Broken FM film advance

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by mlg28, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    Of my six Nikon FM-family bodies (Two FMs, FM2, FE, FE2, and FA) the three oldest (both FMs and the FE) suffer from the same problem: the film advance lever behaves oddly.
    1. Sometimes, it allows me to advance the film by more than one frame. In other words, I can move the advance lever multiples times without pressing the shutter release, and each time the frame counter advances, the rewind lever spins, exactly as it does on the first actuation of the advance lever. The developed film, as you can imagine, shows empty space between frames.
    2. Other times, I can advance the lever, but the shutter release won't work until I actuate the advance lever again, invariably resulting in Failure Mode #1, above.
    3. Finally, sometimes the film doesn't actually advance by one full frame, resulting in overlapping photos.
    These are all very old cameras, with very little resale value, so I'm wondering if this failure is easy to repair. I would also appreciate any suggestions as to a repair shop that is familiar with this family of camera bodies.
    Thank you in advance,
    Martin
     
  2. Sometimes, it allows me to advance the film by more than one frame. In other words, I can move the advance lever multiples times without pressing the shutter release, and each time the frame counter advances ...
    There is a small "hooked" lever within the advance mechanism that engages a matching notch on the shutter charge lever when film wind is completed. When functioning correctly this prevents a double wind. If the hook is just the slightest bit bent from 90 degrees, or the notch is worn, then the hook will slip and you can do a double wind. It's also possible that a weak spring on the hooked lever is allowing it to slip or not engage the notch.
    A bent hook is easy to fix (just bend it back to the correct angle). Worn parts are a different story, as replacement is probably the only option.
    I'll post some photos ...
     
  3. Before advance ...
    00UU8z-172587784.JPG
     
  4. After advance. Note that the lever hook has rotated to engage the end of the shutter charge lever to lock the wind shaft ...
    00UU96-172589684.JPG
     
  5. Somewhere I have a close up view of the "hook" (on a FE2, but very similar). I'll see if I can find it and post it as well.
     
  6. Later FE2/FM2 series ... slightly different parts, but exact same principle. Given your 2. and 3. issues above, you probably have some worn out parts in the wind mechanism, and it's not just a problem with the lever above.
    00UU9W-172593584.jpg
     
  7. FE2 after wind ...
    00UU9l-172595884.jpg
     
  8. wow michael, thanks for the detailed description of the problem! i own two fe's, an fm, and two nikkormat ftn's and have not run into this problem with any of them. i am considering purchasing a cheap nikkormat online that the seller says has a bad 'pre-advance'--i wonder if this is a similarly simple problem?
    martin, in response to your question. i live in baltimore, maryland and know of a local shop i trust for these things. i would recommend looking for someone in your area. and yes, get them repaired! a 100% functional fm can go for $200 or so if you sell it with detailed knowledge of its working condition. if the repair only requires bending the lever, i'd say that's worth it! if the repair requires parts, i doubt it could cost more than $40 based on michael's description. so you could still stand to make a profit and you're helping to share reliable 35mm cameras instead of problematic ones!
    i have no plans to ever get rid of my nikons. i've shot a number of famous and otherwise important folks with mine and they've been rugged and reliable throughout.
     
  9. Thank you for the fast and detailed replies. I may even take a crack at fixing one of them (the ugliest of the bunch.) I don't actually intend to sell these, fixed or not. I was going to replace them.
    Thanks again,
    Martin
     

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