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Photography QnA: Troubleshooting Other Photo Equipment

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Category: What's Wrong With My Photographic Technique? : Problems with Photo Equipment - Tips & Tricks : Troubleshooting Other Photo Equipment

Still trying to find photo equipment tips & tricks? Ask the rest of your photo equipment questions in this Q&A.

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Photography Question 
Chet F. Sutherland

member since: 11/28/2004
  1 .  Canon Powershot A-75 Owners
I have been unable to locate Canon PowerShot A-75 users. I would like to find someone who knows how to use this camera. Please email me at

12/23/2004 4:52:48 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Have you tried or

12/23/2004 6:18:40 AM

Diane Dupuis-Kallos
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2003
  Right here at BetterPhoto - click on reviews - search for A70 ... click on it - you have reviews as well as all pics posted on this site taken with this camera. A direct link to BP's PowerShot A70 Digital Camera page:

Anyone who you find there with a Member Gallery or a Deluxe Web Site has a contact photographer button. Good luck in fixing your problem!

Here's a direct link to Powershot A70 photos taken by BP members:

12/23/2004 12:53:35 PM

Ken Henry

member since: 9/16/2003
  Yes, Chet. It's very basic and easy to learn. The manual is very clear. I studied and practiced every page of the manual, I practiced inside, outside... daylight, nightlight. I practiced every setting on my A75 from underexposure to overexposure. I tested various filters, also.

One thing I've noticed about digital cameras. Every thing is in focus, at f2.8 to f8.

I now mostly use manual mode with creative flash control, or program mode with flash compensation.


12/29/2004 7:18:45 PM

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Photography Question 
Shaun C. Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/16/2004
  2 .  This Autofocus Lens Simply Won't Autofocus
I just purchased this new lens - the Canon 100-400mm L IS USM. I have had my Canon Digital Rebel for almost 6 months. This lens does not want to autofocus at all. It just clicks when I go to take a picture. I've tried all different camera settings. Sometimes it gives me an Error 99 message. The solution to that error says to remove and re-insert battery. I did that and still no luck. I plug a different lens in (28-135 IS), and it works just fine. Any ideas? I thought maybe it was a compatibility issue, but according to Canon's Web Site, all EOS lenses are compatible with the Digital Rebel. HELP!

4/1/2004 6:04:28 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  There should be no "clicks" when autofocusing. The USM and IS should be near silent with some gentle "whirring." "Clicks" would indicate to me some damage. Did you buy the 100-400 new or secondhand? If new, you should contact Canon customer service. If secondhand, that might be the reason the original owner sold it.

4/1/2004 11:31:52 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/11/2003
  Make sure the lens is turned till it locks all the way. Sometime if I haven't twisted it all the way on when I change lenses I'll get an error sign. But if an autofocus lens has been dropped, the very tiny gears inside get jammed up and will make clicking and grunting sounds when on autofocus. The lens could still work fine on manual focus.

4/1/2004 3:09:23 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/11/2003
  Make sure the lens is turned till it locks all the way. Sometime if I haven't twisted it all the way on when I change lenses I'll get an error sign.
But if an autofocus lens has been dropped, the very tiny gears inside get jammed up and will make clicking and grunting sounds when on auto focus. The lens could still work fine on manual focus.

4/1/2004 3:09:23 PM

Shaun C. Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/16/2004
  Thanks to those who responded. Contacted Canon and they believe it is something internal.

I purchased from a gent on EBAY. He is a Photography Professor in Florida and says it was in perfect shape when he shipped it to me. He sold his Canon D10 the same day and it was in good shape when the buyer received it.

After inspecting the box, looks like it could have taken a fall or two on its two day journey to PA from FL. Making a claim with UPS. The gent that sold it to me even offered to help pay for the fixing from Canon to help me out. Tells me he is telling the truth about the pre-packaged lens.

Hopefully it will all work out. I think it will.

Thanks again to those who responded.

4/4/2004 10:41:09 PM

  I just bought the 100-400 IS. I use it with a 10D. I have noticed missing the focus sometimes at 400mm with low contrast subjets (Moose in the brush). It's better with high contrast subjects like swans. I also noticed missing the focus with my 75-300 IS. John Shaw says to use manual focus as much as you can to avoid auto focus problems. DOF is still pretty narrow at f/5.6 at 400mm. I haven't tried it yet for soccer games.

4/5/2004 1:07:43 PM

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Photography Question 

member since: 9/16/2003
  3 .  Lighting
I've been doing amature photography for about a year and don't know quite what I'm doing, some pictures are great and others not so great. My main problem has been pictures that have great composition but turn out yellow. I'm not sure if it's the light bulbs them selves, or if I need a filter of some kind, or maybe something entirely different. Any suggestions would be greatly appretiated. Thank you.

