Don't actually know if it's just a body issue, but I think it is. When I look through the viewfinder, I see about 3/4 on it covered over by a dark gray haze, which I think might be the mirror partially obscuring the view. Also, I'm getting an "Err" message when I try to start up the camera. Starting up the camera has also given me problems - sometimes I get a blank display, sometimes a partial display... Truly bothersome considering I am in Korea now, and will be traveling to Angkor Wat tomorrow night. I really want this camera working again! Can anybody suggest what I should do considering my situation?
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Inside the camera is a mirror which reflects the scene up to the viewfinder. It flips out of the way when you press the shutter button. When the mirror flips up, the shutter opens and exposes the sensor. When you look inside, if the mirror is stuck in an up position, you will not see anything in the viewfinder. However, the mirror is super delicate....do not touch its surface or try to force it.
are the photos also blurred when they come out? if adjusting the diopter doesnt fix the issue, you might need to have your camera and lens calibrated. why the lens? its because the issue may be isolated to the lens calibration otherwise the technician will only calibrate the body.
Make sure the lens is mounted fully (give it a little twist to see if the error clears). Also, check the gold contacts inside the body, where the body touches the gold "points" on the lens, to make sure they are clean. A pencil eraser is a good cleaning device for these contacts. I hope this solves it for you.
The error message you are getting means the aperture ring is not locked to the smallest aperture setting, and by this I don't mean set to the smallest aperture the lens must have the ability to be locked to the smallest aperture. It is unlikely that the problem is in the camera body. Some older lenses are just not fully compatible with the newer camera bodies, but if this is the case you should still be able to use the lens in manual and aperture priority mode but with limited capabilities. I hope this helps!
I am having a similar problem with my D50's shutter. My problem seems to be related to the position of the camera. If I rotate the camera vertically to the left - it functions fine. Rotated to the right - it acts as is as if the shutter button is not working at all. Horizontally positioned - the shutter works about 85%of the time. Is your problem positionally influenced as well?
I have a D50 as well but never experienced this problem. One thing to check as you already mentioned are the metal connections between the lens and the camera body. Make sure they're clean and shiny. Another thing to try would be switching between AF and MF modes on the lens itself.