Nikon FE2 Mishap

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by willscarlett, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. I had my Nikon FE2 in my camera bag today and was using it periodically. At some point, either my bag fell and I didn't notice, something heavy fell against my bag, or maybe my bag was overpacked. In any event, the mechanism on the camera that allows you to open the back of the camera, adjust the ISO and exposure compensation, and turns as the film advanced is now more or less jammed. Part of the section under the film rewind level is on an angle going into the camera, while the other part is angled up.
    After I noticed that this had happened, I was still able to take a few shots and the film was advancing, but this only lasted for a few frames before the film advance became difficult for one frame and then by the next frame, would not work at all. I tried pressing the button on the bottom of the camera that relieves the tension on the film so it can be rewound and amazingly, with some gentle handling, I was able to rewind the film.
    It's clear to me that I need to get the camera fixed, but, is there any way to get the camera back open and get my film out? Mind you that the normal level that you push to the left prior to pulling up on the film rewind mechanism will not move.
  2. It seems pretty common for the rewind knob mechanism to come apart on the FE/FM series cameras. It happened on my FE and was a pretty easy fix once the back had been prised open. IIRC it was just a small circlip that needed replacing.
    Make sure the rewind knob hasn't become detached from its spindle. It screws on clockwise conventionally. If you push it down flat you should be able to operate the release lever so that you can pull it up and open the back. Make sure you do this over a plain flat surface where you can catch any loose parts trapped inside the camera.
    OTOH if the rewind spindle is bent you may have to use more aggressive force to unjam it. Try Googling "Jammed Nikon FE back" or similar. Paying to have it professionally repaired is probably not an economical prospect.
  3. Gave those things a shot, but no luck. I'll take it to my local camera shop to see if they can at least get the back open so I can get my film out, but it looks as if I may have to professionally repair this thing
  4. As far as I know, used FE2's go for a lot less than any repair of bent or broken parts.
    It might be that they are still worth ordinary CLA, but likely not this.
    Ken Rockwell says $75, though that might be a little low.
    Amazon has them from $99 to $199, the former missing the rewind knob. If your knob is still good, it might work, but the other ones are probably a better deal.
    Once you decide that it won't be fixable, you can apply more force to get it open.
  5. This camera was once was my grandfather's, so the best option is to have it repaired. I appreciate the suggestions tho :)
  6. if this camera was your grandfather's, if you afford it, get it repaired and put it away for once a year use and buy a replacement. The FE2 is relatively inexpensive, a lifetime memory of your grandfather may be priceless.
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Obviously this is your, and formerly your grandfather's camera, but as far as I am concerned, it doesn't have to be in working condition for the sentimental value to be there. If you are going to get it repaired, my suggestion is to set it aside and not use it (and take it outdoors) again. I recall buying a new FE2 back in 1987 after I got my first job. These are pretty old cameras and something else will likely brake. If you would like to use an FE2, I would get a separate one or a used FM2 to take pictures. Used price is quite low nowadays.
    I sold my FE2 over a decade ago when I saw the digital wave coming. I still own the FE I bought way back in 1978, and it is still in working condition. That FE2 is John-Paul's grandfather's camera. I must be getting old.
  8. I also have my parents' old FE and their more recent 8008s. When I first started shooting, I used the 8008s, but have come to prefer the older and more manual cameras. Aside from the FE and 8008, I also have a Nikon F and a Nikon FM, both of which my uncle got from a woman who was getting rid of her husband's gear after he passed away. My uncle then gave them to me. The FM I've used, but I've never used the F, as it needs some repair work. I also have my friend's F5 that will always be his, but he fully converted to digital, so I safeguard it.
    Out of all of them, I like the FE2, 8008s and F5 the most because they give the most consistent spacing between film frames. The FM, FE and some of the other bodies I have by other brands, can be rather inconsistent.

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