Thursday, 5 June 2014


Normally I am not too superstitious but I am starting to wonder.  Nor when an image doesn't come out the way it should do I blame the camera normally it's my fault. But of late something just hasn't been right with a lot of my images. At first I wonder if it was this little annoying bug I could see through my viewfinder playing havoc with the focus. I located the bug grabbed my blower and got the pesky little bugger out...job done? No I needed a field test just to keep me happy all was right.
I took a walk down a local lane near to my home, plenty of warblers and other small birds plus hopefully a Kestrel or Buzzard or two.
Half way down the lane I stumbled across my nemesis the fox as it was coming up the lane. We both stood our ground not knowing what to do (slight lie...I snapped away) and got this.
 It eventually turned tail and went the other way down the lane, hopefully not the last encounter. But still something wasn't right with the camera, it sounds daft but it didn't sound right the shutter sounded "loose" and slightly metallic in sound not a convincing "click"....
I moved up the lane to an open field where I knew the Kestrel and at least a Common Whitethroat would be, the Kestrel was present but perhaps scared off by the Kestrel no Common Whitethroat, the Kestrel was in the sun so no real point in going for an image as I wasn't after an arty image this bird was ringed and I wanted a super clear shot to get the ring and possibly identify the bird.
So I walked on to the next field and waited and waited there was a pair of Red Leg Partridges far off in the distant, they might fly towards me so I stood and waited, they kept bobbing down, something was upsetting them, then out of the corner of my eye I caught glimpse of my second only Hobby of the year low across the field, brilliant chance it was heading straight for me. I locked onto the bird the autofocus staying locked on I had time just to up the ISO up to 640 to give me 1/2500th shutter speed, "perfect" I thought, just wait for it to get closer and then I pressed the shutter "Kerr clunk" and nothing "Bollocks" and "WTF" exploded from my mouth I looked on the screen "Unable to photograph please turn off then on or remove the battery" and "Err 99" on the top, I watched the Hobby zip past at full speed...bloody Canon I hate you what was wrong with the ol' 1d Mark2.
This wasn't right, I mean I got the fox not an hour earlier and the way back home I got a Blue Tit and a Treecreeper not very good images but no camera failure.
So I slept on it, maybe dirty battery contacts, so I took it out to the garden, started off on the fledged juvenile Blue Tits, not an issue, pointed it at the Swifts feeding overhead "kerr clunk".
Ok something was wrong, at first I thought it might be the angle I was pointing the lens at but the Hobby the night before was low and in level flight, it must be shutter speed. After playing around I discovered that at anything below 1/2000th shutter speed no problem anything above that "ker clunk"...oh dear I could hear my wallet doing a runner as I reached for the number of a local camera shop...."sounds like the shutter to me mate", "worse case scenario £350 to repair" at this point my wallet committed suicide and jumped off the shelf still by opening my wallet I did discover some new moth species...just no camera to take their picture sadly :o)
So I am having to dust down the ol'faithful 1d mark2 for now, this is why I never sell my old equipment you never know what might happen, but I am looking at getting rid of the mark 3 it's been, well problematic (that's being polite) since day one, endless firmware updates, autofocus issues. With me I had the lens lock onto the camera body thanks to a faulty lens release button, then a faulty shutter button which had a time delay of a half a second from pressing the shutter button to taking the image, a faulty sensor which was replaced under warranty and transformed the autofocus overnight, still not as good nor reliable as the mark2 but where do I go do I stick my neck on the line and risk a secondhand mark4 or will that be as bad as the mark3, it was hardly on sale in the UK for a long time before being replaced by a full frame version or do I trade all my Canon gear in for Nikon, I won't get the mark 3 back until Tuesday so I have time to think at the moment I'm thinking Canonnot


  1. I feel for you mate, I had that error 99 come up on my old 40D on the second day of my holiday in the states. I upgraded to the 7D and haven't looked back since. I know going for the 7D would be a come down for you so maybe a move over to Nikon is on the cards? If you do can I have first dibs on that cheap Canon 500mm lens you'll be looking to move on too!!!!!! lol.......

  2. Since you asked first if I opt to sell the gear (it might be used as a part exchange deal) you'll get first refusal. I'm not sure what to do yet mind I had an interesting chat on Sunday with another togger who did a swap/part exchange deal.

  3. Douglas, I don't know any Nikon snappers so can't help. I had a new shutter in the 5D II. I'm sure it was £180.00p. I haven't had one in te 1Ds III. They are supposed to last for 300,000 goes in the latter and 150,000 in the 5D. I wonder if the insect got in the shutter?
    When I switched from Olympus to Canon I traded in at Harrison Cameras. They always seem very fair and the used stuff they sell has a years guarantee.
    You birders do use up shutter count pretty quickly. I put mine on burst shoot once. Nearly gave Keith and Trevor a heart attack when they heard it.

    1. I got a programme via the net and I have done 316,345 shutter actuations so I think the camera may have gone into a safety mode if you know what I mean
      My camera has had a hard life pointing mostly at flying birds so the shutter has had a hard life. I often scare people in hides who are just dozing off then get rudely awoken by a short shutter burst :-) I made a note of Harrison if I opt to trade the old mark 3 in thanks...I also reckon it was that bleeding bug too.

  4. Cracking shot of the Fox Douglas.

    Bad news about the camera, do you know what the problem is?...'err99' is a 'catch all code' that covers any non specific it could be something minor or on the other hand.....!

    I got the same code when the shutter mechanism on my 50D mangled itself together last year. I took it to Milton Keynes Camera and Camcorder Repairs (tel 01908 501153), don't know if you've heard of them? They provided excellent service and fitted a complete new shutter assy. and a clean and service for £149, which I didn't think was too bad (although I guess your 'up market' 1D3 might attract higher charges??).

    Why would you want to!.... swap camera systems?
    Surely, if the problem with the camera is terminal the easiest and least expensive option is to replace it with another (pre loved) Mk.2...models you know?...unless you fancy the challenge of learning a whole new system, that is?

    I hope it all goes well Douglas, and you're back to full snapping mode soon...[;o)

    1. I am 99% sure it is the shutter it didn't sound right just before all the hassle started. Problem with the mark 3 is the price rockets up quite steeply compared to the next model down. I am hoping it isn't terminal they are robust buggers thinking of the abuse mine has gone through.
      I think k you might have guessed from Twitter I got out snapping today...I needed some images fory GP predictions :-)

  5. There's nothing more frustrating than your tackle not functioning as it should, just when you need it. And it's even more frustrating and a little nerve-wracking when there's something wrong with it and you don't know what. Well, that's enough about bodily functions. As far as cameras are concerned, I know diddly-squat about Canon, but I do know that even Nikon and Sigma can let you down when you most need them - which is why, when I'm going to be far away from home for any length of time I've always got a spare body and a spare lens with me. Last year I bought a 2nd-hand body the same as my existing one - makes the switch-over easy if necessary. I'm now wishing I hadn't, purely because I'd buy a totally different body and lens if I was starting afresh today. I'd still stick with a Nikon/Sigma combo, but technology (even with camera equipment) moves on so fast. It'd be a Nikon D7100 plus Sigma 50-500.

    Great Fox image - they can be a little unnerving at times, can't they!!!

  6. I think that's a good idea making sure the back up body is the same as it saves learning where everything is. My marks is completely different to the mark 3.
    Foxes are weird at times but I do enjoying bumping into this one...I wonder what it makes of me.