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Nikon D4S and Lexar 400x or 1000x memory cards issue

Lexar-128-GB-PRO-CF-card1000x Nikon D4s DSLR camera 7Nikon D4S and Lexar 400x or 1000x memory cards issue
Few days ago I reported on social media (Facebook and Twitter) about a new issue when using certain Lexar 400x and 1000x memory cards with the Nikon D4s camera. Nikon USA has published more details on that issue and how to replaced the faulty cards:

It has been reported that there are a small number of a specific type of Lexar CompactFlash® memory cards that may have a problem communicating with your Nikon D4S DSLR camera. This article describes how to identify the problematic cards and what to do if you have one.

Identification Instructions

  1. Remove your CF® card from your camera.
  2. Look for the serial number on the edge of your CF® card.
  3. Identify if the last six part numbers (shown highlighted by the yellow X's) contain 1 of the following 2 sequences :

a - 8BAFBE
b - 8DCB61

  1. If your CF card's serial number contains 1 of the 2 sequences listed above, you must contact LEXAR support to replace your CF® card.
  2. If your card does not contain either of the 2 sequences, then your card is fully compatible.

Replacement Instructions

Please contact customer support to place an RMA for a replacement CF® card.

  • US & Canada: 1-888-747-4031
  • Freephone in the United Kingdom: +44 (0) 0800 013 7411
  • Japan: 570-12363
  • All other areas: 1-208-363-5862
  • OR contact customer service online HERE.
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  • Levin

    I’ve had this same problem with the cards with the D800. Would have been nice to hear about it earlier as I sold the cards for a loss.

    • DuncanM

      Your beef is with Lexar though, at least Nikon was nice enough to investigate the root of the problem for you.

  • http://www.paulkellyphoto.com/ pjapk

    What are the actual symptoms? I have two of the 1000x cards and haven’t had an issue so far (though thinking about it I think I’ve only used one of them in the D4s so far). Both have worked fine in my D800. I won’t be able to check serials until I get home later…

    • http://www.paulkellyphoto.com/ pjapk

      And now that I’ve checked, one of mine is in the 8DCB61 range, but I don’t think I’ve used it in the D4s yet. Will get in touch with Lexar tomorrow…

  • Brian

    My 1000X’s are working fine in D800, D900E and D4S. Mine has 9BEXXX number

    • Jeff Hunter

      Wow! You have a D900E? Where did you get it? Is it custom made?

  • n11

    Its still interesting to know how these cards can vary just by serial numbers like that on the end. I assumed all cards were created equally?

    • DuncanM

      Differences in controller firmware most likely.

    • George Orwell

      “I assumed all cards were created equally?”

      yeah, we allready know this, but:

      … some cards are more equal than others.

      *sorry, couldn’t resist :-D

  • nohc

    Hey guys just a question!, I’m using a 32GB SanDisk Ultra HC I 30MB/s on my D800 and is painfully slow when doing 9 shots bracketing, it takes a couple of seconds to write and the LED is on for so long, please any advices in which card I can use for optimum speed? I’ve got these at Best Buy very cheap, I need something in the 32GB range but not willing to pay more than $50, any ideas? Thanks!

    • Ken Elliott

      I’ve been testing a pair of these. Almost as fast as the Sandisk’s I’ve been buying, and way cheaper. Oddly, the Transcend are far more compatible with several of my video cameras then Sandisk.
      http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Compact-Flash-Card-400X/dp/B002WE4H8I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395157857&sr=8-1&keywords=transend+32gb+cf

      • nohc

        Thank you Ken! I’ll give it a try, I do video sometimes and need a fast but not expensive card.

        • Ken Elliott

          For video, use SD cards. CF cards have the controller built-in, so you can’t really know how well it will work with a continous stream of data (video). SD cards don’t have a controller, so the camera provides that function, and the camera designer knows the data rate he’ll be sending to the card. I use CF for photos, SD for video (and/or photo backup).

          • Mansgame

            So why do many people feel CF is superior now days? Just because bigger must be better?

            • Ken Elliott

              CF is better for stills (higher peak speed), while SD is better for a constant stream of data (video). That may have changed, since its been years since I looked at it.

    • lord eels

      don’t hamstring a 36mp camera with cheap cards. also not sure why one needs 9 shot bracketing, but to each is own. furthermore are you really that worried about speed in this situation?

      • nohc

        Yes you’re right about the cheap cards, I have Lexar cards but I’ve being using SanDisk for long and those were a bargain when I’ve got it, yes my main concern right now is writing speed I don’t care too much about reading, the 9 shot bracketing is because I do giga panoramas mostly in extreme high dynamic range situations, I hate the extreme HDR processing but I always like to get as much as luminance as possible I can get and 9-14bit raw files do the trick.
        But like I said is painful with that card, specially at night when I’m doing long exposures, I’ve have the NR option disabled btw.
        Thanks you.

