Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sky Watch Friday-Error Code 99!

Summer mornings with dramatic lighting-the grain fields are ripening and the odds of capturing a bachelor group of mature whitetail bucks on memory card or tape are improving almost daily, as the deer are attracted to the ripe grain. Dry summers are the best for seeing deer in these types of fields as the animals come to the lowlands in search of moisture and more succulent browse. This year has been very wet , and so far I have not seen a large buck.

Canon 40-D: 17-40mm at 17mm- 1/ 500 sec. f8 ISO 200

It is a different story in the case of the friendly family of deer that frequent the wildlife meadow and they may be seen daily, but none of them are large bucks. The fawns are showing up more frequently now. Late on Tuesday evening the doe featured in the post of June 16th, brought a fawn to the meadow for the first time this summer. It was too late for photography.

I was back at the meadow at dawn on Wednesday morning and while I saw several deer, that particular doe did not arrive, so I left for a short walk. When I returned she was coming into the meadow with the fawn following close behind. I got a few shots off with the 70-200mm lens, and then decided the 500mmF4 would be my best option as they had walked further into the field.


Even though these deer are not afraid of me, the fawn was full of life as young animals will be, and was continually running about, and jumping. Even though the light was excellent it was hard to catch the young animal at a time that a portion of it was not shaded. No matter it was time to start shooting fast in the hopes of catching a good pose.


I fired once and the fawn jumped to another spot where the lighting was better. This one had great potential! When I pressed the remote release something did not sound normal and I was unable to get the camera to fire again. All of this while the fawn tantalized me by frisking about in the meadow directly in front of me.


The Final Shot: Canon 40-D 500mmF4 1/1000 sec. f4.5 ISO 200

I was aware of error code 99 before, but had never had it with a Canon DSLR. When I removed my eye from the finder and glanced down at the LCD, I had an up-close, personal encounter with error code 99.


Canon 40-D Error Code 99: Sony HVR-A1u Camcorder-card camera mode

I actually was not too concerned as if there is any way to resuscitate an ailing camera rather than sending it to a repair facility, I am usually able to find that way. Following the directions on the screen did not work so I had to return home. A quick cruise on the Internet revealed that this was indeed a common problem with the 40D and that the code could mean a lot of things. It is often a communication problem between the lens and camera body or the electronic brain of the camera may be confused and a reset which is accomplished by removing both the main battery and the backup battery will restore the camera to proper function.

This did not work and after extensive testing I found that the mirror was flying up and back when the camera fired, but the shutter did not function! There is either a mechanical failure in the shutter itself or a problem in the electronics that control it, so this means a trip back to Canon . Canon estimates they will have the camera for seven days or more depending on their seasonal workload and if parts are in stock. I found several posts in discussion forums where the cameras were gone for up to three weeks.

Now I have to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms as I do without my daily dose of DSLR use.


A camcorder used in card camera mode is not the answer. They are O.K. for some tasks, but not serious wildlife photography!

But there is hope; one who is so addicted cannot go long without their camera, so of course they should always have a spare. I had initially considered a Digital Rebel in one of its various configurations, but then I found that it takes a different remote release and batteries. If one gets the very latest version, they must purchase different memory cards as well as it uses SD rather than CF cards.

B&H had several refurbished 30-Ds at a reasonable price. Everything is compatible between these cameras, so a 30D should be here by next Wednesday.

Let's hope that it doesn't give the dreaded error 99 code!

For more Sky Pictures visit Tom at Wigger's World

36 comments:

Christy said...

nice skywatch photo and gorgeous shot of the fawn. I am sorry to hear of the problem with your camera. It is true about being difficult to be without one when you are used to having it at hand at all times. Hope the 30D works well for you in the mean time.

quinttarantino said...

It is well known that we Portuguese once sailed the seven seas searching for new lands, wealth and adventures.
We were brave in those days and gave the world new worlds!

Luckily I don’t have to sail the big oceans on a small ship to sea the wonders of our world …
No Sir, I just need to check with Mr. Tom, the finest host there is, for a trip around the world with SKY WATCH TOURS and with a click here, a click there I am quickly in the USA, England, Brazil, Italy, China, Australia, Finland … well, everywhere.

And on each stop I come to see a little marvel of our world under a great sky!
Hope you can come and see my piece of the sky at lenses & visions

fishing guy said...

Willard: I love the shot of the fawn before your major failure. I guess you would carry a smaller camera like mine for a back-up but I realize it could never take the great pictures you get. I hope your new one holds you over until yours is repaired.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I think this is going to be the best Sky Watch Friday yet. The things I have seen are very encouraging

and the photography is spot on.

I really admire your photography skills and your critical eye for composition, lighting and texture.

Abraham Lincoln
—Brookville Daily Photo

SandyCarlson said...

The fawn photo stopped me in my tracks. You are a master of wildlife photography.

