Nikon FG

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by nealjpage, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Since I managed to lose my camera at a wedding, my friend offered to lend me her Nikon FG for the weekend. Thought this would be the answer to my prayers since I can't stand to be without my camera. Not to be, however. She couldn't get it to work and I thought that the batteries might be dead. *Note: I've only used a Pentax K1000 before.* Replaced them, but to no avail. Viewfinder is dark and shutter won't trip. Removed lense and the mirror is in the up or tripped position. Is there something I'm doing wrong or is this camera FUBARed and needs to go into the shop? I don't want to break it, so the less i mess with it, the better. Thanks.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Check if the shutter is in Bulb mode, if it is, turn it to 1/1000 or whatever and see if the mirror flips down. AFAIK the FG doesn't have mirror-lock up so this shouldn't be the problem.

    Otherwise, open the back to reset the film counter. Remove the lens and the batteries. Press every button and lever taking care not to force anything. Replace the lens and dial through f1.8 => f22 or whatever. Go through all the speeds especially your dead battery manual mode probably 1/60 or 1/125th.

    If all that fails, it's likely your foam has decayed and jammed/glued the mirror up. I would never advise anyone to pry the mirror down manually, but you could give it a very very tentative poke with a Q-Tip and see if it releases easily. Follow my advice at your own risk, no warranty implied etc....

    Good luck

    Rob
     
  3. mikerfns

    mikerfns TPF Noob!

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    The "mirror stuck up" is the classic sign of dead/weak batteries in the Nikon FG. Since you have replaced the batteries (and presumably in the correct orientation) you should be able to trip the shutter and get the mirror to return to the rest position by setting the shutter speed dial to the mechanical M90 speed.

    If shooting at M90 releases the mirror, then advance to frame 1 or higher and select a slow speed like 1/2 sec to test the electronic speeds. If they are okay it will fire at 1/2 sec, if not all the electronic speeds from 1 sec through 1/1000 will sound exactly the same (1/90 sec). Also note that the shutter releases at 1/90 sec regardless of the speed selected if the film counter shows LESS than frame 1.

    If M90 does not clear the stuck mirror condition and the batteries are installed correctly, then you have a more serious issue ranging from very sticky mirror foam (unlikely as the foam usually disintegrates completely if it is that sticky) to an electronic failure in the FPC (flexible printed circuit - which would *not* be an economical repair).

    Good luck,
    Mike
     
  4. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    I suspect the batts or something simple is the problem also.

    I've NEVER had a Nikon break.

    LWW
     
  5. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Excellent work, guys! Selected the M90 setting and the mirror flipped down immediatly. all the speeds seem to work fine. I'll have to take it with me when I go to class today and try it out. I'm not sure how the light meter works on this one but it's a bright sunny day here. Excited to take some pictures.
     
  6. mikerfns

    mikerfns TPF Noob!

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  7. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Problems again. Now the shutter won't trip and the advance lever doesn't function. Mirror is down and selecting any of the different shutter speeds doesn't change anything, either. Could the batteries be bad already? I want my K1000 back:grumpy:
     
  8. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Is the film counter at the end? If it is, some cameras don't let you take any more pictures. Reset it by popping the back (if you've rewound a film).

    Rob
     
  9. mikerfns

    mikerfns TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like a mechanical jam in the film advance mechanism this time. Won't be batteries because if it was you could still operate the camera on M90 which uses no battery power. The FG also doesn't care if you go past frame 38 or higher on the counter as the counter simply stops advancing as you take more photos.

    You can sometimes clear a jam like this by removing the baseplate and carefully poking around the gear train in the bottom to get the shutter to trip. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

    The FG was never known for reliability. :-(
     
  10. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Grr. And it just worked the other nite. Wound a used roll of film back through and went to put a fresh roll in the following day. Yep. The shutter won't trip and the film won't advance. Grrr.
     

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