10/6/2003 8:43:16 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/17/2003
  If your camera is film-based, the yellowing you described is probably due to your not matching the film with the lighting for which it was designed.
Daylight film is designed to be used outdoors, or with flash, and will produce the yellow cast you described when used indoors, or in the presence of incandescent light.
You have several options to correct this: You can use tungsten-balanced films like Ektachrome 160 or Kodak Portra 100. These films are specifically designed for use with indoor lighting.
You can also solve the problem with filtration. A blue 80-A filter on your lens will correct the color shift.
You can also try turning the lights down, and using flash.

10/7/2003 2:13:05 AM

Sreedevi  Kashi

member since: 6/10/2003
  Just so you don't get confused, the Tungsten films he described are designated with a "T." These are meant for warmer colors- usually studio lights, and definitely regular house lights, which are warmer than studio lights.

10/16/2003 5:08:08 AM

Ken Henry

member since: 10/11/2000
  If you are using slide film use either tungston film or a blue 80A filter.
I use negative daylight film and I have the prossesor reduce the yellow and add cyan.


10/23/2003 10:32:31 PM

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Photography Question 

member since: 2/3/2003
  4 .  How Much Vibrations Affects Blurred
The mirror of my Canon AE1 makes a sort of “clang” when the shutter is released, producing a slight, almost imperceptible vibration of the body. I’m a bit worried as that could produce a slightly, uncontrollable blurred effect in my photos (even thought I hardly have found it in practice, to be honest). My worry is: why should I use fixed focal length lenses of good quality if sharpness is lost by vibrations?
So the questions are: How much does mirror’s lifting really affects blurred? Is there any way to lock up the mirror with this camera?
Thankyou very much.

9/22/2003 12:40:06 AM

doug Nelson

member since: 6/14/2001
  In my own case, lack of sharpness is more often caused by a combination of using too slow a shutter and lack of proper camera support. I don't believe this stuff about the slowest hand-hold shutter speed being the reciprocal of the lens focal length. My attempts to hold a 28 at 1/30 were not consistently successful. If the photo were important to me, I should have done the geezer fuddy-duddy drill and set up a tripod. For me, that reciprocal factor should be reduced by a shutter speed faster, for example, a minimum of 125 sec for a 50-mm lens.

If those factors are controlled, mirror slap MAY make a difference between about 1/60 and 1/4 second. At those speeds, you'd use a monopod or tripod, I'd think. I doubt if the AE-1 suffers any more than any other SLR is this regard. If you want mirror lock-up, find an FTb on an auction site for less than $75.

9/22/2003 7:47:03 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/17/2003
  I agree with Doug, that "mirror slap" is most prevalent between 1/60 and 1/4 second. Many experts conclude that at 1/15 second, the camera "moves" during the entire exposure....even when tri-pod mounted.
Whenever I shoot during this critical range, and even beyond, I engage the timer mechanism on my tripod mounted camera...which locks up the mirror before the shutter opens.
On exposure times of 1 second or more, this process is not necessary since the added time allows the image to be literally "painted" onto the film and makes whatever movement that did occur indescernable.

9/23/2003 12:48:17 PM


member since: 5/5/2000
  Are you sure about what you are hearing? The old canon's are notorious for shutter problems. If that is what you hear and you see motion, the shutter may be hanging open....

9/24/2003 4:21:33 AM

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Photography Question 
Donna R. Moratelli
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Donna
Donna's Gallery

member since: 11/23/2000
  5 .  Photo Transfer Software Problems
Hi everyone, I was curious to know if anyone here knew of a better photo transfer software than ZoombrowserEX. I ended up with this program because it was packaged with my D60 camera. It has corrupted and has also made my system unstable according to the Canon reps that have been helping me for three solid days... I have spent hours and hours loading and reloading this software and I can't seem to get it to work. The images won't transfer to the pc. I get errors constantly and also lock ups.
I picked up a Canon G3 to use as a backup camera and it came with an upgrade zoombrowser. It sounded wonderful but ended up being a big mistake! It does not function properly either and needed a patch immediatly. It didn't work either. I now can't use my origional zoombrowser or the upgrade because of a conflict with the software program upgrade. It's very strange and unusual for this type of thing to happen, I would assume. . .

. I really, reeeaaally would like to start off fresh and reload the entire system and start with a less bulky photo transfer software that runs well with microsoft millemium and can upload images from a D60 and a G1 to my pc. I would appreciate it if anyone here has any computer knowledge with photo uploading and knowledge of a great photo transfer program that would work for me!I have about 100 raw images sitting in flash cards waiting with baited breath to get downloaded. It's getting worse than waiting for slides to be processed! Thanks ahead of time.

