Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

(Possible) Eulogy for my Nikon D50

Posted in art, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on April 20, 2014

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It is a sad day, friends. Today, my trusty Nikon D50, pictured above, may have suffered a fatal symptom- the Black Screen of Death.

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The Black Screen of Death, or “Shutter Failure”, occurs when the camera’s shutter has ceased functioning (the result of age/use in this case), and so instead of pictures of your beautiful family, the back LCD displays a solid black screen; I can only imagine that this is the outward expression for the inner hurt the camera itself must be feeling.

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Strangely, the D50 seems mechanically unphased except for the failed or failing shutter, which is rated to 75,000 clicks. The images do have exif data to them, and the camera meters for exposure, drives the focus, and engages aperture as usual. There is simply no image that results.

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Thankfully, I just updated my back-up camera to a used D200, because I had intended for this much-loved little guy to go to my wife, who is an Interior Designer and a very casual photographer. Based on information from various forums online, there is a small chance that this could be the work of a faulty transistor instead of the whole shutter mechanism. If this is true, maybe the D50 has a shot at a second act…

All images taken with Nikon D50 (except for the camera shot).

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3 Responses

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  1. William said, on April 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Jason,

    The D200 will serve you well.

    You can pick up a D50 for about $100 at KEH… which is probably less than a transistor replacement.

    William

  2. Mayanrd said, on December 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I stumbled across this review by accident and it brought back my days with the Nikon D50 in 2009. My history with Digital Cameras is as follows: Nikon 5700-8800-D50-Pentax ist Ds-Pentax kr and Nikon D5000. My switch to Pentax was for size, easy to carry, but I never was happy with the color rendition. Soooooooooo I went to the Nikon D5000 for size and Mega Pixels. Much to my surprise I was not happy with this model, the color rendition and White Balance left a lot to be desired. I found I was spending a lot of time in Photo Shop, not a good thing. THEN I read your post and review and went back to the pictures I took with my Nikon 50 in 2009 and was sold again! I found a “NEW” Nikon D50 Kit from old stock, never opened! Yep, cost me $150.oo and my enjoyment in photography has returned. Yes it does not have the megapixels, dynamic range, etc but all it does is take wonderful picture and holds its own with newer cameras. As you say “it just gets the job done”!

  3. Jason Gray said, on December 17, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for reading, Mayanrd! Happy to hear that you went back to shooting with the D50. I still use the D200 and D300 daily, and apart from being a little more concerted than my peers in low-light/high dynamic range scenarios, the cameras from this early era perform well. If Nikon released a true successor to the D50 with top LCD, AF-D motor, uncompressed RAW, and the external menu buttons as they are, but with a state of the art sensor, just imagine the clamor! Enjoy your camera.


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