He looks, he shoots, and he … S-C-O-R-E-S!!!! Garett Estep hits the target from beyoooond the 3-point line, and gets nothing but net. Swiiiiish! And the crowd is going W I L D ! ! ! ! ! !
(Sorry, been watching maybe the tiniest bit too much Olympics this week …
Garett was absolutely spot on. One look at the top dial confirmed it: the camera was set to Mup. I've never gone past the self-timer on my own camera, so even if I'd seen it the first time I wouldn't have known what it was.
Just to be sure that that was the only problem, I went through the other two things first: re-set, followed by dumping any excess charge. But after reading up on mirror-up in the D700 manual before I went to see the camera again I recognized the behavior exactly.
The reason the shots were so dark? In trying out the camera the first thing I did was insert a battery, turn it on, and press the shutter release. When it "acted up" so badly I never bothered to do anything but try to get a normal shutter speed — like, for example, mounting the flash, opening the aperture up (normally leads to still longer shutter speeds, and I was trying to get the shutter speed down), whatever.
The first trial was had been at 11 p.m. (don't ask … ), in my hosts living room, and of course the shots were dark. The shutter hadn't been open but for – at best – half a second or so. No light got in! Duh. And of course they were blurry. There wasn't enough light for the AF to work. But there was absolutely nothing wrong with the camera.
Many thanks to you who responded. I felt very confident going back, and very confident while running through the tests.
I didn't, however, get the camera. (Again, long story, don't ask … )
So after all that on all our parts, I'll still not yet be joining you! If y'all upgrade before I get here, you're tops, and may you fare well.
_________________________________ A little knowledge is a dangerous thing