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False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR

James23p

Memphis, US
11234 posts

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James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004
Sat 06-Oct-07 06:16 PM

This is another continuation of the thread entitled “D80 battery display shows empty but is full?”

Here is a link to Part Three Here. There are links to part one and two in part three.

I have copied the excellent post from Dave (dm1dave) here so the background will continue to be read at a quick glance.

Thanks all Jim

Background
First reported on Nikoians on November 8, 2006
Some users have reported getting a false low battery indication with the D80 causing the camera to stop working. While shooting the camera will stop working and the battery indicator shows the battery is empty. Turning off the camera and switching it back on the camera will function normally and indicate the battery is full. Sometimes the issue will clear itself without turning the camera off. This happens with new freshly charged batteries and when users try a second battery. It also occurs when using the MB-D80 battery grip. It occurs with or with out flash. The issues usually happens with lenses 18-200 or bigger. This is also happening with the D200 and usually with big lenses 70-200 and up.

Statistics as of June 16, 2007. (D80 group only)

Total Reports = 63

3 = New reports (these are new reports that don’t fit in the below categories yet.)
2 = Users who sent in cameras that came back and still had the issue.
5 = Cameras successfully repaired
2 = Cameras that were replaced (one by Nikon and one by a retailer)
8 = Cameras that were self repaired by reseating lens or cleaning contacts
3 = Users who sent in a camera but haven’t reported back
2 = Users who received camera back from Nikon and are still testing
4 = Users who have not or will not send in their camera (three don’t see the issue as enough of a problem to send in the other one just wants a D200)
34 = Users who reported the problem but were never heard from again (these are basically hit and run “me too” posts that give little information. This is the largest group but also the least credible.)

Lenses mentioned: Nikon 18-200, Sigma 150mm Macro, sigma 80-400OS, Nikon 70-300, 70-200VR, Tamron 28-75, Sigma 120-300 f/2.8, Sigma 1.4x TC. On the D200 forum the 200-400VR is listed.


If you are newly reporting this issue

Please give as much info as you can. Include any observations that you make when this happens. Here are a few questions to consider. This info may help us gather meaningful date for troubleshooting.

How old is your camera?

Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue?

Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one?

Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE?

Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how?


Troubleshooting

Any one who is able to replicate this issue so far has done it by putting stress on the lens mount, some by quickly zooming from one extreme to the other.

Several have had the issue go away after reseating the lens or cleaning the contacts.

On mine I can use a twisting motion on the lens and at first I will observe a flickering of the info (the meter must be active) in the top LCD and viewfinder.

Once the flickering starts the camera becomes more sensitive i.e. it takes less pressure to cause an error or low battery indication.

The first time this happened to me the low battery indication was immediately followed by a lens error (either fEE or F--). I seem to be just as likely to get an ERR message as the bead battery icon when trying to replicate the problem.

Lens contacts are clean and in good condition with no excessive wear.

Mine only happens with one lens (sigma 120-300 /2.8, 10 inches long and 6lbs.) I can not replicate it with any of my other lenses.

Most reports are using a lens the size the 18-200 or larger.

Theory

I believe that this issue is caused by intermittent electrical contact among the lens contact points. This could cause power to surge or a sudden power draw that could cause the firmware to report a low battery or the firmewear could be hanging. This seems to happen with lenses with internal focus motors (AF-S, Sigma HSM) so the draw of power from these motors across a less then perfect connection could be part of these issues. Some have reported the issue occurs when half pushing the shutter release and the AF system is activated.

It is possible that both the camera and the lens are with in manufacturing specs. But is one is at the edge of the fit tolerance and the other is at the other opposite edge end of the tolerance a little extra play at the mount could cause intermittent contact. As such this may not be fixable with out having the camera and troublesome lens in for service together.


Service and repair

We have also learned that some retailers’ will send gear to a third party Nikon authorized repair center without informing the customer. If we expect Nikon to be aware of this and address it we need to make sure that we communicate directly with Nikon. If you need to send in your camera contact your regional Nikon support (i.e. Nikon USA) and arrange to send in the gear yourself.

With this issue you really need to send the lens/camera together. They will probably not be able to reproduce the problem with a different lens. If they can’t reproduce it they can’t fix it.


Keep notes and send in a detailed explanation of your problem and the circumstances of it’s occurrence. Don’t just send it in saying that you get a dead battery indication. Tell them that you think it has something to do with the lens contacts and explain why. That way the lens contacts will get attention.

IMHO it is a waste to try to tell them about what you have heard/read on the internet. They want first hand experiences from users.

The only data they can use to determine the extent of a repair issue is from the cameras that they can troubleshoot in the repair facility. The only way to get them to see and address the issue is for cameras to show up at the repair centers.

--------------------------------------------

I know how frustrating this issue is but things could be much worse. There is so much more important stuff that can cause stress that you really should try to keep this slight annoyance in perspective and not add to your daily stress.

Please just don’t let this get to you.



Share, Learn and Inspire
www.nikonians.org


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I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy

Mad Dog

US
11 posts

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#1. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Mad Dog Registered since 03rd Jul 2007
Sun 07-Oct-07 11:33 PM

It appears that this is "Report Number 91" (See following post). My D80 is 6 months old and has just taken up this bad habit too. I usually get one or two shots in before she locks up as described. I am only using a 70-300 AFS VR lens, the only variable I have is that with and without the battery grip (Nikon) this is happening.

In my case, the trigger is holding the button down half way, and initiating a focus event. A longer pause at half press increases the odds of a lock up. Simply holding the button down in rapid fire mode does not seem to cause a lock up. It is clearly AF-s related.

The other odd thing is that I see no evidence of contact on the center of three contacts where the camera prongs touch the grip contacts. I cannot check for the same on the batteries, because they make good contact with the grip and are well marked. The center prong is clearly short.

I am going on a business trip to Los Angeles in two weeks, and will take my camera and lens etc. into the Repair Center and see what they say and or do about it. Expect a follow up report in about three weeks!

Mad Dog

US
11 posts

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#2. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 1

Mad Dog Registered since 03rd Jul 2007
Thu 25-Oct-07 12:19 AM

This is a follow up post.

My D80 is back from Nikon - El Segundo. They did a bunch of tests, and "repaired" my battery contacts. They also remapped my sensor to eliminate a few glowing hot pixels which have appeared over time.

The repair turn around time was remarkably quick: I dropped it at the center 9 days ago.

Edit: The camera is back to normal. (Successful repair.) Score a big one for Nikon Service.

Mad Dog

US
11 posts

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#3. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 2

Mad Dog Registered since 03rd Jul 2007
Sun 18-Nov-07 12:43 PM

Here it is, only a month later ... and the problem is back. I was out shooting some roosting buzzards this morning, when my battery went dead again. The same old problem is back. My first attempt at a restart failed, and the battery was still dead. At that point I thought my batteries were really failing. Then after a second attempt and she came back with no further problems.

When the problem first happened a couple months ago, I was using an AF-s 70-300 VR. Today I was testing my new AF-s 18-55. I thought perhaps the extra power draw for the VR was contributing to the situation, but I eliminated that idea today.

What really irritates me is that I could send it off to El Segundo again, but I my 25th Anniversary in less than three weeks away. I really really want my camera for our "honeymoon" trip to Puerto Rico. If I send it in for repair, I will be reduced to using a point and shoot camera. Argggh!

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#4. "Latest Statistics" | In response to Reply # 0

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Mon 08-Oct-07 12:35 PM

(D80 group only)

Total Reports = 91

22 = New reports (these are new reports that don’t fit in the below categories yet.)
3 = Users who sent in cameras that came back and still had the issue.
7 = Cameras successfully repaired
2 = Cameras that were replaced (one by Nikon and one by a retailer)
16 = Self repaired by reseating lens or cleaning contacts
5 = Users who sent in a camera but haven’t reported back
1 = Users who received camera back from Nikon and are still testing
2 = Users who have not or will not send in their camera (three don’t see the issue as enough of a problem to send in)
33 = Users who reported the problem but were never heard from again (these are basically hit and run “me too” posts that give little information.)

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#5. "A Possible (user) Solution" | In response to Reply # 0

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Wed 16-Jan-08 12:12 PM

A Possible (user) Solution

*** this is another post transferred from the last thread ***

I have put the camera and lens combo though quite a bit of shooting since applying this solution and have not had any error messages or the low battery issue.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This may work for some users but may not do the trick for others. The good thing is that is easy, cheap and has little risk.

I found in testing my camera/lens combo that the play between the camera and lens seems to be the most likely reason we are seeing this issue. I decided to test this out by figuring a way to reduce or eliminate this play. What I came up with is a gasket made from 3 mil adhesive backed vinyl.

The vinyl is the same as used for sign making (I used white Avery A6) or car window decals. It is 3 mil thick and quit durable with a really strong adhesive. I do expect to have to replace this due to wear although I have been using it for a month or so and it is holding up well. Even though the adhesive is strong it is not difficult to remove the vinyl to replace it. I am lucky enough to have a plotter to custom cut the vinyl for the lens mount but anyone could hand cut strips to put on their lens. In fact the cheap way to do this is to buy a cheap car window decal cut strips to fit.

The vinyl needs to be applied to the lens NOT the camera. If you put it on the cameras lens mount it will affect the fit of all your lenses and some, like the 50mm f/1.8, will fit extremely tight. After installing this you will notice a tighter fit as soon as you mount the lens. Don’t force the lens on if it feels too tight, although I was able to install and remove the 50mm lens, you do not want to get a lens stuck on the camera.

On my setup witch is the D80 + Sigma 120-300 the has completely eliminated all of the play and I have not had any sign of this dead battery or any other error message since applying this vinyl gasket.

Below is the decal and a picture of the decal applied to my Sigma 120-300.

I can send anyone who needs it a file that your local sign shop can use to cut some decals you. The only real advantage of the decal I have cut over just cutting strips by hand is that it goes nearly all the way around the mount and should hold up a bit better to wear.

The cost is low so I can send out some precut decals if someone wants to try this solution. I am especially interested in people who have a particularly persistent problem with this issue so we can quickly see if it works as well for them as it did for me.

Obviously I am just an end user like everyone else here so use this information at your own risk. Watch the vinyl that you use the 3 mil thickness (intermediate calendared vinyl) is as heavy as I would use, as an alternative you can get premium grade vinyl that is only 2 mil thickness.

I hope this helps someone

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Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
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Joves

Flagstaff, US
506 posts

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#6. "RE: A Possible (user) Solution" | In response to Reply # 5

Joves Registered since 28th Jan 2006
Tue 09-Oct-07 03:24 PM

I think we should also contact the lense manufacturers, Im speaking of non-Nikor lenses ofcourse. I contactcted Tamron about my lense going into the Fee and, the eRR because of the lense fit. It is the only lense I have that doesent fit tight. All my other lenses are Nikor so they fit snugly. The Tamron doesnt drain the attery though. It is the 28-300mmXR Di with the IF (InternalFocus). What gives me the battery drain is my 80-400mm VR but, I just take that as the lense requiring moree juice to run the VR. My contacts are clean as, it was the first thing I checked. I dont see it as a problem as, my battery still lasts quite awhile between recharges.

I shoot therefore, Iam.
http://joves.smugmug.com

SamD80

US
4 posts

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#7. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

SamD80 Registered since 19th Sep 2006
Wed 10-Oct-07 09:53 AM

Here is another statistic for Dead Battery Syndrome: Got my D80 in early Sept., 2006 (and love it when it works). Got the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens in about Nov., 2006, and have used them together ever since. I can't remember removing the lens until now.

The DBS showed up around Aug, 2007, and seemed to get worse. Symptoms are the same as described in other posts here: empty battery sign flashes, camera shows OFF or Err, and won't fire, even though the battery is fully charged, as the indicator shows when it is happy.

I was VERY glad to see the other posts here to learn I wasn't alone. I tried the suggested remedy of removing and remounting the 18-200 lens and have had no trouble since. However, as with all intermittent problems, time will tell. I would never have suspected the lens contact issue if I hadn't read it here! Instead I suspected a contact problem with the middle battery terminal which gives the battery charge information and looks weaker than the other two.

In retrospect, I wonder if the problem did not appear from time to time earlier when I blamed the autofocus on locking up the shutter. Another piece of information in hindsight is that I took the D80 out of an air conditioned house to a very hot and humid day (even by Florida standards)in mid Aug. and the lens and viewfinder fogged up so much I couldn't get a picture. This could have accelerated some corrosion, as the problem really showed up after that.

mrbillyho

US
99 posts

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#8. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 7

mrbillyho Registered since 22nd Sep 2007
Wed 10-Oct-07 10:21 PM

Okay got mine back from Nikon in NY, with the D80 and the 18-200mm lense Low Battery Problem. They sent it back to me and said all was corrected, and with that they sent a new battery and charger with camera. I have used it with my 18-200 lense for 2 days now....... Atleast over 200 shots and have had no problems!!! It has worked like a champion. I keep getting nervous waiting for it to mess up!!! I don't know what the hell they did, if anything!!!!!

Sorry, but not much new Info for ya!!