        • lord eels

          SanDisk are good too, even Kingston

          • nohc

            Thanks I’ll look for those, I’ve forget about them.

    • Carsten Saager

      I have a 16GB Ultra HC I 30MB/s that I bought in a supermarket (20€) and it works as well as all other cards I have. What I find disappointing is that I can write the files back from my computer to the card faster than the D800 was able to produce it. So the bottleneck is the camera, not the medium

      • nohc

        Yes the same here.
        Thank you.

    • John Baxter

      Uh dah, I wanna fast big card, but not willing to pay for it. What should I do? Are there people selling really fast cards for cheaper than the slow ones?

      • S

        If you cant afford one then save your money.

        Price shopping is always am option but a back alley transaction in china town may leave you regretting you purchase.

        Maybe pick up a nice Rolex with the savings since they can be found cheap too.

      • nohc

        Cuz I don’t wanna pay for overpriced items, I rather save the money to travel the whole world.
        “What should I do?”, the typical answer with a question, the same boring cliche forum comment!, LMAO….. I was just asking a simple question because I need helpful answers, not sarcasms.

    • AnthonyH

      Go to Amazon and get an SDHC card. The Extreme Pro in 32GB size is under $50 (95MB/sec speed). Or, if you just want something faster than what you’ve got now, Transcend 600x is $22.

      • nohc

        Thank you! after I read this comment I went to a best buy close to my house to check if they have it for a photo-shoot the next day and found a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 16GB for $17 I couldn’t believe it!, so when I was paying the guy told me is 50 something dollars and I said, well I’ve found it for $17 in the shelf and he goes, let’s check it out and if is true I’ll give it to you at that price and told him what about 5 of them and he said Ok!
        I was lucky they made a mistake with the price.

        • AnthonyH

          Wow, you are a lucky person! And no wonder Best Buy is in trouble–they should know better!

  • lorenzo

    Oh no, another lawsuit? I wonder why they don’t do accurate testing at the factory before releasing non functional products.

    • Darkness

      +100. Stupid Nikon tested recent cards not 2 year old ones. Idiots.

  • Ray

    I did have a problem with one of my Lexar 1000x 32 gb cards. The D4s would not recognize the card at all. It works great in my D4. After calling Lexar to obtain an RMA, they are replacing it with the 1066x card.

  • Brian4

    Nikon HQ, somewhere in JAPAN :

    - Sir, we have produced all the D4S you asked for, Sir!

    - Good, are they tested?

    - Sir, NO Sir, ofcourse not! Just like all our recent products, Sir!

    - Fair enough, start shipping them immediately!!

    - Sir, YES Sir!!

    • lord eels

      400% more DR

      that’s all I have to say to you C trolls

      • Jeffnky

        I wonder why so many complain so much about Nikon and every day I use mine and am amazed at what their camera allows me to do that I could not do with film.

        • Zenji

          Um, I don’t think “film” is what Nikon is competing against these days. But thanks for acknowledging the capture medium that gave Nikon cameras their first sixty years of customers. It’s appreciated by some of us.

        • Des

          Brian4 is from the Canon fanclub and doesn’t own a Nikon. That’s why.

    • Naval Gunfire

      I swear some people on here have no idea how the world works.

      Do you think Nikon has a huge stash of memory cards sitting around somewhere? Two from each batch from every manufacturer or something? Some poor work experience lad has to sit and test every single card in every single new camera before release?

      The problem lies with Lexar here anyway.

      • Mansgame

        How many major memory card manufacturers are there? There is Sandisk, Lexar, Kingston, that purple brand Amazon just keeps peddling….so 4 or 5…You mean Nikon can’t afford to get 3 cards from the top 5 brands and test 15 cards all together?

        • Naval Gunfire

          Even with cards from a single brand there is a problem between batches so unless they have a few copies from each batch then you can’t really test for it. The whole reason we have agreed standards for memory cards is to avoid these kinds of issues. If Lexar aren’t making their cards to the agreed standards for CF cards then that is their problem and nobody elses.

          These Lexar cards have caused problems in many different cameras so the problem lies with them. Lexar shouldn’t be expecting other companies to design firmware around their cards which aren’t manufactured to the agreed standards.

  • AM I Am

    Thank you Adam.
    Nikon needs to learn from you guys.

    • Mansgame

      Or they could just not release a product without testing it first. I have never had a problem with Sandisk and stories like this make me not trust Lexar.

