Nikon F5 - broken AF selector?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by dugrant153, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    So I was trying out an F5 in a shop and was attempting to move the AF point bc it was not centered. So I switched on the AF selector but noticed that when I toggled the AF controller in the back, the AF points only went up and down but not to any of the side AF points.

    Is this normal for an F5? Is there some way to lock the AF points to only vertical?
     
  2. MrBaz

    MrBaz Member

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    Try the two button reset. Hold down the BKT abd CSM (blue color buttons) for 5 or so seconds. It will reset the whole camera.
     
  3. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Thanks for that. I'm going to try that out later tomorrow when I go check it out again.
     
  4. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    If that doesn't work, then it probably needs either the contacts cleaned on the back (and the body), or a replacement back. That said, how much is this F5 going for, and what's the cosmetic condition? If it's scratched up, and above $300, it might be worth driving the 150 miles or so to Seattle and buying one of the two F5's at Glazer's Camera. I tried them both out before I bought mine on Friday, and the AF selection pad worked fine on both cameras. They are open today (Sunday) until 5 pm.

    -J
     
  5. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    It was a while ago since I checked it. Gave up on it at first as I was dismayed by the AF selector only working vertically... But after trying manual focus cameras (rf and SLR) ive come to realize that unless its a large Pentax 645 viewfinder, my eyes are too bad for manual focusing. Need the electronic rangefinder!

    That being said, it's $299 (but from a shop so taxes apply) and condition was actually pretty good except the AF selector. Hoping maybe it's a setting thing or something. Since I shoot manual focus I don't really need the other points I guess?

    I have two f90x that do a great job but am hoping to get very quiet operation with the option of Manual rewind and Cs silent mode while shooting :smile: would be great for churches!

    Thx for the headsup on the ones in Seattle though :smile: will consider!
     
  6. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    I checked the listing of custom functions, and, at least, with the ones that can be set via the camera, there isn't a way to change the behavior of the pad. It's possible that there is a way, using a PC or older Mac with the special cables (MC-33 and MC-34), to reset everything, but hardly anyone has the Photo Secretary software, nor the cables.

    As long as you can get the center focus point lit up, you might be ok, if you're only using MF lenses. At that point, I would try to score an A screen or either the L or J screen. The A and L screens have split-image rangefinder circles, and the J screen has the microprism spot in the middle. Of the three, the J screen seems most common on evilBay.

    The Cs mode isn't really silent. It makes an F5 sound like an F3 with a MD-4 that's running on weak batteries. You definitely hear the shutter and the mirror box in action. In my experience, even the Single Shot mode is reasonably quiet. Just test fired mine, and it's no louder than an F2 or an F3.

    With respect to the prices, if you can, try to barter with them on it. If you can get it for close to what they paid for the camera, it may be a good deal. If they're fairly firm, I'd walk away and plan to head to Seattle. One of the bodies is pretty decent, some minor paint wear, etc, but no peeling of the rubber surfaces. The other one is pretty worn. They both were former rental cameras. The fairly decent body has a serial number in the 306xxxx range, and the worn one is the 2263rd F5 built by Nikon (first one was 3000001). Very early. My current one is in the 3056xxx range, serial-wise.

    The F5 didn't go through many changes over its production, unlike the F4, where it'd be best to get a higher serial number body for all the improvements (249xxxx or higher). Supposedly early bodies tended to eat batteries for lunch, but I had the 4005th body made, and it still was running @ full power 2-3 months after I'd installed a set of eight Energizer lithiums.

    Anyway, wish you luck with things. If you do decide to come down, send me a PM and I'll see about getting a few other APUGgers together for a gathering.

    -J
     
  7. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I have the Nikon Secretary and cable but with them there is no option to limit the movement of the cursor either.
     
  8. vlasta

    vlasta Member

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    It is highly possible that focusing screen is malfunctioning !

    Here is my case - upon receiving one F5 I dismantled focussing screen.
    After reassembling it some focusing points on screen were not visible,
    but that on viewfinder sides were ok.
    Replacing it with another everything was ok.
    On KEH replacement screen is under 20$.

    But from your original post it is not clear which AF points are problematic - that on viewfinder sides or on the screen?
     
  9. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    so I didn't get a chance to try out the F5 because someone else put a reserve on it... dang. Oh well, it gave me some opportunity to look at other things.

    The problem with the F5 (when I saw it) was that when I pressed the arrow buttons to move the AF point, it only moved up, down and center. No left or right movement. All the points seemed to be there. I was looking at the top LCD for these AF points. Only those points mentioned where accessible.

    Funny enough, with the F5 being no longer available, I tried out two F100s. One was dead (even with battery grip). Must've been a bad contact or something. The other functioned just fine EXCEPT for the AF cursor buttons. And yes, I unlocked the AF toggle arrow buttons so I could move it around! :wink: The AF would go to up, left and center but would NOT go to right and bottom... And I pressed pretty firm. Anyways, that's a pass.

