Canon 5D Mark II Error 01 Message

Two weeks ago, during a critical moment while I was shooting on a photography assignment, my Canon 5D Mark II started giving me an “Error 01” message saying there was a communication error between the lens and the camera.  I called my most favorite Canon rep and he suggested that I try the lens on a second body, just to make sure it was the lens and not the body. (I had a whole boatload of trouble with my first 5D Mark II).  I put the troublesome lens, my favorite 24-105 f/4 IS USM, on my older Canon 5D and instead of intermittent error messages, the camera would lock the mirror up and I’d have to turn the camera off in order to get it functioning again. Both bodies worked perfectly with all the other lenses in my kit.  I started searching for a new lens to buy because I had a sunset location to be at in 2 hours (YIKES).  Every camera store I called had the lens on back order.   I was luckily able to secure a loaner.  Sure enough, the loaner lens worked perfectly on both bodies and I subsequently sent my malfunctioning 24-105 to the Canon Repair Center in Irvine.  I am a Silver member of CPS and they turned the lens around in about a week.  I’ve tested it briefly and it appears to be in good working order.  They even replaced a few extra parts and put the lens back into virtually new condition.  Thank you Canon!!!  Here are a couple of photos which I am fond of, both of which were made with the Canon 5D Mark II and the 24-105 f/4 IS USM lens.


coconut rice for the B.B.Q. and sunset sailing off of the island of Maui

images copyright © 2009 Susan Seubert Photography

46 thoughts on “Canon 5D Mark II Error 01 Message

    • Yes – more camera trouble! Frustrating, but all seems to be well now (knocking on wood!!!). I shot 48 rolls of 120 on my last job and loved every frame. What’s so nice about large format film, to me, is that it slows you down, lets you compose and I love the square format of my good ‘ol Hasselblad. And the negatives? I can’t accidentally erase them, they won’t become obsolete in just 3 years and I can store them in a simple filing cabinet with printed caption information that won’t be stripped by some software program AND no one can just waltz into my home, take out a print and use it on their web site!!! I must say, although film has it’s limitations, I much prefer it to digital for most things…

  1. Hi I am having the exact same problem with my 24-105 f/4 IS USM. I have tested on both my 5D and 5D mk11 with the same result.

    Can you please give me the details of who you contacted in Canon, cost? so that I can contact Canon in Australia with the right info. Did they inform you of what the error was?

    Thank you,


    • According to the repair ticket, Canon “REPLACED LENS ASSY 3RD GROUP/EMD, MOUNT LENS. ADJ/FOCUS”
      That’s exactly what appeared under the service details section.
      It was a warranty repair, so there was no charge, I am a CPS member, so the turn around was about a week.
      Hope this helps.

  2. Yep, mine did this halfway into a trip to Kefalonia. My 24-105 would error using anything past 24mm. It was a real bugger as it was the only lens I took with me on that trip for lightness and I had to limp along using the 24mm end and some serious cropping will be needed in post. I am fortunate to have a daughter who can get it fixed at staff prices, but it still isn’t going to be cheap nonetheless. Canon must know that there is a fault with this lens and should do the fix for free as they have with the mirror issue on the classic 5d. Moral is, if your trip is really important, take a back-up kit with you. What a drag that is!

  3. My 24-105 did this Saturday at a wedding as the bride arrived, after a search on the web it seems it is very common, bad show for one of their L series lenses, and being asked £160-£200 for repair (UK) is annoying when it is increasingly looking like a reliability issue.

  4. Hi Susan and others,

    Thanks for posting these comments. I am a pro photographer but not much of a blogger and I can’t emphasize how much I appreciate it at this moment. Thanks to you guys and google I feel (a little bit) better about my lens issue. Same thing happened to me during the final hours of a two day catalog shoot yesterday. I ended up shooting inserts with my 50mm 1.8 that was tucked into the corner of my bag…that was after the 24-105mm packed it in. Shots from 50mm look great and the other survived the studio portion but I am just hoping the repair isn’t too expensive as my CPS just expired due to the change of policy. Either way it is just nice to know that I prob won’t have to buy a new one…it is my fav lens.



