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recently I've noticed an issue with my Tamron lens (at least I think it's the lens). My current set up:

  • Canon EOS 90D
  • Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro

When taking photos at the 300mm end of the focal length the camera throws an error:

Err 01 Communications between the camera and lens is faulty. Clean the lens contacts.

I've checked the gold connectors, they are clean (gave them a gentle clean anyway with a cloth).

What makes it strange is that this only happens with this lens, and only close or at the 300mm end of the focal length, anything between 200-300 is likely to cause the error. It's not consistent, sometimes I can take a couple of photos before the error shows up.

I've also sometimes noticed that the issue shows up purely by focusing on something in the distance, before I even take the shot.

If the photo is captured it is horribly overexposed - regardless of settings. I've tried to replicate it in a consistent manner but there isn't a pattern to it.

As a test, I've taken two photos one after another (within 10 seconds in this example), using the exact same settings, only changing the focal length.

  1. 1/100sec f/11 ISO100 176mm Good Photo

  2. 1/100sec f/11 ISO100 300mm Bad Photo

I've been using this lens since March 2020 (bought it brand new), with no issues up until last few days.

Anyone had a similar issue?

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This was going to be a comment.

As the lens is extended, the "lever arm" gets longer. Maybe the rear lens flange is a bit loose and is creating a gap at the longer focal length leading to improper electrical connection.

I would recommend close inspection of the lens to camera connection as the lens is extended as a first step.

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    To confirm this hypothesis, see if the problem disappears when the lens is pointed straight up, or worsens when you shoot downwards.
    – xenoid
    Oct 10 at 10:37
  • If the lens-side part with the contacts on it is easily unscrewed, shimming it with something like washers, polyimide tape, thin fibreglass circuit board pieces ... could help (or create more problems). Oct 10 at 16:43
  • @xenoid - Have tried it pointing upwards, downwards and at angles, with different focal lengths but it's the same story. As soon as I turn to 300mm it shows the error.
    – Kamil
    Oct 11 at 10:48
  • There isn't any movement I can see, no gaps. The lens sits as tightly as my other lenses.
    – Kamil
    Oct 11 at 10:53
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    @Kamil on US eBay, a used replacement is less than $100. The lens is broken. Oct 11 at 17:43
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My guess is that some electrical connection inside the lens looses contact in some mechanical situations, maybe getting stretched when going beyond 200mm focal length.

The over-exposure might come from such a faulty internal connection: the iris not closing, thus taking the photo full-open at f/5.6 although commanded to do f/11. This would result in a two-stop over-exposure, and could explain your bad example image. You could do some tests in Av mode, set to f/5.6 (they should all come out good), and f/16 (some / many / all of them should be badly over-exposed).

I wouldn't take the wording "Clean the lens contacts" in the error description too seriously. I bet this "Err 01" comes in almost every situation where the lens doesn't respond as expected.

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  • I have noticed an old query with a similar issue, altough with a different lens model. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II causes Err 01 only when zoomed beyond 135mm I suspect it could very well be a similar problem with my lens. As @Bob Macaroni McStevens said above, a replacement might be easiest option, since the lens itself is not one from the expensive range. I will try your suggestion with Av mode while looking for a replacement just in case.
    – Kamil
    Oct 11 at 21:40

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