Nikon D80 "Err"

Started May 19, 2012 | Discussions
EmilyLW New Member • Posts: 4
Nikon D80 "Err"

Today I was snapping a few photos with my D80 (auto mode, with flash, 18-70 Nikkor lens, storing in RAW + JPEG fine). Between one photo and the next (with essentially no movement of myself or the camera and no change of settings), the "Err" message appeared on the LCD. The shutter will still release and sounds exactly like it normally does, i.e. no indication that there is a problem with the mechanics of the shutter or mirror. But of course no image is saved, no auto-focus, no flash. When I depress the shutter button, the message "r02" appears - but this is just my buffer speed, not relating to the error message, right? It changes if I change my image format (the "err" message remains).

I have searched extensively here and elsewhere on the web and tried everything suggested, with no luck and absolutely no change in the error:

  • turned camera on and off

  • tried different settings, e.g. Manual mode, though I cannot change things like aperture and shutter speed while the error is there

  • tried another lens (Nikkor 70-300) and cleaned the contacts (on lens and camera) with alcohol swab

  • fired the shutter with no lens attached

  • took out battery, fully charged it, put back in

  • the Mirror Lock function in the menu is grayed out, so I could not try that

  • formatted the memory card, and tried a different card (both cards work fine in another camera)

  • pressed the dedicated reset button next to the USB connector (then reset the clock to remove the "clock" error message)

  • used the two buttons with green dots to reset certain settings

  • the lens does not have an aperture ring so it's not an issue with that.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? Seems strange that it would be working perfectly and then suddenly show the error between one shot and the next. The camera is almost 4 years old but I have taken good care of it and it's never shown any mechanical issue at all. (Which is not to say there's not one now.) I use it quite a lot - no idea how many shots I've taken with it (is that recorded in the camera somewhere?) but probably well into the 10s of thousands, likely approaching the expected lifespan of the camera. Still - no previous issues at all.

I understand Nikon Support is the logical next step; the problem is that I purchased the camera in the US but am now living in New Zealand. I would still have to go through Nikon Support in the US, and send it there for repairs if necessary. Unfortunately that is not something I can afford right now (shipping from NZ is expensive) and even if I could, it might be cheaper to purchase another camera body!

So, I would be very grateful from any advice you may be able to offer. Thanks!!!

David Lal Veteran Member • Posts: 9,788
Electronic contact cleaner?

Oh dear! Emily, this does not sound good at all and I think you have done everything that might reasonably be expected.

It does sound as though the camera is unable to communicate with the lens. All I might suggest is that you might try cleaning the contacts with cleaner that is specifically intended for electronic components rather than the alcohol you have tried already. You can buy this stuff from electronics components shops.

I don't really expect it to work unfortunately but you could try. Good luck with it all anyway.

David

EmilyLW wrote:

  • tried different settings, e.g. Manual mode, though I cannot change things like aperture and shutter speed while the error is there

  • tried another lens (Nikkor 70-300) and cleaned the contacts (on lens and camera) with alcohol swab

RightLight Regular Member • Posts: 298
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

It's not a good sign from my own experience. Since its D80 (no chance of being in manufacturer warranty) I hope you do not have to shell out significant fraction of the camera's worth for repair! I have seen quite a few posts on flickr and other forums abut DIY solutions that involves opening the camera. But its risky in my view.

I had this problem with my D90 I used to own. I started seeing 'Err' a few times. Turning off the camera and starting over again and/or removing the lens and mounting again worked at first. I thought the problem might be my 50mm/1.8 D as it started with this lens and also I did not see the problem with my 18-200 VRII on it. I talked to nikon and sent the glass. After I sent the 50mm, I started to see the same problem with my 18-200, especially when I used the wide end at first. Later it got to the point that I could not take any photos. Fortunately the camera was within the first year of purchase. I talked with Nikon took the camera to a local Nikon service center (found that it was at about half an hr drive!). I took about six weeks (that was quite frustratingly long time being without a camera in summer time!) to get my camera back. They told me that it took long as they had to order and replace the aperture control unit. My camera was back to the nice normal D90. Later I sold it (and 18-200) and bought D7000 (and a used nikkor 17-55). Possibility of seeing that 'err' still haunts me sometime and have purchased Nikon 2 yr extended warranty as well.

In my view, it would be good idea to take the camera to a local (but reliable) camera shop and have them see. Sometimes, things get fixed within reasonable costs.

Good luck.

 RightLight's gear list:RightLight's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +11 more
OP EmilyLW New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

Thanks, David and RightLight. David, I see your point about a cleaner made for electronics, but I agree that it's a bit of a long shot. The alcohol did take off a very small amount of reside/dust/whatever and the contacts all look shiny clean now, so I would be surprised if that's the issue. But I'll scope out prices on proper electronics cleaners and see if it's worth a try.