Ho

ATPhotodesign

US
2 posts

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#9. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 8

ATPhotodesign Registered since 19th Oct 2007
Sat 20-Oct-07 04:53 PM

I have 2 D80s and one has had my 70-200 2.8 VR on it since day one.....after reading about the battery issue (I had 2 days of symptoms the same as everyone else), I just removed the lens from the body. It has NEVER been off before today. maybe that will help.

So far so good.


Hopefully Nikon has an answer b/c I don't want to be at the most important part of a wedding and lose my zoom lens.

calvin235


1 posts

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#10. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

calvin235 Registered since 16th Oct 2007
Thu 18-Oct-07 09:36 PM

Hi, I'm a new member and like many love the camera when it works but am becoming very frustrated with the LOW BATTERY issue.
I bought the D80 and 18-200 lens new in June 2007. After only a couple of weeks of use it first showed this problem while on vacation in late June. I'd mostly notice it when I press the shutter button and nothing happened. Turning the camera off then back on always returned it to life and sometimes it would come back to life on its own.

When I got back home I took it in to the camera shop I bought it at and they cleaned the battery contacts and told me to give it a try. A couple days later it was happening again so I returned to the shop and sent it in to Nikon Canada for repair. By this point I had found this website and learned a little about the problem. I passed this along to the camera shop and had them put this forums address on the repair slip. 1 month later I got the camera back with no mention of what had been done to repair it.

Initially all was working well but I didn't really use it much again till my brother and family visited at which point the problem started to reoccur.
I took it back to the shop and this time was able to replicate the problem several times by slightly torquing the lens on the mount.The 18-200 is the only lens I have but I did try several large lens that they had at the store to try and duplicate it but couldn't.

That was 3 and a half weeks ago and Nikon Canada still hasn't returned my camera.

Hopefully happy updates to follow.

Plymouth Scouser

Plymouth, UK
7 posts

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#11. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 10

Plymouth Scouser Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2007
Wed 24-Oct-07 06:28 PM

Hi Guys, not been too well recently so all my photography has been put on hold. However, I ventured out today with just my D80 and a 18 -70 and I had the dreaded battery problem for the first time. The difference being my D80 does it with no lens attached!
I'm currently using the MB-D80 grip with plain old Duracell AA batteries (fresh set). After the problem started I removed the grip and put my back-up EN-EL3e in and same problem. Lost so many shots today I can see it going back in the cupboard and staying there.

Rant over!

Regards from Plymouth

John

Sms

DK
1 posts

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#12. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Sms Registered since 07th Sep 2006
Sat 27-Oct-07 05:01 PM


Hi
This is my first post here, but i have read the "false low battery indication" postings for some time now. i have a D80 with the battery problem. First time i saw it was in january. i am certain it occurred with the Nikon 18-200 lens, but maybe also with the sigma 10-20. It did not happen very often. I took the camera to my dealer for repair(Nikon Denmark) in august. After five weeks! they suddenly asked for my batteries. Two days later, in mid september, i got my camera back with 2 new batteries, Nikon claimed that they were faulty.
Now 2500 pictures later, i have not seen the problem again.
I might ad that i use the same batteries in a D50 vith no problems.
I hope this helps.
Sorry for my English.

Søren M Sørensen Denmark

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#13. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 12

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sat 27-Oct-07 05:29 PM

Your English is fine, Søren. My Danish is non-existent

Thanks for your post; all information about this problem is of value.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

James23p

Memphis, US
11234 posts

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#14. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 12

James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004
Sat 27-Oct-07 05:34 PM

As Brian said your English is great!!! Plus your info is always appreciated and glad Nikon got your D80 running up to par!

Jim

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I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#15. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 12

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Mon 29-Oct-07 01:57 AM

Welcome to the D80 forum Søren!

That’s great news. Its always encouraging to hear from someone who has had a successful repair.

Thanks for posting!

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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bam bam

Glenview, US
46 posts

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#16. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

bam bam Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jul 2007
Mon 29-Oct-07 07:04 PM

James -

I reported a battery problem about 3-4 weeks ago. I have the 18-200VR lens and did what was mentioned: take the lens off, clean the contacts, then re-attach.

I've used 2 different batteries since then and am happy to report no new warnings have occurred.

Thanks for the vigilence and help!!

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Brad in Chicagoland

My stuff: D500, D90, 18-200mm VR, 70-200 f/2.8 VRII, 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, TC-20E III, SB-800 Speedlight

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

James23p

Memphis, US
11234 posts

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#17. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 16

James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004
Mon 29-Oct-07 08:37 PM

Great news I am glad that these long threads have had a positive affect and are helping some! We have to give Dave(dm1dave) alot of the credit as he has spent alot of time researching this problem.

Jim

Share, Learn and Inspire
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I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy

High_Order1


2 posts

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#18. "My story" | In response to Reply # 17

High_Order1 Registered since 27th Nov 2006
Fri 02-Nov-07 02:38 AM

I apologize if this turns out to be a repost. I ctrl+f'd my way through a couple other threads, and can't find my first post.

My D80 is somewhere around a year old at purchase, dunno how long it sat before I bought it.

I had this problem occasionally, but I can't say when it started after thinking about it, because it didn't click in my head there was a problem. After it totally locked up, I tested the battery with a voltmeter, and it read above nominal voltage, so I came in here and found like 3k posts, so I knew I was hosed. I wanted to keep it for Halloween, and that was a bad mistake. I could have taken my Sony, but I really liked the Nikon. Well, it quit about 45 minutes into the evening, and I lost a lot of excellent opportunities. So, I filed a complaint at NikonUSA, and they told me to ship it to New York (I am in Tennessee). it left today, and if it helps, I'll post as to what they did to rectify the issue. I also asked them to look at what they could do to reduce the purple thermal noise, too.

I was *certain* to mention this site and the number of posters in my initial complaint. Nothing like the force of thousands behind you when you have a comsumer issue!

-Shawn

High_Order1


2 posts

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#19. "RE: My story" | In response to Reply # 18

High_Order1 Registered since 27th Nov 2006
Sat 10-Nov-07 01:23 AM

Welll....

I got an email from Nikon NY. They are going to fix it under warranty. I'll post when I get it back and what they fixed/replaced.



-Shawn

greyhoundx

Naugatuck, US
3 posts

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#20. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

greyhoundx Registered since 19th Dec 2006
Wed 14-Nov-07 03:04 AM

Count me in as a victim of the false low battery problem. I have two D80s but only use one as an everyday camera. I want to say this happened a few months ago but can't swear to it.

The 'working' D80 is just over 11 months old. Used the 18-135 kit lens for 6+ months. Got the 18-200VR this summer before my first wedding shoot and it has rarely come off the camera. I also added the MB-D80 when I got the lens, it's always in use too. About 2 weeks ago I went to turn it on and the battery icon on the upper deck just flashed. The 18-200VR was on it as always, MB-D80 attached. There was nothing in the viewfinder as far as error messages, and no F-stop or shutter speed displayed. No response when the shutter button pressed of course. Hadn't used the camera in over a week, maybe almost 2 (forgive me!). I thought the batteries might have discharged but they took little time in the charger to get to 100%. So, the batteries were not low. In the meantime I had put in my other 2 batteries and the camera came on. This happened again a few days later too. Nothing in the last week or so - but I've only shot a several hundred pics in a 10 seesions over that time. The camera does go everwhere with me, in a nice padded Lowe-Pro bag, on the seat next to me, never been dropped or had any harsh bumps. I do hold it properly supporting both the lens and body at the same time. It does get some tripod use where the full lens weight is on the mount.

I did call Nikon about this and the guy was nice but absolutely no help. Knew nothing about it, never heard of the problem. Couldn't even try to help me unless it was happening at that moment. Thanks for nothing.

I also shoot ocassionally with my 50/1.4, 60 Micro 2.8, and 70-300VR but this has only happened with the 18-200VR so far. My first suspect was the batteries or MB-D80 contacts, but the mount contacts seem like the prime suspect now. Thanks to all of you I have good clues and things to test when it rears it ugly head again. Probably headed for it once I hit Post and see how the 18-200VR feels on the mount. Gotta visit this site more often. Any more problems or info and I'll post a follow-up. Thanks !

Rick R.

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#21. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 20

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Wed 14-Nov-07 02:51 PM

Thanks for the post Rick.

>>> Gotta visit this site more often. <<<

This site really is a great source of info for things issues this. The more input we can get from users the better we can understand the camera and any technical issues.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
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glenndavies

Calgary, CA
10 posts

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#22. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 20

glenndavies Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Feb 2007
Mon 19-Nov-07 05:17 PM

I reported earlier that I had the problem and sent my D80 with the 18-200 VR lens in to Nikon. It did go to Nikon and not a 3rd party. The camera came back after 7 weeks with the note "Clean and adjust".

It works fine now and I haven't had any further problems. However, in reading other entries, it seems that Nikon needs to learn the lesson that the computer industry learned in the 1980's - use gold contacts. Computers used to be really flaky until the industry switched to gold contacts for all the plug in cards. Now a machine will go years without a problem.

Nikon needs to realize that when they provide a lens like the 18-200, that many people will use it as an only lens and it will never come off. I also am guessing that Nikon's tight monitoring of voltage and current flow is how they manage to get very long life from a battery charge. Any oxidation at the contacts will affect voltage and current flow.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

PaulF


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#23. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 22

PaulF Registered since 22nd Nov 2007
Thu 22-Nov-07 08:03 PM

I have owned a D80 and VR 18-200 lens for a few months. I also have two Nikon batteries. About a week ago I noticed I was unable to trip the shutter and the battery indicator had only one bar showing. The battery had been recently charged. I charged it again and switched to my other battery.

I am still occasionally getting the one bar battery symbol and unable to trip the shutter until it clears. I have cleared the problem by turning the camera on and off, but I have also had the problem and been able to press the shutter again and have it clear.

After reading this thread, it does seem that the lens contacts to the camera are a likely cause. I own only this one lens. I unlocked it and give it a twist today to see if it might clean the contacts.
Has anyone written Nikon support and pointed them to this thread?

PaulF

tim61

Portsmouth, US
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#24. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

tim61 Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2007
Tue 11-Dec-07 09:19 PM

I saw this with my brand-new D300 with a 70-200 2.8 attached...

To make a long story short... after reading through bits of this thread, I re-seated the lens (it's got a bit more play than I'd really like - perhaps I need to try the decal trick?) and the problem went away, at least for the moment...

Before I re-seated the lens, I was able to reproduce the problem easily...

1) with the lens pointed down, I went into the menus (I went to the battery meter page to confirm that the camera saw 100% and a 'new' battery)

2) tilt up to point the lens across the room (i.e. as if to take a shot)

... and... wham - blackout - dead battery

====

Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread - I really thought I was going nuts (and thought my new toy was bound for the repair shop)

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#25. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 24

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Tue 11-Dec-07 10:00 PM

Some new D300 users have had initial AF issues and found that there was a thin layer of lubricant/preservative on the lens contacts. After cleaning the issues disappeared.

Hopefully this is the case with your D300 and you wont continue to have problems.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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ejgay


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#26. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 25

ejgay Registered since 19th Jan 2007
Wed 26-Dec-07 05:20 AM

I had the same problem with my D80 and just got it back from repair at Nikon service centre (under warranty).

-> How old is your camera?

Purchase my camera in Jan 2007. Serial Number 60289xx

-> Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue?

Only happened 2 weeks ago

-> Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one?

It happend 2 weeks after I started using my newly purchased 18-200VR. When the problem happened, switching to a different lense did not help.

I have also tried attaching lenses which was previously working on the camera but it did not help either.

In my case, the problem was NOT intermittent as reported by others.

-> Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE?
No but I did notice that the view through the view finder was blurred. It looks like there were lots of small black dots.

->Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how?
No, I cannot replicat the problem.

Upon collecting my camera, Nikon printed on the service report that they replaced a "Sub Base Plate" and was nice enough to offer a 6 months warranty for the same fault.



dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#27. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 26

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Wed 26-Dec-07 10:59 PM

That sub base plate has been mentioned before. Maybe it can cause a short or bad ground that shows up as this problem on some cameras.

I hope this permanently fixes you camera!

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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realsmiley

US
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#28. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

realsmiley Registered since 17th Nov 2006
Thu 27-Dec-07 03:33 PM

I read (present tense) about this issue adnauseum. I had the same problem. I did not try to diagnose other than to confirm it happended with both batteries. I just sent back the camera (it was then only a few months old) and one battery--no lens and told them to fix the d-mn problem and they did. They sent back 2 new batteries. End of story.

Ray
D80, Nikon 18-200mm, Nikon 50mm f1.8, Sigma 10-20mm, SB-600

sglow


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#29. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

sglow Registered since 11th Jan 2008
Fri 11-Jan-08 12:12 PM

Count me in as another low battery victim.

I bought my D80 with the 18-55 kit lens back in December of 2006 and didn't have any problems with it for almost a year. Then this last October I picked up the 18-200 Nikor lens. I almost immediately started seeing the low battery lockup problem.