Sorry your camera "coded"!

Luke Wiley said...

That baby deer is so cute...
My Sky Watch Friday posts

bobbie said...

The first picture is gorgeous, and the fawn is beautiful.
good luck with that camera.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Just a quick visit to say thank you for joining in with Sky Watch.

Hi Willard.. I'm gutted you have had this problem.. I will get Sky Watch sorted and try and read up on this error code..

Your pictures and writing are as always.. SUPERB

Anemone said...

What will I say with my little "not expensive" easy canera ??? Still pray to the SantaClaus :-((

But you always have 100 % pictures in your blog !!

Besutiful animal, yes.

Carletta said...

Hi Willard,
I love that morning shot!
The fawn is precious. I'm still hoping the deer that cross my property will bring a little one by.
Thanks for stopping by my Sky Watch today and leaving such a wonderful comment.

Julie said...

Morning, Willard; This is my first visit to your blog and already I am smitten.I was entranced by the way you rolled out your yarn about the dreaded code; your words just dragged me further into your world. Thank your for the photos and for a peep into your world.

http://plumbingthedeeps.typepad.com/sydney_eye/

Petunia said...

I do not like error codes at all...In fact they really scare me:/

But I like your post and beautiful shots!


Petunia's SWF

The Texican said...

Great work as usual. Very nice landscape. Pappy

AnneKa said...

Great sky watch! I got error code 99 on my EOS400D and it was because I used and old lens. I had to by me a new one. Have a nice weekend!!

kjpweb said...

Great shots! Although you're not supposed to shoot into the sun, doing it sometime delivers great results - like in your 1st one. And the fawn? Oh my - just a beauty!.
Hope you don't have to go cold Turkey for too long! :)

Cheers, Klaus

For The People said...

Excellent as always!

Champ Townboy said...

Great shot!!

DeeMom said...

THe fawn is perfectly captured, as for teh other problems, this too shall pass...

Great post

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I'm so sorry you are having camera woes! But something good is sure to come out of it...patience, Willard. ;-)

Ces said...

Wow!

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Your photos are outstanding... the landscape is beautiful... breathtaking!
I hope you are able to get through the next few days without pacing too deep of a hole through the floor.... fishing usually helps me to relax but then you probably would see something outstanding that would require snapping photos so perhaps staying close at home! =)

D Herrod said...

Like the sun peeking through the trees.

Lilli & Nevada said...

What beautiful photos i especially like the fawn one.

Chad Oneil Myers said...

Great image of that fawn. I like the composition.

Raven said...

Your photos are always (well the two times I've been here) beautiful. I hope your camera recovers more quickly than expected. They should give you a loaner if they are going to take that long to fix the problem. I sending positive thoughts to the universe that you get it back in no time.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

The landscape photograph is very beautiful; so calm and peaceful.

I'm sorry for your camera woes, but very glad you got one good (very good) shot of the fawn.

Kerri said...

OH, I love your skywatch shot...but of course the fawn captures my heart! What a cutie!
Sorry about the camera problem....hope the new one comes soon and you are able to get the broken one fixed fast!

Stacey Huston said...

Willard, you had me ILL with this post.. I have never heard of this code and I pray I never do.. Mine isn't a 40D though so ,cross my finger, I hope I never see it. Great photo of the deer as always.. Have a wonderful and Safe Independence Day.. I am off to check out the store you mentioned now, as I would just have sever withdrawls if my camera died (lol) Thanks for sharing
and I hope yours is repaired soon.

Naturegirl said...

One dreamy photo your first and that second one well it just melts my heart!
So nice to meet a fellow nature lover
and sky watcher!
I am so pleased to see that you SHOOT
with your camera!! :) NG

AphotoAday said...

Hope to see you back in action soon, because I need to see more great shots -- like that fawn shot... Super duper nice...
Great blog here! Interesting.

Reader Wil said...

Great shots! How endearing are deer and what a piece of good luck to see this fawn!

Gretchen said...

What an adorable little deer!

Sorry to hear about your camera. I know when we had to send in my Nikon N90S, it took about a month for the repairs to be finished.

Marie said...

Beautiful photos!
Sorry to hear about your camera...

Marvin said...

I'm sorry about your camera problem and don't mean to make light of it, but going into DSLR withdrawal is definitely a sign that your are totally hooked.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Willard
I hope Wednesday and the 30D gget around quick enough for you.
Taking pictures is much more than a hobby to you, you must feel lost..
All the best
Tom

Jerry in Tampa said...

Willard - once again, your images create emotion - which is the goal of any image... AWESOME work!
What a bummer about the 40D - I have 1 also and have not encountered this challenge. You should be fine with the 30D - I still have 1 of those too. Please let us know if all is resolved when your 40D is returned from Canon.

Cheers :-))

Jerry in Tampa