Photo from Flickr by Jeff Meyer
If you own a Nikon camera, you may have encountered an error message that says “Press shutter release button again.” This is a generic error message that is triggered when your shutter does not work as intended. Unfortunately, this message isn’t very helpful, since pressing the button again doesn’t actually do anything. Now the error message is stuck on your screen, and it won’t close either. What on earth made caused this and how can you fix it?
The “press shutter release button again” error occurs when your shutter won’t open or won’t close. Either your camera’s mirror has been physically blocked, or the gear that turns the mirror has stopped working. Both of these problems can be easily fixed by cleaning those components. However, you must be very careful, as this may cause damage.
What caused this error to occur?
The “press shutter release button again” error is usually caused by a stuck up mirror, jammed shutter gears, or other faulty camera components. We’ll be exploring solutions to all of of these problems. Usually these issues arrise when you haven’t used your camera in a long time and this can be fixed quite easily. However your camera could have a faulty timer or misaligned shutter curtains. If this is the case you’ll need to repair your camera or buy a new one. This error occurs most frequently on Nikon D40, D40x, D60, D3x00 models.
Fix a stuck up mirror
As mentioned earlier one reason you may experience this error is that your mirror is stuck up. If your viewfinder is still black after removing your lens cap, this is likely the case. In order to unjam your mirror, you’ll need something small but sturdy like a toothpick or a screwdriver. The first thing you need to do is shut off your camera. For safety reasons, always shut off your camera when dealing with its internal components. You can also remove the battery but in this case, it’s optional. Next, hold down the release button on your lens, twist, and pull it off. You should see your camera’s mirror stuck in the shutter curtains. Wedge the small object inbetween the mirror and the shutter curtains and try to pry it off. If dust is collected in front of the mirror, remove this too. Finally, reattach the lens and attempt to take a photo. Try this at your own risk since damaging your shutter is just about the worst thing that can happen to a camera. If you can’t do this yourself then you should take your camera to a repair store.
Fix blocked gears
The second most common reason your shutter doesn’t work is that the gear is jammed. If your viewfinder is clear but you still see the error, than this is probably the cause. If this solution doesn’t work then your camera may be faulty. As always, take the same safety precautions. Turn off your camera and remove the battery. It’s more crucial to remove your camera battery in this scenario because your unscrewing part of your camera and using liquid. Unscrew the screw that is beneath where your battery used to be. Then, remove each screw from the bottom of your camera, make sure you don’t lose any of them. Be sure to remember which type of screw goes in which hole as well. Remove the bottom side of your camera to reveal the red shutter gear. This gear failling to spin is the source of your problems. Manually spin the gear a few times with your screw driver to unjam it. Then, reinsert your battery. Press the shutter release button to see if it works. Repeat these steps three or four times. If this doesn’t work you can also try adding a bit of grease to lubricate the gear and you might want to do this either way. If you don’t understand or need clearer instructions see this article from Instructables.
Other possible causes
I’ve just walked you through the two most common solutions to a broken shutter that you can do at home. If none of these worked, chances are you have a bigger problem on your hands. Your camera may have misaligned shutter curtains or a broken timer and you can either take this to Nikon or to a third party repair shop. However, before you do this, here are some other uncommon but possible causes and solutions: Your camera body is incompatible with your lens, try a different one. (See the nikon lens compatibility chart.) Your aperture arm is stuck, try switching to a faster aperture. A component is blocked by dust, give your camera a full cleaning to remove any dust. Your battery is faulty, swap out the battery for a new one. Sometimes this issue only happens in certain shooting modes, try switching to a different one.