I've been seeing this problem fairly frequently, but it always goes away if I turn the camera off and back on. After reading through this forum I did some experiments with the lens. I've found that if I put a small amount of pressure on the top of the lens I can reproduce the error quite reliably.

Since I got the 18-200 I've had it on the camera and only removed it a couple times to try reseating it in hopes of making this problem go away. No luck with that, the problem keeps coming back.

It seems very likely that the problem is related to poor contacts between the camera battery and the lens. It also seems very likely that Nikon corporate is aware of the problem even though they are apparently denying any knowledge of it. Most likely there just isn't any easy fix without redesigning the contacts, and Nikon doesn't want to admit the problem since it could open them up to some very expensive camera replacements.

I'm quite discouraged by this serious design flaw in this expensive camera equipment. I did like the camera for the first year of shooting, but now find myself constantly power cycling the camera when trying to get a shot.

I'm reluctant to send the camera in for service since there have been so many reports in this forum of the problem reappearing a few weeks or months after a $150 'repair' job.

I guess I'll just live with the problem for now and if it gets much worse I'll send it in for repair. I'm really quite disappointed in Nikon's reaction to this problem and would be reluctant to buy Nikon equipment in the future.


bkrownd

Hilo, US
102 posts

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#30. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 29

bkrownd Registered since 27th Feb 2007
Fri 11-Jan-08 05:43 PM


>It seems very likely that the problem is related to poor
>contacts between the camera battery and the lens. It also
>seems very likely that Nikon corporate is aware of the
>problem even though they are apparently denying any
>knowledge of it. Most likely there just isn't any easy fix
>without redesigning the contacts, and Nikon doesn't want to
>admit the problem since it could open them up to some very
>expensive camera replacements.

Just clean the contacts. It only takes a few seconds.

D80 + 80-400VR + 18-135 + Sigma 10-20

D80 + 18-135 + Sigma 10-20 + SB-600
D300 + 18-200VR + 80-400VR

phil_qc

CA
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#31. "RE: A Possible (user) Solution" | In response to Reply # 5

phil_qc Registered since 28th Apr 2007
Wed 16-Jan-08 09:50 PM

Anyone with a recent serial number (5037øøø) got
the problem ?

Thanks,
Philippe.

phil_qc

CA
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#32. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

phil_qc Registered since 28th Apr 2007
Wed 16-Jan-08 10:07 PM

Anyone with a recent serial number (5037øøø) got
the problem ?

Thanks,
Philippe.


cheeba_nz

NZ
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#33. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

cheeba_nz Registered since 19th Jan 2008
Sat 19-Jan-08 06:08 AM | edited Sat 19-Jan-08 06:09 AM by cheeba_nz

Chalk me up as another victim of the Dead Battery Syndrome with my D80 and the 18-200VR lens. I purchased my D80 and 18-200 lens, together with a fixed 105mm lens about July 07. I'm not a particularly heavy user, averaging about 10 to 20 shots per week, frequently swapping between the two lenses (I use my D80 for clinical dentistry photography).

My DBS started yesterday, just before I was about to head to an offshore island for a day trip! I have two batteries, an original Nikon battery and a non-OEM one. Both were flashing empty, so I initially thought nothing of it. But after charging both, with both showing the dead battery indicator, I decided to check the net, and lo-and-behold came across this problem and thread.

Here are my symptoms:

Reseating the lens does not work.
Power cycling does not work.
Resetting the camera to factory settings does not work.
Reseating the battery does not work.
Turning off the VR in the 18-200mm lens WORKS, but the focus must be set to manual on the lens as well.
If VR is off, but the focus is set to M/A, then the DBS returns.
Changing to the 105mm fixed lens WORKS.
My 105mm VR lens works in all modes (eg VR On/Off, Manual or M/A)

I'm on holiday at the moment so won't be able to bring it back to the retailer I purchased this from. Nonetheless I hope my info can add to the knowledge base for this problem.

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#34. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 32

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sat 19-Jan-08 02:19 PM

I don’t think anything has changed with more recently produced cameras. In fact this seems to be showing up in the new D300.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#35. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 33

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sat 19-Jan-08 02:24 PM

Your case seems unusual in that the problem does not go away by cycling the power.

You should contact Nikon and give them the same info you posted here. I bet there is a problem with the electronics in the lens.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
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pianopiano

CA
2 posts

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#36. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

pianopiano Registered since 21st Jan 2008
Mon 21-Jan-08 07:41 PM

Nikon D980 purchased Nov 2006, 18-200 mm VR lens purchased Jan 07:

Problem:

This problem started occurring after 6 months of very modest use. New battery purchased in Dec 07 which did not cure the problem. Interestingly I tried using the battery pack with AA batteries and was not able to duplicate the problem. I resumed using the eln batteries but used two eln batteries with the battery pack and, after a few pictures, the battery indicator showed low battery. Possible battery problem? I don't think so. Upon recycling, the battery menu showed that the batteries were at or near 100% power.

Solution (I hope):

I cleaned the battery contacts using a soft pencil eraser and the lens contacts using alcohol (on a cloth and wiped the contacts) and successfully shot a series of 100 pictures sequentially without any problems. I hope this will cure the problem. The lens seats firmly and wiggling it did not produce any problems with the meter. I will get back to the forum if I see problems recur.

vkpilla

US
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#37. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

vkpilla Registered since 01st Mar 2007
Mon 21-Jan-08 08:05 PM

Hi,

I have been experiencing the Dead Battery Syndrome (DBS) fron November 2007. Here are the details....

1. Body: D80 - purchased 3/21/07
2. Lens: Nikkor 18-200mm VR - purchased 3/25/07
3. Lens mounted: 3/25/07
4. Lens unmounted: never till date
5. First DBS experience: 11/15/07
6. Batteries used: 1 primary and 1 backup (original Nikon batteries)
7. Troubleshooting used with no luck1: Removed and replaced batteries
8. Troubleshooting used with no luck2: Switch off and on, works only for 1 snap and again the DBS shows up.

I have NOT tried cleaning the lens contacts and mounting it again. I'll do it tonight and keep you posted on the results after a few shoots in couple of days.

Like other friends mentioned, I am thankful to this forum and its expertise on the tips and information to deal with Nikon equipment.

However, its a SHAME on Nikon that they don't acknowledge this. Almost everyone having this problem spent close to 2 grand on this equipment and cannot use it due to the DBS issue from Nikon's poor Quality control / engineering. This sucks and upsets me.

I would like to know if there is any opportunity to voice our concern as one to NIKON. Let me know if you have any ideas on how to do it and I'd like to be a part of it.

THANKS AGAIN.

Vk Pilla

phil_qc

CA
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#38. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 37

phil_qc Registered since 28th Apr 2007
Mon 21-Jan-08 09:34 PM

Some guys with a D200 and the same problem
suggest to also clean the lens/body mount itself
since this is the ground/interface... It worked
for him...

Philippe

Jeff1949

AU
2 posts

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#39. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Jeff1949 Registered since 22nd Jan 2008
Tue 22-Jan-08 10:10 PM

New happy Aussie member

Thanks guys especially Dave!!
I have had same problem but your fanstastic thread full of consructive ideas has solved it for me (at least for now).

My experience...
D80 purchased Aug 2007, with 18-200VR lens
Problem occured in about 1 in 8 shots (but rather erratically)

After reading thread, I could reproduce low battery problem at will by twisting the lens barrelback and forth.
Would occasionally (but not always) also bring up a F-- error at the same time.

Removed lens and cleaned lens contacts and then snapped lens firmly back in place.
Problem has gone away even after about 200 shots.

Can now longer even reproduce problem no matter how hard I try, even after reinserting the lens as slowly and gently as possible.
My vote (in my case at least) is for it to be a lens contact problem.

A thousand thanks!!!

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#40. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 39

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Wed 23-Jan-08 02:27 AM

That’s great Jeff! Hopefully it wont come back.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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bflynn33

New York, US
1 posts

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#41. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 39

bflynn33 Registered since 23rd Jan 2008
Wed 23-Jan-08 08:53 PM

Add me to the list. D80 with Nikor VR 18-200 lens. After 4-5 shots battery was shot. On off cycle would usually correct it for another few shots but over time, the problem became progressively worse.
Took it to the authorized warrantee repair center in NYC, which called back to say it would need to be shipped to Nikon for repair, as this is a known issue with the D80. Sounds like Nikon is finally getting the message.

markhamdons

Markham, CA
24 posts

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#42. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 39

markhamdons Registered since 08th Jan 2008
Thu 24-Jan-08 12:06 AM

Based on reading this thread. Has anybody ever thought of possible contact contamination. I have seen a number of responses about cleaning the contacts and re-seating the lens. Contamination may be sufficient to cause an out of spec electrical current thereby confusing the AF-S into thinking the battery is dead, thus producing an error.

Just a thought.

Dave...

D80
50mm F1.8
18-200mmVR
SB-600

pianopiano

CA
2 posts

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#43. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 36

pianopiano Registered since 21st Jan 2008
Wed 27-Feb-08 12:00 PM


>I cleaned the battery contacts using a soft pencil eraser and
>the lens contacts using alcohol (on a cloth and wiped the
>contacts) and successfully shot a series of 100 pictures
>sequentially without any problems. I hope this will cure the
>problem. The lens seats firmly and wiggling it did not produce
>any problems with the meter. I will get back to the forum if I
>see problems recur.

Sadly the problem did not go away. I had my local camera shop send the camera to Nikon for warranty repair. I got it back last weekend after 3 weeks with a statement that they found no battery drain. That had not been the problem that I had described. They did, however clean the camera (which wasn't dirty; it's not heavily used). Is Nikon trying to avoid warranty on this camera model?

Montec

Salmo, CA
216 posts

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#44. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Montec Registered since 26th Sep 2006
Mon 03-Mar-08 08:36 PM

I just started getting the problem with my 18-200 AFS VR.
I cannot get off more tan 6 shots before the errors. Frustrating to say the least.

It happens when I zoom from one extreme to the other every single time and will do it intermittently when just shooting normal with minimal zooming.

Turning camera on/off fixes problem. I cleaned contacts, reseated lens etc. No help. For what it's worth the lens worked fine since August when I purchased it.



MC
British Columbia Nikonian D80, 50 1.8, 85 1.8, Sigma 18-50, 18-200VR, 70-200 2.8VR, SB800, SB600 and a bunch of other gear

Prestidigitator

US
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#45. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 44

Prestidigitator Registered since 26th Mar 2007
Sun 09-Mar-08 08:54 AM

My D80 caught "Dead Battery Syndrome" in Dec. '07. I'd presumed the worst until finding this series of posts. Thanks bigtime!

Gear: D80 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom (Problem is independent of other accessories.)

Issue: After several seconds of use, the D80's "low battery" indicator flashes, and power is cut to vital functions. Toggling OFF/ON will restore "full battery" indicator and normal functions for several seconds until cycle repeats. Today the Control Panel’s error msg. "F---" coincided with the problem, signaling a lense fitment issue. (Nikonians posts confirm this.) Problem is 100% replicable by twisting the lens gently within its unacceptably loose bayonet fitting on the D80's body.

Action: ...removed the lens, cleaned all contacts and metal surface areas with alcohol, reseated the lens -- and voilà! -- issue apparently resolved. Twisting the lens bayonet (within safe limits) cannot bring back the problem.

Back in action...for now..., and thankful to Nikonians.
Scott.

John947W

UK
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#46. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

John947W Registered since 10th Mar 2008
Mon 10-Mar-08 07:25 PM

My Nikon D80 was purchased in May 2007 along with a Nikkor 18-200 VR lens. The lens was fitted to the camera immediately after purchase and has, quite deliberately, never been removed. I use two genuine Nikon EN-EL3e batteries in strict alternation, replacing an exhausted battery with a fully charged one.

I have recently purchased a Nikon SB600 Speedlight and the DBS (dead battery syndrome) first manifest itself in March 2008 when using my D80 with the SB600 for the second time. At the time I was shooting in P mode, with the VR switched on. The first time it happened, a freshly charged battery was in use. I just assumed that I had not charged the battery properly and immediately inserted another freshly charged battery. The fault happened again within a few minutes.

The problem has recurred 2 or 3 more times, and on one occasion, the SB600 was not mounted on the camera when it happened. In each case the problem disappeared after switching modes and pressing the shutter release button halfway. (I have no idea whether these actions helped to clear the problem or whether it was just a matter of waiting for several seconds.) I did not initially notice any error messages; simply the flashing battery exhausted warning which locks up the camera. However, since then, I have seen a blinking ‘Err’ message appear for just a few seconds after powering up the camera.

After experiencing the DBS fault a few times, I became very concerned and decided to research the Internet for reports of similar problems before considering returning the camera to Nikon under warranty. I was somewhat reassured to come across this thread.

Acting on the considerable evidence that there is an issue relating to the electrical contacts between lens and body I did, for the first time in 10 months, remove the 18-200 VR lens from the body and immediately replace it again. Since then I have taken about 20 shots using the SB600, but have not yet been able to replicate the fault. Time will tell whether this has fixed the problem for the time being.

