D700, MB-10, EN-EL4a - where is the fault?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ken_i_h, May 8, 2016.

  1. It's been a while. I am still using my D700/ MB-10 combo. The question is not about IQ or technique but about what started recently with my system.
    I was using the D700/ MB-10/ EN-EL4a (all Nikon genuine) for a while and quite happy. although I can spend my time for this hobby less and less, so it is sometimes weeks between the use. One day, I charged EL4a fully and put it in MB-10 - then the LED on top of the body shows "Law Battery (the shape of the battery with thin black area - please imagine)" and when I turned it on, it just blinks and nothing works.
    Well, I then detached it and used the fully charged EL3e (the small guy) and put it in D700. It works. Hmnn. Then I put that perfectly fine fully charged same EL3e into the "EL3e adaptor" that came with MB-10 and attached it to D700 body. Again, same "Low Battery".
    So, so far, I have concluded (1) doesn't seem to be battery problem, or even charger problem, (2) then the MB-10 fault, maybe.
    To eliminate possibilities one by one, I borrowed another MB-10, which is perfectly working with his D300, and did the same thing as above. Nope. The same result. Okay, then my conclusion (3) this is not MB-10 fault.
    Then, the rest is D700 body problem. I cleaned the terminals with alcohol/ Q-tip. No change.
    Okay, so I brought the set to the service center - they checked all and said "battery has deteriorated". REALLY? Last time I checked, it had no deterioration (like I said, I don't spend a lot of time with this camera). But I bought a brand new EL4a from Amazon and charged it and tried again. THE SAME THING!
    I am a bit frustrated. Is it time to re-visit the service center?
    I would appreciate any help you guys can provide. Thank you.
  2. First remark: did you check the battery condition of the EN EL4A on a D2 or D3? They wil die eventually, and that can't be seen on the status light of the charger (MH21 I assume?) where, if you leave the battery on the charger long enough, it will show as 'fully charged' no matter the condition. The D2 and D3 have an option in the menu that will also show the condition of the battery from 4 (excellent) to 1 (close to death).
    Second remark: if by any chance the EN EL 4a is indeed dead, why not use (rechargable) AA batteries instead. Used to do so when I had/used a D300/MB10 combo, and still do nowadays with my D800/MB12.
  3. Ken; I looked at the PDF manual of your D700 downloaded from Nikon, and on page 340, it shows the menu option for the battery info/status. On that screen in the bottom right, will be a graph that read from left to right, is the charge life of the battery. 0= good, 4= buy a new battery. If you don't have a PDF reader and don't have the user manual for your camera, go to the menu and on the left side of that screen, scroll down to the wrench icon. That is were you'll find your battery info. I'm going assume that it will show the status of the EN-EL4a in the MB-10 when attached to the camera.
    I had to myself, buy a new EN-EL4a for my Nikon D2Hs yesterday. Also I like to add a word of caution. If you have to replace that battery, buy the Nikon replacement, or one from Promaster. There is a plethora of Chinese made replacement EN-EL4/EN-EL4a's out there on the Internet for $25-$35(US), and in my research for my replacement found that some of them are not all that well made. Also, I was told by a store owner of a Batteries+Bulbs store that, Lithium Ion batteries will deteriorate over time regardless of useage. Their shelf life is about four years. That also depends on how one discharges and recharges the battery.
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I have had Wasabi for both my Nikons for some time now, and they are very good. They are less expensive and have a smaller better charger if you buy a kit. No performance difference.
  5. Sandy; Wasabi ? I suppose that these are the hottest batteries on the market.
    As a side note. I'm cutting open my dead EN-EL4 and going to replace the cells with 3000ma Sanyo's. I found a battery store that will spot weld the metal connector tabs on the cells for me. The cells in those battery packs are three, 3.7 volt 18650's
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As Paul said, why not just use 8 AA in the MB-D10? Li-ion batteries will gradually deteriorate over time. Not sure why a
    supposedly new one is also no good though.
  7. I've used the 8 AA's in my MB-D10 on the D700 for years. Only drawback I found was not being able to get the high continuous frame rate with those compared to what you can get with the EN/EL4 battery. But if you don't need the higher frame rate, the 8 AA's work just fine.
