Nikon FM Shutter Problem...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ara Ghajanian, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Hello gang,
    My girlfriend has a Nikon FM that has been giving her problems since she bought it used back in May. Every once in a while, when firing the camera, the mirror will stay up and the shutter will not return fully. Also, the film won't advance.

    We took the camera to a local repair shop and they fixed it (or so it seemed). They said it was the "shutter brake". After about a month or so, the problem happened again, so we returned it to the shop and they fixed(?) it again. This has been going on for months; it works fine for a while then the shutter will freeze mid-roll and we'll take it to the shop and they "fix" it again. I must have gone back to the shop more than 6 times since the initial visit. Our patience has worn so thin that we don't take it to the shop anymore. We just open up the back of the camera and use a sharp object to push the little "i don't know what you call its" that help advance the shutter and then it's fine. Don't worry, we're not touching the shutter blades themselves. I saw the repair man do the same thing when I brought it in once. We're very careful, but I don't find this to be a reasonable solution to the problem.

    Basically, we're down $125 for that repair because it didn't solve the problem. Every time I go back to the shop I get the whole "that camera again" expression for the shop owner. I'm sick of seeing his face because he's becoming more and more uncooperative every time he sees me.

    My question is: is this camera worth repairing again or has it just outlived it's usefulness? She just bought a used F100 from KEH to replace it. It hurts to just put this nice little Nikon on a shelf and never use it again. What should we do? (don't say "send it to me")
    Ara
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I see two possibilities:

    1) Send it to Nikon for proper diagnosis and repair

    2) Cut your loss now, sell it as needing repair (probably still get at least $75 for it) and buy another body.

    Given the availability of inexpensive FM, FM2, FE, FE2, FM3a, etc., I'd probably cut my losses and buy another body. At a certain point, it makes no sense to keep throwing money at the same problem, and you've probably reached that point.
     
  3. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    The same thing happened to me with my FE. I'm actually taking it in to be repaired today (this will be the first time). Its locked up like this before, but somehow corrected itself when I switched the shutter speed to 'bulb'. I havn't been able to fix it this time though, and hence the repair shop. If it happens again and I can't fix it then I'd buy a new body.
     
  4. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I have the same problem with my car now. Three repairs in the last 4 weeks, so it must be time to get rid of it. It is a venerable car with many miles and trips behind it now, but the $ is now making the decision easier. Will sell my car and replace it, but after this many miles, I hate to see it go (so does my mechanic).

    KEH is a great business and will supply an excellent replacement. My FM is still going strong, I love it! If it ceased to function properly, I would buy a replacement as the lenses are certainly worth keeping. tim

    P.S. '87 240 volvo wagon, wonderful car and still runs well.
     
  5. slewis

    slewis Subscriber

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    Why not just send it to Nikon for repair? I've had my FM since they first came out in 1978, I believe. I sent it to Nikon a few years ago to have the mirror and foam seals replaced. It cost about the same as anyone else quoted but it came back completely refurbished and as good as new.
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Ara
    If the "shutter brake" is binding, the only real cure for it is replacing the shutter. Cost is way beyond what you could get a "new" used camera for.
    Cut you losses & go for a different body.
     
  7. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Thank you for the responses. We already knew the answer, but I wanted to make sure everybody here was in agreement. Obvioulsy, she'll be drooling over the F100 she's getting in the next few days, so the FM will be an afterthought. I'm not sure if I'll sell it on the Bay as needing a repair. I may try to convince her to keep it as a display piece until we get some disposable income someday and have it repaired. It is a pretty sweet little camera and she has an emotional attachment to it (I can understand). I mean, if you guys really think I can get $75 for it on eBay, then I'll do it. Maybe I'll set a reserve or something. What say you?
    Ara
     
  8. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Ara, I can understand her misgivings about selling it, but if you can get $75 for it, I would say to give it a try. A "new" FM would be in order, but the F100 may take its place. Still something to be said about older and simpler cameras. Best of luck, tim