When I removed the lens I made no attempt to clean the contacts. I will not do this unless (a) the fault recurs and (b) I can find an approved method for cleaning the contacts. (I would be interested to hear from other users about techniques that have been successfully used for this.)

When analysing the evidence, what appear to be common factors?
· The Nikkor 18-200 VR lens is often a factor, but by no means the only lens with a reported problem.
· Many users have reported meeting the problem for the first time when using the SB600 or SB800 flash. Surely this cannot be a coincidence? Since the flash units have their own power supply it would seem unlikely that their use would cause surges within the circuits of the D80 itself. Could it be a mechanical issue? Perhaps the extra weight of the flash unit on the camera body could put additional stress on the interface between the lens and the body making a temporary loss of electrical contact more likely?
· There is a significant body of evidence that the electrical contact between lens and camera body is an issue, judging by the number of users who have corrected the fault by removing and then re-seating the lens.

Many thanks for the contributions to this thread. I hope this leads eventually to a conclusive diagnosis and remedy for the fault. I would have hoped for more support from Nikon on this.

passlake

terrace bay, CA
163 posts

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#47. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 46

passlake Registered since 08th Mar 2008
Tue 11-Mar-08 06:32 PM

This problem has also happened to me. I have had the camera for 9 months but only really started using it in the past 4 weeks. I was using the d80 with an 18-200 lens and no flash and a fully charged battery.

The problem went on for a few days and then resolved itself. I have not experienced the problem again, but now that I know it is happening to other people I will take it in.

zoegirlTx

US
1 posts

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#48. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

zoegirlTx Registered since 11th Mar 2008
Tue 11-Mar-08 07:27 PM

Another "Me too" post! Thanks for compiling all this info.

How old is your camera? Bought a D-80 in July 2007, ~8600 pics taken so far

Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue? Started happening near the end of our vacation in South America. It was fine sometimes & sometimes it would give the false indicator. I assumed that I might have mischarged a battery or messed it up b/c of the different currency down there when charging. I tried a fully charged in the US battery when I returned home & it was still happening periodically.

Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one? I've only has my 18-200 on, so I'm not sure about my other lenses.

Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE? Nope, just a blinking battery.

Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how? I'm going to try to "adjust the lens" trick and hopefully that will work.

You can email me at ah4zoe-wild@yahoo.com if you want more info or to follow up.

Cleo

US
27 posts

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#49. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 48

Cleo Registered since 22nd Feb 2008
Thu 13-Mar-08 03:22 PM

Count me in, too...!

I've had my Nikon D80 for exactly one month and my Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens for six (6) days. Had just put in a freshly charged battery into the camera and three minutes into shooting, came up with a low battery reading. I've not had this problem with any of my other lenses (50mm, 18-135mm, 70-300mm) - just with the 18-200mm, and it, so far, has been happening each time I use the camera with this particular lens. At first, I thought the battery had not charged correctly, but now, from reading the previous posts, I see I'm not the only one having trouble.

Each time I get the error message, I turn the camera off and on, and that seems to reset things to its proper indications. There have been no error messages for me outside of the low batttery indicator.

Can I reduplicate at will? I've never tried - I'm brand new to DSLR and Nikon and I'm still learning all this camera has to offer. I will try to adjust the lens to see what happens - I'll let you know...

Cleo

tofletch

US
1 posts

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#50. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 49

tofletch Registered since 15th Mar 2008
Sat 15-Mar-08 02:14 AM

Add me to the list also. I bought my camera in August 2007 and have had no problems with the kit 18-135 or the 70-300 that I also purchased. The problem started after I made the purchase of the 18-200VR that has been mentioned numerous times. Until I came upon this thread and decided to join Nikonians I could replicate the problem at will and was getting F-- error readings constantly. After reading some of the replies regarding disconnecting the lens from the mount I decided to do so myself. 500 shots later, I have had no problems but I am still holding my breath!

Davy

Fort Worth, US
15 posts

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#51. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Davy Registered since 02nd Feb 2008
Mon 17-Mar-08 10:13 PM | edited Tue 18-Mar-08 12:58 AM by Davy

Add my name to the DBS list.

How old is your camera? 15 Jan 2008

Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue? Ongoing, it started about two weeks after I got the camera. Initially I thought it was just the cold weather, but it has been in the 70s lately and I still have the problem.

Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one? I only have the 18-200 VR lens.

Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE? Sometimes I get F--, but most of the time it is just the dead battery message.

Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how? I have not been able to make it happen, but it seems to be occuring more frequently now than before.

I have just started troubleshooting, so far I have only tried cycling the power. Although lately, that happens so often I have missed some shots. I will take some of the tips offered here and try them. I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

Like several others have posted, on one hand I am glad I am not the only one with this problem. On the other hand, this is not a good advertisement for Nikon. I agree that it would be nice if Nikonians could act as an agent for all of us that have been experiencing this problem to find the real fix and not just bandaids.

Thanks to all for your suggestions.

Davy
North Texas Nikonian

caprae

Athens, US
925 posts

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#52. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

caprae Registered since 20th Apr 2006
Wed 19-Mar-08 11:37 AM | edited Wed 19-Mar-08 11:39 AM by caprae

Add me to the list. Thank you for all of the info. D80 was ordered before they were released so it is one of the oldest ones. Just last night it started messing up at a track meet. A few times it messed up during the meet but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then it seemed to stop working and had major focusing problems (slow or no focusing in auto focus mode) late in the meet so I thought my battery was going down too far to power the lens. This was all while using the 80-200 VR lens. I checked the battery life reading on the way home and it said the battery still was at 100% life-wise. I realized it wasn't the battery when I put the recharged battery back in this morning and watched it go from full charge to very low and back again.

After reading here I confirmed that the low battery reading only happened with the 80-200 VR and not with my 35-70 2.8. I also confirmed that twisting the lens back and forth could force it to happen. The lens has always had just a slight bit of play in the mount. Also getting the F-- problem.

I cleaned the contacts on both the lens and the camera (guess I'll be doing another sensor cleaning now) with an eraser and so far it seems to be working. Even twisting the lens when mounted did not cause an error. I'll try it and report back if it starts up again.

Tim
We think because we have words, not the other way around. Madeleine L'Engle

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olthebol

UK
1 posts

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#53. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

olthebol Registered since 19th Mar 2008
Wed 19-Mar-08 03:21 PM

I have just had this happen to me - but I cannot get it to repeat by jiggling the lens - so that cause is still unknown - but the symptoms otherwise are identical and very emabarassing when it happened 20 times during a shoot. How do I report this to you guys and the results of my repair efforts.

caprae

Athens, US
925 posts

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#54. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 53

caprae Registered since 20th Apr 2006
Wed 19-Mar-08 05:21 PM

I'm guessing just report it here. Did it only happen with one particular lens. Did you try changing lenses? Did you get the lens error code (I think it is either FEE or F--)? Be as specific with the situation as possible.

Tim
We think because we have words, not the other way around. Madeleine L'Engle

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pdm32

Indianapolis Area, US
43 posts

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#55. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

pdm32 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Apr 2006
Thu 27-Mar-08 05:12 PM

Just a "me, too" with some background that seems a bit different. My D80 is 10 months old and, after the first month of shooting with the 18-200 VR, I traded up and have been shooting with the 18-55 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8 VR for the last 9 months. The problem cropped up about 3 weeks ago in the middle of some heavy usage. In addition, at the same time, I began to notice that the image count from the SD cards (all SanDisk) was consistently inaccurate.The RAW capacity of a 2 GB card has always been 163 and I rarely shoot to full. However, when I download into Aperture, sometimes the image count is over 200! Of course, the problems are maddeningly intermittent, and like everyone, I have missed some great shots because of the battery lockout.

I have noticed the problem on both lenses and both cards. I just bought 3 more cards on the rebate=free deal but have not tried them to know if fresh cards make a difference on the count. I always format the cards in the D80.

Thankfully, this is under even the one year Nikon warranty and I bought the extended as well. But at $200/week to rent a D80 body and a 3-6 week estimate on repair with some major events coming up, I am trying to find a replacement D80 body without running the risk of having the privilege of repairing a new-to-me used D80 that has the same problem surface after my purchase. I guess I just break down and buy a new body.

Hope this helps.

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#56. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 55

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Fri 28-Mar-08 06:40 PM

The counter that tell how many images will fit on your card is ALWAYS inaccurate on ALL Nikon DSLRs.

The count that is shown is a “worst case” estimation. In other words it is the minimum number of shots that could fit if every image generated the maximum possible file size. Even with RAW file the actual size of the each image will be different depending on the image. An image with a large area of flat blue sky will be smaller then a file that fills the frame with colorful flowers.

I rarely pay any attention to shots remaining counter until it gets down below about 20 and then I always have an empty card ready to go.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
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Tvol65

US
1 posts

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#57. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 55

Tvol65 Registered since 28th Mar 2008
Fri 28-Mar-08 06:47 PM

I've been shooting with my D80 for a year now. I've been all over Ireland, Germany, and the U.S., and have easily shot over 15,000 shots with this camera without ever having this or any other problem. Flawless performance by the Nikon D80. I used the 18-135mm and a 50mm Nikor lens primarily.

However, I recently bought a Sigma 18-200 1:3.5-6.3 OS(HSM), and this past week I had the "false low battery" occurance. I had been using he lens without a problem for about a three weeks, low usage. On this particular trip I was shooting much more that previous weeks. Because I was on the coast, I attributed the occurance to the high humidity. I went back to my room reseated everything, battery included, and it worked fine, and then it happened again today at home.

The issue never occured until I used an imgage stabilization lens. Hmmmm.

What I would like to know is in how many NON-OS(Sigma) or NON-VR(Nikon) lenses this has occured? If there are such occurances, are they large AF lenses?

The reason I ask is because I agree with the theory that there is an electrical conflict occuring. I hope the lens reseating/cleaning resolves it. However, because of the frequency of occurance reported here and on other sites, and the frequency it is occuring with OS and VR lenses, I'm concerned that it is a power threshold issue, or circuitry issue with the new VR/OS/AF technology (motor cycling on/off) or something along those lines.

VR and OS systems and AF for large lenses could hog enough battery power to create a confilct in the power monitoring system of the camera.

Has there been such an occurance with the SB800 flash? I would guess not, if the additional battery in the flash system is used to offset the voltage requirements. It's the differnce in minimum and optimum. That's just an analogy, but I would bet it's not too far off.

I'm still going to purchase the D300 in a week or so in spite of the same issue occuring for some users...but this is definitly an issue worth Nikon's attention as new motorized technology is added to the camera lens options beyond standard AF. Are the cameras truly spec. for those new techs? I don't know. I don't build 'em. I just love to use 'em.

Thanks for all the posts. It's worth weeding through some times for peace of mind.








pdm32

Indianapolis Area, US
43 posts

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#58. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 56

pdm32 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Apr 2006
Fri 28-Mar-08 08:12 PM

Then perhaps until recently the cards were inaccurate, but exactly consistent in their inaccuracy? Until the false low battery problem began occurring, the download count into Aperture was exactly the empty capacity #, whatever it was/is to start with (always 163 in RAW), minus what is shown as possible remaining shots on the card. That net # is what always downloaded into Aperture until the other problem began.I fully understand and agree that the initial. empty card count is an estimate and that the actual will depend on the subject, and the remaining count will and should vary according to subject, but I'm not sure I agree about the variance of the count of actual shots, especially when the coincidence of the count discrepancy and the false low battery indication was exact.

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#59. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 58

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sat 29-Mar-08 01:58 PM

Sorry but I think this has always been happening and you have now just noticed.

>> “The RAW capacity of a 2 GB card has always been 163 and I rarely shoot to full. However, when I download into Aperture, sometimes the image count is over 200!” <<

From my experience with the D80 ( I got mine the week they came out) I would expect that you could get between to 220 and 250 images your 2gb card even though it will only show 163 when the card is blank. You probably did not notice this because you “I rarely shoot to full.”

I have always been able to get more images on both the D80 and D300 then the counter said would fit on the card. When you take a few shote with an empty card and then add the shots taken to the shots remaining it will likely add up to more then the number that appears when the card is empty.

Example: My D300 with a 4gb card reports 192 images remaining when the card is empty. I fired one frame and the number stayed at 192. I fired 10 frames and the number dropped to 186 >> 186 + 10 = 196. I gained 4 shots over the original estimation after shooting only 10 images. All this with no low battery indication or any other errors.

This has ALWAYS been the case with my D50, D80 and now the D300. There have been many threads about this inaccurate shots remaining counter.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
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caprae

Athens, US
925 posts

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#60. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 54

caprae Registered since 20th Apr 2006
Sat 12-Apr-08 09:44 PM

Dang, freaked out for a second the other day with the 70-200 VR. Also noticed the auto focus stopped a couple of times. Looks like I'll be trying the 3 mil vinyl trick. Track moves too quickly to stop for focusing problems.

