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  1. #1

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    Is It Possible To Do a DIY CLA on my Nikkormat FT2 to Get the Shutter Speeds Up?

    I have an old black Nikkormat FT2 that I really love. The speeds are fine, but above 1/125 they're at least a stop off. 1/1000 tops out at 1/400. I always shoot Tri-X w/ a yellow filter, which sorta helps, but I would like to get the higher speeds up so I could shoot w/ my one Leica lens at wider apertures. Is this something I might be able to do myself, or is it complicated? I'm somewhat handy, but have no experience on these cameras, other than getting into the lens mounts to fix the jumpy meters?

  2. #2

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    IF you havent repaired a few SLR bodies, be aware that the timing is controlled by springs and escapements. Cleaning them and oiling them correctly without bending things, losing springs and air thin shims is risky. I have never been inside a nikkormat but I have opened 5 or 6 rangefinders and several medium format cameras and wouldnt hesitate to try...

    If I was willing to throw the camera in the garbage, that is. I never open a camera to repair it without that thought in mind.

    If the camera is precious to you, send it to a pro.
    "If its not broken, I can't afford it."

  3. #3

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    The best photographic investment I've ever made, fim aside, is professional servicing of gear I intend to use seriously. In the long run the expenditure s always repaid me many times over with reliable gear.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by momus View Post
    I would like to get the higher speeds up so I could shoot w/ my one Leica lens at wider apertures.
    By all means have your Nik'mat overhauled so you can use its full range of shutter speeds.

    But don't count on using a Leica lens on it. The Nikon F mount's register is 46.5 mm. Leica thread- and M-mount registers are, respectively, 28.8 and 27.95 mm. Leica R-mount register is 47.0 mm. There's a bare chance that an R-mount lens can be attached to a Nikon and still focus to infinity, no hope at all with Leica rangefinder lenses. Leica RF lenses can be used on Nikons, but only for closeup work. Very close up.

  5. #5

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    Thank you. I was hoping the copal shutter might be somewhat simpler, but maybe not. I might just shoot it w/ a red filter, which would give me 2-3 stops, rate the film at 100, and be done w/ it. The last time I shot Tri-X at 100 it looked surprisingly good.

    I've sent cameras out to be repaired w/ mixed results. Often the repairers tell me that on an old shutter, one stop variation is within spec, which is about where I am anyway. I've overhauled leaf shutters on Rolleiflex and folders, but they're obviously not a copal shutter. Maybe a work-around w/ the ISO and filter is safer, and for sure cheaper. It's a fine old camera w/ the nicest "snick" you ever heard when you press the shutter button.

    My Leica lens is an R lens Dan. I should have noted that in the original post. It works in stop down mode on Nikons w/ one of those cheap $20 knockoff Leitax mounts on the lens. Anything to keep from having to shoot it on a Leica R body, all of which I've tried, and none of which are as nice as the Nikkormat, for me anyway.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by momus; 12-29-2013 at 04:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    Compared to a horizontal running shutter, the Copal square doesn't have any adjustment points.
    They're self contained units. IE:low speed escapement,self timer and shutter are contained in the same modular unit. Biggest part was removing them from the body since there's no real access to the assembly.
    The ones the shop I worked at were able to revived needed tweaking of the travel times.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  7. #7
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momus View Post
    I have an old black Nikkormat FT2 that I really love. The speeds are fine, but above 1/125 they're at least a stop off. 1/1000 tops out at 1/400. I always shoot Tri-X w/ a yellow filter, which sorta helps, but I would like to get the higher speeds up so I could shoot w/ my one Leica lens at wider apertures. Is this something I might be able to do myself, or is it complicated? I'm somewhat handy, but have no experience on these cameras, other than getting into the lens mounts to fix the jumpy meters?
    a small screwdriver can save you a ``$100 bill from a pro shop, but it may take a $300 bill toundo the damage the small srewdriver and you did.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  8. #8

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    The OP does bring up an interesting question. I have 2 Nikkormats. I'd be interested in finding some service information on these shutters, myself.

  9. #9
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    I would not attempt such a repair without a factory service manual.
    CraigCamera, http://craigcamera.com/ , reprint 90211, original 27126 listed under the Photographic Literature link.

  10. #10

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    I have several Nikkormats. I just want to say, I had mine cla'd before taking it to Nepal. It cost me $65 about 4 years ago and was definitely worth the $$ spent. I had mine done in Everett, Wa. That was the 2nd camera I had done there and am quite pleased with the whole transaction. He also did an Olympus RD that is sentimental to me and one of my favorite cameras. Same price at the time.

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