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Thursday, 18 May 2017

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My then new Nikon D90 did this on occasion a few weeks after I purchased it except it didn't give a "no lens attached" error, it simply failed to function with AF or shutter release. I had to remove and reattach the lens to correct. After multiple occurrences over a month or two, I removed the lens and used a pencil eraser to clean the contacts on the lens and body, no issues since.

Articles like these confirm all the more why I don't want to give up my four decade old OM-1. Imagine! A camera that actually takes a picture when you release the shutter. And you don't even have to be holding your mouth just right.

Sorry Mike, couldn't stop myself from some good-natured ribbing.

It's funny how many high tech "glitches" have low tech causes, like Grace Hopper's celebrated moth. Anyone in IT support eventually learns to check for the "not-plugged-in" bug and it's variant, "not-connected", as first steps in troubleshooting (this may happen less often these days, but there are parallels even in battery powered and wirelessly connected gadgets).

Anyway, the point is that when ILCs and lenses stop communicating, it's sometimes (not always) due to poor electrical contact between body and lens. I'm sure you ruled that out in the case of your Konica, but it is one of the first things to check for, and something to put on the maintenance checklist. Pencil erasers and alcohol-on-Q-tip are traditional DIY contact-cleaning methods, though they won't cure mechanical alignment or pressure issues.

Cleaning the contacts worked for my Canon 20D and 50/1.8, but I couldn't say how often "no lens" errors have a simple mechanical cause vs a software issue. (Sounds like a question for Roger Cicala?)

I had a Nikon D-90 that was a peach, but I kept getting "error" warnings that went away when I unlocked the lens, turned it a little, and then turned it back to lock it. Turned out to be a problem with the plastic mount on the 18-105 Nikkor zoom. For a company that steeped in decent lenses, I don't know how they could economize on that, on such a good lens. How much would the metal mount have been, 5 bucks during manufacture? You can't imagine how many times I've heard people asking if they could get a metal mount retro fit on that lens.

I find some of my micro 4/3rds stuff resetting itself all the time, finally traced to various pieces of my flesh hitting buttons on the back because the damn camera is too small! No need to make it that small, I'd be perfectly happy with a micro 4/3rds camera that was the size of a thinner Pentax MX body. Please!

I've used Custom Modes since my Panasonic G3 (now GX8).

A nice feature of Custom Modes is that if you make any changes for a particular scene - ISO for example - your default ISO returns on the next camera startup.

- Richard

The ability to set up a "custom mode" that saves your crucial settings is something I used all the time, every time, on my Sony A7/A7R cameras (which have two spots on the dial for this) and on my Ricoh GR (which had three spots on the dial!) This is such a crucial, basic feature. It's a real failing in the design of the Fuji X-T2 (and its ilk) that you can't do this. Yes, you can save custom settings for JPEG -- but I never shoot JPEG so that's useless to me.

I want the ability to save all the basic things that aren't on dials so I can "reset" to my usual settings every time. For example, things like shutter type (mechanical, electronic, or both); image format (3:2, 1:1, etc.); image type and quality (RAW, RAW+Fine, etc.) It doesn't have to be on a dial -- just give me the ability to assign a function key or fill a space on the Quick menu! C'mon Fuji. Kaizen time!

I am a GX8 user. What issues are you having?

I had my D800 lock up once during image review, such that the 4-way controller was dead. Taking the battery out for a couple of seconds fixed this, but didn't improve my faith in the camera. Bugs like this or the "phenomenon" described by Carl Weese hint at poor software engineering and QA practice. Given that cameras are not exactly cheap, we customers deserve better.

In case of your KM7D (intermittent failure), however, I'd suspect that it was just worn out - for example, failure of electromechanical contacts. My D90 had a similar problem, it would sometimes reject the memory card and stubbornly display 'CHA'. Ejecting and reinserting the card several times always fixed this, probably slight corrosion on the contacts.

Best, Thomas

I don't think I ever "set my camera down" outside home. I always have a bag (usually a small Domke) slung across me. Camera comes out, camera goes back in.

Mike sorry to hear you are having problems with your GX8, would you care to share them as many of us on TOP were tempted to get this camera based on your high opinion of it.

your old Konica 7d had custom modes which i used frequently. (I bought it on your say-so and like you became inordinately fond of it.)

It was replaced with a Nikon which had the most brain dead custon mode function imagineable.. While, yes, you coud set custome modes but having called one up and then making an adjustment to thr camera settinfg, that ajustment became baked in to the cutim mode in operation rendering the whole concept of custom modes inoperable

You might well need another battery for your 7D, and you can still get them, as I found recently. It's the same as my not quite so old Pentax K20D.