Tim
We think because we have words, not the other way around. Madeleine L'Engle

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Juantxo

VE
2 posts

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#61. "False Low Battery Indication" | In response to Reply # 0

Juantxo Registered since 14th Apr 2008
Mon 14-Apr-08 06:02 PM

Hi all,
this is my first post here.

my d80 have this problem and it is getting worse. i consulted Nikon and they asked me to send them the camera, lenses and battery. but i'm not in the USA and it would be very expensive and take too much time as i work with my camera.

from all i read and the behavior of my camera, it makes sense to be a problem with the contacts between the lens and the body. i have a couple more lenses and y will run a test with all of them. i'll post the results.

what is the problem?
the camera with any battery condition (from full charge to almost empty) stops working suddenly and show a empty battery icon. it can happen when the shutter button is pressed to focus or after taking the photo. to continue making pictures i either turn the camera off and on, pop the battery out or after reading this and oter forums reseating the lens (taking them off and on)

what gear do you have?
i have the Nikon d80, the Nikon battery grip, 2 original Nikon batteries, 18-70 kit lens, 50 f1.8 D and 70-300 f4-5.6

How old is your camera?
A little over a year.

Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue?
Definitely ongoing and getting more annoying every time.

Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one?
i have the 18-70mm f3.5 4.5 G ED i rarely take it off, and it presents the problem. After reading the various posts around i've been running a test with my 50 F 1.8 and it seems to be working well. keep you posted.

Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE?
no, not at all.

Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how?
no.

Pero no lse perdono -y en esto soy irreductible- que no sepan volar.

Davy

Fort Worth, US
15 posts

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#62. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 51

Davy Registered since 02nd Feb 2008
Tue 15-Apr-08 01:12 AM

I have been out of town on business and have not been able to use my Nikon since my previous post. However, last Saturday I was able to spend the afternoon photgraphing trains, my favorite subject.

I reseated the VR18-200 lens and it worked flawlessly during the entire time I was shooting (over three hours). I was using the same battery that was giving me problems on my previous post. In fact, I had not even charged that battery since the last time I used it.

It is only a small data point, but at least it worked. Thanks for the tip.

Davy
North Texas Nikonian

Supradedupra

Tallahassee, US
10 posts

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#63. "RE: False Low Battery Indication" | In response to Reply # 61

Supradedupra Registered since 12th Apr 2007
Wed 16-Apr-08 03:32 AM

Huray! I'm not the only one!!

This happends to me all the time with my Sigma 120 -300 mm f/2.8 lens. I thought it was perhaps a battery issue or something.

I'm elated to find out that it's not just me

caprae

Athens, US
925 posts

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#64. "RE: False Low Battery Indication" | In response to Reply # 63

caprae Registered since 20th Apr 2006
Wed 16-Apr-08 10:23 AM

It happened to me again last night. My battery was not at 3/4 – 1/2 charge. Twisting the lens brought it back and I was able to make it error once or twice by twisting it. Looks like I'll be trying the mylar technique.

My camera is out of warranty so I don't want to spend money on this, but this is not acceptable. Does anyone know if Nikon is handling this like they did the out of warranty shutters that were going bad?

Tim
We think because we have words, not the other way around. Madeleine L'Engle

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Juantxo

VE
2 posts

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#65. "RE: False Low Battery Indication" | In response to Reply # 61

Juantxo Registered since 14th Apr 2008
Wed 16-Apr-08 12:24 PM

Hi all
The test with the 50 f1.8 is running 24 hours now, to this moment the error have not occurred again.
Today i will install the 18-70 to see if the error activates.
regards.

Pero no lse perdono -y en esto soy irreductible- que no sepan volar.

kenny1

Sydney, AU
296 posts

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#66. " D80 is also showing low batRE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

kenny1 Registered since 26th Aug 2007
Mon 21-Apr-08 05:48 AM

####, now my D80 is showing low bat!!! I have my batteries on charge n right now and will clean the contacts and see if that helps. I am near the middle east and it's quite humid, I wonder is that an issue???

Ken,
Sydney Australia

nogooduseless

RO
15 posts

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#67. "RE: False Low Battery Indication &#8211; PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

nogooduseless Registered since 22nd Apr 2008
Tue 22-Apr-08 05:14 PM

hello, i bought my d80 in december 08. the problem occured yesterday after charging the battery while it was still 10% FULL. when i look at the battery info it sais that pic meter is 27852 and says is 81% full, wich i thik it is or after switching the camera on and off and take out the battery out and in it says (battery info) that all is 0. this when the menu works. now the camera seems to work fine after taking the battery in and out a few times. i hope after the battery will be empty and charged again the problem will dissapear.

nogooduseless

RO
15 posts

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#68. "RE: False Low Battery Indication &#8211; PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 67

nogooduseless Registered since 22nd Apr 2008
Tue 22-Apr-08 05:18 PM

by the way, i forgat, i only used from the beginning the 18-70 lens.

nogooduseless

RO
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#69. "RE: False Low Battery Indication &#8211; PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 68

nogooduseless Registered since 22nd Apr 2008
Wed 23-Apr-08 01:40 AM

The battery is not the problem, i still have it. by puting the battery to it's place it doesn't start (the d80) the first time but keep trying it does. it also starts if the indicator is low but i switch the lens a few time. now after i took off the lens and try to move the little button that modifies the f numberof the lens, the one in the camera and putting back the batery, it starts with no problem, i kept pulling off the battery and back one and looks like the problem dissapeard. i hope this was the sollution. i also send a mail to nikon service in romania and i hope i will get an answer. i will post agait to tell what they sad and if the problem occured again.

nogooduseless

RO
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#70. "RE: False Low Battery Indication &#8211; PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 69

nogooduseless Registered since 22nd Apr 2008
Wed 23-Apr-08 06:05 AM

My problem didn't dissapear and I just recived an email from the nikon corporation and this is what thay sayd:
"I am sorry to learn of the problems that you have been experiencing with your Nikon equipment. It does appear that it requires attention at our service centre for examination of the issues causing this problem and for repair."

jspreiss

Brighton, US
102 posts

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#71. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

jspreiss Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2008
Thu 24-Apr-08 08:49 PM

I've seen this same error a few times and assumed it was an issue with the battery grip. I'm not using the MB-D80 grip. I have a Jenis JND80P programmable Battery grip. When I recieved the low battery indication I had the basic 18-55 non-VR kit lens on. I removed the battery grip and then reinstalled it with no luck. Swapping batteries didn't fix it either. After a minute or so of playing with the battery grip the problem cleared. This is why I assumed it was a grip issue and never looked at the possibility of the lens causing a problem. I bought the camera new at the end of January, 08. I have only seen this 2 or 3 times and each time it cleared within about 30 secs. to a minute of fiddling around. I did not see any other error messages associated with it.

CarlUK

UK
1 posts

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#72. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

CarlUK Registered since 26th Apr 2008
Sat 26-Apr-08 11:16 AM

Hi,

Great site and it's good to know I'm not alone with my D80 battery level indication problem. As requested, here are the details:

How old is your camera? - Bought Jan 2007 from a genuine Nikon UK supplier (Jessops)

Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue? - Fault first appeared once in Dec 2007 and went away after turning off and on again. However, it reappeared Feb 2008 (just after warranty expired!) and was hard to get rid of, either by turning on and off again or by reseating the battery. It did seem to appear after the batttery had been fully charged.

Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one? - it's only ever happened with the Nikon 18-200 VR. I do use other lenses on the body but the 18-200VR is the one that's on it most of the time, as it's such a great lens.

Have you had any other error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE? - No other error messages, the only message I've seen is the battery empty warning.

Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how? - Cannot replicate the error, but after despairing over it the last time it went wrong (a couple of weeks ago) and reading this thread, I gently picked up the camera body and twisted the lens (18-200VR) and the battery empty warning came up straight away. I then took the lens off, cleaned the contacts on the camera and the lens (there was nothing visible however on the white lint-free cloth that I used) and since doing that I've taken about 200 pics and it's been fine. Before doing that it was failing every couple of shots (I was taking pics with the camera pointing downwards at the time, which may have been a contributing factor to the failures).

It may be that there are two faults causing this error to appear; the battery compartment weak third contact issue and the lens communication pins. I reckon on my combination it's the lens pins, although I have to admit there was no gunge or visible debris when I cleaned them.

My D80 body is S/No 8022xxx and the 18-200VR lens is 2643xxx, both made in Thailand.

Hope this is useful for your statistics!

Regards,


Carl

Lighthouseman

CA
46 posts

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#73. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 72

Lighthouseman Registered since 20th Dec 2004
Mon 28-Apr-08 09:02 AM | edited Mon 28-Apr-08 09:10 AM by Lighthouseman

I own a D200. It's alomst 1 year-old and has shot nearly 10,000 images. Never had a problem like this before. About a month ago, I bought a 70-200 2.8 vr zoom lens. Within a week, I got the intermittent low battery issue. In fact, over the next couple of weeks, the problem got progressively worse to the point where I was contemplating bringing either my lens and/or D200 back to the dealer to be sent to Nikon Canada. I really didn't want to do this as I didn't want to be without my camera for any length of time.

I goggled and searched everything I could find on the problem. The situation seemed to occur when the lens was moved/jarred on the bayonet mount - instant lock-up!. I tried cleaning the lens contacts in the camera body and on the lens itself wit some denatured alcohol. This didn't do anything. Finally, before I gave in an sent the stuff back to Nikon, I read about battery contacts. I have two OEM Nikon batteries which I alternate between charges and they're one year old as well. I got the alcohol and swab out again and gave the battery contact AND the battery contacts inside the D200 a good cleaning and the problem went away. I can jiggle the lens back and forth in the bayonet mount now, battery at 20% and it still works. No more false low battery reading. Now the question is how long with this last? Been a week now at least. Will likely have to repeat this procedure now and then to keep all running smoothly over time.

Perhaps this will work for D80, other D200 and D300's? No harm to try at least. HOWEVER, I think the real solution is for Nikon to revisit it's firmware and account for a larger tolerane in battery current.

Those who say it cannot be done ought not interrupt those who are doing it!!!! (Old Chinese Proverb)
My Gallery: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=24481

Wenwill

Marietta, GE
17 posts

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#74. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Wenwill Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jun 2007
Mon 28-Apr-08 09:17 PM

The good news: I have Nikonian brothers ans sisters out there with the same problem!
The bad news: I have a false battery problem.

Equipment: D80 #3205129, 18-200MM (VR-on, M/A-set, Normal)..about 6 months old
Batteries: both OEM and aftermarket (freshly-charged)

Symptoms: "full battery" showing on the meter..."low battery" shown when shutter pressed (camera refused to function), replaced batteries without any effect.

Only happened once in six months. Situation has not re-occurred.

Preventative Action? I used some "Tweek" electrical contact cleaner (the kind sold in computer and electonic stores) and wiped down both sets of contacts and the mounting ring. (It smelled like plain-old isopropyl alcohol...the rag did pick up dirt from the mounting ring).

I'll see if it happens again.

Wendell

Wendell

josemx81

US
7 posts

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#75. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

josemx81 Registered since 20th Mar 2008
Fri 02-May-08 04:13 PM

When my battery has reached the last bar it stops taking pictures. I bought the camera two months ago. I have the 18-135mm lens.

Jose

caprae

Athens, US
925 posts

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#76. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 75

caprae Registered since 20th Apr 2006
Fri 02-May-08 05:37 PM

Jose - why is your battery getting down that low? If you are shooting that much in one day then you might want to consider getting an extra battery. If my battery is down by one bar at the end of the day I'll stick it in the charger. It is over a year old and has over 20,000 pictures on it and still shows 100% new.

Tim
We think because we have words, not the other way around. Madeleine L'Engle

My Gallery

Thumper

Burlington Ontario, CA
406 posts

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#77. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Thumper Basic Member
Fri 02-May-08 11:45 PM

Some thoughts...
One of the ideas that we of the older generation
in terms of chronological years have learned
is a problem can be viewed different ways.
In the earlier years with interchangeable
lenses a trace of lubricant was sometimes seen
on the lense mount on the camera (and it wasn't just
Nikons either.)And if said camera and lense was being used
to excess, oil could appear.

One of my own concerns has always been clean the contacts
on all glass after use on any camera, regardless. Clean the bayonet ring on the camera, and also clean the lens caps and the body
caps as well. Dust and other problems are so easy remove right then and there.

Nikon, and in fact any camera which uses interchangeable
glass must be kept clean, moreso in these days where
those little tiny contacts are so darn important. Ditto for
the battery and the contacts. Keep in mind the batteries
themselves aren't perfect either. They do have problems...

Also the cameras of today are chock a block full of electronic
bits and pieces. Sadly I suspect Nikon's quality control may well not be as good as some of us would want. Do they have an ISO
equivalent anywhere in their production facilities, from source to
supplier to camera?

So some of the problems I suspect are very real, however why
Nikon is not acknowledging a problem or because the problem
is too intermittent is anybody's guess.

Suspect those here on this list may well have some better ideas.
keep beating on Nikon's door, eventually they might listen.
However I doubt it.





Fearwidg

CA
2 posts

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#78. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 77

Fearwidg Registered since 03rd May 2008
Sun 04-May-08 04:05 PM

Hello Everyone.

