Nikon F4 doesn't seem to stop lens down completely

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Joe Jesus, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Joe Jesus

    Joe Jesus Subscriber

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    I got a Nikon F4 in the mail today, woohoo. The thing is a tank, I'm already in love with it. There seems to be an issue, though. When the shutter is fired it doesn't stop the lens down completely. When the lens is set to f22 it only stops down to about

    Here.
    sAOQJS1.jpg

    If the DoF preview button is pressed, it stops down to f22 as it should, but then it still doesn't quite get there when the shutter is fired. I know its not the lens, either, as the lens works just fine on my F/FM10. I tried another lens and the same thing happened. Any idea whats up here? Should I just try to ship it back and try to get a different camera?

    Maybe I should've gone with the F3, hm.

    Thanks a ton!
     
  2. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    Any chance you have it set on a program mode (P or Ph)? Make sure the mode selector is on "M."
     
  3. Joe Jesus

    Joe Jesus Subscriber

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    Yep, definitely on M mode.
     
  4. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    Try it with a different lens, if possible. If the issue happens with more than one lens, it's almost certainly the body. I had this problem with an F4 once. As I recall, mine made a squeaking noise when I pressed the DOF lever, which was not normal. Lenses did not stop down completely and the camera needed a repair to the aperture lever. Since it was still under the return period I swapped it for another one.

    EDIT- I see you already tried a different lens, missed that on the first read.
     
  5. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    Chances are your aperture mechanism is thrashed; you can perhaps get a look at what's going on by watching the stop down lever move when the lens is off. If you can send it back, that's your best bet; don't write the F4 off, though, I've seen every F series camera get to some level of non-functionality after professional (ab)use.
     
  6. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Yep. Examine the stop down mechanism. Since these things are simple mechanical (yay!) assemblies they're usually repairable - provided you can figure out what the issue is.
     
  7. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    F4's are virtually bomb proof. Possible in need of a good service though considering the age, and I bet if you do service it, that will be the 1st it has had..
     
  8. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    If it's an older lens, you may have to set the lens to 5.6 and then put it on.

    Make sure the lever inside that moves the aperture slider on the lens is not bent. I had that happen once somehow. Also make sure the meter coupling tab is in the right position for the lens.
     
  9. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I'd also agree that this camera is a virtually indestructible brick. There's gotta be a tangible reason why the behavior is present.
     
  10. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    It's one of the four DC motors that the F4 uses, the one that charges the aperture lever AND one cycle of set of shutter blades.

    I've had this happen twice to one body, fixed once, and once to another body. Still awaiting diversion of repair budget on that one.

    Funny enough, my former shooting partner with two F4 with nearly same amount of wear (5-7 years of hard wedding use) it has not happened.

    I attribute this to my use of Continuous High motor setting *every time* and her use of Single *every time*.

    As I know it and you can search it, the stepping of the motors is different in S, Cs, CL and Ch.

    I'm certain that my constant use of Ch has led to this.
     
  11. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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  12. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I didn't know that the motor does the stop down of the lens. I thought although the motor would charge the shutter mechanism but then after that it's spring operated. I love the high speed motor drive in both my F3 and F5 but I never use the continuous mode. I always have them on S mode.
     
  13. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    My F4 had the same issue; it took me a long time to figure it out. I eventually jammed the depth-of-field preview button in, and shot it that way for years. Good times. If you don't want to MacGyver your camera like I did, you can still meter and shoot by remembering to press the depth-of-field preview button during exposure.
     
  14. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    If you need a really top notch Nikon repair shop to do a CLA on the body, check out these guys:
    http://www.midwestcamera.com/classic.html

    I've never had a problem with them or one they couldn't fix on an F2A, F2, F4 and all the little Nikkors in the family. It's where I've sent my gear for preventive maintenance for years and years.
     
  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I've seen, a stop down lever with a groove worn into it and on another occasion one that was bent upwards. The bottom of the lever should be parallel to the bottom of the camera.
     
  16. frank

    frank Member

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    This happened to my F4 that I've had from new. I unknowingly used a lens on it that had oily, sticky, stuck aperture blades. Repair cost on the body's aperture control mechanism was less than $200 if I remember correctly.
     
  17. zanxion72

    zanxion72 Member

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    Not sure if you had fixed this. I had the same problem and solved it like this:
    1. Remove the lens.
    2. Take some lighter fluid and a small paint brush.
    3. Dampen the brush with lighter fluid
    4. Brush the inside of the lower shaft.
    5. Do this again on the shaft on the left of the mount.
    6. Put the lens on.
    7. Stop down the lens manually a few times.
    8. Set the aperture on the lens at minimum.
    9. With the shutter set to 1-2 sec, fire it and watch the aperture blades.
     
  18. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Is this On the Lens or On the Body?
    Where are you putting the brush on #4?
     
  19. zanxion72

    zanxion72 Member

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    Sorry for the delayed response. Apply the cleaning in the shaft show at the photo bellow.

    DSC_0398.JPG

    Drip the brush with lighter fluid and apply it there. Lock the camera to prevent any accidents during work in that area.
     
  20. F4user

    F4user Member

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    Hello,
    this is my first post and i registered here only ( for moment ) for this issue: aperture lever problem.
    This problem rise from wear, loose strength of the spring who drive the aperture lever combined with lubrication problems of some gears.
    For functionality restoration partial dissasembling is needed. I do that and my cameras work fine now . I have 8 Nikon F4. Some are for spare patrs but i have 2 in near mint condition and 1 UNUSED !
    I know what i say about aperture lever repair.
    If anybody want to try doing this work i will make complete tutorial here.
    Please say what is your choice.
     
  21. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I would be interested in seeing this and I have two bodies on which to try it so please do share. But still feel its the shutter charging motor causing the problem. A stronger spring and more lube only delays the failure of this motor in my opinion
     
  22. F4user

    F4user Member

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  23. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Thank You!!
     
  24. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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    Great! I bet I will need this one day! I will be saving these pages in firefox for future reference. Its amazing how similar the F3 knob assemblies are.