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Thread: This month's 'Error 99' thread

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    This month's 'Error 99' thread

    Hi guys,

    Yeah, I'm bummed....

    I've had this camera for over 3 years. I got error 99 on the Tamron 75 - 300mm lens that came with it a long time ago. Erasers didn't fix it. But the little lens worked, and I was only taking snappies at the time on auto. I thought it was the lens.

    So last October, I got a new long lens for my birthday, problem solved. I could now take the wildlife shots I wanted... This new lens always had a bit of a problem on autofocus, not crispy clear the way I like, but I could manually focus them OK, so I was happy.

    Here we are, 6 months later, and what shows up? That dreaded Error 99 again. The lens won't work. The little lens does - go figure.

    I've done some research and this problem seems to be across the whole range of Canon cameras. No one has a pat answer, because Error 99 is the catch all for any unknown error. Could be this or that, try.... The next step would be to replace the guts of the camera - I don't think so, not on this old thing.

    My husband refuses to invest in anything Canon again, but I prefer the photos taken on Canon. We cannot afford the higher priced Nikon, and that leaves me with the lessor known brands.

    I'd really like to stick with Canon, but if this is a problem that is talked about once a month on this forum alone, (not to mention all over the web all the time) it seems Canon needs to deal with a design flaw or at least add a few more error codes so that we would at least be able to diagnose the problem a bit easier. I feel like if I invest more in Canon, it's a real gamble, and I don't have money to just burn.

    So my question to you all is - how much of a gamble is it to buy Canon? How many of you Canon users have experienced this problem, and was it an easy fix with an eraser, or more complicated than that?

    I'm not a gambler, and I don't like a company who has a known problem, yet does nothing to fix it year after year after year. Yet I like the images it produces.

    What are your thought?

    Thanks!

    Janice

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Janice, perhaps you might like to include the model camera that you have as well as the full lens details ( make and exact model designation ) that you own.
    Some third party lenses do have trouble "talking" to cameras and it may well be a firmware incomparability issue at work in your case.
    As for the generic error 99 message, yes you do see people having problems with that one quite frequently but I am sure that a quick trip to the Canon service rep in your area would enable you to know what is wrong with the body ( if anything ) and to at least give you peace of mind about the issue behind it.
    In the meantime, post the body and lens details to let a few more people have a think about what may be behind the dreaded E99 message.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Thanks for such a quick reply, Andrew!!!!!

    The camera is a Canon 350D Rebel XT.

    The new troubled lens is Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 LD MACRO 1:2 The old one was pretty much the same thing, older version.

    The little old lens that still works is also Tamron Aspherical 28 - 80mm and came with the camera.

    I just 'test drove' another 350D this weekend which has never had anything on it but Canon lenses that came with it- same thing, error 99 on the long lens, little lens worked. (I was thinking of buying it for the Canon lenses, but was afraid to, with that same message going on).

    These are older camera's I know, but I have read about this problem on newer models as well. It's not worth the repair price, as they want to replace shutter and all the contacts, yet they admit this might or might not be the problem. I'd have to send the camera away, and repair cost isn't much less than to buy a new 550D. That's what I would do, if I didn't think it was such a gamble. I've read blogs about the Error 99 on the 550D's as well...

    Thanks again!

    Janice

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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    G'day Janice, as Andrew mentions, a list of the equipment involved will help a lot.

    If the "little" lens works ok on the camera, then it is a pretty safe bet that the problem is not with the camera itself, but rather the "new long lens"

    I have 2 Canon bodies, have owned 3 others that have since moved on to new homes, I use a selection of third party lenses and I have never experienced an error 99
    The problem may get talked about around the traps, but being that this is the error number for all "non allocated" errors, there is no way of knowing if the errors are the same for each thread you read.
    There are also a heap of Canon users who never have an issue and never experience an error 99, so I think you can rest assured that buying another Canon body, if that is what you want to do, is a pretty safe thing to do
    Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Install One Today
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    Cheers, Mark


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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    With the info that you have included I reckon it is a fair assumption that there is nothing wrong with your camera and that the Tamron lenses that give the e99 message on both bodies are behind the problem.
    A quick call to the Tamron distributors, http://www.maxwell.com.au/tamron/index.html, and talk to the service dept about it, I am sure they will be able to advise you whether the lenses can be made compatible with the body or if there is a known problem.

