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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

D200 Problems/Suggestions...HELP!
David Stout, Photographer
Jonesboro | AR | USA | Posted: 1:02 AM on 02.17.06
->> ->> Ok first off this is not going to be a gripe session I just need someone with more technical experience to help or offer suggestions. I have been shooting Nikon since my first "real" camera back in 92.

I purchsed this D200 2 weeks ago and for starters I put 6 AA's in the grip the first day I got it while the two main batteries were charging. I shot approximately 35 or 40 images on the first day just trying it out in different static situations. Everything worked fine.
Since then it has sat in my personal camera bag unused and untouched.
So fast forward to today. I took the new Nikon to a basketball game tonight just to try it out with some action.
The first 20 shots went smoothly until the 6 AA's totally died without warning. I have heard of the batteries running down on these but in 55-60 images is ridiculous.
After I changed the batteries out, the camera shot fine up until frame #36 and it starts going downhill from there.

I have created a hidden gallery of the problem here:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/davidstout/d200problems/pages/1.html

I have included along with the affected frames the one
just before and after. In the case images 1-8 (DSC_0036-0043), they are are basically a burst. Images 9-11 (DSC_0065-0067) are a burst and images 12-14 (DSC_0105, 0106 and 0108, 0107 is missing) are a burst.

I almost forgot to add that I was shooting with an older Nikon 300 2.8 on autofocus.
I shot yesterday with the lens on my D1H without any problems so I don't think that the lens is the issue here.

If you have any ideas I am all ears.

David Stout
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Christopher Park, Photographer
San Diego | CA | United States | Posted: 1:17 AM on 02.17.06
->> David,
Ive seen something like that happen with a nikon before when the small lever on the inside of the mounting collar gets bent from the lens being attached too quickly. Make sure the lever isnt bent, otherwise the aperture blades in the lense may fail to position themselves for the proper aperture. Im not expert in camera engineering though, just my 2 cents from what ive seen before.
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Brian Valentin, Student/Intern
Genoa | IL | USA | Posted: 2:10 AM on 02.17.06
->> David,

Sorry to hear about your experience. I was curious what settings you were shooting at? The files look very nice and I have a D200 on order so it's nice to see some live shots instead of bottle labels and flowers.

In exchange for hijacking your thread I did some research for you. Check out
http://www.nikonians.org and do a search for D200 battery alkalines and you will get some good info. I would include the whole link , but it is really long.

Here is one useful post:
30 shots is alot for alkalines. My testing only got about 12 shots with Duracell Alkalines. Alkalines are notoriously bad for digital cameras because they can't handle the high current drain. I was surpised that Nikon even bothered to make it an option in the battery type setting.

NiMh rechargables do WAY better, I got 600 shots with 6 PowerEx 2300mah batteries before I quit testing and the batteries had barely come off the full indicator.
I am working on a set of AA Lithiums now. They should last at least as long as the NiMh batteries.

The other post on the thread have lots of useful info as well.

Any other info you would care to share regarding D200 focus, ISO etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

B.
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Mark Deckard, Photographer
Findlay | OH | USA | Posted: 10:33 AM on 02.17.06
->> I'll second what Brian said, digital cameras (even the 3mp point and shoot my wife uses for family stuff) go through alkaline batteries quickly. I use NiMh rechargable AA in my D200 and can shoot a week or so before I need to recharge a set.

Brian, so far I have been happy about the performance of my D200. The autofocus seems to be just as fast and accurate as the D1h I was using before, and the high iso performance is far better. I've shot NCAA D2 college basketball as high as 1/3 stop short of 3200 and had good results. Also, I haven't seen any of the banding I have heard others complain about.
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david pardo, Student/Intern, Photographer
Walnut | ca | USA | Posted: 12:49 PM on 02.17.06
->> Digital cameras can only servive with NiMH Batteries as mentioned above...That's it, no other type of rechargable or industrial batteries will only give you 50 shots if your luckly...So By an extra battery, and if you use NiMh batteries, you might get 60-80 shots...
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David Stout, Photographer
Jonesboro | AR | USA | Posted: 12:58 PM on 02.17.06
->> Thanks for the assistance everyone. This is the first time I have tried to use regular batteries in a higher end digital. I don't have the camera with me right now but I will check that lever that christopher mentioned other than that I can't understand what would cause the nearly black images.

As far as my settings I was shooting the length of the court with a 300mm 2.8 at 400 at 3.2 and 320 at 3.5 on 1600. The focus tracking was slow and the camera is taking a little getting used to but it was definitely a lot better in the static situations I spoke of earlier.

For some reason using this camera with the 300 the magnification seems greater than with my D1H. I have never pretended to understand the whole 1.4x or whatever magnification of the digitals so thats probably my problem. But the far end of the court just seems a lot tighter to me with this camera.

As far as the color and image quality I am happy. By looking at the images I think I could have been shooting a little faster but I didn't know how close the screen was on the back. The images on the hidden gallery have only been resized. Not toning or sharpening at all. The 28 meg file is great in my opinion. I haven't noticed any banding in the images I have shot so far.

