Nikon FE-2 with dead swing needle but working shutter? Repair?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by jimgalli, May 23, 2006.

  1. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Last evening I received a clean FE-2 in the mail. I had received a box lot of recently expired film that included some HIE infrared and thought it would be fun to run some through a Nikon one last time. Thus I won the FE-2. I've had several over the years but all were gone to kids etc.

    The meter is working and the camera is choosing correct shutter speeds for the different situations on the A setting, only the swing needle no longer works. So while I could just 'trust' the camera, I can't see what it's doing. The shutter also works correctly in all the manual modes. ie. 1/4 second set gives a correct 1/4 second shutter speed. The needle is present and bounces if the camera is lightly tapped, but it's dead.

    Is there something I should try to perhaps remedy this? Ideas welcome. Especially from folks who have repaired these.

    I posted this also at Pnet hoping there's an easy fix / solution.
     
  2. Soeren

    Soeren Member

    Messages:
    2,439
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Naestved, DK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Allow me a stupid question.
    How many times did you fire the shutter after opening and closing the back ?
    The needle won't move untill the framecounter reaches #1
    Cheers, Søren
     
  3. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    You're allowed, but I've fired all the way to 36+. Jim
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,219
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    S.F. Bay Area
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Didn't the FE-2's have a PC board problem in the earlier serial numbers? I'm no expert but, I think that there were some issues....some well known common repairs.
     
  5. Mongo

    Mongo Member

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you have to move on to repairing this one, keep your eyes open on eBay for one on which someone's poked a finger through the shutter. They show up occasionally and generally go for peanuts, as the shutters are expensive to have repaired (if you can find the parts).

    Best of luck Jim...there is something special about an FE2.

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,381
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    jim,
    Frequently the problem was dirty resistor bands, bad ground etc.Sometimes the meter was shot but more frequently just dirt on contacts. Much like Ferrari's carbon on the valves.
     
  7. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, I do believe the FE-2's were the best of the best before the black blobs took over the world!

    My repair skills on a scale from 1 - 10 are about a 4. If I take it apart I FEAR it will never go back together correctly again and instead of having a useable camera sans visible meter, I'll have a pile of parts. Maybe I'll just use it and trust what it decides to do. That's not really very satisfactory though.
     
  8. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Jim,

    why not use the same meter you use with the rest of your cameras? Perhaps you could front-mount a packard to the lens!


    Matt (the unhelpful)
     
  9. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

    Messages:
    2,374
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Since all functions work, I can think of only 2 possible causes. The needle is binding or the wires to the meter loose. I don't know how to take a camera apart either so I can't recommend a fix except may be tapping or shaking the camera??
     
  10. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Must be the wires to the meter because it isn't binding. If I shake the camera it 'bounces' freely. :sad:

    I've always drawn the line for hand meters at 35mm Matt. For me the whole point of a 35 is the freedom to point the camera and let it do the rest.
     
  11. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,392
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Rural NW MO
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Then you're in luck. Just put the FE on A and point it at the subject. Just don't trust it to focus perfectly.
     
  12. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I totally agree. It is nice to be able to do something like P&S once in a while.

    However, my mental image of Jim Galli doesn't include a 35mm camera!


    Matt
     
  13. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you haven't repaired an FE2 before don't start with this one. You may end up with a "bucket of bolts" and spend the rest of the week trying to figure a way to kick yourself in the backside.

    Been there/done that/wish I hadn't.

    Mike