Help needed, Nikon FE

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by onadraw, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. onadraw

    onadraw Member

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    I have a Nikon FE that needs help.

    Sometimes, when I attempt to take a picture, the mirror stays up and the shutter does not fire which leaves the film advance locked. I can manually reset the mirror and remove the baseplate to reset the linkage to make it work again but I don't know why its having this problem.

    I bought it recently and it has always been like this for me. This problem happens even on m90 and bulb settings and with new batteries.
    The meter does appear to work properly and the battery check light does light up. I have tried 2 different new batteries.

    Usually, this problem happens on the first attempted exposure after turning the camera on. If I manually reset everything I am then able to take pictures as much as I want until I turn off the camera for a period of time.
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    That has happened to me only once with my FE... when I received it. After unjamming it and replacing the battery the jam never happened again. I'd start looking into the possiblility that the linkage that jams is either bent or unlubricated -- making it more prone to jamming than it should be.

    I don't know what, if any, effect turning the camera on and off has on this jam. I have a MD-11 on mine and recently found out that both the MD and the camera batteries will drain if the MD is not switched off after use. But that is just an interesting fact that might have absolutely nothing to do with your jam problem.
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    p.s. Now that I've been using it alot I like the FE so much that I'd seriously consider having it professionally overhauled if mine started jamming like that.
     
  4. onadraw

    onadraw Member

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    Thanks Brian.

    Fortunately, there is a camera repair shop here so I brought it in for a CLA. The tech checked it over and said the previous owner had oiled the shutter which was at least part of the problem. Should be good as new in a few days.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Ha, the prior owner likely oiled it for the same problem.
     
  6. dehk

    dehk Member

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    couple drops of light fluid after you open the bottom plates might do the trick.
    And couple drops at a time only.
     
  7. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    I've been having this problem for a year now with my FE. I've had it serviced twice, first time was a CLA and the second time was a more intense servicing of the innards. It went away for a while, but is now happening again. I don't know why or how, but I am sick and tired of it and it makes me want to throw the damn FE out the window. It's a shame because I really like the camera.
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i have the same problm with my fe, but i'm able to unjam it by manually trying to work the md coupling back and forth
     
  9. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    I always unjam it by grabbing one of the curtains' circular arm/elbow thingy on the right side of the shutter with some tweezers, manually advancing it down and then releasing it. That unjams the shutter and the mirror comes down when you advance the film advance. However, this has not fixed the root of the problem. There must be some underlying internal misalignment or something like that.
     
  10. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    It is interesting that suddenly there seems to be a rash of problems with the FE. My original FE I got some two years ago still works fine, a second body jammed up only once a while ago but only with the winder on it. It has not jammed again with or without the winder since.

    Might I suggest if you really like your FE get a thorough CLA from a reputible repair shop and make sure you can explain how to duplicate your problem or find another body. So far, I have not had a dud from KEH yet......FE availability can be limited.....if your FE is in excellent cosmetic condition, it would be a no brainer for me for the CLA. Excellent bodies are becoming harder and harder to find....

    Bob E.
     
  11. fstop

    fstop Member

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    When buying an FE (FM,FA for that matter) be wary of ones that show signs of a motor drive or winder being attached. The FA is usually missing the front grip and the MD contact cover, they all will (FA,FM,FE) will have burrs raised on the sides of the drive slot.
    These cameras probably have had the wind mechanism beat up or more than expected wear on the wind mechanism.
    Some people use motors/winders all the time, I only use them when I absolutely have to have one.

    I'll second Safety Bob, good condition FEs are worth fixing.
     
  12. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    The MD11 drive was notorious for battery drain. If you replace it with the MD12, this has automatic power cut-off as soon as you release finger pressure on the drive button, so the battery drain problem will not occur. Of course it is always desirable to physically switch off the drive switch when not in use.
     
  13. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    fstop, thanks for the hint to look at where the motor drive connects......I would have never have thought to look there OR as most of us buy these online, it would be prudent to ask seller to put picture of that area or ask if motor drive has been used (if they even know). I love my MD-12's on my FE and FAs, but will start doing as you and only install it if I really need it.

