FG Battery Drain

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ben_hutcherson, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. I was in the local shop yesterday and took a shot on a $20 FG with a motor.

    When I first picked it up and hit the shutter button, the mirror when up but nothing else happened. This is consistent with what I've seen on FEs with dead batteries, and as on an FE setting the shutter speed to the one manual speed(M90 on the FG) caused it to fire the shutter and return the mirror.

    We dropped new batteries in it and did a general pencil eraser clean-up of the contacts. The shop buys bulk no-name LR44s from China, so I don't know how good their quality is, but in any case once those were in it seemed to be fine. The meter was accurate enough on an in-shop test(one advantage of knowing a camera shop well is that you can check meters just by pointing the camera with a lens mounting at the right place) and the slow speeds sounded close enough by ear.

    I played with it a bit last night to finish up the roll of film that came in it. As per the manual, if the finder LEDs light the batteries are good. I went to take an exposure at 1/60, and the same behavior as earlier repeated-specifically the mirror stayed up and didn't come down until I went to M90. After that exposure, the LEDs no longer lit.

    I'd be inclined to blame the batteries, but I've bought plenty of F2s with these same batteries. Furthermore, the shop sells a LOT of student cameras(enough that I've bailed them out before by coughing up AE-1s and the like in August and January) and for students will replace the batteries if they die in the course of the semester/year.

    I know we've had some recent discussion about the little two-cell battery holders shorting, but the symptom of that would be the camera IMMEDIATELY not working-not working for ~6 hours.

    Any ideas? I'm out of town and have a big stash of SR76s at home, so won't change batteries until I get back on Monday, but I'd like to not keep throwing good batteries at it if there's some other problem.

    Also, does this camera have an off switch? I didn't find any reference in the manual. Even though the advance lever "snaps" out, the shutter will fire with it in either position.
  2. Okay, false alarm.

    I cleaned up the contact again and it went right back to work.
    peterbcarter likes this.
  3. Aside from spiffing up the contacts, those no-name LR44s can sometimes be coated some sort of non-conductive greasy/oily coating. A quick swipe with isopropyl or even window cleaner takes it off. Bought some in Toronto's Chinatown I thought were DOA that this treatment revived.
  4. Yeah, they mentioned that at the shop. The ones they buy come in what looks like trays of 100. The guy at the counter made a big deal about scrubbing the batteries with lens cleaner and a microfiber before putting them in the camera.

    When the local Radio Shack closed, I got enough silver Duracell and Varta ones to last me a LONG time, so I'll stick with those. I think I have alkalines also, but fortunately silver has a fairly decent shelf life.
  5. I might just write this one off, as it seems to have some electronic issues and I'm afraid I'll ruin film trying to use it.

    Specifically, it seems as though if it's been sitting idle for a little while(like an hour or two) it will "hang" between raising the mirror and releasing the shutter and sometimes for a couple of minutes(going to M90 doesn't clear it). Once that's done, it seems to only fire the shutter at 1/90-or at least that's what I'm eyeballing and guessing(too lazy to pull out and set up my Calumet shutter speed tester). It DID fire correctly at 1s in the shop yesterday, though, so perhaps it's just a matter of the batteries being low. There again, though, the manual says that if the viewfinder LEDs light it's fine.
  6. Okay, I had a moment of inspiration yesterday when I read a post that referenced this camera in passing, and I think mine is actually perfectly fine.

    I'd forgotten that some Nikons of this vintage lock the shutter at a specific speed(usually the flash sync speed) and don't function until the frame counter has been advanced to zero.

    That explains why I only saw one shutter speed when I was playing with the camera with the back open and also some of the other strange behavior.

    Once I'd advanced the frame counter, all the shutter speeds looked good or at least the long ones were about right(based on looking through the front of the camera). I think it's fine-just quirky.

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