Recently my camera will take pictures fine, but sometimes between pictures the aperture setting changes from showing (say) "9" (to represent f/9) to showing "--". After this, if I take a picture it turns out completely black.

Even if I turn the camera off and on again, most of the time it still has the issue; the only thing I have found which works is to remove the battery, then put it back in: this clears the issue. Any thoughts on what could be the issue?

  • How about a faulty battery? Try a different one?
    – joc
    Jul 3, 2017 at 10:30
  • 3
    I'm not sure what you mean by "then the aperture setting will show". Could you explain what you mean, or maybe take a picture of it with a different camera (such as a smartphone)? Jul 3, 2017 at 11:21
  • The F stop on the camera instead of showing say 9 is says --. This happens between pictures with no changes to the camera. if I take pic and it's at -- then the pic comes out black. I wish I could take picture but it happens sporadically. Only way to get camera working again is to take out the battery.
    – Michelle F
    Jul 4, 2017 at 6:09
  • @joc It happened with 2 different batteries.
    – Michelle F
    Jul 4, 2017 at 6:09
  • Have the camera and/or lens been damaged recently (i.e., have they been dropped, or taken a hard hit)? Have they been exposed to water (more than an incidental amount of splash or light rain)? Is the lens fully seated and rotated fully in the bayonet mount? Are the lens's electrical contacts clean?
    – scottbb
    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


F-- means that the camera is not able to talk to the lens. Your lens obviously supports communication with the camera, so the first thing to try would be simply removing the lens and then mounting it again. If that doesn't help, examine the metal contacts for corrosion.

  • One possible explanation: black picture could mean shutter speed too high under current setting. The camera may instruct the lens to set a larger aperture but it cannot because of the broken communication pipe. While the lens is stuck at the small aperture f/8 the shutter is set for the larger aperture. Therefore you would see a black picture.
    – yulunz
    Jul 5, 2017 at 18:33

Remove the lens and you'll see a number of brass contacts on both the lens and in the body. The most frequent issue with lens misbehavior is bad contacts here.

They can be easily cleaned but don't make this worse though. Use a lint free cloth that isn't going to throw dust around and into your camera. There are a million opinions on what to use here, everything from nylon brushes to alcohol. Google it and see which seems best suited to your confidence level and what you have lying around.


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