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Pictures Coming Out Black

Meredith Turner , Dec 18, 2010; 12:02 a.m.

We just put our christmas tree up, so I decided to take some pictures of it. Everything was working fine, and then I layed down under the tree to take some bokeh pictures. I noticed some large black chunks in the eye piece, but nothing on the pictures and then when I sat up, they were gone anyways. I thought it was just the strap being in the way /me going crazy. So i took some more pictures, and things were fine. I took one at 11:26:59 and it came out fine. I took one at 11:27:01 and it was just BLACK. I didn't change any settings, or anything.. it was black. I took another; black. Another; black. Switched the lense; black. Took another; black. Uploaded to computer; black. Tried again; black. Randomly tried again; I can see the picture, but a corner of the bottom right hand side is black. Just a diagonal section of the corner. I didn't notice it at first, but going back through the pictures it happened right after it started showing the pictures instead of just all black.

I tried blowing out any dust or anything, but I still have the black section. I didn't drop it or anything of the sort, it just STOPPED WORKING. Any suggestions for why? I'm going to call the store tomorrow and see if they know anything, and then if not take it in on Monday if I get a chance. I only got the camera at the end of October, and I do have a warranty but I just don't get what the problem is. It's a Nikon d3100 by the way.



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Ray - , Dec 18, 2010; 03:02 a.m.

Do you have aperture preview button? If so keep pressing it and look at front of the camera - is the aperture blades closing all the way down?

Look in front of the camera to see the blades ....

If you don't have it.... do a long exposure like 5 seconds in manual with lowest f number ... if the lens is closing all the way down .... there is your issue.

I had that on my new D70.

Keep pressing it, it might be random. Like if you have a 2.8 lens, set at 2.8 and it should be all open. 2.8 should not close all the way down .. like f/16. If you do you get black *seriously underexposed* pix.

C.P.M. van het Kaar , Dec 18, 2010; 03:34 a.m.

Just a suggestion, did you try another memorycard already ?

Mart E , Dec 18, 2010; 04:52 a.m.

Does it sound 'normal' during exposure. I had a D70 that went through similar issues, but you could clearly hear that it was having problems - and sometimes it returned an 'ERR' message (although not always).

It ended up needing the shutter unit replaced as it was sticking. Doesn't sound as though this is the problem in your case though.


William Pahnelas , Dec 18, 2010; 07:59 a.m.

if you put it in movie mode, what do you see on the back screen? the full picture, or the black thing? i can't think of a single setting you could choose that would cause what you describe. if there's a problem with the shutter, as someone else has suggested, that could explain it. i wouldn't freak out. things happen, and you have a warranty. if it's messed up, the store or nikon will take care of you.

Meredith Turner , Dec 18, 2010; 09:22 a.m.

Last night, if I put it on video mode the screen would be all black. But if I took a picture, it was still the regular picture just with a chuck of it missing. I did notice before this started that when I turned the lense, it made a different sound, almost like it was getting stuck.. but I switched lenses, and still had the black photos.

I just switched to a different lense to try, and I notice that the camera is making sounds when I click the shutter button. It's just kind of a whirring noise, but I didn't notice it last night, or even five minutes ago with the other lense. But when I switched back the lense, it didn't make the noise.. It only did with a zoom lense.
I just looked, and I think the lense could be closing all the way down. But why does that only cause black sections of the photo?
This is how my pictures come out: http://i53.tinypic.com/2ush84j.jpg
I just don't understand why it's happening when I took some pictures fine, did no damage to the camera - yet it started happening when 9 seconds before, it was fine - no black at all.

C.P.M. van het Kaar , Dec 18, 2010; 09:51 a.m.

To me it looks like "shutter "problems", First "curtain" does not seem to open properly/fully.
Best thing is to get it back to your dealer, you're still in full waranty so i'd let "them" check it out ( and maybe replace it by a new one..).

David Haas , Dec 18, 2010; 01:16 p.m.

Meredith -

Looks / sounds like the shutter is going bad. Start with the dealer you bought it from. Be aware that since it is more than 30 days, they may have you go directly to Nikon for warranty service.

Meredith Turner , Dec 18, 2010; 06:32 p.m.

I bought the extended Blacks Warranty, and it's not like it was a drop or anything that broke it, so I'll call them. Does anyone know if I'lll have to go right to the store I bought it from? It's a chain, so I don't think so but I don't have time to go to the one I got it from as it's far away, and with christmas so close I don't want to go through the busy malls.

Meredith Turner , Dec 20, 2010; 10:06 p.m.

I took it into blacks today. Neither of the guys there had any clue what it could be. Their first suggestion was a lense problem, but I changed the lense and it was still there. They think either the shutter or the mirror, like some people said. It'll be 3-4 weeks before I get my camera back, so I'll miss out on the first christmas with a good camera, because they have no policy for having a replacement.

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