I have a Nikon D7000 with a AFS Nikkor 18-200 Dx with VR. I took a pix of the sun going behind a mountain, trying to NOT get the sun directly, but I did. It was 1/3 way down but still bright . The camera took the pix. It was in Program mode, ISO 200, F13, 18mm.

When I tried to take another pix, all I got was the sound of mirror opening and closing. The menu only shows the remaining images amount and it flashed "error". Nothing else is working, except the menu light. It was also cold outside. So I put the camera away.

However, it is not the cold. No metering is happing. No image is being recognised. I have shot at or had the sun in so many photos and this has never happened.

Any idea if I burned out the sensors?

I am traveling. This horrible.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you absolutely sure it isn't just the cold? The symptoms you describe don't sound super likely from getting a setting sun in the frame at 18mm \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 3:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ How cold is "cold?" How do you know it is not the cold? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 4:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ How long was the camera cold, and how cold was it? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 6:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ 1/640s and f/13 don't sound like an issue - I make photos with the sun in them all the times, at "even" slower shutter speeds and with wider apertures. Not that my experience with Canon cameras can rule out a sun damage in your Nikon with 100% acuity, but if values above f/13 and 1/640s would be necessary to not damage the sensor if the sun was somewhere in a frame, we would certainly read advice about this somewhere. \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 8:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ 1/640s f13 and iso200 at 18mm is not enough to damage the sensor in the way you are describing even when photographing the sun directly in the middle of the day. this cannot be the problem. you should try to take off your lens and take the camera in the mirror cleaning status so you can look at the sensor and see if you can detect a defect visually. otherwise i would try to go to a camera shop and ask if they could take a look on it or repair it. but before you do this save your images ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – LuZel
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 12:08

2 Answers 2


Thank you everyone. I found out what the problem was. One of the blades on the shutter came off track and was blocking the sensor from functioning. So the guy fixed it and also hand cleaned the sensor. Camera OK now. It was not the sensors. Cost $60 bucks to clean sensor and fix blade (gave me a 20% discount) Thank goodness it wasn't the sensor. Thanks, again, for all your support. – CeeDee

Added the user's own answer from the comments for further reference.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Someone fixing a stuck modern shutter for good is impressive. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 23:54

ISO 200, F13, 18mm

That makes it somewhat unlikely that the sun was the problem. Now if we were talking about 200mm or even more, then we'd be in a different ballpark. At F13 I'd expect not as much the sensor to take damage however (after all, this is a DSLR and the sensor gets to see the sun only at exposure time very briefly unless you are using live view) rather than the aperture blades warping. At larger zoom length, the image of the aperture blades you can see from the front becomes pretty large, and the sun is able to hit those actually rather small blades at all angles where it would reach the apparent blades you seem to see from the front: the lens is focusing the rays.

So even if on a DSLR the sensor is comparatively safe when using the optical viewfinder, the act of pointing the camera with a long focal length at the sun can damage the internals of lens and camera (the mechanical shutter itself can also get warped even though aperture leaves are likely the most endangered).


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