A local camera shop will be the next stop. I'll post back once I find out what it is, just in case that will help someone else!

Danielepaolo
Danielepaolo Veteran Member • Posts: 4,452
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

I am guessing it is a communication issue between the camera and lens as suggested by David. I say this because I saw similar behaviour with a Tokina lens on my D90. In that case it was the lens that was the problem and needed to be rechipped. As another nikon lens did not resolve the problem it does sound like the camera is the problem.

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Apologies if my lack of photographic knowledge is catching.

Danielepaolo
Danielepaolo Veteran Member • Posts: 4,452
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

EmilyLW wrote:

Thanks, David and RightLight. David, I see your point about a cleaner made for electronics, but I agree that it's a bit of a long shot. The alcohol did take off a very small amount of reside/dust/whatever and the contacts all look shiny clean now, so I would be surprised if that's the issue. But I'll scope out prices on proper electronics cleaners and see if it's worth a try.

If you have dust/reside then send the camera in for a fulll clean. at the same time they can investigate the problem for you.

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Apologies if my lack of photographic knowledge is catching.

gregf2as
gregf2as Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

hi emily , err massage sounds like a bad small servo motor the operates the shutter

mine was bad in my nikon d70 had it replaced seems that's what's bad in the nikon d70 cameras price in usa was about $ 150 to fix with a year warranty

works like new it now my back up well good luck in getting it fixed hope i helped
gjr

OP EmilyLW New Member • Posts: 4
Shutter count

Just found out how to check my shutter count; I'm just under 30,000 so WELL below the expected lifespan (100,000) for the D80. Would love to get that much more use out of it!!

As far as I can tell, the "Err" message is very much a catch-all (the description in the user manual says, very helpfully, "Camera malfunction"). Sometimes it turns out to be the shutter, or the mirror, or the lens/communication, or the memory card, or probably half a dozen other things. I'd like to try as many at-home fixes as possible before bringing it somewhere for professional servicing! Unfortunately it seems I've ruled all those out (barring opening up the camera myself). The camera is definitely well beyond the warranty period.

Further suggestions would still be very welcome! Thank you all for you input so far, I do appreciate it.

SergeySK New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Shutter count

Emily,

unfortunately I am in the same boat. After doing all the suggested things I called Nikon support and they said that I should send the camera in to 'investigate' the problem. I decided to bring the camera in to Nikon Support as I was in the area. The technician just looked at the body and said that it will be $225 to fix (plus tax). I decided not to bother, because it's probably not worth that much anyways anymore.
good luck with yours.
Sergey

carrrottt09 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

I am having a very similar issue and am trying to avoid opening up my camera.

I am getting an 'err' displayed. I cleaned the contacts between the lens and the body.

When I depress the button to take the photo, the camera will autofocus (which leads me to believe that it is not the lens to body connection). However, once it has focused, the err shows up. When I can get it to actually take a photo, it does not match the settings displayed (the shutter speed is much faster) and it does not display or get saved.

If I continue to try and take a photo, I can occassionally get it to take the photo with the aperture and shutter speed settings I put in.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks.

sidhusmart New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

Hi Emily,

I came across your post since I faced the same issue today. Been scouring around looking for a solution since repairing it now might be quite expensive!

Till now I have only come across the problem with the Aperture Control Unit but really it could be anything. Do let me know if you were able to fix it.

Regards,

Sid

sidhusmart New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

Just as an additional update - everything seems to work fine on my camera - shutter, exposure control etc.

The flash switch doesnt work though I can pry it open manually. And I have been having some issues with my battery previously as well so I'm going to try putting in a new battery and check. I don't know if auto-focus is the issue either!

Lionshooter New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"
1

Found this post while looking for a possible solution. I just wanted to add that I found my own solution to the problem. I threw it as hard as I could across the room. It hit the desk, bounced across the floor and voila! Problem solved. No more ERR message.
Actually no more messages at all. 
For sale for parts-Nikon D80. A few scratches on the body.

phantom445 New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

I have a D80 also and just got this error. Tried everything recommended including a thorough cleaning of contacts (I was hoping that would work!) ... but nada. The only thing left is the last recommendation ... throwing it against the wall. Might check with Nikon in case it is something minor.

I've been talking about getting a D5xxx or D7xxx ... now might be the time. I do not think it is worth the money to fix and I would rather put the money into something newer and with better low light shooting. A big usage factor is kids' sporting events, some of which are indoor.

I'll keep monitoring this post in case some better solution comes up.

Vandyu Veteran Member • Posts: 8,891
Re: Nikon D80 "Err"

My D80 with only 700 clicks developed the same ERR message several months ago. I plan to send it to Bob Kilbourn to repair it. He gave me a pretty reasonable quote and you might want to talk to him. His website is here:

http://www.camerarepairs.com/

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 Vandyu's gear list:Vandyu's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II +9 more
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