Turns out the shutter on this camera is kaput. The curtain hangs (sporadically) on anything higher than 1/250 resulting in an under or completely unexposed frame. Last roll I had processed had 8 exposed frames out of 24.
Is it worth getting it fixed? I'm thinking no.
Unless Nikon has re-started production of the FE, it is better to have it repaired. Buying another FE isn't exactly the best solution as you don't know what lies beneath it, what problems it might have. This one you have, you already know what is wrong with it.
Go on ebay and get a Nikkormat. They work perfectly and they're worthless. Perfect solution.
I opened up the back of the FE and saw a very small bit of clear 'gunk' on the blades. I wiped it down with my microfiber cloth and now it seems to fire correctly. I don't know what it was. I thought it might be oil but it had the consistency of water. Anyway, not sure if I want to put a roll through it just yet, but may have a service guy take a look at it.
I was thinking of getting a Nikkormat FT3 but I'm having a great time with my OM1, which is working perfectly. Only problem with the OM is the hearing aid battery doesn't sit in the pot correctly so the light meter does a funky dance and then quits. Looking into the back of the OM, it seems the shutter system on the Olympus is less complicated than the Nikon, and perhaps it is less prone to failure. I don't know. Seems a gamble with any 30 yr old camera.
I noticed the black nikons sell for more than the silver. Was black considered 'professional' back in the day?
For the battery problem
Originally Posted by asteroid_death
- you can try and locate the hearing aid battery better with a ring of plastic...
- or remove the base plate and solder in a Shockley diode to reduce a silver cells 1.5V to close to the 1.3V of the Mercury cell the meter was calibrated for, the silver cells hold their voltage sensibly constant like mercury cells used to.
- buy an ready made adapter incorporating a diode to allow a silver cell to be used.
The OM1 used a copy of the Leica fabric shutter most of the good repair people can repair them.
An O ring will solve the fit problem. Take the battery to the hardware & fit it.
If you still have contact problems a bit of folded aluminum foil will take up the slack.