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When the back-up dies
Old 05-02-2017   #1
farlymac
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When the back-up dies

There's something to be said when your back-up equipment fails on you. Probably shouldn't try to type it here.

Anyway, I was out with the large format stuff shooting for WWPD, and getting some practice on the 4x5's, when I decided to document what type of pinhole arrangement I was using. I opened up the digicam bag, took out one of the D80's, and proceeded to take a shot. I checked it to make sure I had the white balance correct, then went to shoot some more angles of the Crown Graphic Special, when the dreaded flashing "ERR" cropped up in the viewfinder.

I did some checking on site, swapping out lenses, removing and reinstalling the battery, whatever I could think of at the time, but nothing worked to clear the code. At least there was no problem with the original D80 in the bag.

Today when I got back from finishing off the roll in the Zorki-3 I had started on May Day, which is also ICCD (International Commie Camera Day), I cleaned the contacts of the crippled D80, and still no go.

So I went online to see what others experience with this problems was like, and if anyone was able to correct the fault. The answer was mostly "No", and that some of the repairs that were made or quoted by Nikon were fairly extensive, and expensive. And there were at least a half dozen different things that could be the problem, from an AF sensor module, to the AF drive motor, and everything in between.

Which puts me in that quandary of how do I go about rectifying the situation. Obviously, any repair is not going to be economically feasible on a camera bought second hand from a charity organization. And would I be wasting money just going the same route to get a third body? The first one shows no sign of this happening to it, but then the second one didn't either, and it is now toes up.

I suppose I could go for a D300s, since it uses the same battery as the D80 (of which I now have six of). But that would be getting another used, and non-warranted body of dubious ownership history. Sticking with the DX format, the D500 would be a hoot, but then I'd be broke. But since the D7500 has been introduced, that means a lot of unsold D7200's are out there looking for a good home. It has better low-light capabilities, dual SD card slots, can shoot movies, uses a pentaprism, and still takes a battery/control grip. And I'd only be half-broke.

A couple of cons would be no compatibility with the six batteries I already own, and no articulated screen. If the screen was the killer on buying one, I could always get a D5500 or D5600 for the fully articulated type, but I've held one of those bodies in my hand, and I can't say as I care for it. Plus with the loss of the front control dial (aperture setting), the 5000 series just doesn't appeal to me.

It's going to take me a while to figure this one out.

PF
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Old 05-02-2017   #2
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D3100 or 3200 because both have Nikon made sensors but you may not like feel. D7000 probably best bang for buck but no flip screen. D300S is actually a good choice imo because they are tanks. D90 is good because the sensor paints like Michaelangelo. D700 see D300S but it is fx.

You can get a Df for under 1500 if you watch for it. Its fx and much maligned but if you are a film guy it is the way to go.

I have shot them all and owned almost all. I prefer the 12mp units particularly the 5000 and the 90 which share a sensor. My current one - a Df - smokes them all.

3000, 5000, and Df will do nearly all f mount glass back to 59. That is a huge factor imo.
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Old 05-02-2017   #3
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Phil

Had the same thing happen with my D80; turned it on and the 'ERR' came up. Sent it to a Nikon certified repair center in El Paso. Got it back 3 weeks later for $169. It was the main circuit board. Seems to be a very common problem with the D80. Turned it on 6 months later and the same problem happened. It's sitting in the box in the top of my closet.

Replaced it with the D5300 and never looked back. Had the D610 for a while just to use my FX lenses but sold it cause I needed the money. The D5300 produce just as good photos as the D610.
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Old 05-03-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post


Which puts me in that quandary of how do I go about rectifying the situation. Obviously, any repair is not going to be economically feasible on a camera bought second hand from a charity organization. And would I be wasting money just going the same route to get a third body? The first one shows no sign of this happening to it, but then the second one didn't either, and it is now toes up.

...

It's going to take me a while to figure this one out.

PF
Easy. Immediately sell it on ebay as mint and rare.

