Nikon FM2 Film Advance Question

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RattyMouse, May 20, 2013.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    Is it bad to store my FM2 with the shutter cocked ready to shoot? I am guessing long term storage like that is not good, but I dont know that for sure.

    What's the real story on if this is good or bad?

    Thanks!
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I store mine cocked. Auto wind cameras store that way by default.
     
  3. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Autowind cameras have electronic shutters so there is nothing 'cocked' until the power is switched on.

    The FM2 is mechanical through and through and the operation and accuracy of the shutter is dependent on a finely balanced spring tension. Leaving it cocked will upset that balance/accuracy so it is best left un-cocked.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Good point BMbikerider

    I still intend to keep mine cocked, the bigger risk for me is not being ready for a shot. Nothing more disappointing than seeing a great shot, raising the camera, focusing, and the shot fleeting away because the camera wasn't cocked.

    Had my FM2 for 4ish years now with no appearant change in shutter time.
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Autowind camera still have the regular spring operated shutter. Electronically controlled shutter is only for the timing of the second curtain. It's still under the same stress if any. However, I read somewhere by Nikon that it's ok to leave the shutter cocked for a long time including fully mechanical shutter like the FM or FM2
     
  6. fstop

    fstop Member

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    I wouldn't worry either way, its not a firearm.... but the beauty of Nikons is they can be carried in Condition One safely, just thumb the wind lever open and fire away.

    Being a toolmaker I understand intimately the nature of metals. A spring under tension after a while will lose some of its strength. I would leave a camera in storage not cocked.However leaving a camera shutter cocked for a month or 6 probably wouldn't hurt it provided its stored correctly.
    Even so, I feel that you should exercise the shutter of unused cameras once a month, this gives you the excuse to play with your cameras.Unlike firearms dry firing a camera without film/ammo won't hurt it.
     
  7. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    I think the F2 manual tells you to store the camera unwound
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Just checked the FM2 manual under storage. Pull batteries, avoid high temp, humidity, naphthaline, camphor. In humid areas put it in a plastic bag with some desiccant.
     
  9. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    Yeah, the F2 manual specifically says not to leave the shutter cocked. The F3 and FM2n manuals don't say if you should or not.

    Unfortunately, it seems to me that the only way to close this case once and for all would be to store two absolutely identical bodies with the same shutter count for ten or more years, one with the shutter cocked and the other without.

    Personally, I store my F2 with the shutter uncocked, since the manual says too. I also store my F3 with the shutter uncocked, since its shutter is similar to the F2's. My FM2n is stored with the shutter cocked since it has more in common with modern shutters such as those found in the F90 and F4, both of which have built-in motor drives.
     
  10. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    If you have an MD12 on the FM2, isn't the shutter going to be cocked until you remove it, or finish the roll?
     
  11. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    I used Nikon manual cameras all my professional life. These cameras are built to last, and I never worried whether they were put away with shutter cocked or not. As they tended to be used day in day out, being left cocked for long periods did not really occur.
    I don't recall shutter problems with any of my manual Nikons. they are stilll used, although less intensively now I'm retired. I recently had the mirror box foam cushioning replaced in my old 1970's Nikon F. I asked the technician to check the shutter speeds at the same time. They were still within tolerance, despite never having been checked before.
    Now that's what I call a camera!
     
  12. Aron

    Aron Member

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    Even though stress relaxion in steel at room temperature is a relatively insignificant issue most of the time, it is inevitable.

    A test showed for example (I no longer remember where I've seen it) that air-rifles lose a bit of their muzzle velocity with a given projectile when they are stored in a tensioned state for extended periods of time (6 months), compared to the same type of guns stored uncocked. Watchmakers often put a new mainspring in an older watch when they have trouble accurately timing it after a service job.

    I store all of my cameras and shutters uncocked. When shooting during the day I advance the film on my 35 mm cameras after each shot not to miss any action, but release them before I put the camera away at the end of the day, with my LF shutter I only tension it before making my exposures. I treasure well-running camera equipment, so doing my best to take good care of them is only natural.

    One of the first things I check when handling a second-hand camera in case I'd like to purchase it, is whether the shutter is cocked or not. Shutter springs can get weaker over time in my experience (at least those in the Rollei TLR shutters sometimes do, weak mainprings are a common reason for shutters to remain sluggish even after servicing them).

    However, the manufacture of (shutter) springs is not black art. With patience it should be possible to find a shop capable of making a new one at a reasonable price.

    Long live these beautiful tools!