Nikon F: Half press hesitation = blank frame

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mweintraub, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I tend to start squeezing the shutter button when I'm about to shot so I've noticed that when I back off the button the F triggers something that requires me to wind the shutter again.

    Anyone else experience this?
     
  2. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Have the camera serviced, it needs it.
     
  3. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    Yeah, figured it needs some CLA, but otherwise, it's a workhorse. Thanks.
     
  4. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I've been using Fs since about 1995, one of mine did the very same thing until I serviced it. You'd press the release partway, let it go, and the camera would neither trip the shutter nor do anything else but advance the film.
    Definitely my favorite 35mm SLR, by a wide margin.:smile: Well worth a good CLA by a competent and conscientious technician, unless you're under 40 you'll likely never need to pay for another one.
     
  5. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    Never had an F, but if this happens, couldn't you set the A/R ring to R and wind on, and not lose a frame?
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    No.
     
  7. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I'm under 40, but not by too much, so we'll see. :smile:
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    When was the last time your F was serviced ?, no machine works correctly for fifty years without maintenance.

    Sent from my KFOT using Tapatalk
     
  9. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I bought the camera off Craigslist from someone selling for a friend. So I have no clue. I'm not surprised that it needs a little TLC. Otherwise, it's hell of a machine.
     
  10. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    I should have looked into this thread sooner, but didn't notice at first it was about F's. It is possible this is an adjustment problem, but I really think the issue you are having is more in the nature of the beast. I've had this happen occasionally since I started using F's in the early 70's. I particularly remember it at basketball games where I would have some pressure on the shutter release waiting for something to happen.

    I don't work on these, but believe what is happening is that the mechanism that prevents double exposures is operating just before the actual release of the shutter, requiring you to advance before you can trip it. Maybe that can be adjusted better, but just paying more attention to not weighting the release button before you are ready to shoot has solved it for me 99.9 percent of the time.
     
  11. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    It's possible, that's why I wanted to see if this is normal. I tend to half press like that a lot. Sometimes I prematurely trip the shutters on other cameras, woops.
     
  12. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Member

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    How far and hard are you pressing down?

    This morning I tried the half-press on my F and this is my observation: with light to moderate pressure, the release goes down a very little bit (maybe 2-3mm), then stops; increasing the pressure immediately trips the shutter. If I let up instead, I can then re-press and release the shutter - no need to wind on. So, to me, it behaves as one would expect.

    It would seem that maybe something has gone out of adjustment on your F. I would like more responses to see how common this is. My F is from the late 1960's.
     
  13. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    I should probably clarify that this is a rare occurrence for me, but I've been seeing it with F's for 40 years. I just tried the two I have here at the moment and can make them do it; you might very well not be able to. It is not something that happens whenever you put a little pressure on. I always thought of it as just a quirk of the linkages being aggravated by something I was doing. Mine was probably aggravated years ago by my nervous habit of checking the advance, yet it still didn't happen every week (100' of film back then).

    Patient, "It hurts when I do this".
    Doctor, "Don't do that".

    And I don't mean that as flippant as it might sound, just a feeble attempt at humor. Maybe the OP's camera is worse. Maybe adjustment will fix it. When my Leica's need service I spend a fortune getting them to factory spec. F's are so cheap, I might have trouble justifying that myself, but it is always nice having a smooth working, well adjusted camera.

    In trying mine I did notice something that might be helpful. I have Nikon soft releases on mine and had to take them off to expedite getting the behavior we are talking about. I think you are less likely to half press with that tall soft release, and I think they transform the feel of the camera for the better. I hear there are cheap copies on eBay that are just as good. In the old days the generics were completely different and grossly inferior.
     
  14. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    On mine it was a lubrication issue, when you partly pressed the release and then let off, something would not move back to the original position, "fooling" the rest of the camera advance mechanism into believing the shutter had tripped. A CLA cured it, and 18 or so years later it still behaves normally. The body was made in mid-1968; I'm sorry I can't remember more details.
     
  15. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    That's exactly what it feels like.
     
  16. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    When you remove the back, there's a plate attached to the main casting at the base, the sticky parts are under this plate IIRC. You could nurse the camera along by applying some Break-Free (tm) to the dry points, but too much is as bad as too little (you need a 6x-8x loupe, a watchmaker's oiler, and the service manual to accurately apply oil to a mechanism like this) and the camera really does merit a proper CLA.
     
  17. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    Yeah, sure sounds like I should let someone who knows what their doing to do it properly.

    My F is an early one. 64x serial if I recall.
     
  18. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    Let us know if you service it and it fixes the issue. It sure sounds like yours must be worse than any I've used.
     
  19. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I picked up the F to see how far I have to press the release to get it to duplicate and it seems like it doesn't happen everytime. When it does, it doesn't have to be pressed too far down when you hear something release inside. Maybe it just needs a work out. I'll keep a CLA on the back burner.
     
  20. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Who would be recommended in the US for an F service? I have a 1972 F with a 1968 Photomic TN finder. The meter isn't an issue I have a Weston that was recently rebuilt/serviced by Quality Light Metric.