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  1. #1
    jesterthejedi's Avatar
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    Nikon FE shutter issue

    I bought a used but decent condition Nikon FE recently and I ran through a roll of Ilford HP5 400 iso film. I processed the roll and only frame 0, 9, and 36 were exposed. The rest if the roll was transparent. I remember shooting during a bright day and having the dial set to auto. Im testing out the shutter and see its not opening at 1/500 and 1/1000 on manual, and auto is working but also has trouble when pointed towards bright subjects. Does anyone have any advice on a fix or am I stuck with slower speeds?

    Thanks!
    Come see my photos here > http://studiobilly.tumblr.com/

  2. #2
    BobD's Avatar
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    I'm assuming the batteries are in good condition.

    If, in manual mode, the shutter only operates at some speeds and not others than your camera is broken. The most cost effective solution is to get another body in good working condition, a less costly choice than repairing the one you have.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobD View Post
    The most cost effective solution is to get another body in good working condition, a less costly choice than repairing the one you have.

    This MAY be true, but it is also likely the next FE you get may have a different problem.

    If the camera you have is otherwise a good camera, then it is more cost effective to have it overhauled (CLA). Garry's Camera Repair charges under $60 for this service and has been very competent in my experience at repairing defects. There are other good repair shops out there as well. You will then have a properly working camera, professionally cleaned and lubed, new seals, and a warranty. It has a much higher likelihood of operating without further problem for many more years. Just bouncing from one 30+ year old camera to another, trying to get a dependable one, seems more of a risk to me.

    If you truly want to used this old of a piece of equipment, then it deserves some basic maintenance, whether it needs a repair or not. At the least, I would contact a repair shop for an estimate.

  4. #4
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
    This MAY be true, but it is also likely the next FE you get may have a different problem.

    If the camera you have is otherwise a good camera, then it is more cost effective to have it overhauled (CLA). Garry's Camera Repair charges under $60 for this service and has been very competent in my experience at repairing defects. There are other good repair shops out there as well. You will then have a properly working camera, professionally cleaned and lubed, new seals, and a warranty. It has a much higher likelihood of operating without further problem for many more years. Just bouncing from one 30+ year old camera to another, trying to get a dependable one, seems more of a risk to me.

    If you truly want to used this old of a piece of equipment, then it deserves some basic maintenance, whether it needs a repair or not. At the least, I would contact a repair shop for an estimate.
    With so many 35mm Nikon bodies available, I tend to disagree. This particular FE could simply be busted and not worth a fix--not all repairs get covered by a prix fixe CLA.

  5. #5
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    I lean in Lyle's direction. Get the camera serviced (the shop will tell you if it's not sensible to do so), and you'll have a known well-maintained camera that will serve you well for many years.

    The only caveat to this is that the FE's electronics sometimes fail. The only way to repair this is to replace the electronics with those from a donor body. If this is the problem with your FE, keep it for parts for the next FE that you buy.
    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?

  6. #6
    BobD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
    This MAY be true, but it is also likely the next FE you get may have a different problem.

    If the camera you have is otherwise a good camera, then it is more cost effective to have it overhauled (CLA). Garry's Camera Repair charges under $60 for this service and has been very competent in my experience at repairing defects. There are other good repair shops out there as well. You will then have a properly working camera, professionally cleaned and lubed, new seals, and a warranty. It has a much higher likelihood of operating without further problem for many more years. Just bouncing from one 30+ year old camera to another, trying to get a dependable one, seems more of a risk to me.

    If you truly want to used this old of a piece of equipment, then it deserves some basic maintenance, whether it needs a repair or not. At the least, I would contact a repair shop for an estimate.
    If a camera tech is hungry enough to do all that you claim above for a mere $60 (and with a warranty too!) then, by all means, take him up on it.

    But, in the real world, I think finding another working body is a more likely solution.
    Last edited by BobD; 07-26-2012 at 11:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    jesterthejedi's Avatar
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    It's in pretty good shape, and everything else seems to be working like it should. I paid 30 bucks from a Craigslist ad for it. The other shutter speeds are all working fine, it's just the higher ones, but I'll take it to a repair place and see if they can CLA it.

  8. #8
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    I agree with LyleB and others...

    A good CLA from a reputable shop will give you a camera in great condition that will probably outlive you.

    I used to repair Nikons professionally, and can assure you that the FE is a very reliable camera.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobD View Post
    If a camera tech is hungry enough to do all that you claim above for a mere $60 (and with a warranty too!) then, by all means, take him up on it.
    You sound doubtful that a complete CLA would be done. Here is the listing from the Invoice from Garry's Camera Repair of the services performed. This was for a FE-2 that was sent to him with no known problems. He has also serviced an FM for me that had a non-functioning light meter. He re-built the battery compartment on that camera for no extra charge. This is the stated services performed:

    1) Shutter Unit lubricated and adjusted
    2) Cleaned release magnet
    3) Run time speed adjusted
    4) Lubricated winding mechanism
    5) Light meter calibrated
    6) Exposure adjusted
    7) Replaced mirror cushion
    8) Replaced light seals
    9) Cleaned viewfinder and prism
    10) Cleaned externally/internally

    He includes a 90 day warranty on any parts he repaired or replaced and any work he performed. The total cost, a year ago this past January, was $53.

  10. #10
    BobD's Avatar
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    I am gobsmacked

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