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  1. #11
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Well, I certainly appreciate the speedly responses. I was afraid of this. I have always liked the mechanical cameras because I could fix minor things and also because they would 'tell' you when something was beginning to go wrong. - David Lyga.

  2. #12
    CGW
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    Be sure to visit Youtube and post the video of you making that titanium foil or machining the shutter gear train bits. I maintain my own stuff too, but there's a limit to my survivalist urges when it comes to dead film cameras, especially cheap ones when I can get another.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Be sure to visit Youtube and post the video of you making that titanium foil or machining the shutter gear train bits. I maintain my own stuff too, but there's a limit to my survivalist urges when it comes to dead film cameras, especially cheap ones when I can get another.
    I didn't say it was worth the bother, I said it was doable. Since I regularly cut gears (and make my own cutters) and make parts for watches, bits and pieces for shutters would be quite routine.

  4. #14

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    I had an XG-7 that had similar issues. In my case, It was not so much the electronics as much as it is the mechanical parts that control the electronics, particularly the copper contacts that are part of the shutter speed control/auto-manual switch. These can get dirty or tarnished after years of disuse. Sometimes simply rotating the dial through its full range several dozen times can clean them up enough, but you might have to carefully remove the shutter speed dial assembly and clean the contacts more thoroughly, making sure to reassemble the correct way. I eventually had to get a junk body with a good speed assembly and swapped the whole assembly out, as it was a cracked plastic disc that held some of these contacts that was the culprit.

  5. #15
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Some people just aren't into being imaginative, creative or even having a positive attitude....

    Fixing my own cameras is fun!

    (I too have been catastrophically let down by electronic cameras several times but have had mechanical ones only gradually go off...)
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  6. #16
    fstop's Avatar
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    XG series are so cheap just buy one that works

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Have several Nikon FEs that are contemporaries of the X-700 which was Minolta's top-of-the-line manual body. They're still going strong for me and many others here. Can't say the same for the Minoltas.
    I too have owned a Nikon FE, and would agree that it is an excellent camera, with a solid all metal body, similar to the FM. The secret of this model's longevity is probably (along with its solid construction) its very simplicity, no multi-modes, flashing lights etc., just a single mode auto- exposure system, based on the centre-weighted meter of the FM and its equally reliable successor the FM2.

    My original post re. the long term reliability of manual v electronic was meant as a general rule rather than all encompassing, there will always be exceptions, and the FE is certainly one.

  8. #18
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    In the past year I have seen two Nikon FE bodies whose shutter fired at only one speed: instantaneous. The meter worked fine but the timing chip was done and dead. So it happens with revered Nikon also. Given a choice, I'll take an FM any day. - David Lyga

  9. #19
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    My FE2 was one of the "sudden death" cameras I previously posted about.
    So *even* electronic Nikons aren't perfect...

    (And heck, it's even newer and more modern than the FE!)
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #20

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    A little OT here - I took on the challenge of the Minolta Hi-Matic E a few years back. These are cameras that are kind of hard to love, as they are known for electrical glitches. Fortunately, they aren't very expensive, usually. Long story short, I now have a functional and reasonably reliable shooter. Its "feel" is superb, it has a great lens and its exposure control is very accurate - even for slides.

    What I find extraordinary about this camera is that it functions in much the same fashion as the "P" mode of my DSLR. It has basically the same "algorithm" - the combination of shutter speed and aperture - to produce, steplessly, a correct exposure throughout the range of the camera's capability. Far more sophisticated than the "trap needle" mechanism of most of its contemporaries. It even includes a function that automatically engages the (dedicated) flash when conditions require it. It accomplishes this with nary a circuit board or microprocessor - it's entirely electromechanical.

    But... When you open one of these up for repair or cleaning, it is one dense assembly. Whew. Wires, magnets, sliding contacts, levers, gears. It's kind of a miracle, after 40 or so years, that one can still make them work.

    What I'm getting at is that it takes some dedication to keep these old marvels going - like that old Fiat Spyder as opposed to a new Miata. My plastic blob of a DSLR works perfectly, all the time, but I don't love it.

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