Help on an old Nikon SLR: Nikkormat EL

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by gilbert_hertz, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. It is an Nikkormat EL that I just got from ebay.
    There are couple of things that make me puzzled.
    1) where to install the battery?
    2) when I flip the mirror up manually using my
    fingers and release my fingers, the mirror doesn't
    bounce back like my Nikon FE2 and Minolta XD5 and
    SRT202. Is this normal? Does the EL use some electronic
    way to flip the mirror up and down?
    3) I can't press the shutter release down. But I can
    press the shutter release buttons on the FE2, XD5
    and the SRT202 even if there is no battery.

    The seller said the camera is in working condition.
    So I am not sure if there is something that I didn't
    do right. Any information is appreciated!!
  2. The EL is an Everyready Bunnay of a tank that can be a little confusing.

    1) Using the mirror-up lever just above the lens release lock the mirror up. There is a
    trap door on the bottom of the mirror box for the battery compartment. The battery
    orientation is printed on the bottom of the door. I bought one non-functioning camera
    that had a brand spankin' new battery installed backward. It is one of my workhorses still.

    2) I'm not a big fan of poking the mirror with your fingers but I just checked my parts EL
    and the mirror drops back down. The meter and shutter are controlled electronically on
    the EL but the mirror should move freely. This could be a problem.

    3) The shutter will not trip unless the wind lever is pulled out a touch to activate the
    meter. Even if the battery is dead or there's no battery in it it will still work this way.

    Before you give up on it try checking the mirror action when you trip the shutter. If it
    works correctly just use it till it quits in another 19 or 20 years.
  3. Thanks Chuck for your information. Things don't look too good.
    1) I tried the mirror-up lever but couldn't flip the mirror.
    But I did find the hidden compartment for the battery.
    2) neither the mirror-up lever couldn't flip the mirror,
    nor manually-flipped mirror doesn't return to its normal
    3) I tried all three possible positions of the wind lever.
    At neither position, the shutter release button can be

    By the way, althought it says on the prism box it is
    an EL, at the back of the camera, it says EL2 before
    the serial number.

    Should I return the camera?
  4. Gilbert:


    Have fun
  5. Just saw the EL2 reference

  6. It's also possible you simply need to replace the foam seals for the mirror & back - easy job to do if you take your time & it will be good as new when done.
  7. Hi Lee, thanks for the links. I've browsed the website and will
    go over it carefully. But I guess the camera is defective since
    the mirror can't be flipped by the mirro-lock-up lever and can't
    return to its normal position, plus the shutter doesn't fire.
    Do I really need a battery for these pure mechanical functions?
    Let me read the website now.
  8. Gilbert:

    Is the mirror foam tacky?

    Also - Most sellers say that "it works" - did you pay a fair price or get it really cheap? Just curious as I have bought a number of bodies on ebay that after working the problems out got a great camera in the end.

    Also - the timer may be stuck & holding up the shutter as well.

    Also - move the shutter speed ring around a few times as sometimes they get "in between" & after moving around the shutter will fire usually.
  9. Lastly - I have never owned an EL or EL2 - only the earlier Nikkormat bodies but they did not need batteries but if memory serves me I do believe you need batteries for the EL series but I could be wrong.
  10. Around $100 for this EL2 and another lens. The mirror foam is
    not tacky. To me, the mirror feels lack of the spring.
    I checked all shutter speeds but none of them works. I
    agree with you: those are all mechanical functions, thus
    a battery is not needed to operate them.
  11. I have a Nikkormat EL, and locking up the mirror to change the battery IS mechanical function....however, I have no idea about the EL2, if that is what you really have.

    Maybe take the camera in to a camera shop for a good cleaning and minor tune-up. It might be a missing part...
  12. With a nearly dead battery in camera like the Nikkormat EL,
    Nikon EL2 or FE2 the mirror will go up and stay. Set the camera
    to M125, M250 or B to get the mirror down. Install a new
    battery. The camera should be fine. I remember a scare when my EL2's
    mirror went up and stayed. When this first happend with my FE2(s)
    I just changed the batteries.<br>
    Make sure the battery contacts are clean. I use a slightly damped
    Q-Tip with methyl alcohol. Dip the Q-Tip in the alcohol. Roll it
    on your shirt. Clean the battery contacts. Don&#146;t use a
    dripping Q-Tip! Just don&#146;t! Brush the battery contacts on
    clean cloth or clean with alcohol and install without touching
    the electronic contact surface. I&#146;ve put fresh S-76
    batteries in a camera and had nothing happened. Taken them out
    and burnished them on my pants or shirt, put them back in and had
    them work for months and longer without service.<br>
    Take care, double care not to install the batteries backwards.
    Better equipment will not be damaged but some use a diode to
    protect the device. This will drain the new battery over night.
    The worst &#133; <br>
    I toasted a Gossen LunaPro SBC by trying to change the 9V battery
    in the dark. Just a momentary reverse contact smoked it. It was
    replaced under warranty. I returned the replacement for credit on
    I don&#146;t know why the mirror lockup doesn&#146;t work on your
    camera. It&#146;s been years since I owned a Nikon EL2. I liked the
    camera quite well. It was replaced by a Nikon FE2 and MD-12.<br>
    Dave Hartman.
  13. Hi David, thank you. After playing with the lockup lever
    many times, the mirror now will be flipped half away up
    (still not all the way up) and it will be bounced back
    if manually flipped all the way up (by figure tip or
    something else).

    I put a fresh battery and the anode and cathode in the compartment
    are very clean. The film advance lever just can't be cranked
    to the right angle to advance any film, which is the reason
    why the shutter can't be fired (I guess). The AE lock lever
    doesn't lock the exposure time and the self timer won't flip
    the mirror.

    The EL2 is a nice camera. I actually like it better than my
    FE2. It is a pity that I got a faulty one.

  14. Gilbert,

    As much as I hate to give up on any camera I'd return this one to the seller or at least argue for a major refund. While $100 isn't much for a working camera with lens any repair is likely to exceed that. The EL2 had a fairly short production life that ended quite some time ago so parts are a bit rare as are good service techs that can work on them.

Share This Page