EL2 self timer stuck

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by matt_smith|35, May 1, 2016.

  1. I recently aquired an el2 that i gave been using fine for a couple
    weeks. Today, i went to take the first picture of the day, pressed
    the shutter button and the mirror raised, but the shutter didn't
    open. After some troubleshooting, i am 97% certain that the self
    timer is engaged, but is not ticking down. The lever moved very
    freely between vertical and horizontal, but does not seem to
    count down. Does anyone have experience with this? Will i need
    to take it to a repair shop, or is there something simple i could
    do to fix it? Thanks for any help.
  2. Push the self-timer lever over to its fully anti-clockwise position, then press the shutter release while gently pushing the ST lever clockwise. Not sure if that'll ease the ST mechanism back into operation though. It does on some cameras and not others.
    If the ST lever still has no resistance, then the internal clockwork mechanism is most likely stuck. This is a frequent issue with all sorts of cameras after the ST has remained unused for some time. Sometimes gently tapping the camera body in the region of the ST lever will coax the mechanism to start moving. In really severe cases the only cure is to dismantle the camera to clean and lubricate the ST clockwork. And it's probably not worth the repair cost for an old thing like an EL2.
    If a DIY repair is out of the question and the ST clockwork doesn't respond to rattling, rotating or gently thumping the camera, then it's time to dump it and move on. I certainly don't recommend liberally squirting WD 40 into the works and hoping for the best. That's definitely a good way to kill a camera.
  3. Well, i was able to get the clockwork mechanism working, but
    i'm guessing it isn't going all the way. The lever is fully upright,
    but the shutter isn't firing.

    Also, i quit using wd-40 when an old supervisor used it in a
    safe deposit box lock and completely seized the mechanism!
  4. Please forgive me if you think this is too simple and obvious, but are you sure it doesn't need a new battery?
  5. Hi again Matt. Have a look on the base of the EL2. I'm not familiar with it, but on the FE and FM there's a small supplementary release button recessed into the baseplate. It's meant to be used by a motor drive to fire the shutter, but it can be operated with a piece of wire or a thin rod; maybe even a biro point. IIRC it overrides the ST release. Anyhow it's worth a try. It won't do any harm so there's nothing to lose by giving it a poke.
    I also agree it could be a flat battery preventing the shutter from firing.
  6. First I had no idea, what camera you talking about. So many cameras out there, with all kinda names.
    Ok, The NIKON EL2. It is a Japan's version, for the American market it was NIKKORMAT EL & ELW.
    Also available a nice Motor Winder AW-1, which make the unit a nice solid and good looking camera.
    The battery is inside the mirror box, lock-up the mirror, at the bottom has a little door you haw to push to the left and lift up, under hiding a battery chamber. It using a special battery, 6V 4LR44P. still available of maxell, Sunking etc, etc. The positive and negative connection clearly indicated. When you down with it, at the back of the body, you see a little push button and a light. Push the button with you fingernail and the light will light up, indicating the battery is ok. Then the camera supposed to work perfectly. I haw two of this camera and like it very much.
  7. Bela--the EL2--I think--was for USA--the EL and ELW were not AI-S and the EL2 was.
  8. Hi Paul. You right, however, the NIKON EL-2, I always know it as a Japan version of the Nikkormat. Learned wrongly. (?) I haw the Nikkormat, 3 of them, working, and the 2 of the NIKON EL-2, in perfect working condition and they are AI coupled right. They are great cameras and strong like a tank a good continuos solid design of the Nikon F series. Thank you for the correction.
    Additional information;
    "This new Nikon EL2 changed the brand name for this "consumer" camera from Nikkormat to Nikon (just like Nikon's pro cameras).
    "The biggest change is the new lens mount that's compatible with the new automatic-indexing (AI) lenses.
    This EL2 adds a wider ASA range, adds an exposure compensation dial, replaces the EL's CdS cell with a silicon photo-diode (SPD) light meter cell, adds a manual 8 second speed (the EL only went to 4 seconds in manual), and adds a unique shutter ring lock switch for use with the new AW-1 winder. There's also a new battery removal helper."
  9. Bela--thanks for the additional info! I overlooked the name change from Nikkormat to Nikon.
  10. It has a two week old battery, installed using the illustration on
    the battery compartment. As I said, it had been working great
    the post two weeks. I can't remember if i tested the self timer
    in that period, but it is the only thing i used differently. The only
    button i see on the baseplate is the rewind button, but it does
    have terminals for the winder. If I was able to trip that, sold the
    shutter work? Otherwise I don't know if I can't fix it diy.
  11. I own an EL2. It is the direct forerunner to the Nikon FE. I love mine, and I would consider it to be worth the investment of a CLA. Most any camera of that vintage could benefit from a good CLA.
    I just checked the function of the ST on my EL2. Like other vertical shutter Nikons, after the ST is charged and when the shutter button is depressed, the mirror raises. Then the ST winds down, the shutter fires, and the mirror drops. When the ST is not charged, the ST lever can be pushed in toward the lens mount against spring tension, which enables its "Memory Lock" function when the camera is set to aperture-priority AE.
    Since you got your self timer to function partially, but evidently not completely, if it were mine, I would exercise it some more, putting it through several (many) cycles to see if the repetition will cause it to complete a cycle at least once. And if I could get it to complete once, I'd continue to exercise it, expecting it to loosen up so that it might even become reliable.
    I've never had the ST mechanism out of a camera like this, but I've serviced them in other SLRs. Usually the mechanism can be accessed by peeling back the leatherette. With the EL2, a pin-jawed spanner will be needed to remove the pin-faced flat screw that holds the lever in place. Snap-ring pliers with pin jaws would probably also work. I put a piece of masking tape over the flat pin screw first to reduce the risk of marking up the screw. I puncture the tape with the spanner's jaws to engage the holes in the screw. After removing the lever, the leatherette can be peeled back. There will probably be two or more screws that hold the mechanism in place. Remove the screws and it will probably come out as an intact module. Once out, I'd flood the mechanism with naphtha (aka lighter fluid) until it is clean, then I would very lightly oil the moving parts with a light machine oil (sewing machine oil is good for this). Use sparingly. Less is more when lubing camera internals. Try the mechanism out before reinstallation to insure that it cycles down completely.
    You might be able to reactivate the leatherette's tackiness with acetone, but if it won't cooperate, contact cement will work. Use it sparingly to recement the leatherette.

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