Several people mentioned that the camera felt heavy. To me the camera is balanced well with all the lenses that I have tried (17-35 2.8, 80-200 2.8, 300 2.8)

Overall first impressions are favorable except the bad images. The camera seems sturdy but the grip is a little cheesy in my opinion. It does not feel like its made very well. I think care is the key word when sitting it down and picking it up.

I will try it out in another game with different batteries to see if that is the problem before I go the tech support route.
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Chris Machian, Photographer, Assistant
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 1:56 PM on 02.17.06
->> What does the exif into say the F-stop was on the dark images? Does it say something like "F--"?
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David Stout, Photographer
Jonesboro | AR | USA | Posted: 2:10 PM on 02.17.06
->> I didn't see where it says F anything. you can pull one of the dark images out of the hidden gallery and open it up in p'shop. Maybe I am looking in the wrong spot.
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Chris Machian, Photographer, Assistant
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 2:16 PM on 02.17.06
->> It is real easy, open the "untouched photo" in photo shop. Look under File>FIle info>camera data 1.
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David Stout, Photographer
Jonesboro | AR | USA | Posted: 5:22 PM on 02.17.06
->> I am not in a position to get the images now. I will do it when I get off of work.
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Landon Kramer, Photographer
Jonesboro | AR | USA | Posted: 6:05 PM on 02.17.06
->> Sorry to hear about the bad luck with the new gear. I had the same underexposure problem with a D70 last summer while doing some mountaineering out west. I ended up having to send it in for repair. If I can find the repair slip amid all of my tax junk, I will let you know.
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Nicholas Wright, Photographer
Palo Alto | CA | USA | Posted: 6:22 PM on 02.17.06
->> David,

Nikon included the AA battery option for emergencies only, if I remember correctly from my D100 literature. I wouldn't expect much from Alkalines or any other type except the NiMh and, of course, the battery that comes with the camera.
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David Stout, Photographer
Jonesboro | AR | USA | Posted: 9:47 PM on 02.17.06
->> The exif info in both the good and bad images is the same. F stotp is 3.5.
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Gary Cosby, Jr, Photographer
Decatur | AL | USA | Posted: 10:41 PM on 02.17.06
->> David,
I have had a similar problem with the D1 countless times. You would be shooting along then, BAM, a black frame or two or a dozen. The only difference was that out black frames were completely black with no image at all. It was nearly always caused by the battery not supplying the proper amperage and that was with rechargable batteries. Perhaps this is the problem. Your AA batteries are not supplying a constant amperage to your image sensor. That is at least a place to look.
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David Stout, Photographer
Jonesboro | AR | USA | Posted: 1:45 AM on 02.18.06
->> I really appreciate all the responses. Hopefully it was just a fluke thing related to the batteries. I will post a followup by next weekend. Hopefully if its going to show up again it will do it by then.

Landon, good to hear from you again. Shoot me an email and fill me in on whats been happening with you.


Stout out
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Frank Victores, Photographer
Ft Thomas | KY | USA | Posted: 7:22 AM on 02.18.06
->> David

On page 160 in the user manual it has the settings for the type of batteries you use.

Custom Setting d8: MB-D200 Battery Type

Try looking at that.

My D200 works like a charm, no problems yet.

E-mail me if you need any help with the settings.

Good Luck
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Chris Machian, Photographer, Assistant
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 11:17 AM on 02.18.06
->> If it has the same f-stop listed, it isn't the bent arm like mentioned above.
Maybe use lithiums instead of alkies too.
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Chris Russick, Photographer, Photo Editor
St. Petersburg | FL | USA | Posted: 11:59 PM on 09.27.06
->> David, I've read a bunch of threads out there about the d200 and more specifically I've been searching for black frame problems. Did you ever find out a resolution? I myself was getting them once every so often. now I'm getting them about 2 out of every 300. Not terrible but it used to be 1 out of 1400ish. to me, that's a BIG jump. I don't want to see it get worse either.

Makes you wonder if you missed the money shot....


Now I did read Gary's comment above and I'm thinking this MAY be the problem. My MBD200 grip is sometimes causing funky things to go on inside the d200 focusing screen. The low battery indicator comes on and all the focus spots blink. sometimes you can see all the icons on the screen in a translucent fassion.

Either way, if anybody has any info on A. Why these frames are blank / black or B. if in fact it is a problem with the mbd200, is there a good resolution?

thanks in advance,
Chris
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David Stout, Photographer
Jonesboro | AR | USA | Posted: 1:42 PM on 09.28.06
->> Chris,
The problem has not resurfaced. I have shot the camera with numerous lenses and our old 300 is the only one that that it has done it with. Thank goodness.
Other than that one problem I love my D200, I just wish I could say the same for the mickey mouse feeling vert. grip/battery holder.
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Thread Title: D200 Problems/Suggestions...HELP!
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