How to disassemble Nikkormat FT2?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by SoSideways, May 20, 2009.

  1. SoSideways

    SoSideways Member

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    Hi all,

    Today, I tried to take a couple pictures of my dog, and I noticed that there was a black thread/fiber on my view finder, so I checked my lens for that piece of fiber as a first instinct type check.

    Nope, wasn't on the front of the lens.

    Ok.

    So I took the lens off to see if it was on the rear element.

    Nope, not there either.

    Looked on the mirror, and although it was slightly dusty, it wasn't there either.

    I thought then, that it was on the focusing screen, and no, it's not there either.

    After looking at the camera at all sorts of different angles, I came to the conclusion that the contaminate was actually behind the view finder glass.

    So here I am, asking advice on how to take the camera apart, at least to the point where I can get to the view finder, so I could use some compressed air and give it a good blast to get all the crap out of it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    It's a bit more complicated than what you think.

    First off, you should replace all of the foam seals. Next, to remove the top deck means removing the film advance and the rewind crank, as well as screws under and possibly some slotted collars.

    The prism usually is held in place by either a wire or bracket that is screwed into place. But with the FT2 you also have to contend with a long thin plastic band that has shutter speeds imprinted on it.

    If you have no experience with camera repair, this might be beyond your skills. If you possess good mechanical skills and intuition, you probably can handle this.

    In general, this will take about two hours to disassemble, clean and reassemble.

    Make sure that you replace those foam seals in the back and around the top deck.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Or, it could just be under the eyepiece.
    It is kind of a PITA to clean the section between the screen & the prism.
    If you mess with it, be careful.
    As the sign at my mechanic's says:
    hourly rate/$65 hr.
    If you watch $75 hr.
    If you help $100 hr.
    If I've got to put it back together for you $200 hr.
     
  4. SoSideways

    SoSideways Member

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    Well, just so you guys know, I'm quite into cars, and have taken my car apart multiple times... suspension, brakes, interior, wiring, engine... you name it, I've tinkered with it, so I'm not a mechanical n00b :smile:

    As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why I like the older Nikons so much, is because they're basically all mechanical, working off gears and springs and such. No electronics other than the meter.

    That, and my grandpa and dad both have used Nikons, so I was sort of brought up with Nikon cameras around, thus my infatuation with them :smile:
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Something you might try is remove the eyepiece & blow the offending particle away. Don't get carried away with a lot of pressure though.
    If I remember correctly the prism is sealed(!) with a fabric tape & stuff can eventually get in there.
    If you really want to get in there:
    Remove the rewind knob & advance lever. If the advance lever has a leatherette cover on the center of the retaining screw, it's hiding spanner holes.
    If there are retaining rings beneath the R/W & ISO knob they're either "E" clips or spanner rings. A couple of retaining screws around the outside edge of the top cover & it should lift right off. Some of the cameras had the synch wire to the hot shoe soldered on so don't lift too vigorously.
    To pull the prism, there are two brackets and three or four pieces of tape holding it in place.
    There's a condenser lens that sits on top of the focusing screen and the shutter speed indicator at the back of the camera. be very careful if you remove these, the SS indicator is VERY easy to mis-align.
     
  6. SoSideways

    SoSideways Member

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    Thanks for the advice man!

    I'll look into it.

    Right now I've gotten over it, but if for whatever reason that starts to bother me again, or there are more stuff that gets in there (somehow), then I will revisit the idea to take it all apart to clean it.
     
  7. elekm

    elekm Member

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    One thing to watch. Some Japanese camera use a reverse thread on certain screws. Generally, it's a screw in the film advance or frame counter or occasionally a slotted collar.

    I can't remember if the FT2 has one of these. I seem to think that it does, but I might be wrong.

    It sounds like you're comfortable with tools and mechanical things and automobiles. Cameras are similar -- you just don't need the same amount of brute force.
     
  8. SoSideways

    SoSideways Member

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    hahaha yeah that's true.

    Today's task is to tighten the 36mm nuts that hold the axles onto the knuckles on the car, so it's time to break out the torque wrench and a 4 foot pipe!

    170-200 ft-lbs of torque, I believe, is what the manual calls for, and my torque wrench only goes up to 150!! hahaha

    Fun fun fun!
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    With any luck, you'll never need a torque wrench for a camera -- unless it's an Agfa (they're known for using grease in the lens helicals that over the years has turned to concrete)!

    Like I said, when you remove the prism, watch out for that cellophane strip. I bungled mine, and now I have to open the camera again.
     
  10. SoSideways

    SoSideways Member

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    Heh, will do!

    I highly doubt I would need to even put 1 ft-lb worth of force on any kind of camera fastener lol
     
  11. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    The FT2 has its ASA dial on the shutter speed ring, so, luckily, you won't have to deal with that. To dismantle the top cover:

    Open camera back, use a screwdriver to hold the rewind shaft in place (insert between tines on fork), then unscrew the rewind knob/crank assembly. Make sure that you don't lose the washer and the leaf spring.

    Use the sticky side of a piece of velcro to loosen the cap screw on the wind lever. Once the screw is removed, use a spanner to unscrew the nut that holds the wind lever to the body. There is a blackish colored round metal spring underneath. Remove that, then pull the wind lever.

    Next, remove the nameplate. It helps to remove the lens first, so the nameplate will clear the coupling ring. You may have to contend with two small brass sleeves, depending on if your body is chrome, or black, and, if black, how early in production it is... Set those aside with the nameplate. Finally, remove the screw above the hinge for the back. Pull upward, and the top cover should come off. The hot shoe will still be connected by a wire, so just let it hang off to the side, then move the wire or piece of felt out of the way. It's most likely the power wire for the meter, which goes over the prism to the power switch next to the winding shaft.

    Over the past two years, I've torn apart many Nikkormat bodies, usually for spare parts. Currently am working on resurrecting a somewhat decent looking FTn that needs a meter and reassembly, but otherwise works. Got another FTn that has a dead shutter, all the parts I need, and a working meter. Then, I've the Frankenikonstein project, which is a combination of an FT and an FT3. The plan is to have an FT3 that looks like an FT or an FTn externally, but with the AI coupling.

    -J
     
  12. SoSideways

    SoSideways Member

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    ^And the ability to run the silver oxide battery as opposed to the mercury ones as an added bonus!
     
  13. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    I may leave the larger battery box in place. Thinking that the FT3 battery box may go into my chrome FTn when I get the body overhauled.

    -J