    Rolleiman, thanks for that info on the MD-11. I can't remember why I chose to get MD-12's for my stuff right now, I think it was because I read somewhere the MD-12 was newer and many of the MD-11's were worked very hard and additionally that parts were harder to come by.

    Speaking of CLA's for a FE and/or FA.......any recommendations out there? Anyone recently had a CLA done? Not that I am having any problems with mine, but I am in the mood to keep my FE and FA in a like new condition as possible. I think I am running on borrowed time with none of my cameras ever being serviced (which has to say something about quality manufacturing).

    bob E.
     
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  15. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I do the complete opposite with my FE -- I leave the motor on at all times. The MD-11/12 seems much more fickle to get set up than are the later MD-4s. So I opt for getting it set up correctly and not having to fiddle wiht it again. The only reason I might take the MD-11 off of my FE would be to replace it with a MD-12. The battery drain is a real issue and I'm just not as disciplined as I should be with regard to turning the switch of 'off'. If only it wore out the MD batteries, but it wears out the meter batteries at the same time. Those once were found at every corner drugstore but not any longer.

    Re: parts availability... I wouldn't worry about that. The are so old and inexpensive and plentiful that they may as well be considered "throw-away". That breaks my heart, but it is what it is.
     
  16. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    I think I would keep an eye out for a different, good condition FE and have it overhauled rather than putting more money into the one you have. It is unusual to have recurring problems with these cameras, you maybe just have one of the few bad ones. If I really liked shooting with it, I wouldn't let one bad one discourage me completely.


    In general, not to Dr. Pain since he did get his FE serviced:

    I have accumulated a lot of these from the FM/FE family as well as an F2 and F3. I have spent the money for a professional overhaul for all of them, I just include that in my expected expenditure when I buy one. I wouldn't expect a 30 year old car to run at it's prime without having spent money for oil changes and tune-ups, why should I expect my camera to just work indefinitely? I have a EX condition FG coming from KEH right now. If I really like it and decide to keep it, It will also get an overhaul. I've had very good luck with KEH repair (more expensive) and Garry's Camera Repair (much less expensive). Great turn-around and good quality of work from both.
     
  17. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I use Garry for just about all my CLA's he does a fantastic job for a reasonable price.
     
  18. fstop

    fstop Member

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    I've never had issues with the md 12s I have, maybe I'm lucky but I've seen a lot of bodies and the ones I end up fixing wind problems on had a md on them.
    What you do once you get a body is up to you, I was just sharing a tip on getting a body that has less film mileage on it. or I should say less winder mileage, I've seen people put the md on and play with the body with no film.
    I have some pristine cameras that I baby. what can I say. I have everday users too.
     
  19. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    See, that's the thing. It was in excellent condition when I got it, almost no wear. Then it started having these damn problems and I got very discouraged. To be honest, I'm considering replacing it with an FM sometime, but not right now.
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Ummm, OK. I was just sharing my experience too. It is interesting to hear that your experience differs. Now the OP (and "SafetyBob") knows both sides of the coin. We work well together. :cool:
     
  21. dehk

    dehk Member

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    If you needs parts for your FE I might be able to help.
     
  22. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Another, perhaps unacceptable, option is to update to a 8008s/801s or N90s/F90x--both work well as MF bodies with MF lenses. Fact remains that the FE is getting to be an elderly camera. I have 3 in nice to mint shape but wouldn't get one now as starter camera given the likelihood of age-related issues and the cost/scarcity of competent repair.
     
  23. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Indeed. Both my F3 and FE recently received offers to join AARP. :laugh:
     
  24. OldBodyOldSoul

    OldBodyOldSoul Member

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    I look at my two F3HP and then I look in the mirror. I am not sure if they ever had a CLA, while I do have those at least occasionally. Nevertheless, I realize that if someone in this "symbiosis" should be worried, it's the cameras.
     
  25. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Tax season is coming up, declare your cameras as dependents.
     
  26. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    A bit math-challenged, are we?