Which camera had failed - and did you forgive?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darkosaric, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Hi,

    I am curios to find out what break most often? Which camera - but even more what on camera. I guess it is shutter?

    So which camera had broke completely in your hands and what broke?
    Did you forgive it - bought the same camera again or repaired it?

    Me:
    Minox GL - shutter died, and since this is well know problem I decided to give up of those cameras.
    Nikon FG lever for winding broke - decided to go with F3 instead.

    regards
     
  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I had a Hasselblad 500C body that I had fixed. It was the main spring controlling the mirror that went bad. I fixed it and continued to use it for several more years. I upgraded to a 500C/M body, and the old 500C sat as my backup and didn't see much use. I sold it along to someone else, who then had to make some major repairs as the air bladder that controls the rear body doors had dry-rotted and would no longer keep the doors open reliably. Were it still my camera, I probably would have fixed it myself and kept using it. The 500C body had been owned by several wedding photographers before me, so it saw heavy, regular use, and it was already 30+ years old when I bought it. And while it wasn't a failure, I did have my Rolleiflex completely overhauled after I bought it- it's another very old camera (circa 1956) that needed the shutter, film transport, and focusing worked on. $400 later (ouch), I have a camera that with reasonable care will last me another 50 years.
     
  3. ArtO

    ArtO Member

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    Let's see.

    Nikon N80 - aperture adjustment level got bent to heck so everything was dark all the time and the preview button didn't work. Figured out what it was and did some bending to get it back inline. Don't know if it's perfectly lined up but seems to work just fine. Lenses seem to open the same amount on and off the body.

    Kodak Automatic 35 - asa selection know would not turn at all. Applied a bit of machine oil and let it sit for a few hours. Still hard to turn but after a few movements back and forth with a plier it now move smoothly. Also note this is a very small know that is a bit problematic for my aging fingers to start with.

    I have a few more that I'm going to atttempt to fix. Have an Argus C20 that has the focus portion of the lens assembly frozen solid. Thinking about loosening some screws and applying a bit of oil to the mechanism. Don't want to disassemble the whole lens/viewfinder mechanism if I can avoid it.

    Have an Argus Argoflex 75 that the focus lens has broken out. Will attempt to reattach it and see what happens.

    I want the Argus 75 and C3 in great working order someday. These were the first cameras I can ever remember using. My Mom was the family archivist and those models were her cameras.
     
  4. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    I've forgiven all my broken cameras (most were my fault!) save one: the Nikon N80. Nice little camera, but mine had a strange electrical problem that made the camera forget it had film in it. The frame counter would reset at random and the camera would advance the film three frames, suddenly thinking there was a new roll of film inside. I sent it for repair twice, both times it came back with the same problem. Turned me off of the N80 forever.
     
  5. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    Most of my film cameras are old, so I expect the occasional breakdown. For me, it's mostly the meter that proves to be troublesome. Not a big-deal though, I can always use my hand-held meter.

    I have had other mechanical breakdowns that I've been (so far) able to fix myself. For the "absolutely must get picture," I'll use a camera I really trust (like my Leica MP).

    Jim B.
     
  6. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Well, I had a T90 that continually locked up in the worst possible way - I was using it as an "around home" camera with a flash, and while in many cases the dreaded "EE" error happens after the picture is taken, with flash, it happened during. So no picture at all. Hardly a useful feature for a camera you're relying on to capture once in a lifetime events that happen in a family's life. I sent it back to the guy I bought it from (a reputable repair guy) and told him to keep it. On the other hand, I have an EOS-3 that locked up too. Same sort of error; something to do with shutter magnets. The stupid camera would freeze up at random times but a slap to the prism usually fixed it. In frustration I BANGED the stupid thing down on a hard marble countertop, scarring the body where the sharp edge of the counter connected, but it was a miracle. The body has worked flawlessly ever since. I'll never sell it but I'm comfortable using it. I forgave it right after the hard spanking. :smile:
     
  7. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    Minox GT, Nikon FA x2. Yup, shutter stuck on all three. All immediately repaired in house, worked fine, but promptly sent to landfill. Never touched a Minox or anything with that honeycomb crap again. I soon re-geared with some F2 bodies and forgot what repair means, knock on wood, two decades and counting.

    :cool:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2013
  8. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    After 34 years (give or take), I am still awaiting my first camera death. Given the reliability of the F-series Nikons, the wait may well continue into the distant future. That said, when the inevitable does arrive, I expect that the Grim Reaper will take one of my F5s or the F6; the F2s and the F3HP bodies will, I expect, long continue to avoid his icy grip...:whistling:
     
  9. blockend

    blockend Member

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    I knew a guy who traded in his Nikon FE for a 501. It took so long to autofocus he ended up throwing it at a wall. I have an early AF Minolta that does the same thing. It was amusing for a while watching it hunt focus, but the game soon paled. I turned it to manual and gave it to my six year old.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i thought most of my cameras were broken
    because well, i didn't know the best way to use them.
    now i realize .. and nothing is broken ..
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    This is probably not the case today, as design and functions change over time. However, many years ago I had cause to visit a camera repairer who had been doing the job all his life and was near retirement and I asked him what cameras he has in most for repair. His answer was Mamiya. But as said, versions today are probably fine.
     
  12. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Sounds more like "complete photographer failure (or meltdown). Once again proving that untreated bipolar disorder may strike anywhere and at any moment. Aren't there laws against camera abuse?
     
  13. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    Minox 35, several diff models, all with the shutter problem. Olympus XA, with auto exposure probs.
     
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  15. 2bits

    2bits Member

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    Canon AE-1! Several w/ problems!
     