9/11/2003 8:01:23 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  I've heard Capture1 is a good program.

9/11/2003 10:23:28 PM

doug Nelson

member since: 6/14/2001
  See for information on the Photoshop plug-in for raw images. If it serves the transfer function, then it'd be a good alternative for you. I read somewhere that it's $100. It will be part of future changes in Photoshop.
It's disturbing that a major manufacturer can't give the product the software support it needs and deserves. Listening, Canon? How about designing it right the first time?

9/12/2003 6:56:45 AM

Jean-Francois Schmutz

member since: 8/4/2002
  Hello Donna !

I use Downloader Pro, you can give a look here :

A bientôt !


9/12/2003 9:16:41 AM

  Thanks guys!!!

JF, Downloader pro sounds great as does the PS plug in. Right now though the PS in my system is in bad shape because of not being able to uninstall certain things which created a snowball effect so until I unload the sytem and reload, I'll pick up the Downloader pro just to save the remainder of my work so I can keep shooting while I wait for the pc to get fixed... finally I can start fresh. I just orderd a 120g hard drive also to use as a master drive and now I am getting excited!. THANKS A MILLION for the great info. I'll bookmark this page.

9/14/2003 4:53:16 PM

  I had an afterthought Doug, The more I think about that plug in the more I like the idea of it. It makes a lot of sense for ADOBE come up with a trafer progam. I'm definatly going to plug it in and the price sounds very reaonable.Thank you.

9/14/2003 6:29:36 PM


member since: 9/17/2003
  Hi Donna. I've been strugling myself with Zoombrowzer from Canon, and discovered quickly that - for example - rotating images had a bad impact on image resolution. I'm using a D30 and a G3. I decided rather quickly to stop using any kind of software to upload images, and instead I purchased a cheap card reader, which is recognized as a removable disk on your system, and you simply do a drag and drop in explorer. This way, you can decide to leave pictures on the card or not, delete them, etc... It's a realy good investment !

9/17/2003 12:28:17 AM

Rachael B. Leonard

member since: 4/3/2003
  Hope you've had luck Donna.
No one has said yet that Windows Millenium has a reputation of being one of Windows worst operating systems. Very glitchy and tempermental. I would seriously recommend upgrading to Windows XP. I use ZoomBrowser for both the Canon G3 and the 10D and I haven't had any problems. (knock on wood.) Again, good luck.

9/17/2003 7:29:15 AM

Melissa N. Trittin

member since: 8/21/2003
  If you decide to go with Photoshop RAW plug-in, two thoughts. I have heard a rumor that Photoshop 8 will be out this fall and will include the RAW file transfer ability. If you decide not to wait make sure that your camera is supported, for example the EOS 10D is not.

Good luck

9/17/2003 2:22:31 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/11/2003
  I have a canon D60. Didn't yours come with photoshop 5.5 LE? I use that becasue it's simpler than zoombrowser.

11/16/2003 3:16:25 PM

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Photography Question 
Simon Riddle

member since: 8/12/2002
  6 .  canon trouble?
I have recently purchased a new canon eos 30 and when I use a sigma macro lense some times when I take a picture it clicks and stays open and then the battery logo flashes (even though the batteries are fine), and then it closes when I press the shutter button again. Is this to do with the focusing or the camera itself? It cant be the lense because its compatible.

Any help would be good.



11/27/2002 5:44:05 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Sorry, no, the lens is not quite compatible. The symptoms described are those for a group of Sigma lenses that have a design fault that makes it incompatible with the EOS 30/Elan 7.
You'll need to send it to Sigma to be corrected.

11/27/2002 5:19:32 PM

Simon Riddle

member since: 8/12/2002
  Cheers jon c, I'll get in touch with sigma.

11/28/2002 5:43:26 AM

Nancy K. Condron

member since: 7/5/2003
  I've had an Elan 7e for some time now, and all of a sudden, my camera has started doing exactly what you describe--regardless of which of my three CANON lenses are on it. HELP! thanks

7/5/2003 4:42:39 AM

Collin A. 

member since: 9/15/2003
  Ive had an elan 7e for 6 months, and now it is doing the same thing too. I can take pictures in manual mode from 125th and up, but anything undr 125th, and the mirror sticks, and the battery light goes on until I depress the shutter button again. I need help. Please. Thank you.

9/15/2003 7:57:41 PM


member since: 9/21/2003
  I have had my Elan7e for 10 month, just this weekend my elan is doing the same thing with all my lens, Sigma, Promaster, and Canon.

Please give me idea on hoe to fix this.

