4 days ago, got my first err 99 message on 20D, using the above lens. Have had 20D for over 1 yr and lens for 4 months - no other problems.
Researched err 99 as much as possible. Have cleaned contacts on lens and body several times, with an anti static cloth. (Do I need to try with alcohol wipes?)
Have done various combinations of taking barttery out, card out, formatting card, trying taking pictures with body only, leaving battery out for ages, installing latest firmware. Nothing yet has changed the symptom. Intermittent err99. Not every shot, but it can hit a patch of not taking any pictures for enough shots to make me give up. I am in Peru, with little chance of technical assistance on the ground and I go to Machu Pichu in one week. Please help!
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I hate to re-invent the wheel (and I don't want to cut 'n paste someone else's hard work to present as my own) so please click here for a likely practical solution which usually works and for Canon's own suggestions on the error 99 fault.
If this has assisted you then please rate my answer; if not then add a comment to provide feedback and I'll attempt to provide an alternative solution.
Error 99 is sort of a catch all error code. So it can mean a few things might be wrong.
To isolate the cause of the issue, do the following:
1. Turn off the camera. 2. Remove the lens, battery, and CF card. 3. Allow the camera to sit without power for approximately 20 minutes. 4. Insert a fully charged battery, and turn on the camera.
Does the "ERR 99" message appear? If it does, then the camera should be serviced. If it does not, then please proceed to the next set of steps:
1. Turn off the camera. 2. Insert the CF card. 3. Turn on the camera. 4. Format the CF card in the camera.
Does the "ERR 99" message appear? If so, then the CF card is the most likely source of the issue. Try using a different card.
If the message does not appear, please complete the following steps:
1. Turn off the camera. 2. Clean the lens contacts by gently rubbing them with a pencil eraser or soft cloth. Be careful that you do not let any debris fall into the camera body. 3. Reattach your lens. 4. Turn on the camera.
If the "ERR 99" message only appears when one particular lens is attached, then that lens should be examined by a service technician.
If you see the "ERR 99" with a different Canon lens attached, then the camera should be serviced.
If you need to have it serviced go to the caon webpage and click on support. Try calling one of the support numbers or if available the live web help. They will then tell you how to get the camera to them and what to expect. I've found them to be real good to deal with which is always nice when you have a problem.
Most likely something bad has happened. It out of warranty, usually its 5 years. This is a pro job, getting to anything inside a lens is a very special job. There are a number of places to send it out. Check http://www.acecam.com/srindex.html and write to one or two of the places for estimates. It could be $150 or more plus shipping and taxes. A new one is about $400+, you could check around the many on-line camera stores for a used one. Could be a simple electronic part or the iris blades are bad.
I have faced similar problems previously with my Canon 20d and Sigma 170-500. Its even more annoying to see it happen in field while it would be okay back home. I was told that it is electronic compatibility problem instead of complaining the best was to change the lens and hence bought a 100-400 and happy ending.
Assuming that other lenses function normally on the camera, the "Err 99" can be caused by a failure of the aperture component in the lens. Error 99 is a generic error, so unfortunately it does not indicate exactly what is wrong. There are other factors that can cause the failure, but there is a good chance that the aperture is not functioning correctly.
You can try cleaning the electrical contacts on the lens, if this does not work you may need to get the lens serviced. Check with Canon, or check the web for other repair service providers.
Advance Camera Repair