Only just discovered "Nikonians" and this is my first time on this forum ... but I had to say a big "Thank You" for the advice I received here re the low/no battery problem with the Nikon D80.

My partner bought one about a year ago - equipped with the 18- 200VR lens - and started having the problems described here a few months back.

Without any apparent reason, the D-80 would give an "F--" warning, along with the "low battery" icon, then promptly turn off. Like so many others, she initially blamed "cold weather," went through the "change battery/re-charge battery/turn on-off" solutions, and discovered all of them worked ... for a while. However, no one solution worked consistently, so it was impossible to pin-point the problem, and the camera continued to malfunction at the most frustrating (and important) of times.

She toyed with sending the camera back to Nikon, but was horrified to learn a repair could take from 4 - 6 weeks! As I've had a lot of luck with online forums in the past (with my Sony FX-7 Camcorder & with Studio 11 Editing suite) I decided to search online and stumbled on to you guys.

Well, I can report that after reading ALL the entries in this section (Part Four), I was delighted to discover we are not alone - but also angry that - yet again - a manufacturer is obviously selling an expensive piece of equipment with a known problem (Pinnacle Studio 11 is in a similar situation ... selling editing software that doesn't have any sound when you burn a DVD {unless you use the workarounds conceived by the volunteer members of the Pinnacle Forum.})

I find this sort of corporate behaviour nothing short of shameful - especially from a company as supposedly respected as "Nikon."

Nevertheless ... we need the camera NOW, so - after reading all the suggestions on this forum, we decided to try selecting "battery condition" on the menu, with the lens pointed straight down, then suddenly bringing the camera back to the normal horizontal position.

The D80 immediately flashed the "F--" & "Low Battery" icons, then turned off.

I repeated the same test several times over.

Same results EVERY time.

EUREKA! FINALLY, a "smoking'gun" repeatable failure.

Following the advice others have given, I then removed the 18-200VR lens (which hasn't been off since the camera was purchased) then carefully re-attached it.

I repeated the "failure test" however, this time the camera behaved perfectly.

Now, I did NOT clean anything (as I wasn't sure if ISO alcohol is the correct cleaner,) so I realize the problem may return ... but for now, the camera appears to be working just fine.

If it acts up again, we'll try cleaning all the contacts first, then - if the problem persists - try the "vinyl decal fix."

Regardless, we'll report back here in a few weeks (or whenever the problem returns.)

Thanks so much for your assistance everyone. Hope this post adds weight to D80-owner claims and makes Nikon DO something about it.

Cheers till next time,

Glenn Norman
Fearless Widget Productions Inc.
Canada

Wenwill

Marietta, GE
17 posts

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#79. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 78

Wenwill Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jun 2007
Sun 04-May-08 06:43 PM

It's just a thought, but the 18-200VR lens is quite heavy..pointing it downward and abruptly swinging the camera upward might cause the lens to shift slightly in the mount...in this case, causing it to move slightly downward and away from the electrical contacts located on the top of the lens.

It would not take much of a shift to cause intermittent connection problems between the lens and the camera body...Following this logic, a tighter (i.e., shimmed) connection, clean bayonet ring, or clean lens contacts might all be achieving the same purpose...better electrical contact.

Wendell

Jeff1949

AU
2 posts

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#80. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 39

Jeff1949 Registered since 22nd Jan 2008
Sun 04-May-08 11:15 PM

An update to my own post of Jan 23 2008.

All has been well for about 3 months and 1000 shots. My 3 months of satisfaction has however now expired.
This time I decided to tackle only one aspect at a time(ie cleaning lens contacts only) No twisting of lens, no replacement of battery, no cleaning of battery contacts, just gently clean the lens contacts.

In particular did things as gently as possible to reduce the number of variables involved. My experience this time is gently removing 18-200mm lens, cleaning lens contacts with lint free cloth and gently replacing lens had the desired effect. I am back on line and shooting free!

My suggestion is therefore for the problem to be investigated by trying only one thing at a time. The shotgun approach may well fix the problem but at the same may disguise the real cause in your situation.

I will probably be back with you in a few months time unless Nikon gives me a reliable and free solution in the meantime

Regards Jeff

John947W

UK
2 posts

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#81. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 79

John947W Registered since 10th Mar 2008
Mon 05-May-08 07:06 AM

I agree totally with this theory. Please see my previous more detailed comments of 10 March (reply #42) where I noted that many users had found that this problem happened more often when using the SB600 or SB800 flash. If the weight of camera is largely being supported by one hand placed below the lens (in my case the 18-200VR) then additional weight of the flash unit would put more stress on the union between the lens and camera body and the electrical contacts, especially as the camera is being moved around. This would explain the increase in frequency of the intermittent connection problems under these conditions.

Smegs

Hacienda Heights,, US
24 posts

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#82. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 81

Smegs Registered since 06th Jan 2006
Mon 05-May-08 12:26 PM

Count me in too. My D80 is about 3 months old. And I reciently
rented a Sigma 80-400 lenses. For a Airshow I attended. The whole day was uneventful until one of the batteries went dead. Using the factory Nikon battery grip. The camera wouldnt focus and went dead. I would have to turn off and turn on again. To show battery at full power again.

Fearwidg

CA
2 posts

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#83. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 81

Fearwidg Registered since 03rd May 2008
Mon 05-May-08 12:27 PM

>I agree totally with this theory. Please see my previous
>more detailed comments of 10 March (reply #42) where I noted
>that many users had found that this problem happened more
>often when using the SB600 or SB800 flash. If the weight of
>camera is largely being supported by one hand placed below the
>lens (in my case the 18-200VR) then additional weight of the
>flash unit would put more stress on the union between the lens
>and camera body and the electrical contacts, especially as the
>camera is being moved around. This would explain the increase
>in frequency of the intermittent connection problems under
>these conditions.

Hi John.

Thanks for the feedback. I did read your post, but read so many while researching the problem that I just went back and re-read it. VERY interesting as Michelle (my partner)also purchased an SB-600 Flash unit a few months after buying the camera/lens. Not sure if the problem started after that, however - I can now think of several instances where she had the DBS fault shortly after mounting the SB-600. I agree with your conclusions re weight causing problems with electrical contacts and SINCERELY hope we are right <g>. If the problem returns, we'll try the "vinyl decal shim solution," though - like you - I really think Nikon should be addressing this fault themselves (and to be clear here - we're talking about a problem when using a Nikon camera, a Nikon lens and a Nikon Flash Unit - none of which one would describe as "cheap.")

Also ... Can anyone tell us the proper way - or refer us to a previous post we may have missed - for properly cleaning the contact points?

Many thanks again.

Cheers till next time,

Glenn Norman
Fearless Widget Productions
Canada

Wenwill

Marietta, GE
17 posts

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#84. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 83

Wenwill Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jun 2007
Mon 05-May-08 12:58 PM

Just another thought...if the D80 problem is sloppy lens-contact tolerances...this might explain why it takes weeks or months for some folks to experience the problem (e.g., it takes time for physical wear or light corrosion to develop)...while others have it right out of the box.

It might also explain why any excess leverage on the camera/lens mount(long lens, heavy flash, and so forth) could fuzzify the electical connection; why fiddling with the controls might inadvertently actually lead to jiggling the lens/contacts; and, why it seems to mysteriously come and go.

I have not actually had a chance to test this theory yet, but maybe some others could report back?

Wendell

babs the first

Shiraz, IR
1 posts

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#85. "RE: Latest Statistics" | In response to Reply # 4

babs the first Registered since 05th May 2008
Tue 06-May-08 03:24 PM

I had this problem with my D80 and 18-200mm VR. I repaired my camera by reseating the lens (without cleaning the contacts) one week ago and now it is ok. I will report if the problem returns.

Bill68

UK
1 posts

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#86. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Bill68 Registered since 14th May 2008
Thu 15-May-08 07:36 AM

Hi. I think this is a great forum, and very helpfull .I was looking to purchase a Nikon D80 with 18 - 200mm zoom, but after reading about this problem(false low battery indication)and especially the way NIKON are treating people who are having this problem I have now ordered a PENTAX K20D.Please use this post in any pressure you put on nikon to get treated Fairly.Regards.William Spalding

caprae

Athens, US
925 posts

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#87. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 86

caprae Registered since 20th Apr 2006
Thu 15-May-08 07:58 AM

Happened to me again the other day using the 70-200 VR - but the odd part was it was during my son's 3200 meter race. I had been shooting all day and the battery was down two bars. It started acting up. I didn't shoot the next couple of races, but thought I would get try to eek out a couple of more pictures of the kids on the awards podium. Switched to a different lens and everything started working again, including going back to my 70-200 VR. I shot for another hour or so with that lens with no more problems.

When the problems started I reseated the lens (I had been switching between two lenses all day) and I think I took the battery out and put it in again. Turned it off and on a couple of times. Nothing worked at the time. It is as if the whole thing just needed a rest.

Tim
We think because we have words, not the other way around. Madeleine L'Engle

My Gallery

soundop

US
2 posts

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#88. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

soundop Registered since 25th Apr 2008
Fri 16-May-08 09:29 PM

>
>How old is your camera?

Purchased January 2007
>
>Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue?

Varies by lens.
>
>Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one?

Happened a few times with the 18-200mm VR, then not again once I reseated the lens. In the last month I've also bought 50mm 1.4 AF D and 105mm AF Micro D, and those have not had a problem. Yesterday I received a 300mm AF ED, and could make it happen at will by twisting the camera (lens mounts to a tripod, so camera is floating in air, supported by the lens mount).

By rotating the body counterclockwise within the play of the lens mount, the EE message appeared. Rotating it back made it work normally.

Oh, new development while typing this:

The above was with the battery at half or less, and happened while checking the new lens out. I recharged early yesterday evening and took some pictures last night without the problem appearing.

When I picked it up just now and hand hold and twist, no problem.

Mounting to a tripod and twisting, still no problem.

Weird. Yesterday it was showing EE everytime I twisted, and working again when twisting back.

Maybe it's a combination of the battery charge level, oxidation on terminals, and load on battery?
>
>Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE?

See above. With the 18-200, it was just the dead battery indicator. With the 300mm, it's the EE message.
>

>I believe that this issue is caused by intermittent electrical
>contact among the lens contact points. This could cause power
>to surge or a sudden power draw that could cause the firmware
>to report a low battery or the firmewear could be hanging.
>This seems to happen with lenses with internal focus motors
>(AF-S, Sigma HSM) so the draw of power from these motors
>across a less then perfect connection could be part of these
>issues. Some have reported the issue occurs when half pushing
>the shutter release and the AF system is activated.
>
>It is possible that both the camera and the lens are with in
>manufacturing specs. But is one is at the edge of the fit
>tolerance and the other is at the other opposite edge end of
>the tolerance a little extra play at the mount could cause
>intermittent contact. As such this may not be fixable with out
>having the camera and troublesome lens in for service
>together.
>
I think that what you wrote is entirely plausible, and fits my experience.

It hasn't been enough of an issue so far to send the camera in and try to live without it for a month plus.

The camera is really great otherwise, and I feel I am learning a lot about photography because of it. I thought I knew something before, but have learned that I really didn't know much.

Thanks for this excellent website and its learning opportunities. (I could do without the black background, though. My eyes do funny things when I go anywhere after looking at Nikonians for a while.) The lenses were purchased (from KEH) in large part due to various posts and threads here.

Thanks also for all you are doing to track this problem down and get Nikon to acknowledge it and do something about it.

caprae

Athens, US
925 posts

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#89. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 88

caprae Registered since 20th Apr 2006
Fri 16-May-08 09:49 PM

You should be able to change the type/background in your preferences.

Tim
We think because we have words, not the other way around. Madeleine L'Engle

My Gallery

soundop

US
2 posts

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#90. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 89

soundop Registered since 25th Apr 2008
Sat 17-May-08 06:10 AM

>You should be able to change the type/background in your
>preferences.

You're right!

"Always use my page and link colors" worked like a charm.

Thanks!!

Davy

Fort Worth, US
15 posts

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#91. "Re-seating Lens Works for Me" | In response to Reply # 0

Davy Registered since 02nd Feb 2008
Sat 17-May-08 11:47 AM

Following the tips on this thread, I have been re-seating my VR 18-200 lens before I start shooting and have only once had the battery lock up. The only time that it did lock up occurred just after I had moved the camera rapidly and felt the lens move. I recycled the power switch, re-seated the lens and it worked without a problem again.

It appears that my problem is clearly due to a poor fit between camera and lens. This would aslo fit in with my experiencing the problem more on cold days. I guess I really need to try the mylar fix.

I will also clean the contacts, not that I think it has been a part of my problem, but after reading some of the comments, it seems to be a good idea.

Thanks again to everyone who has suggested remedies.

