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  1. #1

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    Several Nikons with locked up mirrors. Repair advice..

    I have 1, 2, 3, yep, 4 Nikons with locked up mirrors. I sent two of them two Authorized Photo Service in IL for an estimate and was sent back and estimate for roughly twice the value of a mint condition replacement.

    So I have an FE, an F2(A3), and FE2, and another FE.

    All four cameras have locked mirrors. I have checked all of the cameras for regular issues and applied suggested fixes. (new battery, shooting in M and B (does not work), etc.

    Although I suppose not beyond the realm of possibility, the indication is that I have bad light meters (the worst being the DP-12 on the F2) on four Nikon cameras.

    I have precision tools and can confidently work on the cameras as long as I know what I'm after. I've read somewhere about a spring somewhat near the bottom of the body that may cause the problem.

    If it truly is that I have 4 bad light meters than to the trash with them. But want to make sure before I take that step.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    A common reason for mirrors sticking is degraded mirror box foam. Have you checked out that possibility?
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  3. #3

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    The meter on the F2 has nothing at all to do with the shutter actuation. The meter is all in the prism, and there is no connection at all to the shutter. If the prism finder is removed from the camera, the shutter will still work as intended. Your's does not, and something else is clearly wrong here.
    Frank Schifano

  4. #4

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    Hey Jim,

    Right good call. Yes I have checked the foam but the problem occurs in the sense that the spring locks the mirror up mechanically. There is no downward force after the mirror locks as if it were sticking). I think part of the ideology behind putting the camera on M and B is to trick the electronics.

    There is a lot of incredibly handy repair info at kyphoto which discusses a lot of camera models and issues...I've posted there months back and perhaps I'll troll there some more.

    http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/foru...tml?1223820022

    Thanks!

  5. #5

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    Frank,

    Yep understand the meter has nothing to do with the shutter. On the other hand, when you're trying to diagnose a problem you need to run through all the possibilities (especially to ensure that the replies to the post are not "have you checked the battery?").

    What's your hunch then Frank?

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    The meter on the F2 has nothing at all to do with the shutter actuation. The meter is all in the prism, and there is no connection at all to the shutter. If the prism finder is removed from the camera, the shutter will still work as intended. Your's does not, and something else is clearly wrong here.

  6. #6

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    On the FE, you can open the film back, then try moving the advance spindle by hand, which works a few other mechanisms internally. If you have trouble moving the film roller or idler roller, then get a coin and try rotating the motordrive connector on the bottom of the camera. Sometimes just wiggling the motor drive connector back and forth a bit can free up stuck gearing.

    Also, you can look at the bottom of the camera, and there is a pin that would connect to the motordrive. You can try pushing that pin upwards/inwards to try tripping the shutter, which sometimes can release the mirror.

    What I have seen happen on an FE, and also on an FM, is that winding on very quickly after tripping the shutter can sometimes cause a binding of parts internally. However, that is not the only cause of this. Tolerances are very close, and these were built with little room. Now that these cameras are well over a couple decades old, when parts wear more the tolerances can become a bit looser.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

  7. #7
    Denis P.'s Avatar
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    I remember reviving a friend's FM2 that was stuck in the similar way, AFAIR...

    I took off the bottom plate, and just wiggled a few exposed moving parts in the bottom
    It's been some time, and for the life of me, I can't remember what did it, but I know I was actually quite surprised how easy it was to "fix" the problem. The camera functioned OK after that.
    BTW, the camera was used by a pro photographer (weddings, etc.), so it's safe to assume that it was not handled very carefully. Jamming might have occured as Gordon described above...

  8. #8

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    Hey Gordon and Denis,

    Thanks, I will try all of this and report back..Hopefully with success!

    I've probably run about 2000 rolls through one of these FE2's so I won't be sad if it's a lost cause

  9. #9

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    Haven't the faintest idea what could be wrong with the F2. I'm just really sure that the meter isn't the problem.
    Frank Schifano

  10. #10

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    Frank,

    That's good to hear!

    Thanks

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