Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

Started Jan 10, 2008 | Discussions
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
gollywop
gollywop Veteran Member • Posts: 7,999
Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

A number of people have reported that their D300s inexplicably shut down and give a low-battery indication -- even when the battery is well charged. Some indicate this only happens with a particular lens, others under more general circumstances.

I too have had this problem. It typically occurs shortly after I've turned on the camera after a decent rest period, done a shot or two, and made some adjustment to the zoom (usually zooming in). All of a sudden, there is nothing: a blank screen, no response to a half push on the shutter button, just a low-battery indication. Usually things come right again if one toggles the camera off and on or even if one fiddles with the lens.

I think I am now ready to report a solution to this problem. My suspicions were strongly directed toward the lens contacts (a solution that has been suggested by others) since the problem often occurred right after zooming in with my 18-200 VR. So I crossed disciplines from my ham radio side. There is a product called DeOxIt, a contact cleaner that is very well known and respected in the electronics area. It is a thin red fluid made by Caig Laboratories, found on the web at http://www.deoxit.com/ that is lightly swabbed on electrical contacts to clean them, deoxidize them, and prevent oxidation from recurring. The stuff works fantastically well.

When you remove the lens from the D300, you will see a row of silver ball-bearing like contacts on the lens cylinder just where it goes into the camera. And you will see a number of metal pads just inside the lens mount. The balls are suppose to contact the pads when the lens is in place to provide the electrical connections needed for the communication between camera and lens, but these contacts can clearly get dirty or oxidized so that the connections become problematic. I've heard people suggest scraping these contacts to clean them -- but this is NOT a good idea. Not only can it eventually ruin the surface of the contacts, it can also risk introducing metal flecks into places they shouldn't be.

DeoxIt is applied with a Q-tip like swab (but don't use Q-Tips), so you can control exactly where the fluid is going (and not going). A very little bit of Deoxit goes a long, long way. You only want to apply a thin coating -- both to the balls and to the pads. It doesn't hurt if some gets on the immediately neighboring plastic or metal, but you should be able to keep it well contained. Let it sit for a minute or two and then use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe away any resdiual.

I have used this stuff on dozens (hundreds) of electrical contacts, and it is really good. I used it on my D300 and 18-200 several days ago and have had no trouble since (whereas the problem had started to occur just about every time I picked the camera up after any extended period of rest).

DeoxIt is also superb to apply to battery connections, both on the battery and in the camera. Done once, you will never have troubles with that battery again on account of bad connections. People often advise using a pencil eraser to clean the contacts. This is a short-term and destructive solution and, once you've used Deoxit, totally unnecessary.

DeoxIt also comes in a spray bottle. I surely DO NOT recommend using a spray applicator in and around a camera. Get the liquid in a bottle. Unless you are big into electronics, a small bottle will last you forever.

DeoxIt also has companion products like DeoxIT Gold. You do not need these; just get a small bottle of plain DeoxIT. You can also get a kit from Caig that contains DeoxIT and appropriate applicators and lint-free wipes. I would recommend this. Applicators like Q-Tips will sop up and waste too much of this precious liquid, and they are too big and floppy when wet, making them somewhat clumsy to use for fine work.

Remember, a little bit goes a long way. Apply sparsely and gently, wait a short while, and wipe with a lint-free cloth. You can order it on-line from Caig at http://www.deoxit.com/ .

I should note that I have no connection whatsoever to Caig Laboratories or to Deoxit, except to know from my experience and that of many of my ham-radio friends, that the stuff is truly effective.

-- hide signature --

gollywop

-----------

Jim Fenton Veteran Member • Posts: 4,432
Thanks For The Heads Up

I've been havingf ongoing issues with focus simply dying using my 500 AFSII, both with a without TC's.

I found DeoxIT locally and will give it a go before shooting this weekend.
--
Jim Fenton
My Wildlife Images at:
http://www.pbase.com/soonipi1957

breivogel Senior Member • Posts: 1,847
I have used it too.

