Nikon D300S Dark View Finder and Photos Please Help


TPF Noob!
Apr 17, 2021
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I hav a D300s with under 14K shutter counts. Currently will not take any of my DX or FX lenses (dark view finder and pohotos). As a matter of fact, it only works with a 20mm F2.8 AF Nikkor lens. Live view is also dark with DX lenses. Dark photo shows with DX lens, bright photo with 20mm F2.8 AF Nikkor.
I'm not sure if there is a settings I need to adjust?, or should I send it out for repair?. I'll appreciate any suggestions. Thanks
I couldn't help but notice the "Err" in the second picture. Maybe a lens-connection problem?
Take a good look at where the lenses mount. Specifically look at all the contacts and make sure none are stuck, some will be spring-loaded and should move freely. I would use a Q-tip with some rubbing alcohol to clean them and see what happens.
Thanks for the suggestion. I will clean the contacts ASAP. I'm not sure why, but the lens gives an error sometimes depending on the mode I'm using.
If you are talking about a 3rd-party lens and it has a ring to set the aperture manually, it has to be set to minimum aperture (highest f-stop) when mounted. Even if the camera can adjust the aperture of the lens, the setting on the lens itself needs to be at minimum.

I also should have mentioned to look at and clean the contacts on BOTH the lenses and camera body. if anything looks obviously tarnished, a pencil eraser can help. Just be careful of anything the eraser may shed.
When it came out the D300S was great for the time but it is getting very long in the tooth. I had one for a number of years and rarely used it above 400 ISO because the image really started falling off. It might be time to trade up. There are a number of DX bodies that are inexpensive but will demonstrably outperform the D300. My wife has a D7100 and although it is a bit dated too, it blows the D300 out of the water.

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