Seriously, I'm sorry to hear that. There is nothing worse than a favored piece of gear going belly up, and be difficult or too expensive to repair. I hope you find a good solution. Like you, I have acquired more than one of a couple of favored cameras, because no doubt some day the first ones I got will give up the ghost. Again, good luck.
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Old 05-03-2017   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
A couple of cons would be no compatibility with the six batteries I already own, and no articulated screen.
Of course, the D80 didn't have an articulating screen either.

I have to admit it though - I never thought I'd like an articulating screen until I got my D750.... It only flips up or down but its a backsaver when I do low shots - which is pretty often. Its awesome!
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D300s
Old 05-03-2017   #6
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D300s

D300s is the only digital I have, I can vouch that they're built like tanks and make nice pictures. Any digital body though will inevitably let you down, it's just a waiting game.
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Old 05-03-2017   #7
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Quote:
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Phil

Had the same thing happen with my D80; turned it on and the 'ERR' came up. Sent it to a Nikon certified repair center in El Paso. Got it back 3 weeks later for $169. It was the main circuit board.
I went through the same experience - but sold the D80 when it came back from Nikon and bought a second hand Nikon D300. - It's been several years and I have no complaints regarding the D300.

With a collection of 5 AF-D Nikkors, I need the in camera focus motor. The older AF-D lenses are much less expensive, if they're bought used.

By the way, if your lenses support full frame, you may want to look into a D700, same batteries and charger as the D80. I recently bought a D700 with 60,000 shutter clicks for $500 plus shipping. It's now the back up camera for the D300. - Go figure -
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Old 05-03-2017   #8
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So, what is the budget for another body?

What about a Nikon refurbished D7100? Those are now under $600 everywhere. It's my digital body and works great for my needs (indoor concerts, indoor hockey, etc).

No articulating screen however.

While f-mount glass will mount to the D3xxx D5xxx series cameras, they will not auto-focus, not sure if that is a need for you or not.
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Old 05-03-2017   #9
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Another vote for the D7100.
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Old 05-03-2017   #10
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D7000,7100s are cheap now - totally worth it, especially coming up from a D80 - I had originally read that as your Zorki died, and all I thought was "well, that was expected..."
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Old 05-03-2017   #11
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The D300S is a good choice.

I think the D7100 is a better choice because its data-stream signal-to-noiose ratio is much higher than the D300S'. The result is almost a two stop increase in dynamic range when the shutter is open. The shadow region noise/detail is also superior.

Of course the D300S is more robust in extreme conditions.

To be complete, both the D300S or D7100 have much higher signal-to-noiose ratios than the D80. So, either way you will enjoy an improvement in technical IQ.
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Old 05-03-2017   #12
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Quote:
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D7000,7100s are cheap now - totally worth it, especially coming up from a D80 - I had originally read that as your Zorki died, and all I thought was "well, that was expected..."
Yep, the D7200 and now D7500 and D500 release have driven the D7100 prices down to excellent levels.
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Old 05-03-2017   #13
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Yep, the D7200 and now D7500 and D500 release have driven the D7100 prices down to excellent levels.
True indeed. Occasionally, I think of selling my D7000 but the reality is I won't get much for it. I bought it for my night photography but that has been almost totally superseded by my D750.
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Old 05-03-2017   #14
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Lots of good ideas guys, thanks for that. I had always had in mind that the D80's would be superseded fairly soon, just not as soon as it's looking. Living on a budget kind of keeps the impulsive side of me from just getting a replacement right now.

Only found one D300s that has all the particulars with it as it came from the factory. Most body-only sales you're lucky if they include a charger, and that's even from the established dealers who have a presence on eBay.

I built this kit in a backwards sort of way, starting with the lenses. One was given to me, and another was a lucky find at a very good price. So it was established fairly early I was going to be getting a DX camera body. Which body was answered when the D80 came as the rear cap on a 60mm AF-D Macro. Since then, I've added two more DX lenses.

I've got plenty of D lenses, even in Tamron. But they don't have VR, and in my advancing age, that is a must to have. My right hand and wrist are slowly deteriorating, and I can use all the help I can get.