On the battery itself and the battery contacts inside the camera, which fixed the problem on a D200.

I do think that the battery contacts (on the battery itself) seem to get black deposits with time, probably from rubbing on the camera contact points. Only a good scrub with a pink eraser seem sto clean this off. As the metal appears to be non-plated, I don't think that the abrasion does any real harm. After this treatment, a swab with deoxit follows.

 breivogel's gear list:breivogel's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony RX100 III Nikon D300 Nikon D5100 +14 more
SoCalSteve Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

Thanks for the tip. Which kit do you recommend exactly: there's a needle kit, a squeeze tube with what looks like applicators, regular bottles, and an "emergency" kit?

-- hide signature --

Steve
D300 ~ 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G AF VR ~ 50 f/1.8D AF ~ Canon 500D ~ SB600
Lightroom/CS3/OnOne

gollywop
gollywop OP Veteran Member • Posts: 7,999
The cheapest way to get started

would be to get the small tube of DeoxIT and the Accessory Sampler Kit. On the Caig web site http://www.deoxit.com/ they are:

Small tube DeoxIT: part number D100L-2C, $4.95
Accessory Sampler Kit (swabs and wipes): part number K-AS10, $11.00

There are a number of other applicator formats, like needle applicators, pens, sprays, etc. I would not use these for this application. The most flexible means for applying is to squeeze a couple of drops on the end of a swab. The small tube listed above is small indeed, but this stuff goes a long, long way. It should last you a long time when used properly. The spray stuff, by the way, is very good for getting inside things like noisy volume controls that are otherwise inaccessible. But clearly sprays are to be avoided near cameras.

-- hide signature --

gollywop

-----------

SoCalSteve Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: The cheapest way to get started

Thanks! Trying to order but I need a minimum of $25, those two items are $15.95 total. Guess they don't want the business - crazy.
--
Steve
D300 ~ 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G AF VR ~ 50 f/1.8D AF ~ Canon 500D ~ SB600
Lightroom/CS3/OnOne

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 13,030
Re: Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

Doesn't Radio Shack has something equivalent like this?

I know I've seen this sort of thing elsewhere, but can't remember what the brand was or where it was sold! I've been looking for this info since I got my D300 and had a focusing issue the first day. (Never since repeated after I cleaned contacts carefully with an eraser).

 PHXAZCRAIG's gear list:PHXAZCRAIG's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D200 Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon 1 V1 +35 more
gollywop
gollywop OP Veteran Member • Posts: 7,999
Re: The cheapest way to get started

So order two of each, or get the much larger bottle, part number D100L-2, which is $34.95. Then you can leave some in your will. Be sure, however, to get a 100% solution. I believe they also have a bottle that appears to be cheaper, but it is only a 5% solution.

-- hide signature --

gollywop

-----------

gollywop
gollywop OP Veteran Member • Posts: 7,999
The Radio Shack item

is, I believe, only a spray duo of DeoxIT and DeoxIT Gold. Avoid.

-- hide signature --

gollywop

-----------

SoCalSteve Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: The cheapest way to get started

LOL - thanks...
--
Steve
D300 ~ 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G AF VR ~ 50 f/1.8D AF ~ Canon 500D ~ SB600
Lightroom/CS3/OnOne

engbert Senior Member • Posts: 2,578
Re: Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

Thanks for posting this. But the website has so many choices.

Please could you be more specific about what to buy?

For instance there is:

DeoxIT® D100L Squeeze Tube, 100% solution, 2 ml,

Would this be a good choice. Will it keep well after it has been opened?

A photographer might only use a drop a couple of times a year.

The there is:
DeoxIT®, #D100L-2DB

DeoxIT® D100L Brush Applicator, 100% solution, 7.4 ml,
(Applications = 500 + - brush strokes, 10mm long)

Part No. D100L-2DB. Would that make more sense, bearing in mind the minimum purchase?

