Nikkormat FTN shutter and rewind button stuck

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dominicbatten, May 23, 2020.

  1. Hi

    I have a Nikkormat FTN that I had repaired about 5 years ago (as I remember the camera shutter was firing fine but no photos were getting exposed). It's worked great since then until today when the shutter stopped firing. It seems like the shutter is cocked but the shutter release button won't depress fully (feels like trying to press the button when the shutter isn't cocked). I thought I would try and unload my film and see if that helps anything but the rewind button is stuck too. I can advance the film advance lever all the way with some mild resistance but it doesn't feel like the normal resistance I got when I advanced the lever when the camera was fully operational. The battery and exposure meter seem to be working fine.

    Is there anything that can be done here? Or anything I can do to unload the film?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. Forgot to mention that the film advance lever doesn't snap back when it's advanced, it just stays put in whatever position it's moved to
  3. To unload the film, use a changing bag, open the back in the bag, and carefully remove the cassette and the film from the take up reel. Then rewind the film into the cassette by hand.

    I am sorry to hear your FTn is broken.
  4. I'm an accidental unwilling Nikkormat repair expert. PM me and send me postage money and I'll let you have the last 2 of my project FTn cameras. As far as I know, they're still working perfectly from when I buttoned them up 2 years ago. All you need is foam kits for them. I'm pretty sure I already cleaned up and prepped them for new foam, but didn't want to fritter away any more money. I was the biggest Nikkormat fan of all till I discovered what a pitiful percentage of negative area shows in the finder. They're tough as an anvil otherwise. just more junk out of my house, and I don't have the heart to just throw them in the dumpster. I'm sticking with my F2. No more Nikkormats for me. Even though i can take them apart and put them back together in 30 minutes with one eye tied behind my back.
  5. Thanks for your reply bgelfand. Would I still be able to get the film out even thought he rewind button is stuck? Is there any particular technique to doing it? Or just a question of manually (and gently) moving the thumbwheel?
  6. {EDIT: Oops, upon rereading your post, I see you have the Nikkormat, FTn; I had the Nikon FTn. I am not sure how the film take up works on the Nikkormat)

    My FTn was stolen about 18-years ago, so I cannot look at it to give a definitive answer.

    If this is black and white film and you do your own processing, first try to see can unwind the film from the take up reel manually and as you noted gently. If that does not work, cut the film at the cassette, and unwind using the free end. You would have to be careful not to scratch the film. Then load it into your tank an proceed as normal.

    If it is color film or black and white and you do not do your own processing, discuss the situation with your lab and ask for their suggestions.

    To make the camera easier to handle in a changing bag, remove the lens and install a body cap before you start.

    On the other hand, if the pictures are nothing of great value, just open the camera in daylight, unwind the fil, and discard it. Then see about repairing the camera.
  7. What has happened is that there is a lubrication problem. A set of small JIS screwdrivers will need to be ordered. The cheap sets at the Family Dollar or whatever, are not JIS and they will not properly fit the screws, causing them to be chewed out. The bottom cover will need to be removed. Beware to keep the camera turned upside down or the rewind button will just fall out and you won't know which way it went if you don't study it. Having done that, a wee bit of watch or clock oil applied to a few places will rectify the wind lever not returning. The works under there are actually quite simple and with a little bit of studying how everything works will lead you to logically decide where oil is needed. Having done that, the camera may return to proper operation. If the shutter trip button still won't go down, then this is a problem under the top cover which I have pictured in my mind but cannot talk you through it.
    robert_bowring likes this.
  8. Just to add: there is a good chance that a Nikkormat FTn uses flat head screws for the bottom cover. Nikon switched to JIS screws around around 1973~1974.

    In complete darkness, or with a changing bag: you should be able to open the camera, pull the cassette out, and manually rewind the film once it is off the advance sprocket. The take-up spool is not locked into forward only rotation. The rewind button controls the sprocket only.
    robert_bowring likes this.
  9. The post about the slotted screws in the FTN is correct, although the standard is the same. You'll still need the JIS driver set, as the slotted drivers in that set will fit the slots. Commonly available cheap sets usually need to be filed to fit. Remember, you only get one chance to "break" the screw free. One slip and the screw is ruined, turning the job into a nightmare.
    robert_bowring and bgelfand like this.
  10. I use a Wiha 260 1.5x40 flat head screw driver to take the bottom off my early Nikon F2, and tested it against the Nikkormat FTn. The 1971~1972 Nikon F2 bodies also use flat head screws. Picked up a jammed Black '71 F2 body for $25, lucked out clearing the Jam.

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