Film came out black: Little lever is culprit

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Clueless in Seattle, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. A few months ago I received a little automatic point-and-shoot camera
    from FreeCycleSeattle (a YahooGroup where folks give away stuff they no
    longer need).


    To my delight, the camera worked perfectly. But I was unable to find a
    manual for it. It's a Nikon L35AF.

    I was able to figure out the function of all the camera controls except
    one: on the face of the camera, with the camera pointed toward you,
    there's a little black lever in the upper left corner. Immediately to
    the left of the lever is a little red light that flashes each time I
    take a picture. The lever is shaped something like a railroad semafore
    signal and rotates 45 degrees, so that the "semaphore" arm can be in
    either a vertical position or angled 45° to the left.

    Do any of you know what this little lever is supposed to be for?

    The reason I'm asking is that I've just learned the hard way that when
    that lever is in the 45° position, the shutter doesn't open when you
    press the shutter release. The film advances so it sounds like the
    camera is working ok. But the film does not get exposed.

    I just got a roll of film processed and it was completely black. So I
    started playing around with the camera, with the back open, and
    pressing the shutter release while pointing it at bright window. Sure
    enough, when the lever is vertical, the shutter opens. But when it is
    in the 45° position, the shutter doesn't open.

    So now that I've learned a painful lesson and lost a summer afternoon's
    photos at the lake building sandcastles; I'm curious: What in the heck
    is that little lever for? Why would there be a control that disables
    the shutter?

    Will in Seattle
    a.k.a. "Clueless"
     
    Clueless in Seattle, Oct 5, 2006
    #1
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  2. Clueless in Seattle

    Ric Trexell Guest

    A few months ago I received a little automatic point-and-shoot camera
    from FreeCycleSeattle (a YahooGroup where folks give away stuff they no
    longer need).


    To my delight, the camera worked perfectly. But I was unable to find a
    manual for it. It's a Nikon L35AF.

    I was able to figure out the function of all the camera controls except
    one: on the face of the camera, with the camera pointed toward you,
    there's a little black lever in the upper left corner.
    *******************************************************************
    Clueless: That sounds like the self timer lever. If so the way it is
    suppose to work is that you move it to it's position and then click the
    shutter. About ten seconds later it will trip the shutter. This allows you
    to get in the picture. If that is not what it is, I have no idea. Ric in
    Wisc.
     
    Ric Trexell, Oct 5, 2006
    #2
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  3. The only other thing it may be for is to let you change rolls of film in the
    middle of a roll by winding the film back into it's canister almost all the
    way....Then, when you want to reload that canister back into your camera,
    you would be able to advance the film back to it's proper place without
    taking any double exposures by putting that little lever in the,
    "disable-the-shutter" position.
    But I like the timer theory better......
     
    William Graham, Oct 5, 2006
    #3
  4. Clueless in Seattle

    Bob Hickey Guest

    A few months ago I received a little automatic point-and-shoot camera
    from FreeCycleSeattle (a YahooGroup where folks give away stuff they no
    longer need).


    To my delight, the camera worked perfectly. But I was unable to find a
    manual for it. It's a Nikon L35AF.

    I was able to figure out the function of all the camera controls except
    one: on the face of the camera, with the camera pointed toward you,
    there's a little black lever in the upper left corner. Immediately to
    the left of the lever is a little red light that flashes each time I
    take a picture. The lever is shaped something like a railroad semafore
    signal and rotates 45 degrees, so that the "semaphore" arm can be in
    either a vertical position or angled 45° to the left.

    Do any of you know what this little lever is supposed to be for?

    The reason I'm asking is that I've just learned the hard way that when
    that lever is in the 45° position, the shutter doesn't open when you
    press the shutter release. The film advances so it sounds like the
    camera is working ok. But the film does not get exposed.

    I just got a roll of film processed and it was completely black. So I
    started playing around with the camera, with the back open, and
    pressing the shutter release while pointing it at bright window. Sure
    enough, when the lever is vertical, the shutter opens. But when it is
    in the 45° position, the shutter doesn't open.

    So now that I've learned a painful lesson and lost a summer afternoon's
    photos at the lake building sandcastles; I'm curious: What in the heck
    is that little lever for? Why would there be a control that disables
    the shutter?

    Will in Seattle
    a.k.a. "Clueless"
    From what I read, it has a "self-timer", and a
    "backlight" button. If the backlight is a button, then the timer will prolly
    be a lever. Push the button; see what happens. Backlite is supposed to be +2
    stops and timer is supposed to be 10 secs. Who knows? Bob Hickey
     
    Bob Hickey, Oct 5, 2006
    #4
  5. From what I read, it has a "self-timer", and a
    Yeah.....Have you tried pushing in on the lever and then turning it while it
    is still pushed in? - Perhaps it has some kind of double action......
     
    William Graham, Oct 5, 2006
    #5
  6. The reply I posted yesterday never showed up in this thread, so I'll
    try again.

    The backlight compensation control is also a lever, or at least a
    lever-like button, that protrudes from the right side of the lens
    housing (with the camera pointed toward you). It has a spring that
    returns it to it's original position when you remove your finger.

    The lever that is disabling the shutter on my camera is in the upper
    left corner of the camera face, and does resemble a typical time
    release lever in its shape.

    Here's a link to a photo. The lever and the camera face are both
    black, so if you don't know what you are looking for, you may not be
    able to pick it out. Look for the red light cover (LED?) in the upper
    left corner. Immediately to the right of that little red light you'll
    see a white highlight. That's the pivot of the lever, and the lever is
    in the vertical position, a little bit more to the right and above that
    highlight.

    If this camera is supposed to have a self timer, then my guess is that
    that little lever was at one time the control for it. But I guess it
    no longer works, and now acts a shutter disabling control. I think
    I'll just tape it in the "safe" position. Then, if I ever need to
    change film in the middle of a roll, I can try using it in it's new
    role as a shutter disabler.

    Oh yeah, I did try pushing in on it, but it doesn't have any give in
    that direction.

    Thanks to all of you for your help.

    Will in Seattle
    a.k.a. "Clueless"
     
    Clueless in Seattle, Oct 6, 2006
    #6
  7. Clueless in Seattle

    jimmomary Guest

     
    jimmomary, Nov 11, 2006
    #7
  8. Clueless in Seattle

    jimmomary Guest

    the lever is the self timer. when flipped to nearly horizontal, and the
    shutter is depressed, the led should come on and you have about 10
    seconds to get in front of the lens and smile. when it starts to blink
    you have 2 seconds to shutter firing. the other lever by the lens is a
    two stop backlight aid to help the subject not be underexposed when
    strong subject backlighting is present. this was Nikon's first AF
    compact and has a stellar lens and damn fine flash system, plus it
    takes real, screw in filters and since it is ttl there is no correction
    factor nonsense. see www.kenrockwell.com for his review. it was a
    hallmark camera in its day and still a good pocket film cam, IMHO. Jim
    M
     
    jimmomary, Nov 11, 2006
    #8
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