    All this trouble makes me think it's best to stick with my F90x's with it's single point AF. From what I can tell, the AF button toggle in these cameras seem to be a weak point (atleast the ones I've tried!).

    I made the mistake of trying a Leica R5 though...beautiful viewfinder and having diopter adjustment = HUGE. Anyways, that's for another post.
     
  10. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I was shooting Canon one time in the studio and I was perspiring heavily because of the subject matter (cough cough) and sweat got in the joystick thingy and rendered it inoperable.

    The F5 should be sealed better than the consumer grade canon I was using at the time but I cleaned the contacts with just some blasts from an air can and I was back in business.

    I was going to suggest some custom setting fix but it doesn't sound to apply in this case.
     
  11. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Yeah sounds like it was just over-used. It was otherwise clean. Hopefully this won't be a big deal for others I may consider.

    Btw, is it possible to have the various focus points light up when manual focusing? Would be great to have AF assistance when manually focusing! That way I could manually focus to a point and have the AF point confirm... Especially since I use Ai lenses
     
  12. Chris G

    Chris G Member

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    Just in case you are still looking at this F5, you can still take it to Nikon Canada for repair. I just received mine back before xmas from Nikon in Richmond, BC. They replaced the flash sync adjusted the AF and cleaned it up. Nikon stocks parts for the F5 as well. As for the AF only selector only allowing the vertical sensors, it is in fact a setting under Photo secretary that makes the dynamic AF respond to either the vertical or horizontal sensors. It is called "Priority for Dynamic AF mode". I am not sure if it inhibits the selection of the other focus area sensors though.
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I had my F5 since I bought it new and it has seen very little use. It's a nice camera overall but I seem to use my F3HP a lot more often. With the F5 you can lock the AF point so that it won't move at all but not to limit its movement only in the vertical direction. In fact I lock mine to the center point. Remove P and S mode so they can not be selected.
     
  14. pacman1213

    pacman1213 Member

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    RE: The Broken AF selector:
    Mine had the same issue. It would go up, down and left but not right. If all that is wrong with your F5 is the Focus Selector, its still worth buying!

    I took the back apart and some water had gotten into the contacts between the back and the body and had corroded the gold plated pins and springs. It seems the weather sealing around the button cracks after some time and may let some water in.

    To take apart:
    -Take the back off of the camera (I assume you know how to do that)
    -Remove the spring plate (Plate holding the film flat) This may be tricky. Start on the hinge side, it should slide off of the 2 pins, then on the window side, the top part then the last pin on the bottom. Remember the way it went on. Careful not to bend the legs.
    -Remove 3 phillips screws, one near the contacts, one to the left of the contacts, the other is near one of the posts that holds the spring plate (Thats why you have to remove the plate). IMPORTANT: Do not remove the remaining 2 screws on the contact piece yet!
    -Turn the back over
    -Peel the rubber away from the back starting at the bottom right of the back (Starting at the hinge) about halfway and tape it in open out of the way (use masking tape).
    -Reveal the AF Selector Dpad and remove the plastic housing and the Dpad in one go.
    -This will expose the printed mylar circuit board bellow.
    -Remove it but be careful not to displace the springs behind the bottom right of the mylar circuit board
    -To the left of the Dpad, the circuit board will appears taped down, just slide the mylar circuit board out (There should be 2 contacts beneath it).
    -Now, clean the contacts on the circuit board with isopropyl alcohol. Also, you can take the rubber part of the button and clean the ferrite contacts by lightly rubbing them on a piece of copy paper.
    -Remove the 5 tiny springs from the contact board at the bottom right of the back with tweezers and put them in a safe place.
    -You can clean the springs with the isopropyl alcohol. They are actually most likely what is causing the problem.
    -Turn the back over again, now, remove the 2 remaining screws holding the contacts.
    -Careful, the 5 contact pins will fall out, make sure to keep them in a safe place and also clean those with isopropyl alcohol.

    to put it back together, i recommend you reassemble the springs and pin contact and reassemble in reverse.
    The rubber should stick back on easily. If not, i recommend using something like 3M spay on Super 77 to replace the double sided tape. For that, i would remove all the old tape residue, clean the surface with isopropyl alcohol and spray the whole rubber piece. Then, reapply carefully (It wont come off again).
    Mine stuck back down fine but i will most likely have to replace the tape eventually.

    Hope this helps! A new or even used back is quite expensive and this repair is quite easy.

    Andre
     
  15. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    That's a lot of great information. I've moved on to other camera systems for my work but I hope that info will help anyone looking now at an F5!
     
  16. pacman1213

    pacman1213 Member

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    Thanks!

    I know this thread has been dormant for some time but i just didn't find anything else on the subject online.

    Andre