That camera has a couple of issues; the front control wheel doesn't always work, and in live view the image stabilisation makes the sensor shake around, but only with one lens.

The same lens is fine on another Pentax. As a result, I don't use live view much. I don't usually need the front wheel while shooting, as I tend to stay in aperture priority most of the time.

...well, that just makes one wonder why you can't backup your custom settings - and/or all settings, for that matter - and then be able to restore them at a future time. It's a small computer, therefore it should have a backup capability.

Factory reset? Should I do that with my new/old Hasselblad? Now where is that command found...

[You laugh, but Hasselblads SHOULD have had a factory reset. I forget the specifics but you could jam a Hassie by looking at it wrong. I *hated* those things...probably because during my brief career as an assistant I had to load and unload the backs for a sadistic boss just a little faster than was humanly possible. And when one of his bodies jammed he'd toss it to an assistant and snarl "fix this! FAST!"

If only it had had a reset command! :-) --MJ]

On my G85 I have C1 for video settings and C2 for still photography. I wish I could save them to a card so I could reload them quickly if I had to reset my camera.

Can't the user settings be saved to a card and restored after a reset....?

Why not type out your custom modes and then takle a picture of them with your phone. Saved in phone memory, or Google photgos, they will always be available
( Its not that I can't spell its just that I can't type)

I had a camera go wonky on me a ways back

Sorry to be pedantic, but how can you have a singular plural?

["A ways back" is slang for "in the past." --Mike]

My Nikon D3 just passed its 9th birthday and has never missed a beat.

The backup capability - as mentioned by Merle - is exactly right. We should be able to back up all our menu settings to external storage (say an SD card) just as we back up our computers to external drives. And, since a backup is useless without a restore capability, we should be able to restore from that device also. I don't know of any camera manufacturer that provides that capability.

My (laborious) solution? I've created a large spreadsheet of all the menu entries, my custom settings and the reasons for them. Do I keep it up to date? Of course not. To do that I'd have to update the spreadsheet every time I changed a setting.

'Very many troubles' sounds ominous. Hope you get it sorted soon.

The Konica-Minolta A1, A2 and 7D had an outstanding implementation of memory recalls. But the best of the best really has to be the original Olympus E-1 with four recalls. The camera configures to the saved setting and then lets you do whatever you want and keeps all your changes until you choose a recall again.

Canon's implementation is infuriating as the camera will either lose your adhoc adjustments on a power off or will overwrite the memory as you go. Add insult to injury, you can't recall a configuration and then change exposure modes without things really going sideways on you. I understand why few Canon owners use the custom memories.

I love how good the pictures are from my 6D, but find it to be the last camera I actually want to use.

Problems with a Panasonic GXx?.....easy Dave...no smart-assed snarky remarks about "Have you checked the trouble shooting section in the VCR users manual?" Well, at least I am not alone in having tons of problems with a Panny GX camera.

I seem to remember, back in the days before the use of film meant your photos were automatically art, that I had very few problems with 35mm cameras. Or even instamatics. Or Polaroids. They just worked. The only real problems I remember were with a few Oly rangefinders I bought used in Shinjuku in the early/mid 90s. One or two had sticky aperture blades and ended up being discarded. Out $40 or so each. With digital, I have been much less lucky.

Speaking of modern camera problems, since January, I have been going month by month through TOP. It is quite interesting re-reading those old posts and comments and seeing how accurate or inaccurate some of them were at predicting the future.

One post I ran across this afternoon from Dec 2010 began:

"The X100 Will Be Perfect

So—idle thought—what do you suppose the chances are that the Fuji X100 will get here and not have some big glaring distressing dismaying stupid flaw in it that ruins the whole thing?"

Of course the chances turned out to be zero. The stuck aperture blades, the dead-turtle-frozen-in-molasses slow autofocus, the useless manual focus, the freezes, just to name a few of the dismayingly stupid flaws the original had.

Another reason to stick with a camera as long as it continues to do the job you ask of it. New ones just seem to invite problems and frustrations. One should save his/her problems and frustrations for trying actual photography...."Gawd all the photos on my 16gb card are terrible. Why the heck did I take any of them?"

With a Ricoh GRD 4* you can save the custom settings to card and restore them later. I assumed this was possible with Canikons but maybe not since nobody has come forward to recommend it.
*I'm not sure this is possible with the Ricoh GR.

With the E-M1 II, Olympus introduced the ability to save settings, and the three sets of custom setting, to any computer storage device.

The latest firmware update has added that ability to the E-M5 II, again including the four sets of custom settings, called MySets on that body.

A HUGE improvement over notebooks, etc.

One may not only reset the camera, then restore all one's settings, but one might have alternate sets of settings saved.

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