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False Low Battery Indication – PART THREE


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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13739 posts

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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 16-Jun-07 07:27 PM


Here is the original thread an here is part 2.

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.

Thanks, -Dave

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

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