My old Nikkormat won't trigger


TPF Noob!
Jul 24, 2007
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I have a bit of a problem with my old Nikkormat EL - model film camera...
It won't trigger.
I've read that a built-in locking device prevents the shutter from being released unless it is fully cocked and the film has been advanced a full frame. I maybe think that the final picture didn't advance a full frame, which now keeps the camera from neither triggering nor being able to turn the lever more than to the "ON" position, like this.. Even though the film is now rewinded and removed.


Does anyone know what to do?
Sounds like the mechanism has seized. This will probably need to be professionally looked at. A lot happens in cameras when you turn that lever. But since you re-wound your film without problem I will point my finger at a jammed shutter. (the curtains reset when you pull the lever)
Take the lens off, open the back and try to release the shutter in bulb and "T". Don't know if it will help, but it can't hurt right?
Please, I'm from Denmark, and quite new to the hobby as well, so what do you mean by 'bulb' and "T" ? Sorry for the ignorance :D

At first I thought that the shutter could be jammed, but my father (who used to own the camera) told me that the self-timing mechanism are pretty easy to jam, and to try out whether this could be the problem, I turned the self-timer about 45degrees.. Causing it to stay stuck there.... Just what I needed :confused:

So obviously I have to fix the self-timer now, and hope that works.. But how do I fix the timer, any suggestions?
The self timer isn't jammed. It's a spring release system. You basically turned it on. To turn it off you need to press the shutter button. So there's nothing wrong with the timer but you still have that other problem.

I was just thinking the EL is an automatic camera. THe shutter may be jammed shut in the exposing position preventing you from advancing the film. This could have been caused by setting it off with the lens cap on in automatic mode, or the battery dying in the middle of an exposure. Fortunately it's easily tested:


That dial with the shutter speeds, set it to B or bulb mode. Bulb is an entirely mechanical mode so if the lack of battery or a current exposure is causing it to jam this should release it with a satisfying clonk.

If it does release it set it back to A mode and try take a picture. If it does it again the battery is dead, if not then it was likely jammed because of an incorrect exposure reading causing the shutter to be closed indefinitely.

Good luck. Beyond that all I can suggest is send it in. There's not a heck of a lot else other than mechanical failure that could be wrong with this camera.
Thanks for the thorough description..
In case I'm doing it right, still nothing happens...
I merely has to switch the dial to B, right?

Still everything is jammed (both the trigger, selftimer, and advancing-lever).

Earlier in the thread I was told to take off the lens, and open the camera, before switching to B, but what difference does this make? Can I unlock anything inside the camera, or am I getting it wrong?

By the way; the shutter is closed, not open.
I think he was saying something away from the shutter may be jamming it.

But now that you've ruled out flat battery and a running exposure, yeah I'm sorry but I don't think there's anything else left other than a trip to the repair shop. B is a mechanical mode so if it doesn't work in that mode then you have mechanical failure.
My father and I just opened the bottom cover of the camera, and with a little pen we were able to wind the self-timer up to zero, and thereafter localizing the mechanical problem;

the blocker that keeps you from triggering when the film is not fully advanced, appearantly blocked the trigger at the same time as the blocker for the film-advancing lever was engaged.

How this can happen is beyond my knowledge, but it seems ok now.
A camera used more than 30 years, could urge for a bit of oil I guess?
Only if it happens again. And be careful oil isn't the solution for all camera parts. Just look at the aperture or shutter blades. Get a drop of oil on them and they are screwed.

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