-- hide signature --

http://www.pbase.com/bertramm
pbase & dpreview supporter

 engbert's gear list:engbert's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +5 more
engbert Senior Member • Posts: 2,578
Re: Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

engbert wrote:

Thanks for posting this. But the website has so many choices.

Please could you be more specific about what to buy?

There must be some crossover - notice my question has been answered above.
Thanks.

 engbert's gear list:engbert's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +5 more
gollywop
gollywop OP Veteran Member • Posts: 7,999
Update: It does indeed seem to work.

It's been a number of days now and the problem has not recurred. So the DeOxIT fix seems to have worked.

-- hide signature --

gollywop

-----------

shooter2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,281
skeptical

This has been happening to me with alarming regularity now. I am also getting irregular indoor flash exposures. Outdoor i-ttl bl seem to be OK, or maybe just not as easy to see variations with so much ambient light. Since lord Nikon repair will take 4-6 weeks and probably want body, lenses, flashes, batteries and so on, I have decided to give this stuff a try. I have found it locally and have a wedding tonight.

It sort of makes sense that the body and lens are losing communication, might even explain the varying flash exposures. So, I guess I will run out and get it and clean everything all at once? Or possibly one at a time? Nah, with all the different connections between hot shoe, flash cord, flash, lens, battery it would take a month of Sundays to isolate the issue.
Thanks for the suggestion
Shooter2

gollywop
gollywop OP Veteran Member • Posts: 7,999
Yes, do everything at once:

lens, flash, battery (and flash batteries and contacts). It takes very little time.

best of luck, hope it solves your problem,

-- hide signature --

gollywop

-----------

Laval Poulin New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

To my knoledge it's not lens contact. I had the same problem and went back to the retailer store. Fortunately, they give good service. At the first visit, they agreed to change my battery pack. I had the same intermittent problem. I went back to the store and they changed my D300 body for a new one. Beleive it or not, I still had the same problem. I went back a third time and then, they tested my lens on another body. No problem with the lens.

The problem was with the battery pack. They changed it a third time and it was finally O.K.

To make a long story short, the problem is in the contact on the MB-D10 battery pack.
--
Loupin

gollywop
gollywop OP Veteran Member • Posts: 7,999
No doubt,

there are lots of potential problem spots that can cause intermittent behavior. That's why I suggest using DeOxIT on the battery contacts as well. That won't, of course, fix a bad battery, but battery contacts are notorious trouble spots. Putting the stuff on the battery terminals and contacts of your flash unit can also be of help, as would using it on the hot-shoe and flash terminals.

Clearly there are more fundamental camera problems (CPU, firmware, mechanical, etc.) that cannot be treated with DeOxIT, but those problems that arise simply because of poor or corrupted electrical connections will likely respond to an application.

-- hide signature --

gollywop

-----------

jeffjmr Contributing Member • Posts: 602
Re: Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

Some years ago, I "resurrected" an untold number of "defective" memory modules and other various and sundry computer boards with a product that sounds just like Deoxit.

It was terribly expensive (about $15 for .25 oz.) but paid for itself with the first use.

I haven't had the problem, but will get some Deoxit anyway to have on hand.

Thanks for the tip!

Charlesn Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Solution to D300 strange-shutdown problem

I can attest to the safety and effectiveness of DeOxit, having used it to clean contacts of high end audio equipment worth many thousands of dollars. Even better is that Radio Shack (at least the last time I was there) sold DeOxit in a special applicator pen with a special tip that's perfect for this kind of precise cleaning job.

However... I have experienced the low battery warning problem from the very first time I used my D300 and 18-200 zoom... so I'm not sure how dirty contacts of any type could be the issue for a brand new camera, lens and battery.

gollywop
gollywop OP Veteran Member • Posts: 7,999
It appears to be possible.

I too had an occurrence or two with my 18-200 early on. The lens may be new to you, but not to life, and you have no idea what condition the metal was in at the time of fabrication.

-- hide signature --

gollywop

-----------

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads