Yesterday I was shooting for fun with my two cameras while both were hanging on my sides. At one point I picked up D800e and it wouldn't auto focus. I could still take the picture though and everything seems to function but no AF. I had 24-120mm lens on. Obviously I have tried all the buttons and switches and still nothing. The only thing I did not do is to turn the camera off and on. At some point while playing with all of this I zoomed the lens and lo and behold camera started focusing again. This was the first time this happened. I am on the latest firmware. Obviously I can't reproduce this behavior again otherwise I could send it in.
Anyone seen anything like it? At least I was shooting for fun when it happened but what if it happened while I am on the red carpet? I would be very pissed!!!!!
That could have been me. With heavier lenses, I found I was gripping the camera more and my finger was getting on the lens release button. When you press it, the camera will not focus - in my case. In addition to touching the lens release button, I was accidentally rotating the lens a slight bit, making it not focus. After I realized what I was doing, I changed my grip and it never happened again.
I had this on an earlier film Ac Nikon after going crazy as this was intermittent Weeks went by as it became more frequent and started to happen with different lenses Check and clean the body and lens contacts That fixed it than and I keep them all clean to this day Only use a soft cloth nothing abrasive Good luck Jeff
I agree with Jeff. What I use is a clean pencil eraser. I have had this problem with other cameras - D700 and D300, but not yet on the D800. However, a friend had this problem with a D800E and it was fixed with the eraser.
Hi Eugene, Not long ago I got my D3 back from its third trip to Nikon to get it to autofocus reliably. It would autofocus most of the time but then would hang for a series of attempts -- always, of course, at the worst possible moment, then break loose and work again. Since it was an intermittent it was hard for the Nikon crew to replicate the problem. It was getting progressively worse though, and finally somebody there found spotted it, replaced some parts, and fixed it. It started out with a single hang that didn't repeat for some time, so keep watching. If it happens again you might want to send it in before it gets too bad.
I will definitely keep an eye on it. I don't think lens moved from the mount because I did grab it few times. I even tried to focus manually. I will also clean the contacts because I change lenses quite often. I just hope it is not new firmware that is responsible for this behavior.
After checking for lens seating, which creates a problem more with sling straps due to hanging by one's side, the next check point when it happens is to turn off the camera and back one. If there is a software execution problem(probably not a code problem or else we would all have it), rebooting clears many problems whether a complex camera or your cell phone or microwave oven.
The advice to clean contacts with abrasive pencil eraser is very poor. Scratching the gold alloy plated contacts will guarantee future contact problems with increased pitting and higher resistance, intermittent contacts. If contacts are intermittent, it is because either mechanical misalignment(not making contact) or the insulating effects of oxidation. Oxidation is not dirt so does not respond to solvents and only works with abrasives by grinding down the very thin plating. Oxidation can be more common with lenses that do not get changed often or sitting in the bag without a cover. The normal action of mounting and unmounting a lens should keep the oxidation layer thickness lower than that which would prevent electrons from migrating across the thin oxide layer that coats the external surfaces of almost all metals. When the oxide of the metal used in the gold alloy gets thick enough, 6-10 molecules thick electrons have a harder time making the jump, and much thicker and the oxide becomes a very effective insulator. How to de-oxidize the contacts? Use a deoxidizing chemical that has a higher attraction to the surface oxygen than the base metal does. A common de-oxidizer is Caig Laboratories D-5 DeOxit. A tiny amount will remove the oxide without harming the metal at all. A bit on a Q-Tip will be enough to keep oxide from forming for 6-12 months. Any electronics supply house will have it. Do not let a salesman talk you into "contact cleaner" which is a strong solvent and increases oxidation. All the mentions on the forum about using 3rd party grips or batteries voiding the Nikon warranty are wrong and plain silly but using an eraser on gold contacts really should void the warranty because it is clear abuse. If the tech looks at the contacts with a loop, he will clearly see the signs of abuse and has every right to deny coverage. Stan St Petersburg Russia
I've had this happen a couple of times with large lenses. I was nearly in a panic thinking that the camera had gone belly up. Moving the lens slightly towards the locked-in position solves it every time. I think it comes down to how I had been holding the gear and not a problem with the camera. I've been more aware of where there release button is when hanging the camera to my side.