Please help with FEE error message

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by TOF guy, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. TOF guy

    TOF guy

    208
    Mar 11, 2005
    I have an 12 years old Nikkor 50 mm f1.8 AF D lens, the one with the aperture ring which has to be locked on the smallest aperture to be used with a D70. That lens has worked seamlessly with the D70 until recently :smile: .

    But now I get the "FEE" flashing when I try to use this lens with my D70 :Unsure: . I've very carefully checked the following:

    - ring aperture set to f22 and locked (for the heck of it, I've also tried with the ring not locked and/or aperture set at different values, with the same FEE message - as you would expect).

    - contacts are not bent or damaged in any way, and are clean.

    - the arm that controls the blades motion is unbent, undamaged, moves freely, and action the blades as expected.

    - also all my other lenses work with that camera, pointing to an issue with the lens rather than the camera (I think).

    Anything else that I may have missed and that I should check ? I don't think it is worth sending the lens for repair :frown: . It is still sold: $105 at Adorama, USA warranty.

    Thank you in advance for your advice :biggrin: !

    Thierry
     
  2. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi thierry-

    there's a switch on the lens mount around the 8 o'clock area if you're looking at the camera. this switch tells the camera that the lens has been set to the minimum aperture. sometimes this switch isn't completely triggered by the lens, leading to a "FEE" error.

    ricky

     
  3. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Hi Thierry, you say the contacts are clean, but you might try cleaning them with a bit of contact cleaner on a q-tip. Give 'em a good scrub, and gently clean the contacts on the camera too. Take special care not to get any cleaner into the optics or camera parts, and be sure to wipe off any excess after cleaning with a dry q-tip.

    As you are cleaning, exercise each contact on the lens, to see that the spring is not compressed, broken or snagged. If they are ... well, as you pointed out, the lens is inexpensive (although a 12 year lifetime is not good for a Nikkor.)
     
  4. Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Joseph S. Wisniewski

    100
    Aug 11, 2005
    As ricky said, there's a little switch (the E servo switch) that must be pressed by a tab or ridge on the lens's aperture collar when you set the lens to minimum aperture. On the lenses that use a ridge, it's virtually indestructable. On the lenses with a tab, I've seen the little tab break off the lens before, and cause exactly what you're seeing. Can't remember what an 18 year old 50mm AF is like, but my newer ones have the tab.
     
  5. TOF guy

    TOF guy

    208
    Mar 11, 2005
    Thank you all for taking the time to answer.

    Chris, thank you for the protocol for cleaning the pins. It is better than my simple cleaning procedure, and I will remember it for future reference.

    Ricky and Jo, your comments were exactly right ! The little tab is clearly not there anymore, it appears to have snapped right at the lens mount base. I've taken a quick shot to show you what I see:

    [​IMG]


    The lens is oriented so that the tab should be at the bottom (as a landmark: the AF screw is at 7 o'clock). Is this right ?

    Hmmm. I need this lens for low light situations. Do you know whether the 50mm f1.4 D has the same tab (not even protected by the back lens cap !), or does it have the ridge ? That lens on the grey market can be found for a little more that $200. That may be a better option (although I think that it is very possible that Nikon will come up with an AFS version of this lens, maybe even f1.2).

    Thanks again !

    Thierry
     
  6. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi thierry-

    i looked at my 50mm f/1.8 AF and that's the correct position shown in your photo.

    you can trim a piece of plastic using an X-acto knife to right size and superglue it to the lens. the tab should be the same height and width as the aperture indexing tab (hopefully that hasn't broken off your lens!). you can measure the length of the tab from the area of broken plastic on your lens.

    just make sure the tab you fabricate triggers the switch when you have the lens set to f/22.

    ricky

     
  7. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    The ultimate solution, and the end of all FEE messages, is to cut off a small piece from a tooth-pick, q-tip stem, or similar sized object, and put that into the groove for the engaging slider on the camera itself. Ensure it pushes the slider all the way down, then secure it in position with a drop of quick-setting superglue. Not too much of the glue though, so if you wish to sell the camera it can be restored to its previous state.

    Done so on my two D70 bodies, but I used a liberal amount of epoxy glue, guess this means a point of no return :biggrin: So what the cameras are mine and I can do whatever I want with them.
     
  8. TOF guy

    TOF guy

    208
    Mar 11, 2005
    Ricky and Bjørn,

    Thank you for the explanations and solutions to my problem :smile: :smile: :smile:

    The aperture indexing tab is just fine. I've checked the lens carefully, and as far as I can tell the only place where the casing has the rough appearance of broken plastic is where the little tab used to be.

    Well, there is something good to this: I've learned how the camera detects that the aperture ring is locked on the smallest aperture: a tab that pushes against a lever. And I thought that there must be some kind of sophisticated electrical contact involved between the lens "cpu" and the camera :rolleyes: .

    I'll try Ricky's idea first. Let's face it: I'm a wimp :Shy: ! I'd rather mess up with the $100 lens than the $800 or so camera body. If somehow the glued tab does not stay, then I'll switch to securing the slider as Bjørn has explained. One question, Bjørn. If the lens is on, but the aperture ring is not locked to f22, what would then happen, since the camera is fooled to "think" that the aperture index tab is locked in the correct position :Bomb: ?

    Thanks again. You've prevented me from spending money on a new 50 mm f1.8D w/o necessity ! Be assured that the money saved will go towards the purchase of another lens :biggrin:

    Thierry
     
  9. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    If the lens goes away from the f/22 smallest setting, that means you would be fine at any aperture bigger than that. So, for example the lens is accidenticall come out of the lock and ends up at f/11 instead of f/22, all apertures you deal in which are between f/1.8 and f/11 will be set correctly and metering will be OK as well. Now, if you had dialled in an aperture of f/16 with the lens stuck at f/11, you would get 1 stop overexposure. This is because the lens couldn't stop down that much since it is constrained to f/11 in this case. See?

    Just ensure you have locked the lens at f/22 by using the small red locking device provided for this, and everything will work perfectly. Plus no more FEE errors of course.
     
  10. TOF guy

    TOF guy

    208
    Mar 11, 2005
    Bjørn

    My question is answered. Thanks again.

    Thierry
     
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