1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

D200 Dead Battery Syndrome

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by jczinn, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. I was wondering if anyone here has experienced what is now being called the D200 "Dead Battery Syndrome". This is where a fully charged battery suddenly displays as low or dead and all camera function stops. Turning the camera off and back on generally fixes it but just temporarily.

    This happened to me this past weekend while using the 200-400VR--with two different fully charged batteries.

    Apparently its becoming more and more common (there are threads on DPR and Nikonians) and no one (including Nikon) can figure out what's going on. Some say it started with Firmware ver. 2; some think its a contact/lens mount issue...but there seems to be no consensus. It happens mostly with longer and VR lenses, although I'm not sure that's a constant either.

    For the moment I'm just going to wait and see if Nikon comes up with a solution, as I hear that people are sending in their camera two, three times for the same issue and it is not getting fixed. But its worrisome. I missed some good shots this weekend because of it.

    Oddly, the other problem I had a while ago with the 200-400VR--the refusal to autofocus--has not recurred (knock on wood!)

    anyway I didn't find any discussion on the Cafe regarding this issue--is there really no one here who has experienced it?
  2. It's happened with my D200 repeatedly under two conditions - once in subzero (actually, colder than -15C) temperatures and once in ordinary ~10C temperatures. Both times I had exactly the same problem as you describe - battery full, camera will stay on and powered up for a few shots then flash an empty battery at me. Turning off and on and/or removing the battery helped. I tried cleaning my lens, body and battery contacts but not a lot of difference before and after. When I returned to my tropical home, the problem never resurfaced. Interestingly I was using the 17-55 both times.

  3. Troublesome to say the least
  4. tomtodeath


    Jan 11, 2007
    new jersey
    i sometimes use a canon 20d that does this
  5. Hi Janet, This happened to me last summer but went away just like you until last month; it was none stop it got so bad that it stopped focusing my 70-200mm VR! I sent the D200 and 70-200mm VR to Nikon they replaced a bunch of parts on both, it cost me $250 to repair the D200 because the camera was out of warranty. It took 3 weeks to get the camera back, Nikon sent me a brand new battery and would you believe it happened once a few days ago :( 

    This problem only happens when the D200 is attached with my 70-200 VR. Yesterday I shot a trade show with my Nikkor 12-24mm and 24-85mm all day no problems at all.

    If it ever stops raining in our area I'll test the D200, 70-200mm VR and new battery again to see if I get the DBS.

  6. koolk2


    Sep 9, 2006
    It happened to me last week when I was shooting kayakers on the river. Yes I was also using my 70-200 VR. I have the MB-D200 attached and changed both batteries for 2 new ones. It did it a couple more times with the new batteries, but then everything was fine. I'll try again this weekend with MX.
  7. >>It took 3 weeks to get the camera back, Nikon sent me a brand new battery and would you believe it happened once a few days ago :( 

    Yeah unfortunately that seems to be what's happening...Nikon is sending back cameras saying its fixed and then it happens again in a few weeks.

    I need to test it out with different lenses as well, hopefully I'll get a chance to get out this weekend.

    Ming, its interesting what you said about the cold weather issue---I had my AF issue in HOT weather---both times that happened (refusal to AF) the camera was under a beating hot sun. Which makes me think, again, that ALL these electrical connection oddities are due to some issues with the mount/contacts. (Heat and/or cold...expand and/or contract...or condensation...something affecting the contacts.)

    That doesn't explain the DBS, quite, though, as it happens in all conditions apparently.
  8. topher04r1

    topher04r1 Guest

    wow ... this is exactly the problem i discribed in a thread about 2 weeks ago ..... i just got my camera and lens back from nikon this week ... both
    D200 and mb200 had been marked for a "repair" ...... number sc 201117 My 300mm f4 had been marked with a repair also Sc 600245 ... prehaps that can help .... ???

    They are all back home now and "seem" to work fine... but i have yet to do any sort of extensive shooting with eather..... It saddens me to hear that this may be some sort of reoccuring problem with many other d200's ....
  9. Happened to me also two weeks ago. Blamed the Sigma 80-400 for it because it also showed some (other) clear loose contact syndrome.
    Will keep and eye on it if this does happen with other lenses too.