Davy
North Texas Nikonian

Kali4

North Aurora, US
83 posts

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#92. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Kali4 Registered since 22nd Mar 2008
Sun 18-May-08 12:00 PM

I just experienced this situation yesterday while using my D80 photographing waterfalls. I have had my camera for approximately 10 months. The lens used was a Sigma 18-200 OS which has stayed on my camera since I purchased it 8 months ago. I rarely remove my lens but did the day before when I was trying out my kit 18-55. The only action I did differently the day of the experience was I was switching between auto focus and manual while taking pictures of low contrast subjects. Maybe this had some effect? I tried to duplicate this problem and even experimented with using the "battery menu tilt camera up trick" and could not reproduce the effect. I attempted to rotate the lens but it appears rock solid and did not cause any errors.
This forum has been very informative, its nice in a skewed way to know I'm not the only one who has experienced this problem; hopefully together we as a community can have some effect in getting Nikon to recognize this problem and get to the bottom of it!

stormy_monday

Palm Bay, US
40 posts

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#93. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 92

stormy_monday Registered since 14th Dec 2007
Sun 18-May-08 07:49 PM

is this happening to other Nikon DSLR's?

Frankweldwhite

US
5 posts

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#94. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 93

Frankweldwhite Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Oct 2007
Wed 21-May-08 11:45 AM

Greetings,
I have the D3, am using it with 1.4TC and 200-400VR. This set up is predictably used for birds/wildlife. I also experienced DBS, but assumed it was related to the subject matter (only happened when the perfect -fleeting- shot presented itself). I realize that the TC adds another level of complexity here, and I do have a considerable amount of "play" between camera and any lens I mount, so perhaps I should try the decal solution. I do find it astonishing that, given the $$$ involved, one should have to do anything...
At any rate, misery loves company, and I feel relieved to know I am not alone!
Regards,
Frank White

northrop

Chicago, US
251 posts

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#95. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

northrop Registered since 19th Apr 2007
Thu 22-May-08 04:15 PM | edited Thu 22-May-08 04:16 PM by northrop

It's time to add my D80 to the list

How old is your camera?
- I picked it up last April from BHPhoto

Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue?
- Last night was the first time this has ever happened to me.

Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one?
- The lens that i was using at the time was a 300mm VR. The camera indicated an empty battery after only 11 shots, and every 1-2 shots thereafter. The camera returned to proper functionality after replacing the lens with another from my bag (short focal lengths. my longest lens is the kit 18-135 lens)

Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE?
- No such error messages appeared.

Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how?
- I returned the lens back already, but I'm pretty sure if I ever picked up again, then the problems may resurface.

Overall, it's annoying. I was at the game last night, and when the camera stopped responding due to an empty battery I got a little scared thinking "does VR really take up this much power?" I switched to my back up battery, and the same problem occurred after roughly 10 photos. After that, I would turn the camera off after every couple of shots.

I don't have any problems with the camera at short focal lengths, so I'll probably won't be turning to Nikon for repairs. Using a 300mm was only a one time thing for me.

stormy_monday

Palm Bay, US
40 posts

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#96. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 95

stormy_monday Registered since 14th Dec 2007
Sat 24-May-08 08:48 AM

so has Nikon said anything about this? Issued any work arounds, recalls, etc? Or are they ignoring this and hoping it will go away.

northrop

Chicago, US
251 posts

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#97. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 96

northrop Registered since 19th Apr 2007
Tue 27-May-08 02:18 PM

I did e-mail Nikon on saturday, but have yet to receive a reply from them.

northrop

Chicago, US
251 posts

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#98. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 96

northrop Registered since 19th Apr 2007
Wed 28-May-08 05:24 PM

I finally got a reply from Nikon:

"If the camera worked with another lens, then it was more than likely an issue with the rental. See if the same issue happens when other lens are attached if not, then your camera is working properly. If you are unsure, the camera can be sent in for service."

I think I'm just gonna leave it at that. The camera works fine with all of my current lenses. When I do buy a telephoto lens, and I start encountering the problem with the camera, then I'll give them a call.

Yakin

US
29 posts

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#99. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Yakin Registered since 03rd Jun 2008
Tue 10-Jun-08 12:04 PM

Had this exact thing happen about 2 weeks ago. My D80 has the MB-d80 grip and 18-70 Nikkor lens.

The issue was replicated regardless of grip on or off. Issue went away one day when I noticed when I picked up the camera - there was a slight - very slight rotation of the lens on the body - issue immediatly disappeared. Then I started to twist the lens on the body and every time the low battery issue happened. I removed the lens, cleaned the lens sensor contacts and remounted. Never had the issue again.

tampasailor

US
4 posts

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#100. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

tampasailor Registered since 11th Jun 2008
Wed 11-Jun-08 01:27 AM

Got my D80 from Ritz early 2008. Noticed this problem after about two weeks. Now occurrs on every shoot, mostly when the battery is fresh with an overnight charge. I can make it happen by putting some stress on the lens/camera body connection.. ie tilting the lens down and keeping the camera still. Happens every time. I am sure that a connection is being made or broken momentarily. Turning the cam off and on (re-boot)clears the ERR fault but it will happen again usually but as I shoot more and the battery discharges more, it seems to behave better. Lens is Quantaray 18-200 (Sigma)

COMPIC

UK
1 posts

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#101. "RE: False Low Battery Indication &#8211; PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

COMPIC Registered since 15th Jun 2008
Sun 15-Jun-08 08:30 PM

I concur with everything described in Part Four. What happened to my D80 today 15th June 08 is that it seems that low battery signal and shutter lock-up are not happening when VR is switched off on my 18-200 Nikkor lens. But this was noted for just a short time as the photo event ceased.

I intend to use Deoxit D5 by Caig Laboratories.Inc and used on all metal electical contacts i.e. lens, card and battery contacts. I currently use Deoxit D5 on all my High Fidelity music playing equipment to good effect. I'll report back when I get a result asap.

Geoff Taylor.

broomer68

Sliedrecht, NL
54 posts

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#102. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

broomer68 Registered since 30th Mar 2008
Tue 17-Jun-08 02:22 PM

I had this problem suddenly a few weeks ago with an Ansmann (=3th party) battery which suddenly showed empty, and stayed empty right from the charger. nothing to bring it back. Luck had it I had a Nikon spare with me at that time.

But the solution I finished with: completely empty the full battery with the help of some wires and a car-bulb (12V 60W) leaving it glowing for a couple of hours until totally dead.
When inserted in the camera it did not even register anymore.
Then put it in he charger for 1 minute, and inserted in the camera, it did register and showed nearly empty, and made some pictures until dead...
then did a full charge, and was able to take 928 pictures with it, with the help of my ND80P batterygrip with timer, taking 1-2 pictures every 5 seconds during an afternoon.

This was with VR, and in macro AF focussing on wind-blown flowers with insects. (nothing special to see... )

so the battery is working again.

nogooduseless

RO
15 posts

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#103. "RE: False Low Battery Indication &#8211; PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

nogooduseless Registered since 22nd Apr 2008
Wed 18-Jun-08 09:09 AM

hello everybody,
I have the 18-70 and the 50mm f1.8 lens.
my problem seem to have dissapeared, after I cleaned very good the lens mount (i don't know if this is the reason) the problem didn't appear again. It's been a month ot two since the last false low battery indication.

muleman

US
5 posts

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#104. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 99

muleman Registered since 20th Jun 2008
Fri 20-Jun-08 01:15 PM

I bought my D80 in November, 2006. This problem surfaced for the first time a couple of months ago - perhaps coincidentally with my purchase of a Sigma 18-200 OS lens. I've sent my camera back to Nikon (via Wolf/Ritz) Camera - still under warranty.
Has anyone had a similar problem strictly with the Sigma?

jglerum

US
2 posts

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#105. "RE: False Low Battery Indication &#8211; PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 103

jglerum Registered since 20th Jun 2008
Fri 20-Jun-08 02:36 PM | edited Fri 20-Jun-08 02:38 PM by jglerum

I started noticing the false low battery error about a month after I bought the MB-D80. It happened intermittently at first with the 18-200mm VR, then also started happening with the 50mm 1.4, and now it happens so frequently that the battery grip is unusable. No error message appears, just the blinking no battery signal. I never have the problem without the battery pack attached. I have tried the fixes suggested in this forum, but to no avail. Nikon denied knowing of a problem when I contacted them by phone. They said I could send it in to have it looked at, but the cost is prohibitive.

Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, UK
12722 posts

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#106. "RE: Does anybody read instruction books?" | In response to Reply # 105

Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003
Fri 20-Jun-08 08:10 PM

I cannot quote the D80 instruction page but the D300 instructions reasonably advise keeping contacts clean to keep the camera functioning.
If the battery terminals are cleaned at each charge and the lens bayonet and camera throat contacts are cleaned about once a month few seem to have this (or the similar F100, F6, D3 and D300) problem.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

lhadup

CA
1 posts

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#107. "RE: Does anybody read instruction books?" | In response to Reply # 106

lhadup Registered since 16th Feb 2008
Sat 21-Jun-08 09:12 AM

Hi all,

Noticed the battery problem a couple of months back on my D80. Since it was still under warranty, sent the camera in for servicing at the Mississisauga Nikon Office here in Ontario, Canada. They were very courteous, kept the camera for a week and as per their repair slip, replaced a circuit and gave me a new battery. The repair also came with a 6 month warranty.

Picked it up yesterday and the problem seems to have been fixed. No more low battery indication...

Keeping my fingers crossed..but it was good customer service.

libo1949

Eindhoven, NL
332 posts

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#108. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

libo1949 Silver Member Nikonian since 12th May 2007
Sat 21-Jun-08 06:40 PM

I am the latest victim with this problem. It started about 2 weeks ago during a holiday in Canada.

>How old is your camera?
about 1 year

>Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue?
It started 2 weeks ago during a holiday in Canada; Since then it happened a number of times;

>Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one?
So far only the 18-200VR; But I was using the other lenses (Sigma 10-20 and Nikon 80-400VR) a lot less. Recently I have been changing lenses much more often then before and have used the camera more heavily under tougher conditions (hiking etc)

>Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE?
Yes; I saw F-- twice. Also in these two occasions the AF-mechanism stopped working and customer setting nr 2 (AF-area mode) turned grey. In these cases I had to reseat the lens to get it working again. Turning the camera off and on again didn't work in this case.

>Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how?
So far not; but I haven't been trying too much

I don't use a battery holder and the batteries were fully loaded. Everything indicates that the root cause are faulty contacts between camera and lens.

I just returned from holiday and I haven't been able to read all the posts yet. I am going to contact Nikon next week. I wonder if other members have tried Dave's vinyl-solution. My tentative conclusion is that this in addition to cleaning the contacts seems the right way to go.

muleman

US
5 posts

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#109. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 92

muleman Registered since 20th Jun 2008
Sat 21-Jun-08 06:51 PM

I had the same situation develop shortly after I bought my Sigma 18-200 OS. It showed up regularly last week in Santa Fe. I've sent my camera back to Nikon for repairs and will report when it's returned. Have you sent your camera in for a check-up? M

Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, UK
12722 posts

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#110. "RE: Are you a "victim"?" | In response to Reply # 108

Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003
Sun 22-Jun-08 09:55 AM

>I am the latest victim with this problem. It started about 2 weeks ago during a holiday in Canada.
You are only a "victim" if it was neither condensation on the contacts nor keeping the lens and camera communication contacts clean.
Unfortunately the 18-200 motors do fail - from internet feedback apparently far more frequently than all other Nikon lenses combined - so it might be the first signs of a lens motor failure than the camera.
If you occasionally hear a high pitched whine when do do not get AF it is almost certainly the lens motor.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

libo1949

Eindhoven, NL
332 posts

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#111. "RE: Are you a "victim"?" | In response to Reply # 110

libo1949 Silver Member Nikonian since 12th May 2007
Mon 23-Jun-08 01:01 AM

Thanks for this comment; I've found one post about a "squeaky lens":
https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=set_threaded_mode&forum=146&topic_id=120152&prev_page=show_topic&gid=120152#120158

So there might be 2 problems: a false low battery indication and a lens motor failure. In the 2 or 3 cases I had this AF-problem I also had the "false low battery indication". I don't hear that high pitched wine you mentioned. But for sure it makes me nervous. Having a faulty camera and a faulty lens just now the warrenty period expired. Not good.

In Canada it could well have been condensation. It was pretty cold and humid every now and again. And I was changing lenses more often than I normally do.

I have played with camera and lens for a hour or so, but I cannot reproduce any of these 2 problems. But I am afraid that it will happen again in the field.

jglerum

US
2 posts

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#112. "RE: Are you a "victim"?" | In response to Reply # 111

jglerum Registered since 20th Jun 2008
Mon 23-Jun-08 05:12 PM

The problem I encounter is specific to the MB-D80 battery grip - I have not had any difficulty when it was not attached and I have nothing but difficulty when it is attached. It is not a problem with the batteries or the contacts, cleaning the lens mount, or condensation (yeah, I've read the manual). I've been pleased with my Nikon equipment and the battery grip is the first negative I have to report. My impression is that it's pretty cheaply made, so it doesn't seat well and does not hold up well under moderate use.

samsid

UK
1 posts

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#113. "RE: Are you a "victim"?" | In response to Reply # 112

samsid Registered since 19th Jun 2008
Sun 29-Jun-08 10:09 PM

This is a new report of this problem from me.