9/21/2003 8:05:28 PM

Nancy K. Condron

member since: 7/5/2003
  Collin and Dan--I had reached the conclusion that the camera had to be sent back to Canon for repairs. (I never got the chance, however, because my husband's car was stolen with my camera equipment in the trunk!) Good luck with yours.

9/22/2003 6:08:00 AM

Micheal J. Shank

member since: 1/1/2005
  People with the Canon Elan 7e with the shutter problem that it will not close unless the button is pressed again on anything under a 125 shutter speed... I am not one to wait for companys to help me out because they are slow... so I used my soft lens cloth to check out my camera myself... I found my shutter that opens to expose the photo to the film was slightly caughton a edge pulling it out of the alignment of the rest of parts... I simple opened up the spot where we load the film and slowly not to break anything pushed the shutter up till it flattened out and seemed to be back into place... after this... my camera seemed to work great again.... this to me is a temp fix for I want to make sure the problem does not happen again... check this out on your camera to see if you share the same problem... To samys I go tomorrow morning what a drive in teh snow it will be :)

1/1/2005 9:46:43 PM

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Photography Question 
Jim Snelling

member since: 11/13/2002
  7 .  Elan 2 with kenko 2x magnifier
I have a Canon Elan 2 and use it with a
Celestron 750 Telephoto.I recently purchased a Kenko c-af1 2x Teleplus mc7
I want to use this to get Eagles in the top of very high Spruce trees.I have the correct T-mount,but the camera doesen't work.I suspect it is a light problem.the lens in the magnifier is quite small.could you suggest a magnifier with larger lens that would give more light transmition? Thanks Jim

11/13/2002 1:18:40 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Re: a teleconverter that allows greater light transmission, there aren't any. The elements are small diameter because a teleconverter works by magnifying the central portion of the image provided by the main lens. A 2x TC will always result in a 2-stop decrease in light transmission.

What do you mean by "doesn't work?" The shutter cannot be fired? I don't know what would be inhibiting it. If you mean that the camera displays "00" for the f-stop, that is normal when using fixed aperture non-EF lenses like an f/8 mirror lens or your telescope with a T-mount. If you are using Av or M modes, leave the aperture set to "00". Don't use Tv mode as the camera cannot adjust the aperture to match the selected shutter speed.

11/14/2002 12:20:10 PM

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Photography Question 

member since: 10/24/2002
  8 .  red tint on indoor pictures when printed
i have a f707 and a sv77 photo printer that work great with outdoor pictures (the color is perfect), but when I take indoor pictures and I print them everything is red tinted (i can correct this by using the printer to brighten every pricture and make the tint more green, but it is hard to see what will print and takes a lot of extra time and paper/ink). I don't know if there is a setting on the camera for indoor vs outdoor or if there is a problem with the printer. Thanks

10/24/2002 3:03:34 PM

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Photography Question 
Simon Young

member since: 9/30/2002
  9 .  Negative scanning
I have a PF3600 film scanner and I swear that the quality is not up to scratch, other than the scratches. Am I being a fool, I just feed the film in at the top and scan on best quality and I swear it's not as god as from a flatbed!

9/30/2002 9:54:25 AM

Mike Fishwick

member since: 3/11/2003
  My 3600 always loses contrast, and feeding film strips is a nightmare - I wish I had bought a Nikon Coolscan!

3/11/2003 2:19:10 PM

Wayne Attridge

member since: 9/27/2002
  There is a lot of technical talk and a lot of BS in this scanning debate. I had a friend of mine with an HP film scanner do a test scan at resolutions from 300 to 2400 dpi. I scanned the print on my Canon flatbed at 600 dpi and my scan was sharper than every one of his. I purchased a different brand of film scanner at 2400 dpi and returned it. Another friend told me he uses a film scanner that cost him US$1800. He has good results. I think that the lower priced models are over-rated as to performance. I have not seen one that can compare to the results I get with my flatbed, scanning prints. If there is a better model, I would like to know about it as well.

3/11/2003 9:49:32 PM

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Photography Question 
George H. Pearson

member since: 11/30/1999
  10 .  Auto Focus Hunt
I have an N90s Nikon and i'm using a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO macro super lens, and i'm having problems with the lens hunting focus most every time I try to take a pic, and is can be fustrating , I mostly use the program mode to shoot. Do I need to upgrade to a larger aperture lens to solve this problem.

thanks for any help

8/27/2002 9:32:41 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
In case you still need help--make sure you have your camera set to single servo focus mode (switch is located bottom lens left when holding camera in shooting position) and not continuous servo. Should be a 'C' 'S' & 'M'. Single servo is the center notch.

2/6/2003 10:19:00 AM

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