Old Nikon repair advise

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Lazarus Long, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Lazarus Long

    Lazarus Long Guest

    For a long time I've used a Nikon FE. Since it was introduced. For
    all that time, it's done everything I've cared to do with a camera.
    I've got the the lens it came with, along with a 28mm and a 85mm f1.8
    The stock lens and the 28mm are AI, the 85mm is not AI, I bought it
    used way back then. Plus various other accessories (filters,
    attachments, ect.)

    But now, after the most recent trip of two weeks to San Diego for the
    zoos there and several national parks on the road back home, I noticed
    on some frames (not every) what looks like a light leak. This is
    manifested as a narrow band across the image the narrow way towards
    one end of the frame.

    If there were no digital, buying a new film camera would seem to be a
    no brainer. But with the arrival of good digital cameras, I'd really
    rather spend real money on one of those.

    So what I'm thinking about is having whatevers wrong repaired on the
    FE and buying a digital camera. I don't really want to discard a
    camera I'm thoroughly familiar with that still takes an excellent
    picture as long as a repair is at all reasonably cost effective. I'm
    not sure that a new film camera would take any better photos than the
    old one. I mean, it's the indian, not the arrows!

    The digital camera is where the new money should go. Right?

    What's your advise/opinions on this? Or should I just move on past
    the old equipment and embrace the now.
    Lazarus Long, Jul 14, 2003
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  2. Lazarus Long

    Paul Handley Guest

    Unless you'r prepared to spend at least 2000 US you won't be happy with
    whats out there for consumer digital cameras. Having owned a Nikon SLR you
    won't be happy with the point and shoot digitals, even if you pay a 1000
    bucks. I have a canon s20 and it *is* handy for when you want to take lots
    of pictures and want to see the results fast. They have their problems
    though. One of the worse is optical noise that manifests itself as
    multicolored grain in the picture. The other is the tendancy to have too
    much blue in the picture. This at least can be corrected in a good editing
    program such as Photoshop or Photoshop elements. The Only downside to film
    in my opinion is the cost of film and developing. Flatbed scanners now exist
    that do a pretty good job on 35mm and some(the Epson 3200) will do negs as
    large as 4x5.
    Paul Handley, Jul 14, 2003
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  3. Lazarus Long

    Chris Quayle Guest

    Sounds like there's a problem with the shutter. Perhaps one of the
    blades is sticking or has come loose from it's pivots. One problem with
    the FE is with the foam around the viewfinder eyepiece, which is right
    above the shutter. When the foam gets a bit old, particles can detach
    and find their way down into the shutter blades, causing shutter
    problems. All the FE series are getting a bit old now and will need foam
    replacement. Have seen several in this condition and the only way to fix
    is mirror box off, shutter assy out, clean, then replace the foam around
    the eyepiece and around the lower front of the mirror box assy. The foam
    around the prism can usually be left alone if it's not actually flaking.
    About 2-3 hours work to do the job right. The real problem is finding
    someone who will do the work for you to the required standard and at a
    price you want to pay.

    Have a look at the shutter both from the lens side and from the film
    side at rest and with the shutter cocked and see if any of the blades
    look oily or greasy or have any foreign deposits. The FM/FE series are
    one of Nikon's best small cameras. Very well built internally and worth
    spending $100 to get fixed. They really don't make em to that standard
    any more...

    Chris Quayle, Jul 14, 2003
  4. Lazarus Long

    Lazarus Long Guest

    Thanks Gordon, Paul & Chris. I really appreciate the thoughful
    responses. It's nice to find thoughful responses on USENET.

    I'll be taking the camera to a local repair shop to see what they have
    to say. Since I'm in Milwaukee, I'll take it to Art's camera in West
    Allis. There doesn't look to be a lot of repair places around here.

    I am prepared to spend money on this problem and consider a digital at
    some point.
    Lazarus Long, Jul 14, 2003
  5. Lazarus Long

    CarSalesman Guest

    If you don't get a good feeling locally, try a visit to
    Eric has done several bodies and lenses for me over the last few
    months. His rates are very reasonable.

    I've re-foamed several cameras myself, you can get quality materials to
    do the job for less than $10, but as one of the other posters noted, on
    your FE, there is one where you'd need to disassemble the entire camera,
    which is definitely a job for a professional.

    I'd expect it will cost you about $100. Sounds like its worth it.

    CarSalesman, Jul 15, 2003
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