Nikon FM: meter dead?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Terry Christian, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    The meter on my Nikon FM seems to be dead, though it worked when I obtained the camera a few months ago, and I'm doing an idiot check to make sure I haven't stupidly overlooked something.

    The meter LEDs at the right side of the viewfinder are not coming on.
    I have a lens on, but no film (I know some cameras, like the EM, won't meter until they have film in them and are at least to frame 1).
    The batteries are fresh: two Energizer 357 @ 1.55V each. No corrosion in the battery chamber. I'm certain I know which way the batteries go, but I've checked both polarities.
    I don't have a motor drive connected.
    The advance lever is in the standoff position.

    Thanks for any advice!
    --Terry.
     
  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Wipe off the batteries and contacts. It doesn't have to be corroded to halt the flow.
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    This could be an opportunity for you to start guessing the exposure and not have to rely on a meter.
     
  4. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Tom: That didn't work unfortunately.
    Clive: True, and I'm not too shabby at that when outdoors, but having a fully functioning camera is preferable. :D
     
  5. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Check the new batteries. Here lately I've been getting some 357's at the CVS that barely get the needle in the check zone on my Luna Pro.
     
  6. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    The batteries seem to be okay as far as I can tell.
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Figured out your problem. Wire had corroded loose from battery contact. Pop the bottom off and see. The battery compartment can be clean as a whistle and the solder joint of the wire can be in 2. If not there, follow the wire to the other end to see if it is corroded apart there. I've had this happen on a Nikkormat once. The stranded wire wicks corrosion like a candle wick.
     
  8. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Great. I've just tried to get the bottom plate off the camera, and managed only to quite possibly strip two of the screws trying to get them out, and to lose one of the screws putting it back in. Maybe I'll find someone local who's handier than such things than evidently I am, and see if they can spot the trouble.
     
  9. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Don't mean to belittle your mechanical ability, but if you fouled up a task like that, then you're like the rest of my family--they're helpless. You must be one of those helpless people. I couln't imagine being like that. I was born with the curse of being able to fix everything. Sorry I talked you into messing up your camera.
     
  10. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    The strange thing is that I'm usually handy with such things. And I have a couple of sets of small screwdrivers, so that shouldn't have been a problem. I'm going to say that the two screws simply won't budge and that they're in too tight. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :tongue:

    P.S. Just found the lost screw!
     
  11. ArtO

    ArtO Member

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    I have an FM2 that worked great when I got it and then the meter just died. Tried everything I could think of and no luck. So now I've marked it no meter and use it that way. Fortunately it's rather easy to use the FM line without the meter at all. Good luck with it.
     
  12. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Thats kinda like me, except my curse is to want to try and fix everything, though sometimes it doesnt always work out! haha:tongue:

    At least the FM is the type of body that the meter isnt really required to still have great operation of the camera. I was originally going to tell you to check if the wind lever was moved out to turn the meter on, but it was the last item on your list. Thats the one that usually gets people unfamiliar with the camera.
     
  13. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I don't fail. I'm good. Sadly have no talent for chasing women, but can expertly fix EVERYTHING.
     
  14. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Member

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    Take the lens off, grab the little lever at the top of the lens mount and work it back and forth rapidly several dozen times. This has worked for me in the past to revive a balky Nikon meter. And you probably won't break anything.

    Oh, and the EM doesn't need film in it to meter, it just needs the counter to be at frame 1.
     
  15. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    The meter coupling lever, you mean? Yeah, I tried that after seeing your comment. It didn't work for me. Thanks, though!
     
  16. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Glad I'm not the only one with this issue.
     
  17. maderik

    maderik Member

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    I had an FE where the problem was the top of the battery compartment had cracked allowing the top contact to press against some metal in the camera, shorting the batteries. it's a long shot but remove the batteries and use a flashlight to inspect the plastic at the other end of the compartment for cracks and breakage. I managed to fix mine by wedging some tape in between as an insulator.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    There is a meter switch under the top cover. The wind lever closes it to activate the meter.

    Just sayin'
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Time for a trip to the repair man.