Nikon DSLR Error codes: Explained

Ever had a dreaded error message flash up on your Nikon DSLR? Or is it happening right now and your search has brought you to this article? Well, either way, I recently needed to find more info on these codes myself and decided to put all the info I found in one place. So here is a quick guide to what those codes generally mean, along with a couple of simple solutions to hopefully get you back up and running.

f EE

If you only use G type lenses you’ll never see this error message as it indicates the aperture ring is not set to the minimum aperture. The fix is easy, just set the aperture ring back to minimum and lock it in place. There is usually an aperture ring lock to stop you accidentally twisting it, it’s a small orange notch on a switch, and the lenses smallest aperture will be marked in orange as well to help remind you.

FEE code means the aperture lock is not set

FEE code means the aperture lock is not set

f- -

This means the lens and camera are not communicating with each other. Usual causes are that either the lens is an older model without electronic contacts (i.e. is not a CPU lens) or it is not fully connected. If it is a CPU lens then remove the lens and re-attach, making sure you fully twist the lens until you hear it click in place.

Triangle with F0 (or another number, i.e. F6)

Also indicates the lens and body are unable to communicate and the camera thinks there is no lens attached. On a non CPU lens it can mean the maximum aperture has not been dialled in correctly. The number next to the letter F is how far from maximum aperture the non CPU lens is – so F6 would mean 6 stops from max aperture. On a G type lens with no aperture ring, try cleaning all the contacts, but if that doesn’t work it might be worth calling Nikon as it may be an issue with the contacts not meeting properly.

F0

Not so much an error code, but if you see F0 on your display it means the lens hasn’t been twisted all the way and locked in place. With modern G lenses you will get F0 appear until the lens is clicked in to position. On older lenses with an aperture ring, you’ll see as you twist the lens in to place the F value will increase until the lens clicks in to position, where it will then revert back to it’s correct, camera set, aperture value.

F0 code means lens is not fully locked in place

F0 code means lens is not fully locked in place

Err

This can be the scariest message to encounter as it can cover a wide range of problems and when it does appear, the camera completely locks up, until you turn the camera on and off again. But it can potentially mean anything from dirty contacts, so the lens and camera cannot communicate properly, to a shutter malfunction. It is quite often down to dirty contacts on either the lens mount or lens itself, and is fixed with a good deep clean. But it can also be more serious, so it’s always best to speak to Nikon if you are concerned. I had this error come up once when a contact pin on my 1.4x teleconvertor was lose. I only found that out though when the pin fell out whilst I was abroad on a shoot!

Nikon also suggest the following if the Err code flashes up:

  • Remove all accessories from the camera.
  • Install a freshly charged battery into the camera.
  • If your Nikon camera offers resets such as the two-button reset or a hardware reset please follow those instructions provided in the product manual.

- E -

Not really a warning message, but simply means there is no memory card in the camera. If however you get this message and there IS a card in the camera, try formatting the card in camera (NOT in your computer), and taking it out and re-inserting to make sure it is properly seated. If the problem still persists it’s worth contacting Nikon as you may have a bent pin in the card slot. It’s been known to happen and isn’t the cheapest of things to fix!

CHA/CHR

This means there is a problem with the memory card. It’s always a good idea to format your memory card IN CAMERA after you have copied the images across to your computer. Generally speaking, memory card problems seem to crop up more often with people who do not do an in camera format of the card. It’s also worth removing and re-inserting the card. As with the -E- message, worst case scenario is that there is a bent pin in the cameras card slot.

What if I can’t fix the problem myself?

It’s always a worry when an error code comes up on any bit of kit, and even if it goes away again it’s always better to get it looked at just to be safe. Nikon will usually ask you what settings you had the camera on and what other equipment you were using at the time so always try to remember to make a note of that info so you can pass it on to them, that way they’ll potentially be able to find the fault sooner. And if needed, supply them with the other kit that was used when the fault developed. I read on a forum recently about a pro sports tog who had a D3 and a 400mm which gave an ERR code when combined together. Both the camera and lens worked fine with all other cameras/lenses but together they just did not want to play. So both had to be sent in to find the fault.

I hope you never find yourself having to look up what the Nikon DSLR error codes mean, but if you do, and you find your way here, I hope this article helped :)

Comments

  1. Allan says:

    Hi Richard,

    I have been following your web site and blog and wanted to say thank you for sharing your information with us all, much appreciated.

    Wonder if you could offer any advice with a technical problem on my trusty old Nikon D100 (I have upgraded but still use the camera as a backup if needed).

    Last year (my D200 was out for a service), I decided to use the camera with an SB28 flashgun attached for some paddock (motorsport) photos.. All was well for 50 or so photos when for no reason the camera seemed to develop a fault. On taking one or two frames everything was fine then the next couple were completely overexposed (no change to the settings) and were washed out. Removing the flashgun I again fired off a few shots to find the same problem occured every 3 or 4 frames. The lens attached was a Sigma f2.8 70mm zoom.

