Nikon FE2 Door Stuck

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by matthew_vortex, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. I just shoot a roll in cold weather. About 15F. Don’t know if that’s relevant, but the camera is back to room temp.
    Upon getting home, the rewind knob lock lever moves freely to end of travel instead of hitting some resistance in the 3200 area of the ASA knob. It seems like the spring/lever/knob assy has become detached somewhere.
    Now I can’t open the back. Which means I can’t get the rewind knob off either.
    Any advice is appreciated. I love my FE2, and this is the same feeling as having your keys locks in the car. (And the same temptation to reach for a brick).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. I've not had an FE2 apart, but I've had apart a lot of 35mm SLRs including several from the "compact Nikon" series.

    If you remove the bottom plate, you can access the latch directly. You will see a large tab at the latch end of the film door, and you can push up on it and the back will open.
  3. Update.
    Root cause was damage to the rewind knob lock lever. By this I mean the black plastic ring beneath the rewind knob. Specifically, the nub on the bottom which disengages the shaft latch was worn off. In a ramped fashion so that it would glide over the latch even though I tried turning it with downward pressure right over the nub.
    Doesn’t seem like it was cold related. Probably cumulative. Odd that it opened fine to load this time (I’ve shot several rolls through it), but unload was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I guess things always work until they don’t.
    I ended up cutting an exploratory hole in the black plastic of the rewind knob lock lever (rkll). Used Richard Haws’s page (
    Repair: Nikon FE Camera Back Lock) for reference and disengaged the latch with a dental pick. Figured I would need to replace the rkll anyway based on the symptoms. Was able to retrieve and develop my roll.
    Now to purchase a replacement rkll or modify my existing one to get this magnificent camera back in action.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  4. I've bought two FE2s in the last few months(had to have black and chrome) and I think I spent around $150 each on them.

    Unfortunately, these days it is often less expensive to replace cameras than it is to repair them when there are broken parts. FE2s are not PARTICULARLY unreliable, but at the same time the early flexible circuits in them can be a nightmare when you go to take one apart. The FM series cameras fare quite a bit better in this regard as the circuitry in them is minimal.
  5. That’s the excruciating part!...I could handle a dead meter or a whacked out FRE. But this is a fraction of a cent plastic piece. I always wanted an FM2N, but didn’t want to pay for one.
    I was fortunate to get my FE2 for 75 with an AI’d 28/3.5, reported as camera not functioning. Cleaned battery compartment (already clean), cycled ASA dial ad nauseaum, and cycled shutter button halfway repeatedly (think this was what did it). Now it works fine except for a ridiculous plastic mechanical piece.
    I’ll see if I can find a replacement piece. Maybe I can kludge it back together in some fashion, or I’m fortunate to have a friend who’s a machinist and can maybe make me a metal version.
    Thanks and best.
  6. I went on a compact Nikon binge not too long ago, and bought a lot of mine from a member here.

    I ended up buying two FM2Ns from him. The first was a beauty, but was chrome. For whatever reason, I've always liked these in black(and apparently everyone else does as they seem to bring more money) and ended up buying a second from him that was a bit more beat up but was black(and had a honeycomb shutter). I still need a black FM to round out that particular "series"

    The only one I don't have of the FM/FE/FA series is the FM3a(plus I guess I need a regular FM2 also), but those DO sell for quite a bit more than I want to spend. Funny enough, I find that it's a camera that, IMO, looks better in silver than in black. I did buy "the lens" for it-the 45mm 2.8-but that's as close as I've come to them. It's a beautifully compact and also extremely high contrast lens, but I also don't use it as much as I'd like.
  7. Look around for a broken FE body. It is nice to have in order to get parts. I have repaired several Nikons and Nikkormat El with parts taken from broken cameras. It is not that hard to do with the proper tools.

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