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Help! Getting r26, r12 and r37 error messages? Can't focus!

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by leahp26, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Hello all

    I'm on vacation for a few days (so no manual with me) and my D300 is acting REALLY strangely.

    I'll try and explain:

    Yesterday, I had a 50 1.8 lens on, but this also happened with the 80 1.4, AF-on was not on - was focusing with shutter half down. Tried both S and C settings. I would try to focus on something and the lens would be whirring back and forth like it just couldn't focus. No green dot or beep.

    Thought maybe I'd accidentally messed something up so I hit Qual/+/- to reset to factory settings and then it would work OK for maybe 3 or 4 shots and then the same thing would happen. In the display I was seeing r26 or r37 or r12 in the space where you usually see how many more shots you can take.

    I'm sorry if this is a really stupid question but I'm stuck! And I missed a great shot of my parent's last night (we were out to celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary) as the lens whizzed back and forth and all I could see was blurred! :frown:

    I've just re-set everything again, and I'm thinking I shoudl have the AF-on feature on (just read the sticky and think this is a great feature - although likely unrelated to last night!)

    One last thing - issue seemed worse when I was trying to focus on subject closer to me, if I focused on something v far away it would work OK

    Thank you!!!
  2. Leah...
    sounds like a CONTACT issue
    the 50/1.8 isn't made like better lenses
    there is always some CRUNCH/for lack of a better word, when attaching it to my D3.... or my D200, for that matter

    could you have messed up those contacts when attaching the 50/1.8?

    i'd take a look, if i were you
  3. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Hi Greg

    I switched to the 80 1.5 and problems happened the same with the r26 message in the "shots left" display.

    Just looked at both lenses and camera contacts - not 100% sure what I'm looking for but they look OK. I know what you mean about the crunch with the 50.

    Thanks! Leah
  4. Is R## the number of shots remaining before the buffer fills?
    Greg's "clean the contacts" advice is good.
    Can you shoot in Manual mode?
  5. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Thanks Nick!

    Can shoot in manual - I'm just not that good and really miss my autofocus!!

    The rXX is showing where the # of shots remaining is but I have a new CF card and it is showing 444 shots left so didn't think that would be an issue.

    How would I go about cleaning the contacts? Assume the contacts are the little balls on the lens and the little flat metal areas on the body?

    Sorry to be such an idiot!
  6. Leah, the buffer is temporary storage in the camera that hold your shots until they are written to the CF Card. It is faster (and more volatile) storage than the CF Card.
    To clean the contacts a q-tip just moistened with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alc) will do the job -- don't get it too wet, and let it dry. You could start by a gentle rubbing with a clean cloth.
  7. Leah,

    A pencil eraser will also work in a pinch. You can also buy electrical contact cleaner in an aerosol can in any electronics or office supply store - BUT spray the cleaner on a Qtip or similar, NOT on the contacts directly.

    The male/female contacts enable low-voltage signals between lens and camera. Amongst other things, the camera reads the the computer chip (eprom) in the lens via these contacts, assuming it is 'chipped' (all modern AF lenses are) to tell which lens is mounted. Some older lenses and lenses from Zeiss and CV have no chips and thus no contacts.

    Because lenses have to come on/off easily and the contacts can't get damaged, there is is minimal contact between, well, the contacts and it sometimes doesn't take much to interrupt the signals - or make them periodic as you handle the camera/lens.

    The surface of the contacts oxidize/tarnish quickly - and that can interfere with signaling and cause error messages. You just want them nice and bright, so a periodic cleaning is always a good idea.

    Hope the cleaning works.
  8. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Thanks Nick & Connor

    I tried a clean dry cloth and the problem continues - I'm back home today so will pick up a cleaning solution and get out my q tips.

    It's been driving me mad! Just can't lock on to my subject, the lens (tried the 50 1.8, 85 1.4 and 18-200 VR and it happened with all of them) would just be whirring back and forth and would finally settle with the subject out of focus.
  9. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    One last question - to clean the contacts I'm going to lightly wet the q tip and then rub it over the contacts (the little flat metal bits on the body just inside where the lens goes?) and on the raised bumpy contacts on my lenses?

  10. >> In the display I was seeing r26 or r37 or r12 in the space where you usually see how many more shots you can take. <<

    I think the problem is you're assuming this is an error message when it's not. It's the camera telling you how many shots you've got in the internal buffer before the buffer fills. The number will vary depending on whether you're shooting NEF, JPG Fine or Normal, etc., and the buffer will immediately start to empty to the memory card, so if you take a sequence of pictures using CL or CH, the number will vary as the buffer flushes.

    This has nothing to do with focusing problems.
  11. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Thanks Bob
    I've probably not noticed those before so just assumed they were related to the focusing issue.
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