My D80 is about one year old now (purchased in June 2007), and I've only ever had the 18-200 VR lens mounted on it since it was new, and hence never remove it. The battery problem first occurred shortly after I purchased and started using a SB800 flash in September 2007. At first I thought it due to some problem with the camera and flash combination. When it started occurring even when not using the flash, I started to doubt this assumption.

For about six months now, the problem has recurred without fail every time I used my camera, usually after taking between 5 and 10 shots.

Last week I read more into the problem online, and found the thread about removing, cleaning the contacts and re-attaching the lens. I followed these instructions. On Saturday just gone (28th June 2008), I took my camera out for a day for some intensive photo taking, and the camera didn't fail me once. I would have to assume that the lens trick, well, did the trick!

I hope this helps others. I will post back again if the problem occurs again...

muleman

US
5 posts

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#114. "RE: Are you a "victim"?" | In response to Reply # 113

muleman Registered since 20th Jun 2008
Thu 03-Jul-08 07:34 PM

Good information - thanks.
Since I bought my D80 at Wolf (Ritz) I took it there for repairs. They don't go directly to Nikon and say I have to wait 3-4 weeks. Henceforth, however, I'll follow these recommendations to the letter.
It's nice to have this forum as a resource. Sharing knowledge is the only way to go.

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#115. "Help may be coming - I hope" | In response to Reply # 0

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sun 06-Jul-08 08:12 PM

Help may be coming - I hope

Just so everyone knows this Low Battery issue has been occurring in both the D3 and D300 bodies. On July first Nikon released firmware for those camera that addressed this issue. It is still to soon to know if the fix will work for everyone but we should know soon.

So now Nikon has finally “acknowledged” this issue and hopefully found a fix. I hope to see this fix applied to the D80 soon.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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caprae

Athens, US
925 posts

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#116. "RE: Help may be coming - I hope" | In response to Reply # 115

caprae Registered since 20th Apr 2006
Sun 06-Jul-08 08:30 PM

>Help may be coming - I hope
>
>Just so everyone knows this Low Battery issue has been
>occurring in both the D3 and D300 bodies. On July first Nikon
>released firmware for those camera that addressed this issue.
>It is still to soon to know if the fix will work for everyone
>but we should know soon.
>
>So now Nikon has finally “acknowledged” this issue and
>hopefully found a fix. I hope to see this fix applied to the
>D80 soon.
>
Yahoo!

Tim
We think because we have words, not the other way around. Madeleine L'Engle

My Gallery

muleman

US
5 posts

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#117. "RE: Help may be coming - I hope" | In response to Reply # 115

muleman Registered since 20th Jun 2008
Tue 08-Jul-08 11:47 PM

So here's the latest. Wolf/Ritz returned the D80 today. The in-house repair facility states they replaced the DC-DC Converter. I've tried just a few shots with the Sigma 18-200 OS lens. So far, no problem. I'll take a bunch this weekend and see what happens.
SO - has anyone heard about the DC-DC converter as a source of the problem?
M

Arutha

US
2 posts

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#118. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Arutha Registered since 20th Jul 2008
Mon 21-Jul-08 01:50 AM

How old is your camera?
I got the D80 on Father's Day

Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue?
Happened for the first time 4 weeks after I got the camera while camping. It has been an intermittent issue.

Does it happen with any lens or only a specific one?
Only seem to have the problem on my 70-300mm VR lens. my 18-70mm lens does not have this problem.

Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE?
NO

Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how?
I could when I was camping last 2 weeks ago, but so far have been unable to do so. I tried tonight by moving the base of the lens to the body and was not able to get the false indicator. I could get this though when I did that while camping which made me think I was not attaching the lens correctly.


I'm glad I found this forum. I am sad to see though that this problem is bigger then I thought.

azervos

GP
1 posts

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#119. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 118

azervos Registered since 21st Jul 2008
Mon 21-Jul-08 04:59 AM



How old is your camera?
7 weeks with nikkor 18-200VR

Has this just happened once or is it an ongoing issue?
Ongoing after removing and reattaching the lense

any lens or only a specific one?
I only have this lense

Have you had any there error messages such as ERR, F-- or fEE?
NO

Can you replicate the issue at will? If so how?
I did not try.

I'm glad I found this forum. I cleaned the contacts and mounting ring with alcohol 3 days ago. After a weekend and 300 shots it has not reappered. I hope it is gone for good

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#120. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 118

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Fri 25-Jul-08 12:21 AM

Welcome to Nikonians Jason!

I think it is a good sign that you can not replicate the problem. That will probably meant that the issue will not happen often. Just keep the contacts clean and make sure that the lens is fully locked into place.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13624 posts

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#121. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 119

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Fri 25-Jul-08 12:24 AM

Welcome to Nikonians Antonis!

The problem will likely come up again but now you know how to keep it under control. Keep the contacts clean.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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Arutha

US
2 posts

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#122. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 120

Arutha Registered since 20th Jul 2008
Fri 25-Jul-08 03:00 AM

Thanks Dave for the reply. I'm very happy with the purchase of this camera and am loving it. I did some more shooting the other day and did not have any problems with the lens. If the problem does crop up again I'll wipe down the contacts and readjust the lens.

jfuji

Carstairs, CA
98 posts

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#123. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

jfuji Registered since 26th Feb 2007
Sat 26-Jul-08 07:37 PM

My experience with this problem was the fEE error. I was in Jasper, AB changed from my 18-135mm to my 80-400mm Tokina and experienced the fEE problem. I couldn't get the camera to take any pictures and was mad and worried. I shut off the camera and put the kit lens back on and stuffed everything back into my camera bag. When I took everything out to examine, there was nothing wrong. The camera worked perfectly with both lenses. That was a month ago and my fingers are still crossed.
I got my D80 in November of 2007

John Fujimagari



"Working for Ansel was the only time 'I was taking a picture' was a good excuse for being late for work"
John Sexton

durgan

Brantford, CA
5 posts

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#124. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 123

durgan Registered since 30th Dec 2004
Mon 28-Jul-08 09:23 PM

My D80 is Serial number 3264581, about 8 nmonths old. I have three batteries, two are Nikon EN-EL3e, The other is a no-name replacement for EN-EL3e

One of the Nikon batteries works just fine. The other two give the low battery indication. This is with or with out lenses attached.

I tried a new battery in two Camera stores and the batteries worked just fine.

The two defaulting batteries gave the same low battery indication in a store camera.

I also have a D70, and both of the defaulting batteries work just fine in this camera.

The lenses nonsense is just nonsense, certainly in my case, since the low battery false signal appears with no lenses attached.

The problems is clearly with the "sensing system' of the battery, be this poor contact or whatever.

One camera store wanted to send the Camera to Nikon, and the other camera store did the baffle-gab illogical dance. He had never heard of the low battery problem on the D80. Obviously a Forest Gump salesman type. Are there any other?

I hate the thought of paying for a new battery, particularly when the battery stores sell other than Nikon for $79.00, but under the circumstances there appears to be no choice.

Maybe it is time for Nikon to step up to the plate, before thousands of D80 users get ripped off, more than they are now.

durgan

Brantford, CA
5 posts

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#125. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 124

durgan Registered since 30th Dec 2004
Thu 31-Jul-08 08:40 AM

I took the third party battery pack apart. There are two batteries in series with a marked capacity of 1400 mah, yet the report on the outer cover is 1500maH. Clearly misleading, and cheating advertising. There is a circuit board with several chips, so the sensing takes place on the battery pack. This is why some battery packs work and others do not. It is also a good case for using original Nikon battery packs, since no doubt the circuit has been copied by third party suppliers, since I am sure Nikon would not make the board available. I never took the Nikon battey pack apart, so don't know if they are using 1400mah batteries and claiming 1500 mah capacity.

Cleaning contacts certainly does more damage than leaving them alone. The pressure point on the contacts scratch the battery surface, everytime the battery is inserted. There is a fair amount of pressure to insure an adequate electrical connection.

The problem with the D80 battery problem is clearly the chip on the battery packs, in my particular case for sure. I suggest Nikon has a PR Problem, and a major technical issue, and is tending to ignore the event, since replacing a million or more battery chips is a major expense, and not everybody has the problem, so they will ignore the issue as long as possible, unless somebody starts a class action suit.

There may also be a problem with the internal camera computer in some cases with sensing the information from the battery chip.

It is time Nikon stepped up to the plate and addressed this intermittent low battery indicator problem.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#126. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 125

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 31-Jul-08 09:50 AM

Talk of a class action suit seems rather over-the-top, if I may say so

The problem you describe does not match the majority of the cases encountered by our members, as listed in this thread and its predecessors. What you are experiencing sounds much more like actual faulty batteries, rather than the camera firmware's reaction to other electrical problems.

Dismissing the theory that the generic problem can be caused by bad lens contacts as "nonsense" is not justified, given that a large number of members with the problem have found that cleaning the lens/body contacts does help. I'm not sure why you have the idea that cleaning contacts is bad for the battery, camera or lens. As long as a non-abrasive cleaner like a clean microfibre cloth, or a dedicated electrical contact cleaner such as Deoxit, is used there should be no danger.

Nikon has certainly not ignored the similar problem which affected a minority of D300's and D3's. Although admittedly it did take a while, they have issued corrective firmware updates for both cameras. I don't know why they have not done so for the D80 as yet; hopefully they are working on it.

I hope you get your battery problem resolved - let us know how it turns out

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

cnl390

San Antonio, US
181 posts

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#127. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 126

cnl390 Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jun 2007
Tue 12-Aug-08 10:41 AM

I sent an email to Nikon's tech support and the guy that answered acted like my email was the first they had ever heard of this problem.

Maybe whoever is keeping stats on this could share them with Nikon.

Claudia

Ann Arbor, US
11 posts

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#128. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 0

Claudia Registered since 15th Oct 2007
Tue 19-Aug-08 03:15 PM

Hi everyone, I too have had the dead battery problem. I have not read these posts until now, but experienced this problem back in April 2008 just as I arrived at a nice scenic river spot to take some photos. I went and bought a new battery straight away and this seemed to do the trick - maybe I just had a dud battery? Taking the battery out did not work, taking the lens on and off did not work, cleaning the lens contacts did not work - NOTHING WORKED. The battery was fully charged and I had used this battery for 5 months with no previous problems.

I was sending the camera in to Nikon for a service (see postings on the totally annoying blinking 'f---' problem, which is another issue), so I mentioned the dead battery issue in my letter to them. They replaced the battery for me, but that's all they did.

I hope Nikon pays attention to this forum, because there are a lot of unsolved problems with their cameras, that we, the end users, have to put up with. That's a lot of angry people who have spent a lot of money and have malfunctioning equipment.

Claudia

tjaques

CA
2 posts

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#129. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 128

tjaques Registered since 27th Sep 2008
Sat 27-Sep-08 04:42 PM


>
>I hope Nikon pays attention to this forum, because there are a
>lot of unsolved problems with their cameras, that we, the end
>users, have to put up with. That's a lot of angry people who
>have spent a lot of money and have malfunctioning equipment.


Yes, I got one because the company I work for prefers them. I'd rather have a Canon. I work at a small newspaper where reporters take their own photos.

I have this same battery problem too. The D-80 was purchased within the last month and has a af-s 18-135 lens. The low battery light comes on inexplicably, and without warning. Always, it seems, when I need the camera the most, like this morning when I had to take a photo early in the morning. I had to borrow a tiny point and shoot from a bystander and put my card into it to get any shot at all. This has happened twice, both on important occasions, and I sent the battery back the first time but of course nothing was wrong with it. There doesn't seem to be anything I can see that triggers it, and just fiddling about with the camera, pushing the battery in and out, seems eventually to get it to work (although not in time this morning, although equally strange it is working fine now.)

It hasn't happened while the camera is actually on -- it only happens when it is off, and I try to turn it on. Turning off and on makes no difference -- the only cure is to take the battery out and shove it in and hold it in HARD several times. It hasn't happened with a larger lens I have, but I haven't used that lens very much to judge.

Someone said send it back to Nikon with the lens. I don't intend to do that, as presumably they have lenses they can use to test it. But the last time we sent one of the other Nikons back to the shop -- the other two have been to the shop more than once for other problems -- it came back missing the card. I don't trust them to return my lens.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#130. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 129

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sat 27-Sep-08 04:48 PM

Perhaps you should stick with Nikon a little longer. A D80 firmware upgrade was released yesterday, specifically to fix this "false dead battery" problem.

Read about it here

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

tjaques

CA
2 posts

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#131. "RE: False Low Battery Indication – PART FOUR" | In response to Reply # 130

tjaques Registered since 27th Sep 2008
Thu 16-Oct-08 10:32 AM

>Perhaps you should stick with Nikon a little longer. A D80
>firmware upgrade was released yesterday, specifically to fix
>this "false dead battery" problem.
>
>Read about it
>here
>


I installed it the day after you posted this. I had the same problem yesterday, so the patch was not effective. It is uncanny how the problem only arises when most need to take a photograph -- it never happens when I am in no hurry or just fiddling around with the camera.

G