Nikon FE film advance slipping

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by brian.keen, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. brian.keen

    brian.keen Guest

    I have an old Nikon FE that I still use for shooting Infrared film.

    The last film I put through it shows that the film advance mechanism
    is slipping. i.e. some frames have multiple exposures, not necessarily
    aligned with the first.
    When I rotate the film advance lever, the take up spool slips if there
    is too much friction from the film in the cassette. It doesn't take
    much to stop it moving.
    Does the film advance have some kind of slipping clutch mechanism
    built in to it?
    Any suggestions how to fix it?
    brian.keen, Jun 17, 2007
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  2. There are two mechanical methods: one uses the sprocket holes to
    drive the film and the other uses them just to measure the film.

    First type:

    The sprocket spool is hard-geared to the advance lever. It
    turns a fixed amount every time the advanced lever is stroked.
    The take-up drum slips: as the film is wound on to the drum
    its diameter increases, and as it's diameter increases the drum turns
    less to take up one frame of film.

    Slipping film should show damage to the sprocket holes. This happens
    if the film binds in the cassette or if the film isn't properly winding
    on the take-up drum.

    Film slippage with-out sprocket hold damage means something is slipping
    between the advance lever and the sprocket spool. The cause is probably
    a loosened setscrew, shaft end-nut or gear that has come loose from a shaft.

    Second type:

    The sprocket spool spins freely after the shutter is released. After it
    has turned a fixed amount it engages a pawl that stops the take up drum.
    From this point on the film advance lever slips against the drag clutch.

    If the film jams in the cassette, or if the drag clutch is too weak
    to pull the film, then the frames will overlap. Some cameras require
    the sprocket spool pawl to engage (a full frame of film to pass through)
    before unlocking the shutter - this keeps frames from being overlapped but
    it 'jams' the camera.

    The usual cause is a binding cassette or a weak or worn take-up-spool
    drag clutch. A sticky pawl in the sprocket spool mechanism usually results
    in increased frame spacing. The usual suspects, loose setscrews etc., can
    also be to blame.


    Half the wind mechanism is on the top and half on the bottom. The
    drag clutch is often internal to the take-up drum.

    Google to see if there is information on taking the top and bottom
    plates off the camera. You may need special wrenches for removing
    screws that have two holes rather than a slot in the head and for
    removing smooth rings. Tools can be improvised.

    There is a lot of general information on camera repair on the www.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jun 17, 2007
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  3. brian.keen

    Michael Guest

    Could be your multi exposure lever is engaged, stuck or broken. Next could
    be the sprocket shaft is not engaging the sprocket and lastly it could be
    the take up spool clutch.
    My suggestion would be to have a repair shop take a look at it.
    Michael, Jun 17, 2007
  4. Ahh... of course: could be stuck half-way, try wiggling it and see
    what happens. Take dummy pics with it engaged and unengaged.
    You can load scrap film in the camera and run it with the back off
    to get more insight into what is happening.
    Ditto: but for the price of a repair shop one can go to KEH or
    ebay and get an F3, FA or FE2 in perfectly good condition.
    There's the rock/hard place dilemma: a (presently) working newer
    camera of unknown provenance Vs a repaired & (hopefully) working
    older camera of known provenance.

    Don't throw out a non-working camera, though. Hold on to it,
    it will be needed for spare parts. The price for parts cameras
    is low but will go up.

    Problem is that often parts cameras have the same thing busted
    as all the cameras that need repair.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jun 18, 2007
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