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  1. #1
    Robert Kerwin's Avatar
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    Where do old Nikons go to die?

    Well, it looks like my old Nikon FA finally bit the dust. Back in 1999, it developed a problem where the camera would go completely dead after firing the shutter. Sometimes I was able to get it to work again by switching the shutter speed dial to one of the two mechanical shutter settings, or by removing and replacing the batteries. A CLA seemingly fixed the problem, but every once in a while the same thing happened.

    I replaced it with an F100 in 1999 soon after it started having problems, but recently I decided to pull the FA out again. After some tests, it looked like everything was going well, but before long, it quit, same problem. This time I wasn’t able to get it working again no matter what I did (and yes, I put in fresh batteries).

    So, I’m curious what others do with cameras that are irreparable. I was thinking of offering it on eBay as a “parts camera,” as I hate to just toss it in the trash. Any thoughts?

    - Robert
    "Photograph more, worry less"

  2. #2
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    A parts camera is unfortunately going to be a camera which is completely worn out, has completely worn out in a typical way and does not therefore have any parts which anyone might want which are not worn out. I have a small display on a shelf in my office of 10 worn-out cameras - any that won't fit on the shelf or have no visual appeal, I throw out - worn-out cameras are sadly absolutely worthless.

  3. #3
    Marco Gilardetti's Avatar
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    Yes, selling them for parts is a good idea, expecially if cosmetic conditions are good. Some people only needs the leatherette or the shell, or the lens' bayonnet.

    If you have a technician who always took good care of your gear, you may consider presenting it to him for spare parts. I usually do this with mine, as in turn I'm very glad when he pulls out a missing piece for one of my cameras, taken from someone elses' broken unit.
    I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
    (Tristan Tzara, 1922)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kerwin
    I was thinking of offering it on eBay as a “parts camera,” as I hate to just toss it in the trash. Any thoughts?

    - Robert

    ebay it. you'll at least get a few bucks. someone out there is looking for a screw, or some other piece and will most likely grab it. just make sure you're clear that it is for parts only.

  5. #5

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    They used to go in my equipment closet.

    I had a pair of FAs, both with bad shutters. They could not be fixed as no replacements for the titanium shutters are available and no other shutter curtain will work. the cost of having a good shutter changed out from a used camera (with no guarantee of how long that one will last) was cost prohibitive.

    I had a couple of other older Nikons with bad advance mechanisms. I bought them used off Ebay and they both broke after about a year. I basically got off the used SLR merry-go-round, traded my broken Nikons for some darkroom stuff at a swap meet and bought a new Bessa.

    As far as what to do with a broken camera, offer it up on Ebay. Better to get $20-$40 for it as opposed too having another paper weight lying around.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  6. #6
    bobfowler's Avatar
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    I send my "dead but good for parts" stuff to Carol Miller (I always ask if she wants it first). Something as simple as a wacky screw can often save the day...
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

  7. #7
    Sanjay Sen's Avatar
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    You can always send it to me for my collection of non-functional cameras!


  8. #8
    BradS's Avatar
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    Where do old Nikons go to die?
    To the bottom of the Merced river.


    Seriously though, a Nikon FA that has worn out in the typical way is...well, typical. That said, giving it to your favorite repair shop is about as good idea as I've ever heard.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    To the bottom of the Merced river.


    Seriously though, a Nikon FA that has worn out in the typical way is...well, typical. That said, giving it to your favorite repair shop is about as good idea as I've ever heard.
    I am not knocking Nikons. But like anything mechanical, they all break and wear out after so many shutter cycles and rolls of film.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  10. #10
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    List it on ebay, and describe it "mint condition, but I'm not a camera person and I don't know anything about cameras. No Returns." (and be sure to post a fuzzy photo)

    (just kidding)
    —Eric

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