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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    Sorry Janice, we must have been typing at the same time.
    As Andrew says, the lens is the most likely culprit here, it is the only thing that causes the error and the error is only present when using that lens.
    Maxwells are a great team and will be only too happy to help you out, if you bought the lens new, and from an Australian distributor, you will have 2 years warranty on it, so just get on the phone on Monday morning and have a chat to them
    Last edited by MarkChap; 08-05-2011 at 7:33am.

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    That's exactly what I thought, Andrew - and that's why I bought a new lens. I couldn't find another brand lens to fit Canon in the area, that's why I bought another Tamron. And it's hard to buy online without using my credit card (I only use it for emergencies, and never online. I do direct bank deposit where it's allowed).

    Then I tested the other camera over the weekend. The symptoms are the exact same - when the shutter goes, it makes an odd sound, does the error message and doesn't record the photo. You have to remove the battery to get rid of the message (turning camera off and on doesn't work), and sometimes remove the lens itself, risking dust in the body. This happens on my camera. This happened on the other 350D that always and ever has had CANON lenses on it. That's same model, different camera, Canon lenses....SAME exact symptoms. even down to the sound of the odd noise it makes . I didn't try my lens on theirs (or vise versa) as they didn't want to further damage their camera and lenses.

    This is more of a trust issue than a fix issue. An old 8 mp camera like mine is not worth fixing, unless it is significantly cheaper (and not a guessing game). I'm sure there are other parts in there ready to go, just from regular use. Besides, Canon did fix one thing in the newer models that I covet - the sensor cleaner - and I've been saving to purchase a 550D anyway. The real issue is, can I trust Canon (or Tamron) enough to invest more money with them, or should I just cut my losses and save up for Nikon???? My husband is bent against Canon as it is, but he is not the photographer. As I make my decision, I am trying to find reason to stick with Canon, that will convince my husband, or reason to switch if I have to, in order to avoid this problem.

    It is good to know, Mark, that you have owned quite a few without this problem popping up. There is hope.

    I tried at the store where I bought it, and they blame Canon, not covered under warranty etc. They might have just wanted to sell me another lens I suppose. Of course Canon blames Tamron, so there you go. Consumer stuck in the middle. Since it happened Canon to Canon too, I tend to think it's something in Canon. Since Error 99 is a catch-all, it could be both, different problems caused by different things in different cameras. Fault would lie with whatever my particular problem is. With the same exact symptoms in the other camera, it indicates the same problem. It had to be Canon in that camera as it's never had Tamron attached to it. Like I said, if Canon would narrow it down with more specific error messages, it would help in diagnosis. I don't know if it is possible to do that, all I know is Error 99 remains throughout their range, unchanged to this day.

    Thanks for the link to Tamron, I will contact them, and see what they say.

    I'll research some more before the cash leaves my hand...Thanks for your responses!

    If anyone has more thoughts on the subject, I'd love to hear them! This is a hard decision for me! I LOVE Canon for all other things, and would hate to go to Nikon.

    And if anyone has a comparable cheap lens that size of any other brand laying around that would fit my camera and they're willing to let it go real cheap.... lol I'm afraid that's what it might take to restore my confidence in Canon - if it worked. We'll see.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Janice, the 350D is one model canon that impressed me for the quality of images that it produced, I don't think that you are going to gain a lot by either upgrading that body or changing brands without spending significant dollars.

    REPEAT -- the camera is almost certainly fine, with no problems. It is not a Canon issue.

    When canon make their lenses they make them talk to the various camera bodies by electrical connections and the actual "language" of the firmware inside the camera body.
    When Tamron ( or any third party lens maker ) produce their lenses they have to "reverse engineer" the lenses to make them communicate properly with the camera because they do not know the full coding that Canon apply to their programming inside the camera body.
    Most times the third party makers get it right, sometimes they don't. The lenses all have a processing chip of their own that can be written / re written or replaced as updates become available to allow them to communicate with the bodies.
    Your problem appears to be a lens that is trying to tell the camera to do the wrong thing.
    In this case, it sounds very much like Canon are correct in blaming the lens.
    The shop where you bought it probably don't have a clue and would love to sell you more gear.
    The distributors ( Maxwells ) are the people to talk to, just let them know that your lens is causing the same problem on 2 cameras that have no issues except when that lens is atached.
    I am sure that Maxwells will listen and not try to fob you off if you speak clearly and factually.

