Canon EOS 1000D and Error 01

This is actually not a repair howto, but a workaround I found for my Canon EOS 1000D which produced the Err 01. I hope it may be helpful for others, but of course I cannot guarantee it works for everyone.

On a speed boat trip through the oil-infested creeks of Niger Delta during a drizzly day in October 2010, my Canon EOS 1000D (aka  EOS Rebel XS or Kiss F) eventually got too wet and died. A few days later, the moisture had disappeared and the camera came back to life.

Sort of, anyway. When shooting with the original lens, it came up with the dreaded Error 01. When you look up Err 01 on Google, there are few solutions around, such as cleaning the contacts of the lens and the camera with alcohol, rubbing the contacts gently with an eraser, etc. This often appears to work for others, for me, it did not.

Canon EOS 1000D - Err 01 Communications between the camera and the lens isfaulty. Clean the lens contacts.

I brought the camera to the Canon service. Warranty period was over, so it came back a few days later with a cost estimate of 380 Euros, something like 500 US$ at that time. The cost estimate already had cost me 20 Euros, repair was absolutely prohibitive, and for a few Euros more I would get a new body in the shop. So, I was not going to throw good money after bad, laid 100 Euros on top of that, and bought a new Canon EOS 500D (aka Rebel T1i or Kiss X3 Digital) as a replacement.

What annoyed me was that a) without a lens the 1000D still worked (see screenshot below), and b) using EOS Camera Movie Record I was even able to record video and shoot stills. So I did not throw the 1000D away. By the way, EOS Camera Movie Record is a brilliant piece of software that lets you use an EOS camera with live view function as a video camera, but you need to connect the camera to a computer. I’ll write something about that in a separate post.

A picture taken by the 1000D without a lens looks like this Live View screenshot:

Canon EOS 1000D picture shot without lens

It sees only bright and dark, but without the lens does not produce an error 01. A few days ago I decided to buy a lens mount adapter (LMA) to be able to use my old Tokina 500 mm FD lens on the new 500D. It worked well, also connected with my two old Soligor FD mount lenses. Which made me dig up the blind 1000D and try the assembly on that. This is what the display showed me after installing the Tokina 500 mm f8 lens with the LMA:

Canon EOS 1000D display after switchin on

And this is the screenshot of what the 1000D produced with the Tokina 500 mm f8 lens:

Canon EOS 1000D display with Lens Mount Adapter and Tokina 500 mm lens (FD mount)

It can see again! OK, there are no focal length and aperture information in the EXIF data (see EXIF data of the original picture below). There is also no auto-focus, no AV or P mode, all has to be done manually (M mode) or in TV mode. But that was to be expected from the FD mount lenses on the 500D anyway.

Original picture taken with Canon EOS 1000D and FD lens

The good news is that I can now use a camera again that I had thought I had proper bricked, and that I can now use my old FD mount lenses again. And the best thing is, I don’t need to change lenses as often, as I can now work with two cameras.

If this article was helpful for you, I would be happy about your comment in the form below.

One last point: the LMA needs a corrective lens if you want to take photos in the distance, as it is about 8 mm thick, and the lens will only give you macro functions without it. See the LMA I am using at amazon:

[amazon asin=B003EB0AXY& favourites&chan=default]

2 Responses

  1. I’m not sure when this article was published, but I’ll respond anyway in the hopes that someone else might benefit from what I’ve learned about the dreaded err01. The err01 is poorly worded. Canon EF and EF-S lens apertures are controlled by the camera body electronically. When you turn off your camera, the aperture defaults to wide open or the lowest F stop available on the lens.

    When you see the err01 error message, it simply means that the camera is, for some reason, unable to address the aperture setting in the lens. The most simple solution to this problem is to clean the contacts. However if cleaning the contacts doesn’t work, it could be an indication that there is a faulty wire in the camera, a faulty wire in the lens, or the aperture is stuck and unmovable in the lens.

    You can narrow down those options by eliminating the camera from the equation. Simply try another lens on the camera. If another lens works, then you camera is likely not the cause of the err01. I sometimes use EF lenses from 35mm EOS Rebel film cameras and got this error on my $25 80-200mm zoom. Loved the lens but it is now essentially dead and not worth repairing.

    Given the story about your camera, the lens may have been damaged by getting wet which either resulted in damaged circuitry or gunked up inside and the aperture blades have seized. Try another EF or EF-S lens and you may have your auto focus back.

    Good luck.


  2. Hi Jason,

    I wrote this article about a year ago, thank you very much for your input.

    I have tried all the good tricks that I found on the net, and since I had bought the 500D after having bricked the 1000D in rainy weather, I had the option to swap round the EF lenses on both camera bodies. The lens I used in Nigeria on the 1000D is still working fine on the 500D, and no EF lens will work on the 1000D.

    It all boiled down to the 1000D camera body being faulty due to the moisture, but it still works with the FD lenses.

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