  16. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    Exakta RTL 1000---- poor quality from this pentacon-made product, last gasp of a fine old name, died soon after being serviced a mere 2 years after purchase because it was already worn out. When the shutter went "kloonk" and quit working i gave up and bought a leica.

    Kiev 88 -- imitation hassy, this had to be sent back 3 times in its first month of ownership,and the last one was a one-way trip accompanied by a demand for credit (which was given). Only camera to quite literally self-destruct in my hands. Forgive? I'd take one if you gave it to me for free, but that's about it.
     
  17. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Many Olympus XA cameras, where shutter release wouldn't fire until I jiggled the winding knob. Aggravating!

    Jon
     
  18. blockend

    blockend Member

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    The guy worked semi-professionally but had a short fuse. The problem was those early AF cameras didn't permit the shutter to be pressed until focus was confirmed, and in less than good light they could hunt almost indefinitely. Not good while out on a job. A lot of people were suckered into trading good manual focus cameras for AF versions before the technology was ready.
     
  19. thegman

    thegman Member

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    My Klasse S died a sudden death on holiday, but I had another 2 cameras with me, so no big deal. It did put me off cameras with that much electronics in them though.

    I've had a couple of Leicas with light leaks in the shutter, I don't have a Leica any more, although I do basically forgive them.
     
  20. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    All cameras will probably fail eventually, but some are more fallible than others.....To summarize, in my long experience, anything electronic will prove troublesome sooner than their totally mechanical counterparts.......I won't even comment on the unreliability of digital gear!
    My most reliable 35mm gear?......The earlier Nikons, my Nikon F still going strong, after over 40 years of use, only the mirror dampening foam has needed replacing. Much the same with my Nikkormat FT3 and later FM's. The last really reliable Nikon?...the FM2n in my opinion.
    Least reliable?.....Apart from anything digital, Olympus OM's had a habit of jamming when used in conjunction with their (not very good) motor drive at the time. The flimsy cap covering the motor drive socket detached easily from the camera and got lost.
    Earlier Canon's were good, F1's and Ftb's, later T90's not as strongly made..
    Bear in mind I'm talking here about professional use, and systems I've had experience of.
     
  21. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    My Leica II is 81 years old and I don't know if it has ever been serviced, but it runs as sweat as a nut (batteries not required).
     
  22. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    I went to Nottingham to take some particular pictures with my Voigtlander Vitomatic I. I took one picture and the shutter linkage seized solid. I later bought another Vitomatic I and it did the same thing (but not in Nottingham). Never had a problem with my Vitomatic II which has had quite a hard life.
     
  23. pen s

    pen s Member

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    Any, ANY camera can fail. But of course there are those that because of cheap construction or design flaws have more problems.

    My chosen 35mm platform, the OM system, specifically model OM-1 and OM-1n have been OK for me but of course I've not run them like some professionals do their cameras.

    I have experienced the dreaded prism foam rot and the resultant damage to the mirror surface of the penta prism. This, if cleaned off, can still be seen in the viewfinder, but the body can still be fully functional otherwise. In the 38 years I've used OM-1 bodies I've also had a shutter curtain string come loose (or perhaps off its roller) twice, on the same body, a non md, my oldest one. That body also has a dead meter due to a broken solder connection to the battery contact. Otherwise my OM's have been reliable cameras. The Zuiko lenses have been good to me except for the 'dangly rubber focusing grip' on my 24 f2.8, and 50 f1.8. When Olympus still cared and were a real camera company they would send you replacement rings at no charge. Oh yeah, almost forgot, my Winder 1 died, but matters not, I hardly ever used the thing.
     
  24. dmschnute

    dmschnute Member

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    IMHO, the greatest camera failure of all time & space is the Kodak Retina Reflex. They almost invariably failed of their own volition, at a very young and tender age. Back in the day, I had visions of grandeur and Kodak was able to supply parts and manuals for them. I never was able to successfully repair one. The shutter is linked to the wind mechanism by a pair of concentric, spring-loaded shafts; all with issues of timing, pre-tension and an inherent fragility against which the front standard is assembled. (One slip and the shafts can be bent or the bearing hole deformed.) I admit that I am not temperamentally suited to precision work, but this is a camera that should have been great; great concept, great lens, great shutter.

    Forgive? Nah! Not being a bean counter, I would not understand why they were unable or unwilling to get it right for the future. I still have a small stock of parts .....
     
  25. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    The Canon T90 suffers from a very well-known shutter complaint, sticky magnets as well as goo on the shutter itself. Even when working properly the camera does not like to sit idle for very long. I've had a couple T90s poop out on me from time to time (the EEE error), and usually a short sharp smack on the ground sets it right again. I have better cameras, I have more reliable cameras, but the T90 remains my all-time favorite. I have nine of them right now, three in storage, two in regular use, one that has 'issues' (and gives interesting results), and three awaiting disembowelment.

    The Canon Elan IIe seems to have an odd problem; when used with the battery grip, shooting is often interrupted by low-battery warnings, even with fresh batteries. I've never let that worry me, I just take the shot when the camera lets me. For $25, I'm not going to complain. They're very nice cameras, otherwise.

    On the other hand, the Minolta XE-7 has a most unfortunately-placed power switch, directly under my right thumb. Too often I lift the camera to my face and find it won't work as I've inadvertently shut the thing off without trying. I'm ready to drop both of mine in the lake.
     
  26. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    ^Instead, sell them to Ralph... :smile: He'll take them.

    For me, probably the "shoot 13 shots, unjam camera" Pentax H3v that I had as my first camera. Finally got another about 20 years later.

    -J