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  1. #1

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    Nikon, Nikkormat light seals and mirror foam

    Hi all:

    I have several Nikkormat EL's and FTn's that are in good working order but need new light seals and, I assume, mirror foam.

    I bought an FTn light seal kit for one but it was about $14 and consists of just a few slithers of foam.

    Can anyone tell me exactly what type and thickness of foam I need for each seal part, and where I might get small sheets of it? And a template from which to cut? Are the EL seals the same as for the FTn? I am thinking that it could be much more economical to cut my own seals from sheets, but I don't know where I would get the sheets, let alone what exactly I need. I probably have 5 or 6 cameras that need the seals and mirror foam, and I want to get them spiffed up for a fashion shoot I plan to do for my daughter's new fashion design business.

    Thanks for any good suggestions!

    David

  2. #2

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    I gave up on the seal kits after putting one in a friend's camera. I replaced the seals in my Nikons with black wool and felt for the mirror.

  3. #3
    CGW
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    I've found that the seal at the back hinge is prime suspect for light leaks on most MF Nikons. It's also the easiest to change. The seal/pad for the mirror is also prone to go to goo and is a no-brainer to change. I'd stop there and not muck around with seals around the prism and mirror box.The thin seals running the length of the back aren't critical as light leak sources.

    I'd look for thin adhesive-backed foam(black preferably) sold in most craft stores for south of 2 bucks for an 8x10 sheet. Get a straight edge and an Xacto knife or single-edge razor blade for clean, precise cuts.

    The real pain is thoroughly removing the sticky old seals. Lots of DIY pointers online.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post

    The real pain is thoroughly removing the sticky old seals. Lots of DIY pointers online.
    On mine, I left the residue. It's what holds the wool and felt in place.

  5. #5

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    I'd like to be able to do the light seal at the back hinge, the ones along the back, and the mirror foam. Isn't the hinge seal a different thickness from the ones along the back? Also, is the mirror foam a different type of foam? I do like the idea of using felt.

  6. #6
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by newcan1 View Post
    I'd like to be able to do the light seal at the back hinge, the ones along the back, and the mirror foam. Isn't the hinge seal a different thickness from the ones along the back? Also, is the mirror foam a different type of foam? I do like the idea of using felt.
    The seals buried in the channel along the length of the body aren't critical as light seals. The hinge seal is, though, and should be changed. I use the same foam for the mirror. Felt doesn't compress as readily as foam and can strain the hinge and put unnecessary pressure on the latch at the other end.

  7. #7

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    Seems like I'll be making a trip to the craft store on the way home, I hope they have some of the foam sheets.

  8. #8

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    Have you not come across Jon Goodman's kits? Here are instructions for the EL and FT and the size of foam you need:

    http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/seal/Nikon_EL.pdf
    http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/seal...kkormatFT3.pdf

    Contact him at jon.goodman@yahoo.com for his kit, which is a real bargain -- comes with different thickness of foam, precut, and a tool.

  9. #9

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    +1 on the Jon Goodman kits and instructions.

  10. #10

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    I think the kit I did buy previously was a Jon Goodman one. However, I went to a craft shop on the way home last night and bought some felt and 2mm (and 3mm just in case) closed cell foam. Probably enough for all of my cameras, for a total of just over $5. We shall see how I do with that. I looked at one of my old Nikkormats last night, and the door hinge seal was completely missing but the area had been cleaned; it seems the previous purchaser had replaced the mirror foam, and had replaced the long door seals with what looks like black wool. So I will start with that camera and give some thought to using wool for the long seals, especially as it has been indicated here that they are not critical.

    The Goodman instructions posted above seem to indicate open cell foam for the mirror foam; I haven't found any thin such foam; maybe closed cell or the felt will work there.

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