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    Thanks, Andrew, and I will contact them.

    Just wanted to clear this up, though... It wasn't my lens on the other camera. It's the other Canon camera with their own Canon lens that is doing the same thing. It truly is, and always has been 100% Canon in that set-up, purchased together at a camera shop. Everything in the case said Canon - even the case. And they have the same symptoms. They wouldn't let me try my lens on their camera, nor let me try their lens on mine, for fear of doing more damage to their own equipment. Frankly, I was looking to buy their set-up for the Canon lenses to use on my camera, but they wouldn't let me test them on my camera, and they were doing the same thing on theirs anyway, so I didn't buy the set-up (and was very glad the symptoms occurred BEFORE the purchase!).

    So come Monday morning, I'll give your guys a ring and see what they say. If this error thing can be resolved, I am a 'Canon for life' person indeed! : )

    Thank you for all your help!

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanOD View Post

    I just 'test drove' another 350D this weekend which has never had anything on it but Canon lenses that came with it- same thing, error 99 on the long lens, little lens worked.
    Sorry, my mistake, I read this bit as that you had tried your "long lens" on the body that hadn't had anything other than canon lenses until you tried your lens.

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    I've been using Canon SLR's since 1968 and have never had a problem that a simple switch off and on hasn't cured.
    The huge number of professionals that use Canon wouldn't be using them if they were unreliable either.

    Don't forget that there are a lot of electronics in your 350D, and electronics age as do the mechanicals, and nothing lasts forever.
    If you can get 5 years out of a piece of electronic gear, you've done well, although many last for far longer.

    Have you checked that the little contacts on the lens and the camera are clean?
    Even a few specks of dust in the wrong place can cause problems.
    Wipe them with a soft, dry cloth and DON'T allow your fingers to touch the contacts as the acids in your skin can start them corroding.
    If they seem to be slightly off-colour, then you can use a soft pencil erasor to clean them, but make sure you get ALL the little droppings cleared away.

    Also, check to see that the battery contacts are also clean and bright, as even a small drop in voltage can cause problems too.
    Is your battery a newish one, or the original that came with the camera?
    If you are still using the original battery, that may be at fault as batteries do age and play up.
    Try a new battery and see what happens.

    If all your contacts are clean, and the battery is fresh, then there is a fault, but it is probably caused by the lens and not the camera.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    If you don't get satisfaction you have consumer affairs to fall back on as the lens does not do the job required. I'm sure you told the retailer which camera body you had. I would use this advice as a last resort and try to have the problem solved through the normal channels. cheers Brian

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    Thank you so much everyone, for your replies and suggestions... Sorry it took so long to get back with you.

    I think - and I just THINK - I might have come across a way that MIGHT have fixed it. The real test will come tomorrow, when I take the camera outside in daylight with the problem lens.

    I ran across this in my search of 'Error 99'.

    http://martybugs.net/blog/blog.cgi/g...0D-Lockup.html

    (I've never done a link here before, so hopefully this will work)

    It mentioned something that had never been suggested to me, and I didn't think of it myself. I was told to remove the lens, the card, and the battery, then turn the camera to the on position for 30 seconds, replace everything and give it a go. It didn't work. This person (above link) also mentioned removing the date/time battery (and even showed how to do it). I just tried it. Then I put the problem lens on the camera, and took about 30 shots inside and outside at the moon (It's dark, not much else to focus on). Every single one worked!

    I'm stoked! But I don't want to get too excited yet. The real test will be tomorrow, when I take it on the trail and try some wildlife day shots. That's what I got this lens for, and that is what I was shooting when it started messing up. I'm wondering if aiming the lens high, like almost straight up is bad for any part of the equipment??? I'll avoid it from now on I think. But I'm really hoping this took care of the problem. And now I'm wondering if the old lens will work... ? : )

    I'll let you know how the test run goes tomorrow. Just thought this information might help someone else, since Error 99 is so very common.

