Whats a Nikon FM worth?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ChristopherCoy, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Hey guys. Just registered. I shot film in the 90's in high school, quit shooting all together, then came back to digital a few years ago.

    I have an interest in shooting film again, and just won an auction on ebay for an FM. The auction ended at $34, which I am totally happy with, but I was wondering what these cameras typically go for in good condition.

    One photog said excellent condition models go for $100-$150. Is this accurate info?

    Looking forward to checking out the site. Thanks for any info!
     
  2. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    34 USD is very cheap. A great bargain.
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Whatever you can get for it. If you bought to resell, then check the big auction site.
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Check out KEH.

    Jeff
     
  5. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I checked out KEH this morning. The 'bargain' condition bodies still go for $80-$90, unless they have significant body damage. KEH is still a retailer though, so I didn't know how well their prices correlated to the actual market.

    The $34 ebay find is supposedly in 'well kept' condition, and is being sold for an elderly neighbor without a computer. We'll see when it gets here I guess.
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    They sell them for that, look at other sources as a form of wholesale.
     
  7. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    When you get it and it is in great shape, consider yourself a really good eBay buyer and feel really lucky. That doesn't seem to happen much anymore (at least to me). I sincerely hope it is in great shape....those old FE's are such wonderful little cameras.

    Don't be suprised if you may have to throw some money at it for a CLA. If the old guy had it he probably hasn't used it for 10 years, it may not work right until you put a roll or two through it or have it CLAed in which case you may end up with as close to a perfect old FE as you could ever hope to find. Let's hope the guy didn't use it much........what a gem that would be!!

    Bob E.
     
  8. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Priceless. I bought mine new, in the mid 70's, and it still performs flawlessly.
     
  9. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Bob,

    I was planning on taking down to the local shop to have it cleaned and given a 'once over' just to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be. I still can't believe that the auction ended and I wasn't outbid.
     
  10. pityacka

    pityacka Member

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    I bought a used FM off ebay a fortnight back - cheap - because the 'meter not responding'. I have used it with a handheld meter, and the first two films through have come out perfect, using three different lenses. Apart from the meter not responding correctly, the camera is in exc+++ condition. I might even go for another FM.
    Re the meter, I have been told it may be dust, and to rotate the speed dial, and the ISO dial, and that may help. I am now getting reaction from the meter on occasions, - both + & - readings, besides correct exposure indication.
    Other suggestions are to clean the battery terminals.
    One guy posted diagrams as to dismantling the top and showed the inside. NOT for me. If the meter does not reactivate eventually, then I can still use it with a handheld meter.:smile:
     
  11. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I would NEVER dream of doing that with my working digital's, but with the prices of FM's and other manual models, I would buy a 'for parts' body in a New York minute, just to take apart and learn how everything works. There are lots of listings for non-working bodies. Buy a cheap one, take it apart, and see if you can figure out how to repair the meter.
     
  12. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    So here it is. The $34.33 Nikon FM I found on Ebay. Came with the lens. Everything seems to work correctly, with the exception of the light meter. I need to get a new battery for it, although the battery compartment looks clean, and doesn't have any acidic growth or anything. The only thing I can find wrong with it, is the rubber around the eyepiece. Its deteriorated significantly and will need to be replaced. Barely any scratches, no engravings, and everything clicks and winds as it should! More photos in the Flickr set.

    [​IMG]
    NikonFM-0492 by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    NikonFM-0491 by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    NikonFM-0488 by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    You may also need to get new light seals for the body which are easy and inexpensive to get - if the eyecup is deteriorated, those foam seals may be bad too. But congrats on a great little camera.
     
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  15. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Well... I put a new battery in. And after reading the FM user manual, it would appear that the little red LED indicator on the meter doesn't work. Unless I'm doing something wrong, I guess I'll have to look into repairing this part.

    Are meters expensive to replace/repair?
     
  16. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I have an FM that I got a few years ago at a swap meet. The camera/meter kept draining the battery even with the thumb thing in the off position. I spent more than the camera cost me to try to fix it. Then the flash synch went out of synch and again I had it fixed for more than I originally paid. Then the little screw on top of the advance lever, the one about a half inch round and covered in leather, fell off in an airport somewhere. Keep an eye on yours. It is a nice little camera but not worth getting fixed.
    Dennis
     
  17. djacobox372

    djacobox372 Member

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    $70 would be a typical price on ebay--enjoy your bargain, it's a fantastic camera!
     
  18. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Is the lens the 43-86?
     
  19. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Yup. Its the 43-86 3.5.

    I thought about that last night. If that lens isn't an AI lens, then the meter wouldn't work anyway right? Is that what you are getting at?

    I hope that's the case. I have a 50mm E series coming in today.
     
  20. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    According to THIS SITE the 43-86 thats on this camera is the later Ai version, introduced around 1976/77. The serial on it is 877236, and the information is printed on outside of the rim, as opposed to the earlier models which had the information printed on the inside. So I guess the meter really is broken.
     
  21. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    No, no, I was curious that's all. :smile:
     
  22. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I dropped it off at the camera repair shop at noon. Its going to cost $30 for them to give it a 'once over' and tell me what all needs to be repaired/replaced. So my $34 ebay bargain how now turned into a $64 venture. I'll see what they say in a few days and decide how I want to proceed.
     
  23. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    You are either lucky (no reserve auctions sometime don't go anywhere).... or everyone else on e-bay knows it's a scam.
    I sold a working movie camera for .50 CENTS a while back on e-bay... took my lumps.
    Also listed a working but well used/damaged Hasselblad 503cx, I didn't think it was worth more than $450 and it went for $800... and the winner complained it was damaged (first thing I said in the description). I held him to my no return policy... like I said the camera worked just fine.
     
  24. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Ebay is crap shoot, a pattern is developing from what I have seen, this may sound sexist but I've had more trouble with female sellers than male camera sellers.
     
  25. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    You're doing well, with under $35. You'd be wise to budget in a once-over at a good repair shop, so it seems you're still ahead, here.

    I wouldn't worry about a meter on this camera - fully manual. You can find and use an external one just as easily.
     
  26. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Well the estimate from the repair shop is in. They are wanting to charge me $163 to make it 'minty' I guess. Everything from the gears, to the prism, to the seals, to the lubricant... about the only thing they DONT want to do is repaint the Nikon logo.

    Now I may be naive in the ways of the film camera, but there wasn't that much on that camera that looked like it needed replacing. I guess now I have to decide what its worth to me...

    Here is what they said.

    DISASSEMBLE FOR OVERHAUL TO FOLLOWING:
    FILM TRANSPORT GEAR SET
    MIRROR HOUSING
    SHUTTER ASSEMBLY
    GENERAL CLEAN,
    CORRODED BATTERY CONTACTS
    OF SWITCH AND SWITCH BRUSHES
    REMOVE OLD DRIED OUT LUBRICANT.
    FRESH LUBRICANT,
    ADJUST ALL TO GOOD WORKING ORDER.
    CALIBRATE FOLLOWING:
    SHUTTER SPEEDS,
    LIGHT METER,

    REPLACE FOLLOWING:
    PARTS $ 2.00 PENTA PRISM LIGHT TIGHT SEALS
    PARTS $ 2.00 MIRROR SHOCK ABSORBING FOAM
    PARTS $ 11.00 LIGHT TIGHT FILM DOOR SEALS
    PARTS $ 6.00 CHEMICALS, CLEANING SUPPLIES, LUBRICANTS, SOLDER.
    LABOR $130.00
    TAX $ 12.46