  5. My three year old 24-105 is having the same problem on my 50D, but my other Canon lenses are fine (10-22, 100 macro, 70-200 f4 IS). I’m off to Vietnam for a holiday in a month so luckily I will have time to drop it into Canon for service before going. It is my favorite “walk-around” lens so I’m glad in a way that the problem has occurred now and not while on holiday. I’m not looking forward to the repair cost though, especially as it is an “L” lens and otherwise in mint condition.


  6. I am still waiting for mine to come back. It cost me $300cdn to get it repaired and it has been 3 weeks so far. Since they changed the CPS deal I haven’t renewed mine. Maybe a bad call? Hopefully you get yours sorted in time.
    I was a bit disappointed that mine broke down but it is five years old and has seen a lot of work.
    Have a great trip!


  7. Got mine back about a month ago now and what a difference. It is as new and was well worth the wait for it and in some respects I am glad it packed in. Lots of other issues, like a creeping barrel, were also fixed and all the elements too. The invoice price from Canon UK service centre was £102 and I paid half that with staff discount, so well pleased with the outcome.

  8. I can’t believe how common this problem is with this lens. Canon should definately look to fix this when they manufacture them. My 24-105 did exactly the same thing with the error 01 msg one month after its warranty expired…Grr!! Cost $400 NZ to repair and Canon had exactly the same comment as seubertphoto’s above about replacing 3rd group lens. Hopefully its fixed for good now…has anyone had the problem happen again after repairing???

  9. Thanks for all your posts on the canon 24-105 mm problem. I’m running into the same error and searched Google to find that so many cases about this error on this lens. Now I need to send this lens to Canon for service. I wonder should I ask if Canon should recognize this as their fault (design or assembler)?

  10. I have just experienced the same problem with my 24 – 105 lens. I spoke with a very nice customer service rep at Canon today, and he said he has not heard of such a problem. His only reply was to send it in for service.

    I think it is time for Canon to realize there is a design/manufacturing problem with this lens. These lenses are NOT being misused by their owners, but are failing them at critical moments.

    • I did send my lens in to Canon’s Repair Center in New Jersey, and while they did not acknowledge a global problem with the lens, they fixed it for $95.00. This is what they charge for a routine lens cleaning, so I am happy with the results. I hope others are as lucky.

      • Where in NJ did you send your problemed 24-105? I am in Manhattan and am getting the error message saying there was a communication error between the lens and the camera (both my Canon cameras)

      • I am a Canon CPS member so I send it directly to their service center. That particular facility is only available to CPS members. Check your local community listing for a Canon authorized service center and they should be able to help you.

      • Annie,
        I first contacted Canon Support on line, described the problem, then then sent me a form to fill out and instructed me to send it to the repair center in New Jersey. I am not a CPS member, and I know other people who have sent their Canon products there for repair and have been very satisfied with their service. They send an estimate to you once they have received the lens. Hopefully they will repair your lens for the same price. The lens continues to work properly for me.

  11. Pingback: Canon 5D Mark II Error 01 Message Follow-up « Editorial and Travel Photographer Susan Seubert

  12. Yes, I have the same problem, Err01, Err99,
    “Camera Centre” Cardiff UK where I bought my 5D body + lens don’t want to know.

    Have e-mailed Canon UK last night waiting reply.

    Have been collecting evidence from internet this is a wide spread problem Canon must be made to do a recall on this lens.

    Even when the lens is mended it is damaged goods!

  13. The invoice for my repaired 24-105mm lens (repaired by Canon in Auckland, N.Z.) says the power diaphragm assembly was replaced. The cost of this in N.Z. dollars (on 15 December 2010) was N.Z.$54.96 (equivalent to about USD $42, or GBP 26). The labour cost was much more expensive at N.Z.$234.78.


