What's wrong with my camera?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Pandysloo, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Pandysloo

    Pandysloo Member

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    I just shot my first roll on my new Nikon FE and the amount of each frame overtaken by blackness linearly increases as you go down the sequence of frames on the roll, which is why some photos have a little while others are completely black. Only two frames out of the whole roll came out without it, and only 12 came out with anything visible on it at all. I know it isn't an exposure issue because a handful of them just have a sliver of perfectly exposed stuff peeking form behind the blackness.

    Someone suggested that the second shutter could be out of sync with the first curtain, the repair of which would surpass the cost of a new one. Just thought I'd get your input as well.
     

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  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    sure looks like a failing shutter...
     
  3. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Agreed
     
  4. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    If the camera hasn't been used for a very long time exercise the heck out of the shutter and see if this loosens things up. If that doesn't work it might make a cool doorstop.
     
  5. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    The black bits are not getting exposed at all. There are several ways that could happen but they all come from the curtains not moving smoothly through their travel. As Eric said, using the shutter might free it up - this worked with my Exa which had this problem. Spend a while dry firing the shutter a few hundred times and then try another film.
     
  6. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    If it was a Canon EOS 30, it would be caused by the foam dampening rotting and getting on the blades. Any sign of gunk on the shutter blades?
     
  7. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Spares for the Nikon FE were stopped at least 15-20 years ago and what there are around now will not be for a shutter. It may be possible to get the camera serviced and the problem cleared but this may be in excess of the value of the camera itself.

    My guess is the camera has NEVER been serviced and like all mechanical things that are not checked over they will eventually fail but can be rejuvenated after a good clean out and lubrication. Bear in mind your camera is at least 30 years old now. Imagine what a car would be like if it hadn't been serviced in 30 years!!!
     
  8. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Member

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    However, today only, if you act now, a complete Nikon FE parts body (with working shutter) is available for $15, here!

    Coincidental...serendipitous...almost like a meteor strike!

    :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2013
  9. jlpape

    jlpape Member

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    You might want to check out: http://www.nikoncamerarepair.com/ They can probably give you an estimate by phone. May just need a cla. I have used them and they have done a good job. All depends on what you want to put into a camera.
     
  10. pen s

    pen s Member

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    Take off the lens and fire the shutter, look at the mirror's action. Is it rising all the way to the top? Before the shutter travels? Open the back and, with the lens removed fire the shutter observing the action at various speeds. Point the camera at a well lit blank white wall for these tests. This should tell you if it is the mirror not getting out of the way soon enough or, if it is the first shutter segment dragging, allowing the second segment to catch up and end the exposure.
     
  11. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    My two cents (sense?): I have a feeling that there is a tiny bit of oil in the shutter blades, preventing clean, quick movement. What I would do (and please do not do this and blame me for helping you wreck the beast).

    I would remove the bottom and open the back. Then I would squirt a bit of lighter fluid onto the shutter blades, always holding the camera upright so that NO fluid gets into the prism area but, instead flows out the bottom. I would do this while operating the shutter. Then I would place the camera, again right side up so that prism does not get any fluid, into my oven. My pilot light keeps the camera about 110F. Overnight the body should be dry but, occasionally, I would fire the shutter.

    This is a tricky endeavor and, again, I offer warning. But I have done this to success. - David Lyga
     
  12. Pandysloo

    Pandysloo Member

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    I tried that but there's no noticeable lag or discrepancy. I figure that at 1/500 and 1/1000 it is too fast to really see anyway...

    You mean like this? Photo Feb 15, 9 25 23 AM.jpg

    I should note that when I bought it the ebay store claimed all cameras sold were CLA'd, tested, and verified fully functional. I'm hoping he's willing to exchange it for a working one, even though the 90-day money back guarantee expired 2 days ago...
     
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Easy for me to say this with hindsight but it sounds as if you bought with a 90 day guarantee and waited until almost the end of the period before trying it and now the 90 day period has expired.

    Stating the obvious but with second hand stuff like cameras always run a film through it within a day or so of getting it so any issue surfaces straight away.

    If the seller is decent he will give you the benefit of the doubt but from his point of view he may wonder why it wasn't used before now or be suspicious that it was used, was OK and something has only just gone wrong.

    I hope the seller will "play ball"

    pentaxuser
     
  14. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Looks like your shutter is "capping" - the first section is lagging and the second section is catching up and closing the slit, or some variation of that scenario. It likely needs a CLA.
     
  15. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    NO, NO, NO, Pandysloo: "I figure that at 1/500 and 1/1000 it is too fast to really see anyway..."

    Open the back and point the camera towards a VERY brightly lit piece of white copy paper. (NOTE: The actual film gate and rear of the camera must NOT be in bright light when you do this.) While looking at the rear film gate, fire the shutter. Even at 1/2000 you will see something white and you will be able to tell whether the WHOLE 24x36 gate is open.

    The photo you have of the back of the Nikon is correct. I would remove the BOTTOM and HOLD THE CAMERA so that the bottom is DOWN. Then (again, I caution you) I would squirt lighter fluid onto the curtain and work it in and you should see black liquid drain from the bottom. Again, I warn caution. I do not want you to throw the camera at me. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2013
  16. Pandysloo

    Pandysloo Member

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    Normally I test things out immediately, but I was only just able to get a lens for it.

    The seller said they would sell me another one for 50% credit if I return the one I have. Only problem is, all their other ones are listed as having broken advance mechanisms one way or the other.

    I guess I'm stuck trying to fix it myself. I dry fire it at high shutter speeds and see if that smooths it out.

    Doing this, it appears that the entire gate is open every time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2013
  17. pen s

    pen s Member

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    "Doing this, it appears the entire gate is open every time."

    That's why I'm thinking the problem is in the mirror. It is not getting completely out of the way before the first shutter segments start their travel. Ii may rise all the way to the top but not fast enough to allow clear shutter operation.
     
  18. Pandysloo

    Pandysloo Member

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    I decided to video the problem at 60 fps with a high shutter (1/1300) so that I could slow it down frame-by-frame to get an idea of what's happening. While I'm not too familiar with the mechanics of a 35mm SLR design, it seems the shutter is indeed the problem. I shone a flashlight through the gate in order to highlight the phenomenon.

    The following examples were shutter speeds of 1/500 and 1/000, respectively. I recorded each speed about five times, and the results were inconsistent. Not once did I get a full frame out of the shutter, and the ~ 30% shutter opening in the following examples were the biggest ones that occurred, meaning that any variation produced only smaller slights of light coming through, none with more.

    500 shutter 4.jpg 1000 shutter 4.jpg
     
  19. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    Looks like the shutter is firing before the mirror is up and out of the way. John
     
  20. zk-cessnaguy

    zk-cessnaguy Member

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    but at high shutter speeds the shutter doesn't appear to fully open... this explains
     
  21. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    You can easily test this way. Remove lens, wind shutter. Hold edge of mirror with finger and fire shutter. Let mirror rise slowly and note how high up it is when the shutter goes off. I'll bet it's only about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way. John