Nikon FE Shutter Speed Problem


pwnies5600

Member
Oct 29, 2014
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Clementi
(Dear admins, please feel free to move this thread to the appropriate section if I posted it in the wrong place. Thank you!)

Hi all sifu,

I have a question about the Nikon FE's shutter. I've never used a Nikon film camera so I'm not too familiar with how it's supposed to work.

Recently I got a FE that was listed as untested. While the meter does work relatively accurately, I noticed that regardless of the shutter speed set on the dial, the shutter fires all the same.

Searching up online, others point to the M90 mechanical 1/90 backup shutter speed. I've noticed that this will engage the shutter and mirror mechanisms when the dial is set to the M90 speed. However, only the mirror mechanism moves for all other shutter speeds. The shutter curtains will only reset without opening up to expose the film.

I'm not exactly sure what causes this. Is this a shutter mechanism problem? Does anyone have any similar experiences or insights on this issue? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you!
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
1,205
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Hi, I'm assuming you have read the user manual, if not download it at the bottom of the list. FE is an electronic shutter controlled camera and not a full mechanical one.

1. If you have put in a new set of batteries (LR44 X 2pcs. Observe polarity +/-) Check battery power by moving lever downwards, the red LED should light up. This means it has enough charge to operate meter and shutter. If batteries are flat it will default to 1/90sec. which is a mechanical shutter.

2. Follow what the manual says..make sure selftimer lever is in vertical position for normal operation.

3. If battery checks OK set shutter knob to AUTO in green lettering. This means it will automatically select shutter speed and you choose the aperture. IN short it is shutter priority exposure like TV setting in digital. Watch if leds in viewfinder light up. See manual for details.

4. The film advance lever operates the meter so push it back to storage position to shut off meter or else it will drain battery.

If all this checks out report back. The service/repair maual have more info about the workings of the camera..technical if you can
understand and digest it. Good luck. :)

http://mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/nikonfeseries/fe/tech3.htm

https://www.thephotoforum.com/threads/nikon-fe-problem.323745/

http://licm.org.uk/livingImage/Jammed_Nikon_FE.html

https://filtergrade.com/jammed-shutter-fix-nikon-fe/

https://dehk.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/nikon-fefm-film-advance-fix/

Repair manual:

www.suaudeau.eu/memo/manuels_rep/reflexes/nikon/Nikon_FE_rm.pdf

https://richardhaw.com/2017/08/18/repair-testing-and-cleaning-junk-cameras-2/

FE user manual: http://www.cameramanuals.org/nikon_pdf/nikon_fe.pdf
 

pwnies5600

Member
Oct 29, 2014
197
7
18
Clementi
Yep the battery indicator lights up alright. Tested with a multimeter too and is about 2.99v together so should be ok. Self timer is in vertical. Don't see any LEDs in the viewfinder though. I'll test the hotshoe ready light when I borrow a SB24 from a friend.

The repair manual was especially helpful! I think it's probably some issue with the magnet controlling the shutters. Will leave it be for now and send it for repairs when I have the time. The inner workings seem awfully complicated and daunting considering the scale. Better to leave it to the professionals than to risk breaking or losing parts.

Thank you for the help! In the meantime, I'll go back to shooting on my Spotmatic :D
 

pwnies5600

Member
Oct 29, 2014
197
7
18
Clementi
Yesterday afternoon my friend suggested that I shake the camera to see if there was perhaps any loose parts inside. I shook the camera and suddenly the 8 second timing (electronic shutter speed) started working. I tried again but it reverted to the mechanical 90 after that. Not satisfied, I shook the camera hard. I might have dislodged some dirt or some mechanism, but I am happy to report that the shutter is now working at all speeds!

Seems like shaking the device will now be my next best repair option if "turning it off and on" doesn't work XD

Now I just have to source for some mirror damper foam and test out the shutter speed accuracy.
 

ortega

Moderator
Nov 2, 2004
23,744
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
Yesterday afternoon my friend suggested that I shake the camera to see if there was perhaps any loose parts inside. I shook the camera and suddenly the 8 second timing (electronic shutter speed) started working. I tried again but it reverted to the mechanical 90 after that. Not satisfied, I shook the camera hard. I might have dislodged some dirt or some mechanism, but I am happy to report that the shutter is now working at all speeds!

Seems like shaking the device will now be my next best repair option if "turning it off and on" doesn't work XD

Now I just have to source for some mirror damper foam and test out the shutter speed accuracy.
if there is something loose inside, i'd suggest getting it fixed
 

pwnies5600

Member
Oct 29, 2014
197
7
18
Clementi
Shaking it now there seems to be a very small something inside that's making a soft rattling noise. It is barely audible. My spotmatic has kind of the same sound. Not sure what it is exactly though, hopefully it's nothing too important.

I think I'll run a roll through it this week first. If the photos are fine I'll wait till the end of the year to get it CLAed together with the spotmatic and some of my friend's cameras. Does this sound alright?