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Error 99 – Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

About 18 months ago I brought my wife a Canon 50mm prime lens for her birthday and a few months later we took it on holiday to Newquay and were getting some great shots with it, when it suddenly fell apart, and I mean fell apart. We were left with the lens in two pieces, so we sent it back to Canon to be replaced.

Now about 12 months later the lens has developed another fault, only this time it’s much more subtle, and we’re getting “Error 99” displayed on the camera’s LCD screen when trying to take shots, with instructions to turn the camera off, replace the battery, and then try again.

I’ve done this several times and it only fixes the issue in around 50% of cases. I’ve also tried using different memory cards, and a different battery pack (fully charged) and it still has the same error message (intermittently). All of the other lenses are fine, so I’m confident it’s not an issue with the camera body (which is an EOS 400D).

I’ve contacted Canon support and they gave the following response

“Please be advised that “err 99” usually indicates that there is an incompatibility with a third party accessory (lens, external flash or memory card). If you experience this issue with two Canon lenses and/or with two different memory cards, this may indicate a fault with the camera itself and would require servicing.

It’s nice to see Canon are being as helpful as ever, and blaming third party accessories, and trying to get me to pay for a full camera service… I guess I’ll have to contact the Canon UK service centre directly and see if they can service the lens and bypass the support.

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