    Oh, and I got the camera new, less than 3 years ago. I think the 450D (maybe just 400D) was out by then, and I got a good deal on the older model. I really do expect this kind of camera to last longer than 3 years, I don't think that's being unreasonable. But my real concern is that I see the same problem in 550D's too, though not yet on the 600D. It's a problem that Canon doesn't seem to fix. Maybe they should print something like the above link right into the owner's manual. It sure would save time. : )

    Anyway, thanks again everybody! I'll let you know if this worked.

    Janice

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    Got excited over nothing...didn't work. Must work for some people though.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    Jan I've had my 400D for over 4 years now and use canon, tamron and sigma lenses on it. It has over 50,000 actuations and only 1 problem with the focus screen replaced by canon under warranty, (it was only a little over a month old.) I also have a 7D with nearly 30,000 actuations with no problems. I went with canon after seeing a friends 300D in action, that camera is still going as is another friends 350D, both are now back up camera's. Your husband need'nt worry about the quality of canon products and for that matter nikon, tamron, sigma or any of the well known brands. They are electro mechanical devises and all are subject to rare manufacturing faults and wear and tear.
    If your problem went away temporarly after removing batteries and card that points to a possible contact or battery problem.
    Keith.
    Last edited by Speedway; 17-05-2011 at 11:57am.
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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    I've just been dealing with this error 99 message on my 450D which I've owned since July 2010. It is still under warranty so finally after the 2nd trip to Canon Repairs they ended up replacing the main board and now I have a working camera again.

    It was an absolute pain to try and work out what was wrong and so when I had sent it in to Canon and they sent it back citing that they could find nothing wrong with it either I was both relieved and frustrated. It worked few a few shots and bang error 99 again.

    I'm glad its been fixed however I'm a little annoyed that I had to have such a major repair done when I've only owned it for months not years.

    Hope you're a bit closer to sorting out what the issue is. I feel for you, I was just starting getting used to life with a camera attached at the hip...

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    I've had this problem occur with my 450D and a three year old EFS 17-85mm IS lens. The repair shop told me the lens was faulty, a broken cable to the diaphragm assembly in the lens, this apparently is not uncommon with this lens. The price I was quoted for repair was over half the cost of buying the 17-85 again so, although my faith in Canon was shaken a little, I bought a new Canon EFS 15-85mm IS lens, so far so good! There are several websites which show you how to disassemble a 17-85mm lens and replace the cable yourself but I have not been brave enough to try it myself yet!
    Canon 17-85mm lens issues

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    I have been tremendously busy (including my husband's week-long stay in hospital - he's alright now), and haven't checked in lately... Sorry about the delay.

    Thank you for your replies!!! It's good to see that some haven't had this problem, and that others have found solutions. I think if it doesn't happen to your camera, you don't understand the frustration involved. Error 99 includes such a wide range of problems, it really is difficult to pin-point on each particular camera. Going through the process of solving it is time consuming, and very frustrating indeed. But I have hope that if I persist, it can be resolved. Thank you!

    Since the only thing left on warranty this time is the lens, I decided to focus on it first.

    Upon return to the shop where I purchased the lens (again), I did get them to 'have a look at it'. The technician is supposed to give me a ring....

    If they say there's nothing wrong with the lens, I will get a new battery (again) and see if that is the problem. Then I will take the camera in to be fixed. Since it's no longer on warranty, can I take it to a local one, instead of sending it to Sydney for an official 'Canon' repair place?

    Meanwhile, I've been reading reviews, checking prices and so forth, just to know what's out there. If the repair on the old camera is too much, I'll probably buy a new camera instead of fixing it. As has been mentioned here, it's older, and many things could be ready to go inside it. The first time I got Error 99, the camera wasn't that old, but this time that's not the case. I have just over 10,000 actuations on it, about half that since October. I have really been using it lately.

    And since the writing of the original post here, 7 people have asked for my opinion on cameras - I've told them I love my Canon - except for error 99 - and explained. Error 99 really is good advertising for Nikon. The neighbour lady just showed me her new Nikon DSLR....she had a Canon point -and-shoot. Maybe I'll buy her old Canon just for the interim... : )

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