F3 DOF Button is Tripping the Shutter

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by LJSLATER, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    My Nikon F3 recently decided it was going to start taking a picture whenever I press the depth-of-field preview button. It does this with or without a battery installed in the body, which makes me think that the DOF button has somehow gotten tangled up with the back-up shutter release? The camera seems to be functioning fine otherwise. Anyone else with this problem?
     
  2. JimCee

    JimCee Member

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    I've owned my Nikon F3HP since 1983 and never had (or even heard about) a problem like this. It seems very strange, I thought the depth-of-field button was purely a mechanical connection to shut down the lens aperture, or raise the mirror...?

    Jim
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Me, too. Me, neither. Me, too.
     
  4. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    I've never heard of this happening either. Does it happen with all lenses or just one specific lens? If you haven't already, try taking off the lens, opening the back (remove the film first of course), and pressing the DOF button while watching the shutter to see if it is firing.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Are you sure your you know what buttons do what functions? I don't know how it would be possible do what you stated, of course, that does not mean it cannot happen, just a surprise to an F3 user.
     
  6. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    That's a new one on me!

    It does sound as if it is somehow tripping the back-up release somehow.
     
  7. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    I had the same thing happen on an F2A that I owned in 2010. Happened twice, after trying out a 7.5/5.6 fisheye-Nikkor with the mirror locked up. After that episode, it worked fine. I've also had a couple junker Nikkormat FT series bodies do that. Except, with those bodies, you'd depress the shutter release, hear a slight click, then nothing else. Depress the DOF button, and the camera fires.

    -J
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I can understand the case when you press the shutter release and nothing happens and then you push the DOF the shutter released. That's because the camera is sticky, the shutter release started the cycle but could not complete. Pushing the DOF helps it going.
     
  9. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    It happens with all the lenses I've tried, and it does it without a lens. The shutter fires and the mirror lifts, just as it does when the mechanical shutter lever is pulled.

    I happen to know this body was stored improperly for 10+ years; it sat in a cardboard box with the shutter cocked, battery installed, no body cap, no anti-desiccant, no exercise of the shutter.
     
  10. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    Given that information, and the observed weird behavior, I'd say get it CLA'd.
     
  11. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Yep, it definitely needs an overhaul. If the cosmetic condition of the camera isn't great, you might consider finding a better condition body, maybe with a high serial number (18xxxxx-20xxxxx), since an overhaul ran me $210 with tax on a previous F3.

    I may be going through that with one of my currently-owned F3's as well. Receiving an F3P that the owner says is dead. Could be something minor, or something major. At least the body isn't terrible looking, however the MD-4 is definitely KEH UG grade.

    -J
     
  12. momus

    momus Member

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    It would be far cheaper and a lot less aggravation and risk if you sold yours w/ an accurate description, then took that money and a little more and bought another one w/ a guarantee, or at least a return privilege.
     
  13. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Check with a different lens?
    If the camera cannot stop down the lens (due to sticky diaphragm) it may interrupt the shutter cycle
    Had that happen with a Yashica FX3, where the mirror would hang
     
  14. clayne

    clayne Member

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    http://nikonf3.com/NikonF3User.pdf

    You'll notice the MLU lever is oriented around the DOF button. Possibly related, but right below that is the mechanical release lever (which sure sounds pretty suspect here). Are you hitting the mechanical release lever and *not* the DOF preview? The DOF preview is just a silver button you press in to stop down the iris blades mechanically.

    Have you tried actuating the backup shutter while at the same time exercising the DOF preview button while the manual shutter is still depressed?
     
  15. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    Thanks for the advice, all. I've stopped playing with the damned thing and it's now loaded back up with Velvia ready to go. Everything works as it should except for the problem I mentioned (and yes, I do know the difference between the DOF button and the mechanical shutter release lever).

    I'll probably get it overhauled when finances allow, as it was essentially unused when it came to me--it's a beautiful late model, the paint is pristine, and the original foam is even still good.

    Right now I'm saving up for a replacement F2 body; I sold mine for parts to Sover after the shutter was destroyed in a bizarre accident.
     
  16. frank

    frank Member

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    "Bizarre accident" Now that could be an interesting story! :smile:
     
  17. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    The DoF preview and the mechanical release are both parts of the mechanical mirror mechanism, so something probably needs to be fixed in there; the mechanical release is just a cam with a lever that trips the mirror and then fires the shutter at one mechanically governed speed; the DoF preview lever/lockup is also linked to the main mirror lever, so perhaps something is amiss with the actuating levers.

    My concern would be that it is firing at 1/60 all the time.
     
  18. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    That is something to consider. Casual testing of the electronic shutter speeds indicate that they are still accurate, but I will definitely keep my ears open. Ideally, I'd run a test roll of film through and get it developed ASAP. I'm between jobs right now so my queue of exposed film waiting for development is getting quite long.

    Oh, man. Maybe it's another thread for a another day, but Sover and I emailed each other back and forth for days trying to figure out what happened to my F2. Our tentative hypothesis is that I rewound the film improperly using an MD-1, which tore the film in half. One of the broken ends of the film somehow got trapped in between the two shutter curtains, and I mangled them both when I removed the film in the dark. Amazingly, the shutter still fired and was accurate to within 1/4 of a stop even though the curtains looked like crumpled tin foil!
     
  19. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Crumpled titanium foil ::cringe::