Nikon FE shutter issue

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by jesterthejedi, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. jesterthejedi

    jesterthejedi Member

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    I bought a used but decent condition Nikon FE recently and I ran through a roll of Ilford HP5 400 iso film. I processed the roll and only frame 0, 9, and 36 were exposed. The rest if the roll was transparent. I remember shooting during a bright day and having the dial set to auto. Im testing out the shutter and see its not opening at 1/500 and 1/1000 on manual, and auto is working but also has trouble when pointed towards bright subjects. Does anyone have any advice on a fix or am I stuck with slower speeds?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BobD

    BobD Member

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    I'm assuming the batteries are in good condition.

    If, in manual mode, the shutter only operates at some speeds and not others than your camera is broken. The most cost effective solution is to get another body in good working condition, a less costly choice than repairing the one you have.
     
  3. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    This MAY be true, but it is also likely the next FE you get may have a different problem.

    If the camera you have is otherwise a good camera, then it is more cost effective to have it overhauled (CLA). Garry's Camera Repair charges under $60 for this service and has been very competent in my experience at repairing defects. There are other good repair shops out there as well. You will then have a properly working camera, professionally cleaned and lubed, new seals, and a warranty. It has a much higher likelihood of operating without further problem for many more years. Just bouncing from one 30+ year old camera to another, trying to get a dependable one, seems more of a risk to me.

    If you truly want to used this old of a piece of equipment, then it deserves some basic maintenance, whether it needs a repair or not. At the least, I would contact a repair shop for an estimate.
     
  4. CGW

    CGW Member

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    With so many 35mm Nikon bodies available, I tend to disagree. This particular FE could simply be busted and not worth a fix--not all repairs get covered by a prix fixe CLA.
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I lean in Lyle's direction. Get the camera serviced (the shop will tell you if it's not sensible to do so), and you'll have a known well-maintained camera that will serve you well for many years.

    The only caveat to this is that the FE's electronics sometimes fail. The only way to repair this is to replace the electronics with those from a donor body. If this is the problem with your FE, keep it for parts for the next FE that you buy.
     
  6. BobD

    BobD Member

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    If a camera tech is hungry enough to do all that you claim above for a mere $60 (and with a warranty too!) then, by all means, take him up on it.

    But, in the real world, I think finding another working body is a more likely solution.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2012
  7. jesterthejedi

    jesterthejedi Member

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    It's in pretty good shape, and everything else seems to be working like it should. I paid 30 bucks from a Craigslist ad for it. The other shutter speeds are all working fine, it's just the higher ones, but I'll take it to a repair place and see if they can CLA it.
     
  8. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I agree with LyleB and others...

    A good CLA from a reputable shop will give you a camera in great condition that will probably outlive you.

    I used to repair Nikons professionally, and can assure you that the FE is a very reliable camera.

    - Leigh
     
  9. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    You sound doubtful that a complete CLA would be done. Here is the listing from the Invoice from Garry's Camera Repair of the services performed. This was for a FE-2 that was sent to him with no known problems. He has also serviced an FM for me that had a non-functioning light meter. He re-built the battery compartment on that camera for no extra charge. This is the stated services performed:

    1) Shutter Unit lubricated and adjusted
    2) Cleaned release magnet
    3) Run time speed adjusted
    4) Lubricated winding mechanism
    5) Light meter calibrated
    6) Exposure adjusted
    7) Replaced mirror cushion
    8) Replaced light seals
    9) Cleaned viewfinder and prism
    10) Cleaned externally/internally

    He includes a 90 day warranty on any parts he repaired or replaced and any work he performed. The total cost, a year ago this past January, was $53.
     
  10. BobD

    BobD Member

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    I am gobsmacked
     
  11. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    Jester
    Your camera seems to have a tapping shutter. The shutter needs to be adjusted. A CLA should fix it!
     
  12. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    As far as I am aware the FE Model has very few spares available. Nikon announced many years ago (at least 20) that shutter spares are non existent. However that does not mean that the camera is not repairable if it is a mechanical fault or a minor electrical one that can be repaired itself.
    Remember the Nikon F Photomic? The metering heads have been going bust and irrepairable for the last 30 years but I did come across a website a while back where these could be repaired, I think it is a matter of cost, and how much you value your equipment,
     
  13. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    The Nikon FE uses a Copal Square shutter, one of the most reliable mechanical devices ever built.
    While a shutter failure is not impossible, it's highly unlikely, particularly considering that the slower speeds work.

    Most likely the OP's problem is dried or contaminated lubricant, which can be easily corrected.

    - Leigh
     
  14. jesterthejedi

    jesterthejedi Member

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    Thanks! :D
     
  15. drumminor2nd

    drumminor2nd Member

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    I have an FM that does the same thing. Just get it overhauled or if spending money on a camera that would get $50 working on eBay puts you off, just use it at other shutter speeds (Mine only exposes 1/3 of the frame at 1/1000, so I use it at 1/500 or slower). Run some slower film and you'll be fine. A third option is to try and fix it yourself (best for cheap cameras of eBay, not for family heirlooms).
     
  16. focusian

    focusian Member

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    I have almost the same problem, shutter was not opening at 1/500 and 1/1000 on both manual and auto mode.
    I found Nikon fe-fe2 service manual online and it shows that we have to adjust RV1

    I am not specialist who repairs camera but have fun to find solution in any broken thing.
    I used small screw drivers and other tools in my house to open the top cover and adjust RV1 (as shown in picture) then cock shutter several times until shutter at 1/500, 1/1000 waken up :laugh:. You have to readjust - cock - adjust till you get these shutter speeds back to normal. Fortunately that i have a Nikon FM for comparison. Of course, it may not the right speed because it needs special tools to check but i don't have, so i have to test by taking picture , next step.

    if you don't want to pay service cost, try this :wink:

    [sorry for poor English]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2014
  17. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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    Do you have a link to the service manual? The F3 refers to it a lot. I think they must share some build designs, if not parts relating to the aperture ring.
     
  18. focusian

    focusian Member

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  19. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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  20. fstop

    fstop Member

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    I bought several manuals from this guy.

    http://cameramanuals.freeservers.com/manual.htm
     
  21. jesterthejedi

    jesterthejedi Member

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  22. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Then you got an amazing deal on an amazing camera and it shouldn't hurt you too much to make an investment in some CLA
     
  23. jesterthejedi

    jesterthejedi Member

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    Its working just fine, and now that I need spare parts, ebay is down :sad: lol

    PS I don't mind being the repair man.
     
  24. camtec

    camtec Member

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    Oil on the shutter blades, dirty second curtain magnet, or electronic problem could be the culprit.