      • SiestaKey1

        I agree. I’ve NEVER had an issue with SanDisk. I also NEVER delete pictures from the card as I’ve heard that can corrupt the data. Both things are working well for me.

        • Mansgame

          I make a point of formatting my cards before every shoot. I’ve probably done it hundreds of times on my cards with no problems…plus I shoot in raw so it’s impossible to not reuse cards!

    • Darkness

      The fix that Lexar chose NOT to mention is for D4S, the recent firmware update is for D4 (unrelated). Jeeez,
      Never let the facts get in the way of a good chance to bash, right?

  • FrankWest76

    It is not a Card problem, it is a software problem, I got that card since I bought my D4, now that the 1.10 is out the card is corrupted. And that’s Lexar’s fault ??? Is Nikon been bought by Microsoft ?

    • DuncanM

      It is Lexars fault if they rewrote a standard controller to augment performance in their cards. Lexar doesn’t make there own controllers, they’re likely Sandforce or Marvell. Nikon only has the responsibility to support the standard controllers, its Lexars responsibility to provide support for compatibility if they have custom firmware.

      • FrankWest76

        So why does the Nikon update fu… everything ? I mean I got that card for more than a year now, and everything was working as intended… Until 1.10. You’re saying it’s Lexar’s fault, but doesn’t Nikon test it all up before putting a update online ? Or Selling a Top of the Line DSLR at 6500 $ ? I mean it’s not like those cards just went out.

        • DuncanM

          The fact that its only certain cards says that Lexar changed something in the firmware on those batches. So yeah, it is their fault. Why do you expect Nikon to spend time and money to fix it in software? Its Lexars card, ask them for a firmware update.

          • FrankWest76

            Yeah, I got the fact that only certain card have that issue. What I don’t get is why it has been working just fine for the year I have those cards and now it doesn’t ? Let me turn this around : I’m getting a external battery for an Iphone, works fine does the job. A new IOS update arrive a year later and my external batterie doesn’t work anymore. So the company that made that batterie a year ago is the one at fault ? Anyway I’ll deal with Lexar, have a good day ;)

            • DuncanM

              There’s nothing to turn around. Nand chips are made using international standards, those are the specs Nikon uses when writing firmware for their cameras. Funny how every other card to date works fine except these very specific few Lexar cards, yet Nikon somehow broke it and should fix it? No.

        • Dester

          The question is why don’t YOU fix it? You have the camera and the card, YOU went and bought a non-spec card, surely you can test it and write the firmware fix and update online?

        • G16

          Nikon is going to release their CF, SD, and XQD card soon. I guess.

          8GB for $30
          16GB for $60
          32GB for $120
          64GB for $240

          This phenomenal had happened with third party battery and lens. Then people who own Nikon can be proud since they have such an expensive toy.

    • Darkness

      Not true sir. Its D4S related. Cease and desist Canboy.

  • broxibear

    The Nikon D4S: Engineered to Excel…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XRfthno9lc

  • NikonFanBoy

    Hi admin,

    Nikon India posted a new ad this morning on their FB page..kindly check it out

    https://www.facebook.com/NikonIndia?hc_location=timeline

    • ShaoLynx

      Must be the 2000 series…

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Some products get announced later in India – I think this may be for the D3300.

      • ShaoLynx

        You’re right, as usual. :-)

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      This was for the D3300 and D4s – they just got announced in India.

  • Terry Hull

    SO frustrating. I want to buy the D4s. I have money in hand…ready to purchase! No cameras available anywhere. Will Nikon NEVER learn? Why have a release date before there are enough cameras available to at least begin to satisfy demand. It is always thus! I wanted to buy a D800. I wanted to buy a D800E. No local shops could get either, initially, nor could either be found on line immediately. Funny, BH Photo still shows the D4s as ‘pre-order’ status. Nikon needs a strong refresher course in Marketing 101!

  • Mansgame

    I only bought a Lexar card 10 years ago because it was the cheap bargin brand compared to Sony’s Memorystick (ah memories) and it was a piece of junk. It looks like they’re still the same way without the cheaper price. CF and SD cards have been around for a long time now and are a standard so how can a company that dares put the “pro” sticker on their product screw this up?

    You can’t be trusted Lexar. Sandisk is the gold standard. You’re the cheap knockoff.

  • xoomaster

    Please note, I had problems with CF cards on D4s, to find out that one of the pins was bent!!! I consider this a poor design, with too much room around the CF drive or bay. This would be a problem regardless of make of your CF card. Just look at the opening of your card, and there will be changes/injury site from irregular pin(s) entry.

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