    Used "AF-On" focusing.
  10. Since I also experienced that the symptom was gone after power off/on, I have the strong feeling it's firmware related, either camera only, or related to the communication between camera/lens.
    My expectation (please proove me wrong) would be that Nikon Service would not be able to fix this by "traditional" repairing, except that Nikon already has some software fix available internally that Nikon Service can apply.
  11. I have not experienced this at all with my D200 bodies....and, interestingly, I have not gotten around to updating the firmware, so I'm still using the first version. That may further point to the firmware being an issue....
  12. I have seen this "Firmware V2" thing noted multiple times on different D200 issues, but if you research a bit you will find as many reports from V1 cameras as V2. I have seen this a few times myself, and in every case I had it has been an issue of bad battery and/or lens contact. In some cases my MB-D200 was a bit loose, which allowed the battery contacts in the grip to not make good contact. The other case was a loose lens mount on my TC-17E. One interesting thing I noted in all cases was that I would occasionaly see very bizarre aperture and shutter speeds reported in EXIF. Not that I wouldn't love to have a F0 lens, but I shudder to think about the size and weight of a 400mm f0 :biggrin:

    Main point of this, however, is that if you do research, it becomes pretty obvious that this is not a V2 firmware issue.
  13. JimCo


    Feb 16, 2006
    Sublimity, Oregon
    I have experienced the same issue with my D200. It's happened a half dozen times or so and I cannot find any consistency to the problem other than it only seems to happen with my longer lenses. Both the Nikkor 300 f4 and Sigma 80-400.

    Two other interesting but troublesome issues have come up with the D200 a couple of times, too, simultaneous with the "dead battery syndrome". a couple of times with the 80-400 on my aperture showed as, and recorded as (EXIF) f/95. I also got an f/0 (zero) with my 300 once, so I'm thinking it's a camera/lens connection problem. The issues always corrected with turning the camera off then back on, strange indeed. I've been waiting for the problem to show more to be able to send it in with better explanation.
  14. Is this a phenomenon that happens regardless of battery configurations and types: Alkaline/Li-ion/NiMH ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2007
  15. Jim, see my post above. In my case, I have had this a few times, I was able to trace it to cleaning contacts/reseating the lens and/or my loose lens plate on the TC.

    For me, it has on different battery configurations, and in all cases a loose MB-D200. Simply tightening the tripod screw cleared up the issue, no "on/off" required. See the thread from MCS on his plastic spacer, this could also help quite a bit I think with alignment of the contacts, which is what I suspect in many of these cases.

    You can test this by loosening the screw holding the MB-D200 while shooting and then applying pressure, as you might with the heel of your hand while holding the camera. This is where I usually see it happen. Looking at the Battery Information is also interesting when this happens, as one or the other battery may appear to be completely missing, not just run down.
  16. That f/0 thing I had too with my Sigma 80-400, but this was definitely a loose contact problem. I could turn the display from actual aperture to f0 back and forth by changing the amount of weight the lens is pulling at the lens mount (holding both horizontal, more/less supporting the lens by one hand, holding the camera in the other hand).

    I'm unsure whether the dead battery syndrome is related to that or not.
  17. Hmm, loose contacts sounds possible....

  18. You don't suppose this is why the S5 has a very similar but incompatible battery do you? Just food for thought. I don't really believe it.
  19. JimCo


    Feb 16, 2006
    Sublimity, Oregon
    My issue is with the stock battery. I don't have the battery grip.

    I've cleaned my contacts, but maybe not thoroughly enough. I try that again.

    I just checked. I can turn, even my 300 f4, back and forth slightly when mounted on the D200.

    You may be right. I had always assumed the problem was associated with DBS since turning the camera off then on seemed to fix the problem. Next time I'll check if this is actually the case.

    FWIW, I have the V2 firmware.

    Has anyone experienced f/95? That was the weird one because as far as I know, the 80-400 OS lens can't be stopped down that far. The oddest thing is the photo was very dark, almost black, as of the aperture was actually at f/95. If it happens again I'll save the file to display.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.