Error 99

I studied up on credit cards before crossing the pond, and learned about stripes and chips, signatures and pins.  Turns out it doesn’t seem to matter.  The local Gasthaus across the street from our flat doesn’t take credit cards at all; and in the tourist city of Nurnberg they take them all.

The Error 99 code didn’t show up on a credit card transaction.  It showed up on my camera.  We went into Nuremberg today expecting rain.  We got a pleasant partly-cloudy day in a beautiful old German city.

Nurnberg is a lot prettier than it was in 1945. Like most of the cities in Germany, the Allies bombed the hell out of the place.  But since Nurnberg was a major industrial center, it took an extra hard hit.  Too bad.  The city has a rich history dating back to close to the start of the previous millennium.  WP_20140827_042On the other hand, the city has been remarkably restored, and in the process modernized.  The old city looks a lot like it did before the war (the most recent war to rack Germany, or Bavaria, or Franconia), and the infrastructure has been modernized.

I drove into the city via a string of traffic lights (all red) from Lauf on the Piglet*, found a parking garage, and started taking pictures as soon as I hit the street.  Only after three clicks, I wasn’t taking pictures.  I was just clicking.WP_20140827_047

The camera registered Error 99 instead of the number of shots remaining.

I reformatted the disk.  Changed batteries.  Changed disks.  Once, I got three shots before Error 99.  Mostly, though, it just took one click to generate the error.

It was somewhat depressing.

Eventually I resigned myself to cell photography, and hoped to find a camera shop where maybe I could pick up a relatively cheap point-and-click, maybe a Canon Sure Shot, or perhaps a Nikon of some kind.

The little photo shop on the main square in Old Nurnberg I visited first thing had no EOS equipment and no advice.

After touring the city, especially the castle, the Albrecht Durer house (where there are no Durer prints or paintings), a bombed out church being reconstructed, and an ATM machine that spat out Euros, and having a nice lunch of little bity bratwursts, we tried to find the car.  On the way to the car, we found a busy commercial district on the fringe of the old city.  Miraculously, there was a camera shop, Seitz.  They had a Canon 70D, which I’m considering buying, but it was almost as much in Euros as it is in dollars on the Internet.

The clerk saw my second lens (a 70-300 that isn’t much use in landscape settings; it’s hard to capture a city, or a mountain range, with a lens that long), and asked if I’d tried changing lenses.  Why would I try that, when the problem was obviously with the camera?  But we swapped lenses, and clicked and clicked and clicked without generating the error code.  So the clerk offered me a used replacement lens, a Canon EOS 18-135 IS, that goes down to an F-stop of 3.5.  It wasn’t cheap, but after walking outside to try my longer lens against the nearest church, I decided it would probably be a prudent purchase.

It is an upgrade from the lens that malfunctioned, and I can still get a 70D when I get back and have a new lens for the price of a 70D at retail. WP_20140827_031

My apologies for the lack of proper integration of these photos (taken with my phone), but you may recall I’m using my Surface.

*It’s actually Lauf on der Pegnitz.

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