  8. Shun; Dig through an old posted query of mine from about a month and half ago about a replacement EN-EL4, and one of two of the responders had had bad luck with the cheap Chinese made battery packs. I also had found similar posting on other camera user web sites. Though the Promaster that I purchased yesterday is indeed made in China, it comes with a one year warranty. The purity of the Lithium used in the cells can vary. Also the battery packs diagnostic circuit components and assembly can vary in their quality. Sometimes you get what you pay for. I know this from when back in the 80's, I used to race in competition 1,10 scale electric RC cars and ended up building my own NiCd battery packs. I ended up useing only Gated or Sanyo cells. Most everything else was poop.
    The usage of the AA battery tray is good alternative. Something that I wish my camera had the option for.
    Y'all have have good day now. I,m off to burn up some electrons taking some hopefully good wildflower pics on this beautiful sunny day.
  9. Thank you everyone so far.
    Paul: the EL4a was, last time I checked - which was a few weeks ago - the condition was "0" = like new. And I fully charged before use this time. But from within MB-10, the camera display says "Low Battery".
    Pete: and when turned on, the battery shaped mark blinks, and the camera does not have enough power to show menu or do anything at all.
    They are all Nikon genuine pieces.
    One thing you guys did not pay attention was:
    There is one EN-EL3e (small) battery that are used for the D700 body and it works (Condition is "0", too) and fully charged (100%) as well as before. But when I put it in MB-10 (there is EL3e adapter that comes with MB-10), the camera display shows the same.
    So, perfectly fine EL3e works in the body of D700, but not from MB-10. So I assume 8 AA's won't work either, I suspect. What do you figure? Like I said, I borrowed the same MB-10 from a friend and it did the same thing. So, battery is fine, MB-10 is fine. Is charger fine? I don't know. Or is some parts of D700 broken?
  10. Put your en-el3 to the camera and en-el4a to the grip. Then do what Pete suggested in his first post - tool menu. You should be able to see the condition and charge level of both batteries as seen by your D700.
    What is your primary battery, the one that is in the camera or the one in the grip? -> tool menu again!
    Check the condition of connectors inside the battery compartment of the grip - clean if needed! Probably the cleaning will not help as the el3 and el4 uses different connectors.
  11. Reading over your original post again Ken, I'm thinking it's an issue with the D700 interface with the MB-D10. Right inside the camera body, where the contacts connect to the inner-camera circuitry. That seems like the only place that you can't test, if you've tried other MB-D10's and they have shown the same problem as your original MB-D10.
    I'd take the body to an authorized Nikon service center (not just a general camera service center) where they should have the proper diagnostic tools to evaluate the interface within the D700 that connects it with the MB-D10.
    Let us know what you find out, as many of us are using the same D700, MB-D10, EN/EL4 combination.
  12. Thanks everyone.
    Update 1:
    I brought the set in to the service center again today - D700, MB-D10, EL4a, EL3e. I explained again that I came in a few days before and was told that the EL4a battery was just dead. I showed the person (different person from the previous time) that the EL3e works inside D700 while it doesn't in MB-D10 showing the battery sign.
    Then he brought out the spare MB-D10, D700, and Batteries and concluded that there is something wrong around the connector pins in the D700 body. He was apologetic (for me coming/ bringing in twice) and for the fact the body had been overhauled 10 months ago there. So, he offered free repair and free shipping to my place instead of picking up.
    Great service from Nikon and I love them!
    So far so good. The paper says it will be shipped back to me on May 19th (10 days) and I will report back how they report about the malfunction and how good they will have repaired.
    Please stay tuned.
  13. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Ken, just trying to spice things up. If you knew Sushi like I know Sushi....
  14. Update final - arrived one day before they said they would (today is 18th). Perfectly packed and they even replaced the rubber around the body as well as MB-D10. All free - wonderful, Nikon! And now it works as it did before. One thing I noticed - my previous EL4a was, I thought, "0" but now it is "2". Should I buy another one for spare? Or, since it has been discontinued (I assume, right?), having it and time passes then the battery would deteriorate anyway? I intend to use D700 at least for a few more years, or more if possible. Thanks.
  15. I have had the same problem. I just ditched the EL-N's batteries and now use rechargeable AA's. I keep an EL-N in the body just in case. You get more battery life out of the AA's and the continuous frame rate is higher
  16. I do the same thing as Steve Hammond above. Rechargeable AA's in the MB-D10 are the way to go. I have two spare battery holders in my gear bag with freshly recharged AA's so I am never out of juice.

Share This Page