  14. My 24-105mm L series lens has just started with the same problem. Mind you, I have had this lens for roughly 18 months without an issue.
    I have a wedding to shoot in three days…help.

  15. I will add another listing of an ERR01 problem with the 24-105 lens. It is just five years old. At a guess, based on the number of pictures in Lightroom whose metadata matches this lens, it has taken about 40,000 exposures.

    The problem started on my recent trip to India (thankfully, towards the end). This was paired with my fairly new 5D Mark II. The problem also occurred more or less immediately when I tested it on my old 5D.

    The 5D II also had focus issues, so I sent both to Canon’s agent in London for repair. The 5D II is being repaired under warranty (focus recalibrated). Canon’s agent could not, however, repoduce the ERR01 problem, either on my camera or with their test model.

    I was quoted about £150 or so to replace the iris on the lens. But I thought that if they could not reproduce the problem, this was a lot to pay to repair an undignosed fault (and they assured me they had tripped the shutter more than enough times to reproduce the problem, based on my experience of how often it was occurring). I therefore requested that the camera be returned repaired, and that they do nothing to the lens for now – if the problem recurs, I will send it in again.

    The camera and lens are due back tomorrow – it will be interesting to see what happens…

  16. Hi everyone,

    Last week my 3yr canon 5D with 24-105mm lens has been acting the same way as described in these posts.

    It’s a real pain as I am currently on my last 2 mths of a yr long overseas trip; of which I am in costa rica with very little canon service centres.

    I will now have to wait till I get to America or when I return to Australia in May.

    If anyone has any further info on the common fault issue with the lens, it would be great to hear from you.

    Does anyone know a canon rep or someone in Melbourne who can repair the lens for a good price?

  17. I have the same problem with my 24 – 105 lens (Err1 Communications error) with my Canon 60D. I spoke to a Canon customer service staff this afternoon, asked me to bring the Lens to NorthRyde Canon Repair Centre, pay initial $50 service fee to check the problem first. It may take a week or more to rectify the problem.

  18. same thing happened me about two months ago and and kept getting worse to the point that i wont bring that lens anywhere now. I’ve sent an email to Canon pointing out this error. Don’t fancy having to fork out more money for a lens that is supposed to be in the L series lineup, cost enough when it was bought. I’ve asked Canon to search on the internet to see just how many people are reporting this defect.

  19. Getting the 01 error with my Canon 75-300 lens. Already cleaned contacts on both camera and lens to no avail Seem to be able to shoot indoors, but outdoors it will not woek and gets the error. Others lenses are OK. Also tried disconnecting and reconnecting battery. Nothing! Any other suggestions before I send it to Canon for repairs? Thanks

  20. Have also had an Err 01 come up on my 24-105mm f4 at a wedding a few weeks ago. Gave me a right scare! Thankfully was still able to get a few shots between it cutting out and had my 70-200mm f2.8 to work with too.
    Interesting to hear of all the other issues people are having. Not looking forward to the potential bill but it seems if Canon won’t do something about what appears to be a potential flaw they will have me over a barrel with the cost!
    Has anyone made further progress this year?

  21. I ordered a new 5D mark 2 got it yesterday July 2012 – once I finally got the battery charged I was ready to try it out…. same problem- brand new camera, brand new lens – err 01 Im sending it back.

  22. I have exactly the same problem on my trip to thailand, my 5d mark ii with 24-105 was three and half years old, it just occurred without any hint, i thought it was because i shoot too much directly towards the sun, however since i saw so many comments, it is obviously the flaw of this lens, shame on canon!!! they should repair it without any charge, and be responsible for their own fault!

  23. have the same troubles with my 24-105 lens (first series) and 5D MII. Cleaned the contacts as suggested and learned alot about the occured problems written above. Will make a appointment with CPS and hopefully they will and can fix the problem . I have a back-up 24-105mm (2 years old), hopefully it won’t let me down too during upcoming fashion shoot.

