear symptoms. In the end, it saves both money and time (not to mention aggravation). The extra parts are cheaper than the labor for a second tear-down of the camera.

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