My Latest Beauty: a Nikkormat EL-W with an AW-1

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by FilmOnly, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    My Nikkormat EL-W and AW-1 arrived today. What a beautiful camera this is. I have never owned or used one before. It is astonishingly well-made--a real heavyweight. I have used and owned many cameras from various manufacturers, and the EL-W is easily among my favorites (perhaps the best?).

    One unfortunate note: the meter is as dead as a doornail. I gather it uses CdS cells, and may be repairable. Any suggestions out there? I use a hand-held light meter, and so the non-functioning meter is a not a huge issue (but a disappointment nonetheless). A functioning in-camera meter is handy for comparison purposes. I bought the camera from KEH, and it is truly in LN- condition. I am surprised they missed the meter issue. I have purchased numerous photographic items from them over the years, and I have never encountered this type of problem.

    I have taken about 15 or 16 shots, and the camera handles very well. The shutter is fairly quiet, and the supposedly "noisy" AW-1 is actually quieter than either the Pentax MA Motor or Minolta Autowinder G I once owned (both of which are of a later vintage than the AW-1). The all-metal construction of the AW-1 is simply staggering. The camera's shutter release is also quite nice (i.e. soft). Releasing the shutter does not seem to shake the camera as it did with my AE-1 Program. The EL-W and AW-1 provide a stable, steady foundation for shooting. Too bad the days of real cameras are long gone.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2009
  2. jphendren

    jphendren Member

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    I buy from KEH all of the time, and their grading system is the best in the business. But I have read that their rating only covers cosmetics. However, they do guarantee that every camera they sell is 100% functional, so you can return it for either a refund or another Nikkormat EL-W, if they have one.

    Jared
     
  3. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I, too, enjoy dealing with KEH. Their rating system is the best. However, this camera should have had the "Meter INOP" designation (and price). I spoke with them a short while ago. They do not have another EL-W (as I had expected), but they offered to repair the meter for me. Once I am done with the roll that is in it, I will go ahead and send it out.
     
  4. jphendren

    jphendren Member

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    "However, this camera should have had the "Meter INOP" designation (and price)."

    I completely agree.

    Jared
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    As long as we're human mistakes will happen. Kudos to KEH though for offering to repair the meter. It's just another example of their excellent customer service and fair business practices.
     
  6. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I could not agree more, Frank. KEH is the most reputable company in the business. I buy virtually all of my camera equipment from them, and will continue to do so.
     
  7. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    Correction: KEH did not sell me a camera with a faulty meter. As it turns out, I learned about Nikon's "M90" feature the hard way. The camera actually had no battery at all! Originally, I had been stumped because the Nikkormat EL-W is a fully electronic camera (shutter and meter), and yet I was able to fire the shutter but the meter did not work. I did some reading, and found out about its M90 feature, a mechanical speed of 1/90th in case of battery failure. Thus, I had been shooting on 1/90th (i.e. without a battery). I inserted a battery, and the meter is fine (and quite accurate, too, considering the camera's vintage). I am sure my KEH salesman will have a good laugh over this one.
     
  8. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    My Nikon F3 came without a battery and I assumed otherwise. Without the battery, I couldn't get the shutter to fire. There is a separate manual shutter release on the camera that I discovered in a panic. I had thought the camera came from KEH with an inoperable shutter until I found that manual shutter release. It was only then that I realized that I needed to put a new battery in the camera.

    I was going to call my KEH salesman and ask for help but luckily, found the problem myself in the nick of time.