Nikon F3 repair, is it worth it for me?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by nuckabean, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. nuckabean

    nuckabean Member

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    I was in my local goodwill today, and saw a beautiful Nikon F3 sitting in the glass case, priced at $150. I pulled out my phone and did a few quick searches, realizing that one that was this clean was worth a lot more (the only marks were rub marks from the strap lugs). I asked to see it and fiddled around, and I couldnt get the shutter to fire. Eventually I figured out there was a manual override and that made the shutter work perfectly, when it hit me that the batteries were probably dead. I opened up the compartment and there was a little corrosion, so I threw away the dead ones and took the 3volt out of my M6 that was around my shoulder, but still no luck with the main shutter button on any speed. I figured I'd take it home and see if I could get it to work by cleaning the compartment some more, as I have 7 days to return it for full credit. Still, once I took it home, I had no luck. This means to me that it's an electrical issue. Has anyone had this problem before? How much do you think it will cost me to fix it? I don't need any more 35mm cameras (I already have an M6 and an fm2 that's a little funky and some other things) but it's in beautiful shape and I'd really like to rescue it from the trash. I just can't afford a huge repair bill.
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    If the battery contacts are corroded, the lead into the camera can be corroded aswell, or have seperated from the contact completely.
    For a repairman that is an easy job.
    Be shure you have cleaned the contacts well.

    The other problem could be with the on/off switch, play with it, in that way you clean it.

    After that: if the battery compartment is at the bottom: take it off and then take the battery compartment out, mostly they are held into place with 2 srews and see whats behind it.
    If there is a loose wire: clean first ! And then resolder with a small tip soldering iron or ask a local repairman to do it for you.
    Be carefull: the plastik of the battery compartment melts easily !

    Peter
     
  3. nuckabean

    nuckabean Member

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    I tried all that, still no luck. It's so pretty, I really want to keep it.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have two ideas;
    If you know someone close by with an MD-4 motor for it, you could see if it works with the motor, and forget about the in camera battery. You add significant weight to the camera though. KEH Has "bargain" MD-4's for as low as 11 USD.

    You could see if the Goodwill is willing to reduce the price, given that the camera isn't functional, then get it repaired.
     
  5. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I have an F3, it's a very nice camera especially with the eye level finder which allow viewing of the entire screen without your eye on the finder.
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    KEH has them from $115-$429 Bargain to super-duper new like.
    I suspect you're going to add another $60-$100 to fix the one you have.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I agree.

    Steve
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I agree, but if you do get it repaired, you'll know exactly what you have. This is not to be underrated.
     
  9. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I bought an F3 almost a year ago while I was living in Finland, its shutter died on me in June and I promptly took it to Nippon Photo Clinic in New York City. The repair ended up costing about $250 (Not only did they CLA and solve my shutter problems, they replaced the power collar, some interior wiring, and of course resealed the camera. While it might not be the prettiest F3 around, it certainly isn't what I'd call a beater from its looks, and it performs like a brand new camera now.

    I'd get it repaired, then you know it'll be reliable.
     
  10. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Make sure the shutter lock is disengaged.
     
  11. nuckabean

    nuckabean Member

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    I went back to goodwill and returned it explaining that it was broken so they refunded my money and then resold it to me "As-Is" for $40. Now it's being repaired and hopefully I'll be using it soon!

    Thank you all for your advice.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    $150 - $40 = $110 which will go a long way to cover the repairs!

    Great.

    When you get it back shoot lots of film and use it in good health.

    Steve
     
  13. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    How did this work out?

    Mike