  24. I think all of you should band together, and file a complaint, with proof of how common this issue really is.. If there are that many people having the same issue with a product, it can force canon to finally admit, or in worst case face a lawsuit.

  25. I bought my 24-105mm a couple of years ago and it worked fine on a 7D. I bought an almost new 5D Mkll in May this year and had no problems. However, last week I started getting the Err 01, clean contacts message. I’ve done this several times. Sometimes I can take half a dozen shots before it fails again, although today I’ve managed over 30 at various focal lengths, both inside and outside. Canon repair centre said this is probably an aperture problem with a bill that is going to be around £200. Another repair centre said that if setting the camera at f11 and pressing the DOF button I could see the aperture closing down, then it wasn’t the aperture. So now I’m going to persevere for a few days and if it doesn’t do it again, maybe the last clean did the trick. If the Err 01 comes up again, then it looks like getting it serviced and a big bill. As so many people around the world have reported this problem, maybe it’s time that Canon did do something about it.

    • The lens failed again so it has now gone away for repair. Camera Shop rang to say that the problem was with the iris. This will be fixed, the lens given a thorough overall for around £160.00, plus a 6 month guarantee. Hope this will fix the problem.

  26. Funny reading the above….
    My 5d mark II just went on strike and displays err1 on 24-70 L-series, 70-200 L-series and EF 50 1.8 – all lenses I own…..:-(
    On the contrary 5D mark I works fine with all 3 of the above lenses….
    I suppose the body off to Canon…

  27. Canon Inc. ought to be sued by people who own their 18-55mm kit lens. The flex cable of the auto-focus on this lens snaps even with occasional use, a clear design and engineering flaw that Canon inc. refuses to acknowledge. On this lens, I replaced the original defective flex cable with an aftermarket flex cable addressing the design flaw of the original part. An almost similar issue happens with a Canon 24-105mm L, 17-85mm, 28-135mm and 18-200mm, the lens shutter flex cable of these lens snaps as well giving you an error 01 which is even worse than losing your auto-focus.

    • I am amazed how many people find this blog post and commiserate about the same problems. That said, I’m quite curious about the ratio of these problems to the amount of cameras/lenses in circulation. I’m a loyal, if not completely happy, Canon customer – a virtual walking advertisement. I’ve found their CPS repair program to be pretty darn good. However, I understand the frustration of failing equipment, particularly when it’s brand new. Happy shooting! 🙂

  28. Add another person with the same problem with the 24-105mm L, happened to me while shooting a concert. Guess I have to bite the bullet on something that is obviously faulty. Grrrr…

  29. Just encountered the problem with my 24/105 interesting reading these reports. Itb appears a Canon problem which they should fix free of charge.
    See how I go on, and it might mean a switch back to Nikon, that I never had a problem with in over 30 years use, although it was good old film. Thanks for the info michaeljohn.

  30. Count me in too … another with the same issue on this lens (24 – 105 mm L) and it’s my favourite lens. I use it all of the time and tell everyone it’s worth it’s weight to lug it with me to Hong Kong to capture the fascinating scenery. However, this time it kept locking up on me. At first I thought it was the humidity of HKG, but now that I am home it is still locking up with Error 01 message. I agree Canon should help it’s customers and fix this problem free of charge. They get free advertising when we carry the Canon brand around the world.


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  32. Mine has same problem on 5d mkiii, another 24-105 problem with or without is and Auto/manual focus happens almost immediately at 105 end, stops chattering when turned to 24 end.

  33. I had the same issue on my 5D Mark III, it was under warrantly took it to Canon Service and they replaced the Lens Assembley, 3rd group EMD.

  34. Am taking mine to Canon in Sydney tomorrow, after failing halfway through on an overseas trip of a month after five years of moderate use. Silly me, how dare I not have a back up for the dearest lens in my collection, and my only L Series at that!

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