    I have used the camera for the previous 3 years and shot several thousand photos with it without a single problem, so I am reluctant to dispose of it.

    If you could offer any advice I would be really grateful.

    Best regards

    Allan

    1. Tom says:

      Are you sure you don’t have it set to auto-bracketting?

  2. Michelle Smith says:

    Very helpful! I found my answer in under a minute. Thanks!

  3. Can anyone help with this one…….. I randomly get the f.0 but more often get f95? The lens closes down as if using DOFP and stays like it until you turn it off and on again.

  4. Tim says:

    My Nikon D300 is displaying a r09 error message. It will not take an image, the code appears when depressing the shutter release. Anyone know what that means??

    1. Hi Tim, that’s not an error code. It’s telling you how many images the camera can take before the memory card fills up, that’s why it’s only happening when you press the shutter button. If there camera is not taking an image though, there is something wrong so I’d take it to Nikon for them to have a look if I were you. Hope that helps!

      1. Tim says:

        Thanks Richard. That doesn’t really make sense though. Before I depress the shutter release the camera shows I have 296 images remaining on the memory card. I formatted the card, so there are no images on it. I just checked it out again today and now it does take images, not sure why that changed. I still get the r09 when depressing the release.

        1. Tim, my apologies for confusing you. I said the wrong thing in my previous message! r09 means thats how many images you can take before the BUFFER fills up, not the memory card – I’m not sure why I said that before!! If you hold the shutter button down to fire a burst of shots you should see r09 will count down as the camera takes images and eventually when it gets to r00 the camera will stop taking images until the buffer starts to clear, at which point you’ll see the 00 slowly start to increase. Hope that makes more sense and sorry for the confusing reply before!!

          1. Tim says:

            HMMMM, I may not understand what you mean by “buffer” . I have the camera set to take single shots not continueous, so I wouldn’t be able to take a “burst” of shots, Just one shot everytime I depress the shutter release button. However when I do set it to continueous it will take one image, when set back at single shot it wont take an image. Both still show the r09 message.

          2. Regardless of being in single shot or continuous, the camera will still tell you how many shots are left in the buffer when you half depress the shutter release, that is what r09 is telling you – it’s the shots till buffer full reading (regardless of what shooting mode you’re in), not an error code. My D3s says r28 when I half depress the shutter. BUT it seems there is definitely something wrong with your camera, if when set to continuous it will take only one image, and none in single shot. A trip to Nikon may be on the cards!

  5. Grant Quist says:

    Hi Richard, today on my D300s I had an error occur, it happened when pressing the shutter nothing would happen, it was flashing r17, after looking on google as couldnt work it out on my own, I discovered it was to do with the autofocus not being able to read the light apparenetly. To fix this, switch to manual on housing and back to whatever setting I was using and worked again. Apparently this is to do with autofocusing not being able to read or judge the light.

  6. tilda doscher says:

    thank you!!!! I was totally stumped with my flashing F EE, and searching through my D800 manual revealed nothing. Thanks again.

  7. marcial naag jr says:

    need ur advise pls, im a newbie w/ my nikon d90. why does when i half press my shutter, an Err appears and when a full shutter was release, my subject does not register with my SD card? I had already cleanup my lens and cpu contacts. Further, as recommended, i had also turnoff my cam and w/drawn its sdcard and battery for an hour but for naught. pls help before i went to costly nikon service center. big tnx.

  8. Bruno says:

    i have a nikon D80. when i go to take a picture im getting the message “Full r00″ i’ve tighten the lense thinking this was the problem, but i am still getting the same message come up. I’m actually lose. Can i please have your advice on this please?

  9. Chris says:

    Thanks very use full thought I’d broke it in transit to manila

  10. Paul Michaud says:

    Hey Richard, whenever I put an older model lens on my D200 I get the fEE message. I lock the aperture to f22 but still nothing. The only way I can take pictures with the lens is when it isn’t fully connected. The aperture locks at f8 and I lose all auto focusing features. I cleaned off the contact points and done every other thing that sites have said but still can’t get it to work. Any other advice for me?

  11. If you own a D600 and experienced this ERR message, you have no alternative but to send it to a Nikon Service Center. Aside from problems with contacts, the 2 likely culprits are overheated sensors (if you use your D600 for video on long durations or a faulty shutter mechanism. With all the oil splatters on the sensor, chances are great with the D600.

    The clue to all these is to simply look at all the features and specs of their new D610. You’ll notice they installed an “all new shutter mechanism” which supposedly does not splatter oil on your sensor.

    So rather than sell your D600 at a loss and purchase the new D610, demand from Nikon a full replacement of the shutter mechanism used on the D610.

    This is totally unethical for a company like Nikon to offer us a replacement model and not even exert an effort to remedy the situation by recalling all D600s and replacing the faulty shutter mechanism.