D300 shooting blanks

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by don_martel, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Anyone have experience with the d300 shooting blank frames, its rather random... Its been back to Nikon Canada 4 times and they say there is nothing wrong with the camera ... However I have sent them examples each of the 4 times back to the shop ... all the exif data is there frame before and after are fine...
    Its quite obvious they dont know how to fix it .. contemplating a deal for a d300s
  2. I don't shoot a D300, but the problem is interesting. I don't know that I've experienced the problem outside of the studio(when strobes don't fire due to my negligence, e.g., not hooking up radio transmitter, wrong shutter speed, etc.) Can you elaborate on the particulars of the problem?
  3. these are outdoor images, no flashes to miss fire, records all the exif data just like the frame before .. but is black ... its on aperture priority so .. I could have had the lens cap on! hehe :)
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It sounds like Nikon Canada cannot reproduce the problem. Any error that cannot be reproduced on a regular basis is going to be very difficult to figure out and fix.
  5. Don, I have never the problem you described, but but had other problems with a brand new D300 AND lens a couple of years ago. After sending them in for repair they were sent back and it was like they did not even check out the problems. Same issues when I got the body/lens back. I got in touch with upper management, gave them details and sample pix. Sent it back again. This time they admitted a couple different problems with body and lens. Apparently the problems were bad enough for Nikon to send me a new camera and lens. Nikon came through for me, but it was an inconvenience to go back to my D70 while waiting for the camera/lens. By the way, I also had problems with my brand new D70 when I received it and had it exchanged. I have mentioned before that I have bad luck when buying electronics:(
  6. Well at least they admitted there were problems .... they are saying there is nothing wrong with the camera despite the proof ... that they certainly didnt look at this time around ...
  7. Do you have to deal with Nikon Canada? I found an old contact number from when I had my problems in Sept. 2008.
    Dear John, After reviewing those images the camera needs to inspected. If you have anymore problems by all means call us back @ 1-800-645-6689 option 1 or visit us at www.nikonusa.com Sincerely, Chris
    Nikon Tech Support Specialist

    After the above inspection did not fix the problems, I spoke to a Technical Correspondent and she got the ball rolling.
  8. I've had the occasional black frame on D300 and D700; no rhyme or reason. I've usually chalked it up to user error, but I don't know what.
  9. Intermitent problems are the toughest for service techs to figure out - as a former tech (PC) we were taught to go one of 2 ways -
    If we could recreate the problem (even 1 time) - replace the failing part - or parts indicated by what we saw.
    If we could not recreate the problem - we had a choice - replace the potential failing part or send it back to the customer stating we could not recreate the problem. If we replaced the part - we had to send it back to the company to get a replacement - if the part wasn't failing - our company had to pick up the cost of the replacement - ie no failure - no money
    Not saying this is what Nikon is doing - but I'm guessing that the techs are somehow measured on the number of shutters or components that they replace - and if they replace too many that are not failing - then they fail.
  10. I believe they could re create the problem if they just took the time, Like i said I sent them the cards with all the blank frames, this time .... or the last time.... they didnt even read the notes I sent along... they asked more about the problem .. and if they only would have read the notes I sent along they wouldnt have to ask the questions
  11. Blank as in all white or all black? Sticking lens diaphragm or does it happen with more than one lens?
  12. they are all black frames
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Keep in mind that the lens aperture diaphragm is wide open during composition and metering. Just before the image is captured, the aperture closes down (unless the aperture is set to wide open). A stuck aperture means the image will over-expose, not all black.
    In any case, you can always remove the lens from the body and use a finger to gently move the aperture lever to check whether the diaphragm has any signs of sticking. I kind of doubt that is the problem here, though.
  14. I have always had the same problem with my d300. It's only 1 in 800 shots that are black so I haven't worried about it too much. I usually shoot multiple images so if one turns out black, I haven't lost the shot.
  15. Don,
    Have you looked at the EXIF data from the blank frames? Phil Harvey's EXIFTOOL might provide some valuable insights with respect to the failure. If you don't want to deal with learning a new (and incredibly valuable) tool, send me a pm and I will take a look at the EXIF data and see what might be gleaned.
  16. Are those frames happening only when you're using the camera? If yes, then chances are that there is some small, minor short-circuit happening somewhere inside the camera when you're holding it (and possibly squeezing some "sensitive" spot - no pun intended) and this leads to triggering a noise reduction frame (at least that's what a full black frame sounds to me).
    Check that this might be the case by leaving your camera on for a day or so, maybe even more, and see if it triggers on its own. If it doesn't, then that means you are inadvertedly doing something to it. Reset ALL camera settings to their factory ones and check again to see if the problem persists...
  17. It sounds like you're confidident this is a defect and not user error. Nevertheless, I will just mention that the MB-D10 grip has a bit of a hair trigger, which fortunately can be locked. I've often fired off shots inadvertently by just touching it the wrong way. Of course, these aren't always all black—sometimes they're of my feet or whatever. I have had it fire blanks while riding in the camera bag.
    I don't believe you've mentioned whether you hear the camera firing the unwanted shots or whether the blanks just appear silently.
  18. Don, I had blank frame problems with my D90 that turned out to be memory card problems. If you haven't done so you might try switching cards.
  19. Something similar happened to me, only once with my D300s. The picture was all black on the JPEG but you could see a kind of picture from the raw file after a lot post processing.
    Since it happened only once, I taught it was my manipulation, until I read you post.
  20. pge


    I had a similar problem with a D1. After trying several things I discovered that it was the battery. Once that battery ended up in the garbage the problem never happened again. Do you have more than one battery, sharpy one of them and see if the problem only happens with that battery.
  21. I've had the same problem, it only shows up near the end of a long shooting day - like shooting marathon runners. A friend of mine suggested I turn the camera off and remove the lens. This has always worked for me.
  22. I had the same grip problem when I first put the grip on...then realized what it was and used the "lock" switch but I still inadvertently unlock and still get some weird images once in a while....
  23. Hmm I never thought it could be the battery, I have a few batteries, I am not sure if the same one was in the camera at the time, probably not It usually would happen after the camera has been off for a while, but the last time I got it back from Nikon it did it twice within 80 shots, first time on. I sent the card, and its not the card it happened on more than one card.
  24. Isolating the phenomenon can help. Has the camera been tried with a different lens? Has the lens been tried on a different body? Same for memory card issues, swap out the card for a different card.
    For mechanical issues, one could imagine a diaphragm that some how closed down too far, or a sticking shutter curtain, such that very little light was able to strike the sensor.
  25. Just like Phil Evans, I had this problem in a D1 with a failing battery.
    How old are your D300 batteries? Lithium ion batteries will start to fail after about three years whether they are used or not.
  26. I get this on my D300 about 1 in 1000. I put it down to the card not writing it properly. Never felt it an issue worth chasing down. Maybe from now-on I'll note which card it was. See if there's a pattern. They're all Sandisk IIIs 4GB
  27. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Don, it could be the camera itself, the battery, the memory card, or perhaps something else we haven't thought of.
    What exactly are the memory cards you are using? Could you specify the brand and size? Some "no name" brand or counterfeit SanDisk could potentially cause problems.
    I don't recally having this problem on any one of my 6 Nikon DSLRs or the ones I tested while on loan from Nikon. When my D200 was new, once the bottom 20% of a vertical frame was cut off. The embedded JPEG shows the entire image, but the NEF is missing part of the image. Initially I was concerned that there was something wrong with the camera, but that has never happened again.

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