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FEE message with some lenses on a D50

Kevin Mulholland , Apr 17, 2006; 10:49 a.m.

I hope this is not a repaet - I seem to have been unsuccessful in a previous post............

I have a Nikon D50 that works fine with an AFS 18-70mm lens and older AIS lenses (on manual). My older AF lenses (60mm micro and 70- 210mm) no longer seem to communicate with the camera - I get a FEE message and nothing works. They did work last week. Any ideas? I did reset the camera to its default settings but it did not solve the problem.



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KL IX , Apr 17, 2006; 10:58 a.m.

It IS a repeat. Check the archives.

FEE means your lens' aperture is not at its minimum setting (e.g., f22). Your 60mm and 70-210mm should have a switch that locks the the aperture setting to the minimum.

And BTW, AIS lenses will mount on your D50 but won't meter.

Kevin Mulholland , Apr 17, 2006; 12:31 p.m.

The lenses are locked on their minimum aperture - sorry I should have said that.

Yaron Kidron , Apr 17, 2006; 12:31 p.m.

Actually, AIS lenses have no aperture "Lock Switch". Just use your camera at Manual mode, and set the aperture as you would always have set it-- with the aperture ring.

KL IX , Apr 17, 2006; 01:55 p.m.

Actually, AIS lenses have no aperture "Lock Switch". Just use your camera at Manual mode, and set the aperture as you would always have set it-- with the aperture ring. - Yaron

I was referring to his Af lenses. Whether AIS lenses have a lock or not is irrelevant with the D50 since it will NOT meter anyway.

Kevin - Not sure what to tell you, if they're already set to the minimum aperture.

Constance Cook , Apr 17, 2006; 04:41 p.m.


Not to insult you, but you have the lens set to minimum aperture but did you push the little lock tab over?


Shun Cheung , Apr 17, 2006; 05:04 p.m.

As long as the aperture ring is set to its minimum aperture, you should not get the FEE error. That little lock tab does not need to be in the locked position, which is for preventing the aperture ring from slipping out of its minimum setting.

The next thing I would try is to clean the electronic contacts around the lens mount, on both the body and the lenses. Make sure that you have a good metal-to-metal electronic contact.

Joseph Wisniewski , Apr 17, 2006; 10:16 p.m.

Shun is right, sometimes it is the contacts. I hope he's right this time, because a simple contact cleaning will fix the camera. If it's what I think it is, your camera needs to go into Nikon service.

AF and AF-G lenses "tell" the camera that the lens is at minimum aperture (it doesn't have to be locked) by pressing down a little switch on the camera. It is possible for this switch to be damaged. Sometimes the damage happens when you mount a lens wrong, other times it happens when you mount an pre-AI lens (even one that's been "converted to AI, if the conversion isn't done well). Damage from pre-AI lenses is cumulative: the first 47 times you do it, you may not see a problem, but then one day, one mount too many...

"G" lenses (your 18-70mm is a "G") don't use the tab, they communicate to the camera that they're permanently locked on minimum aperture. So even if the switch on the camera is damaged, they still work.

It's also possible for the little projecting tab on the lens that actuates the switch to break off, but that would leave one of your two AF lenses working. It's highly unlikely that they formed a suicide pact and both broke their tabs in the same week.

KL IX , Apr 18, 2006; 12:13 a.m.

It could very well be the electronic contacts, but the typical error message with bad contacts is "F--" so who knows?

Kevin Mulholland , Apr 18, 2006; 12:48 p.m.

Sadly, I think Joseph has it right! The contacts are clean but I do use an old AI'ed 300mm lenms and I think that was the last lens I mounted (other than the G lens) before I noticed the problem. I'll have to call Nikon.

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