Nikon F2 Shutter Problem?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by marcmarc, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    The shutter in my Nikon F2 seems to fail every 20 rolls or so. It will work fine for some time and then I'll get a roll where it will not fire at all (blank areas of film) for about half the roll. Yesterday, I shot three rolls at a 9-11 memorial. The last roll I shot, a roll of Tri-X look fine. One of the other two rolls (both of which were Acros 100) only half the roll was exposed. So I know that the shutter began working again after this Acros roll was shot. The third roll I will develop tonight. Does anyone think it may need a minor adjustment or a complete overhaul? I'd just like some info before dropping it off to be looked at. Thanks.
    Regards,
    Marc
     
  2. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    That's a tough question. Those Nikon F2's are solid; I'd guess a CLA will get it in shape. Bet that's not even two cents worth of advice. :tongue:
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Reliability=consistency. Fix, pitch or find another working camera.
     
  4. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    The first time this happened several months ago I dropped it off to a shop in LA that has a good rating among customers. The owner thought it might be a problem with the lens I use (Zeiss 35mm Distagon) but he told to shoot five rolls and come back if the problem persists. Well, it did not until now. I'll drop by his shop again and see what he charges. This is my second F2, the first I had repaired three times by two different places and it still didn't work. I hope I don't have the same problem with this one that I picked up after giving up on the first body.
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Frankly, I pay little attention any more to the "legendary durability" attributed to any camera when they're 40-50 years old and sometimes just worn out. The F2 is a good example of this--use as a hammer notwithstanding. Just get a working Nikon body back in your hands that suits you.
     
  6. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    I agree. Yes the F2 has a well deserved reputation...there's no disputing that once one has used one of these bricks of a camera. However, they are old and many have been used quite extensively I would guess and therefore, like anything mechanical, will have issues from time to time. After thinking about it more, my first F2 went for repairs four times and it still didn't work correctly. I think the third visit which was under warranty from a Nikon authorized place they didn't even bother to try to fix it. They kept the camera for several months telling me they couldn't find parts before I picked it up and sent it elsewhere. Maybe I should just pick up another body from KEH try it out and if it seems to work good just use that until it needs replacing. Given my luck, after a couple years I'll have a nice collection of door stops and paper weights! :smile:
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Quality service for vintage Nikons is pricey now and hard to find. Friends are very happy with service from Sover Wong in the UK but he's a special case. High mileage F and F2 bodies, sentimentality aside, are often not worth fixing--and sometimes just can't be easily repaired.

    You might look around for a good FE or even an N90s/F90x--an AF model the doubles nicely as a manual focus body. Clean F3 bodies are now rare and expensive;what's left are often near death after long service lives.

    I've gotten very un-nostalgic about film bodies and have several of each of my favorites to avoid repair headaches. If they're seriously busted, they just get replaced.
     
  8. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    I saw a beautiful F3 a couple months ago at a camera show. It was clean and everything seemed to work smoothly. Price -$150. I put the camera down since I was happy with my F2. I left and had lunch with a friend and while doing so I couldn't stop thinking about that F3. So after lunch we went back to the show so I could purchase it but of course it had been sold.:sad:
     
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    Your problem sounds like a bad case of "shutter capping" ( the first and second blinds do not follow in the correct sequence).
    Sometimes detectable by observing the shutter action by looking from the back against a window, lens removed. Usually shows on speeds higher than the flash-sync speed : you are looking for an uneven shadow effect as the shutter opens and closes.
    A man in the UK is well regarded for his specialist repairs to F2's : G**gle "Sover Wong".
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Karma! It just wasn't the right time.
     
  11. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    Remove lens, open back, hold up to light and look through at the shutter plane as you fire it. Start at 1/2000 and work down. If you're getting completely blank frames, then there will be times you fire it and you will see no light. If curtain speeds are off, it will be worst at 1/2000 as that's when the slit is the smallest and curtain speed errors will be more obvious. John
     
  12. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Don't worry, I'm picking up your slack. :smile:

    s-a
     
  13. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    motorized? i've seen a similar curtain sync problem once with a motor drive, 1/500 and faster. a minor adjustment. the camera had not had a drive on it for 30 years, so hard to say whether it was an age problem or a factory bug
     
  14. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Member

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    +1 for Sover Wong. He only works on the F2. Knows it inside and out, knows what to look for and how to make sure it stays fixed.
    (he did mine, better than new)
     
  15. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    After looking at KEH, I think my best bet is to pick up another body. They have some listed as little as $49 for "bargain" grade minus finder which doesn't matter to me since I have a DE-1 finder. With the 6 month warranty they now offer (with the option to purchase a warranty for up to three years) they will repair or replace it if it fails. Given the fact that both my F2's didn't last a year before needing repairs (even after having my first one overhauled before I started using it thinking I would have a camera that would be reliable in the years to come) this may be my most cost effective option. I see KEH also has some F3s that I may consider. Although I know I cannot use my finder or focusing screens with an F3, these cameras are ten years or so newer so maybe I'll have better luck. A newer F3 with a reasonably priced three year warranty really sounds enticing right now. I just want a camera that I can depend on to work and when it doesn't a no hassle repair or replacement. This is what KEH seems to be offering.

    PS - I did go up and down the shutter speeds with the back open and a lens off. It appears to be working fine, but it's an intermittent problem so it's anyone's guess when it will stop working again. The other roll I shot at the 9-11 memorial came out fine so it was just that one roll that the camera didn't expose the first 18 frames. There was one other roll a few months back as well so I have no doubt that this issue will occur again if I keep using the camera. Thanks again for your replies and advice.
     
  16. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Another +1 for Sover, he did my '77 F2 (and the Photomic meter) five years ago and it is still ticking along, hot summer or cold winter. I used slide film in -15 degrees C and wind chill last winter, it came out fine and camera worked better than me in that godawful cold. One of the few cameras I get happy just thinking about. :smile: