HELP! My dSLR shutter doesn't work sometime

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by EileenHui, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. EileenHui
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    EileenHui New Member

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    I'm a beginner on dSLR as well as photography. I've gotten my first dSLR for 1.5 months. It's a Nikon D90.

    Sometimes after I focused and try to release the shutter, it just didn't work, and I would hear some sounds in my camera. At the beginning I thought it might because I did not have much skill, that was why it did not work. But the same problems just keep happening every once a while. I checked the web and found some people were having the same problem.

    I'm wondering if there are any chances that the shutter would behave like that?

    I'm not sure what should I do now, should I send it back to Nikon?
  2. Eventer
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    Eventer New Member

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    Perhaps email Nikon about it see what they think? see if they have encountered that issue before?
  3. tdz16
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    tdz16 New Member

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    I'm just throwing this out there:

    If the camera can't find its focus, the shutter won't work. The noises could be the camera still trying to find a focal point? I know my D40 was made a fair amount of noise when trying to focus.

    Again, this is a simple response, but may be the case.

    Good Luck,
    ~Tom

    EDIT: Easy test, flick the focus control to Manual on the lens and then see if the shutter works. It should always allow you to press the shutter even if the image is drastically out of focus. If it consistently works then you know you just weren't waiting for the focus to lock.
  4. flyingember
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    flyingember New Member

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    sounds in your camera or coming from the lens?
  5. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    I agree it's likely what Tom is talking about, the camera hasn't achieved focus and is set so it won't release the shutter in that condition.

    Your question also indicates you are not yet familiar with the information in your camera users manual.

    Welcome to the world of Digital SLR cameras. They are a bit more complex than many people realize.

    Your D90 has 3 focus modes AF-A, AF-S (single focus) and AF-C (continuous focus). (See pages 54-60 of your D90 users manual.)

    In AF-A the camera automatically selects one of the other 2 focus modes, depending if the subject is moving or not. The shutter will not release if focus has not beeen achieved.

    In AF-S mode the shutter will not release unless focus has been achieved.

    In AF-C mode the camera can be set to trip the shutter regardless of focus.


    Your camera will have trouble focusing (page 55)
    • if there is not a lot of light
    • if there is little or no contrast between your subject and the background
    • if the focus point selected has areas of sharply contrasting brightness
    • if the focus point contains objects at different distances from the camera
    • if background objects appear larger than the subject
    • if the subject is dominated by regular geometric patterns
    • or if the subject contains many fine details.
  6. EileenHui
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    EileenHui New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the advices!
    But what if the image looked like it was focused? And noises were not the same as usual, it was like one or two knocks in the camera?
  7. EileenHui
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    EileenHui New Member

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    It was from the camera!
  8. EileenHui
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    EileenHui New Member

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    Thanks, Keith! But sometimes during the day time, with fair amount of light, but it just would not work?
    I read my manual once only, I know there's a long way to go before I fully master my camera! I hope it's my skill problem rather than my camera's problem!
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  9. tdz16
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    tdz16 New Member

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    Whoa, look at Keith rocking out the page numbers of the D90 owners manual! Nice!

    The only concerning thing is that you're describing the noise as coming from the camera. I know the D90 uses the lens focusing motor if available and I'm assuming the kit lens is being used and that it is an AF-S lens. Could this be something to do with the internal motor trying to operate even though an AF-S lens is attached?

    I would still try to use the lens in manual mode to see if you can operate the shutter consistently. Then you know you've narrowed it down to the focusing operation of the camera/lens.

    From the few minutes of googling I just did, it seems that most people were having trouble with the camera actually focusing properly, not any mechanical issues that would create audible noise.

    Let us know how a manual focus test works out first. Then we'll go from there.

    ~Tom
  10. EileenHui
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    EileenHui New Member

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    Thanks, Tom! :thumbup:

    I will switch to manual if the problem appears again and see what will happen!
  11. kass617
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    kass617 New Member

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    This is most likely it, the first time it happened to me I started freaing out, but I then realized what was happening.
  12. EileenHui
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    EileenHui New Member

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    Then what did you do?

    I really hope my skill will get better soon!! :)

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