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Technical Question Nikon D40 Camera refuses to shoot
#1
Today when I was out shooting the fire damage (using the 10-20 mm Sigma) the camera stopped firing. When I pressed the shutter button, the indicator light for focus went on but the shutter didn't go off. It was stuck like that when I brought the camera home. The 55-200 mm lens also would not work in autofocus but would work in manual focus. When I reset the camera using the reset on the menu, everything seemed to work again. I got really paniky and called the camera store and NIKON support (got no call back). Does anybody have an idea what I did that caused this.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#2
I would have said the battery ran out but am unsure now, particularly as it worked when reverted to factory settings. Sometimes, camera

functions can behave strangely and a tweak back to factory reset gets things functional again. I wonder in this case if you'd left the camera

switched on and it had gone into sleep mode, needing a quick "turn off, turn on" again to get things runing? Either way, this honestly seems

perfectly normal behaviour..but a present Nikonite may well have some more useful info. Certainly one of the maddening things in my Canon is

its auto-off feature...but again I've not been bothered enough to actually increase in the menus its time before it does this.
The only other thing I could suggest would be that it might have been doing too many things for its buffers to cope with: were you shooting

many frames in quick succession? Perhaps it just refused to temporarily play ball because of its natural recycling time?
I can understand your concern Don; I may well have misdiagnosed here but have a feeling that this was something perfectly "normal": Jules,

Matthew or Paul L. will arrive like cavalry soon, I'm sure!
(sorry about my formatting here...I dunno how I've done this)
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#3
Just another thought: I wonder if the lens wasn't autofocussing well and stopping the shutter from firing just because it was having to hunt in low light? (the shutter won't fire if the lens thinks it's not got a "lock" onto its target.)
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
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#4
Zig:

Thank you. What you ay is reassuring and probably true. The light wasn't low--bright afternoon daylight. I'm sure it had something to do with autofocus. The shutter did work with manual focus. I'm ready to dismiss this as long as I have a working fix (namely reset).
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#5
I have had similar occurrences with low light situations. The camera focus light (in the viewfinder flashes, instead of being steady) but you don't always notice this. In my case switching the camera on and off cures it, of hang up but not the next shot. It sometimes is a case of finding a vertical or horizontal line of contrast, and focussing on that. Or manual focussing.

Zig mentioned auto off. Mine comes on again at the halfpress of the shutter..ready to resume it's steadfast toil.
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
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#6
Zig, thanks for your faith, but I'm clueless. I've had a bunch of thoughts, but pretty much all of them seem like they've already been disproved.

Both the 10-20 and 55-200 have A/M focus selector switches, so my best guess is that there's some corresponding setting on the body that got flipped and was fixed by the reset. But that doesn't really make sense, since the AF was working. So taking it a step further, is there a "release priority" setting on the D40 that prevents it from taking a photo if the AF system doesn't confirm focus? (But again, the AF system was confirming focus...)

If the problem continued with different lenses, then it's not a matter of the lens having twisted slightly off the mount and breaking electrical contact...

I'll play with a D40 tomorrow and see if I can come up with something, but I doubt I can add anything useful.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#7
Actually, matthew, I'm still giving this some thought myself. I know precious little about digital Nikons...but am I right in thinking that any autofocus issues would be in the province of the lens rather than the D40, and there's no "assist" mechanism within this camera? (I'm not even sure if I've brought up anything of sense here by asking this...:/
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
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#8
Don, has this situation replicated itself again?
If so, or if you remember from the initial time, was there any accompanying sound from the lens at all, or just a soundless flat refusal of the camera to engage the shutter?
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
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#9
Interesting connundrum... I would probably go with the "autofocus failure" that Zig suggested.

Other than that, I've heard of circumstances where 3rd party lenses can cause glitches. Probably nothing to be worried about, but at least your gear is working again. Big Grin
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#10
Don,

Has this occured again?
I have had one or two instances where the 350D stopped shooting for no apparent reason, but resumed after turning it off and on again or simply letting it rest a while. I know how this makes you panick at the moment. But with two incidents in over two years I have decided a camera is only human after all and we all have our blank moments.

Did Nikon get back to you?? they reallyshould.

uli
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#11
No--it's working fine now. People have told me the problem comes when you are expecting the autofocus to work too fast by using the continuous mode of firing too much. Like a tired muscle the syastem just freezes up. The RESET in the camera just clears it up apparently.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#12
Good to hear!
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#13
Yes Nikon eventually did get back to me--after the weekend.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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