I can get a refurbished D7200 direct from Nikon, and that would satisfy the "complete kit" requirement. Or I could save a bit for now, and get the D300s I found complete. But how soon then would it be before I'd be wanting to change bodies again? That's the problem with digital cameras today, with the manufacturers just bringing out models with incremental improvements that make you want to wait a couple more cycles until you get what you really want. Not to mention the fact that the replacement for the D7200 (the D7500) no longer takes a battery/control grip, which in my opinion is a deal breaker.

I can live without a movable screen, since the only one I have is on the P7700. That's a camera that really performs better with a fully articulated screen, as it has no viewfinder. And like I mentioned, I was attracted to the D5500 because it too had the fully articulated screen, but they took too much away from the body of the camera for it to be comfortable for me to use. It's just too darn small. I like a camera I can wrap my hands around, and not be tripping on all the buttons.

Which brings me to the Df. When I saw some of the teaser shots, I thought it looked so much like an FM, it was too good to be true. Sure enough, the finished product has so many buttons plastered all over, it looks like it has warts. I mean, if you are going to design a camera for "Pure Photography", what do you need all the buttons for? So no, I'm not taking a foray into FX via that route.

Low end, it's the D300s. High end, it's the D7200. If it wasn't the fact I'm also looking at getting an SC Skopar 21mm for my S2/R2S combo, this would be an easy decision. Plus, it's Tax time, and the truck needs some radiator work.

So, as long as the other D80 keeps working, I'll just keep shooting it. Maybe those D7200's will come down in price another couple hundred dollars in the meantime.

Thanks for all the help.

PF
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Old 05-03-2017   #15
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If you don't fancy a d300 what about a d200, a nice one of them will only cost about £100-£120.
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Old 05-04-2017   #16
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To be fair, all you need is the charger - box and papers don't mean anything by this point
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Old 05-19-2017   #17
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I think I found a solution to my dying D80's. I ordered a Leica R7 body, M4 Motor Drive, and R7 Grip yesterday.

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Old 05-19-2017   #18
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I think I found a solution to my dying D80's. I ordered a Leica R7 body, M4 Motor Drive, and R7 Grip yesterday.

PF
Well that is how you do that.
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Old 05-19-2017   #19
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Just a thought on that D80... I got a similar error message with a Canon 5DII after a particularly long flight where I had no backup... Somehow I got it going by reinstalling the firmware... might not work in your case, but it did for me and no problems since...

Your solution is much more elegant ; )
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Old 05-20-2017   #20
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Just a thought on that D80... I got a similar error message with a Canon 5DII after a particularly long flight where I had no backup... Somehow I got it going by reinstalling the firmware... might not work in your case, but it did for me and no problems since...

Your solution is much more elegant ; )
The research I did all pointed to it being a problem with one of the PC flex boards (usually the main one), and the only fix is replacing the board. So I'm going to run the other D80 until it drops, then make up my mind on what to do when that happens. I'll use the empty space in the bag to carry the P7700 as a back-up.

I was needing to replace my R3, and found some deals on the aforementioned items. I now just need to find who does repair work on R series lenses so I can get the 28mm back in service.

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Old 05-20-2017   #21
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a problem with one of the PC flex boards (usually the main one), and the only fix is replacing the board.
Sounds like a well documented problem... Thank you for the reply...
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Old 05-26-2017   #22
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So I finally broke down, and went to the local camera shop today to discuss Nikon DSLRs with the salesman. Nikon is running some specials right now, offering a free battery grip for the higher end cameras on top of the instant rebate. So that brings the price of a D500 body with the grip to $1800, a total savings of over $600.

I could get the D7200 body instead for just under $1000, but then would have to purchase the grip separately. And with that deal you only get the grip, none of the inside adapters are included like with the D500 grip. So now you're talking upwards of $1500 for the lesser of the two cameras. Sounds like a no-brainer to get the D500, except I just don't have the room in the budget for it.

Looks like I'll just have to wait, or go ahead and get a D300s.

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Old 05-28-2017   #23
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Ah, I found a low shutter count (around 17,250) D300s, so I also ordered an MB-D10 grip kit, and the DR-6 Right Angle Finder. The finder fits the D80, D300s, and D700 (if I ever get one of those).

I'll have to check on what Mark Beamer has in the classifieds.

PF
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