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Floored with excitement! Nikon S2 Find
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Timotao
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Floored with excitement! Nikon S2 Find

So I picked up a Nikon S2 for 300$ it came with a 135mm! I can't imagine shooting this lens and not seeing through the lens! Lol.

It took me over 6 months to pay off at a antique store! When I first picked up the camera everything was perfect, even low shutter speeds! but now when I focus the rangefinder doesn't move. Is there a setting I need to check? WHen I first looked at the camera the rangefinder moved.

Its so clear and this camera is in perfect condition. I hope I'm just missing something. I've taken the lens off and put it back on.

any advice would be awesome
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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You turned the lens to infinity before mounting it on the camera? Also, make sure the lens mount is at infinity as well before mounting the lens.

Actually, maybe take the lens off and try turning the focus wheel (hopefully that doesn't move too stiffly) and see if it works.

I sure hope the store didn't let other people play with the camera while you were paying it off. But if indeed the focus isn't working, get your money back.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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Yeah, the wheel at the top is stiff but does move.

;( I got the camera at such a good price
can anyone repair it?
the focus box is so clean! I dont believe anyone messed with it because they wrapped it up and it was wrapped up when I got it today
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Mr. Gandy, who hosts this forum, has a repair service for Nikon rangefinders (among other cameras): https://cameraquest.com/repairs.htm
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Don't try to focus the 135 with the focus wheel on the top of the camera. It isn't meant to move that much weight. Actually, the only lens I use my focus wheel for is my 50.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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I wasn't, I wasn't going to. Ill never be able to afford that. I'm so freakin sad

Im still going to shoot it, I guess without a rangefinder
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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$300 isn't even a good price. Return it if you can. Shooting a 135mm on that without the ability to focus is a 100% waste of time. Please don't waste the film.

You can get decent S2 with a 50mm f/2 on eBay for under $300 if you are patient.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
Yeah, the wheel at the top is stiff but does move.

;( I got the camera at such a good price
can anyone repair it?
the focus box is so clean! I dont believe anyone messed with it because they wrapped it up and it was wrapped up when I got it today
Don't use the wheel to focus with this lens. Use the lens' own focus barrel.
Have fun
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Agreed...$300 is not a great price if it's not fully functional - you can buy a fully functional S2 with a 50mm f/1.4 for not much more.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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well I did get the 50mm f2 with it as well, extra viewfinder, canister manuals
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
well I did get the 50mm f2 with it as well, extra viewfinder, canister manuals
What lens was on it when the rangefinder patch moved/worked?
Did you change the lens?
Did you mount it correctly?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
So I picked up a Nikon S2 for 300$ it came with a 135mm! I can't imagine shooting this lens and not seeing through the lens! Lol.

It took me over 6 months to pay off at a antique store! When I first picked up the camera everything was perfect, even low shutter speeds! but now when I focus the rangefinder doesn't move. Is there a setting I need to check? WHen I first looked at the camera the rangefinder moved.

Its so clear and this camera is in perfect condition. I hope I'm just missing something. I've taken the lens off and put it back on.

any advice would be awesome
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post

..
the focus box is so clean! I dont believe anyone messed with it because they wrapped it up and it was wrapped up when I got it today
So you checked it at the beginning, then they held onto it for 6 months while you paid it off, then you noticed it was no longer working correctly?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Yes, try turning the focus wheel with no lens attached. If focus locks on infinity, press on the catch that is near the focus wheel.

Does the rangefinder work/move without the lens?

$300 is a good deal if it works, certainly with two lenses and an external viewfinder, but it looks like you've never handled a Nikon rangefinder before, so the first step is learn what to test to determine if it indeed works...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Yes! Six months ago, The rangefinder was working. Today I pick the camera up, it still had the 50 on it. but the rangefinder wasn't working even before I took the lens off. They said they just kept the camera in the back.

not sure tho. I'm not going to do a lot but I'll try to clean the inside. I don't think its possible for me to get a refund. :/


Whats strange is I will set the focus to infinity mount the lens but then when I unmount the lens I notice the focus isn't at infinity anymore.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Yes, try turning the focus wheel with no lens attached. If focus locks on infinity, press on the catch that is near the focus wheel.

Does the rangefinder work/move without the lens?

$300 is a good deal if it works, certainly with two lenses and an external viewfinder, but it looks like you've never handled a Nikon rangefinder before, so the first step is learn what to test to determine if it indeed works...

it does move back and forth. The infinity always locks up, is that normal?

rangefinder does not move without a lens either

it looks like the rangefinder is stuck around 5 - 7 feet
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
it does move back and forth. The infinity always locks up, is that normal?
Yes.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
it does move back and forth. The infinity always locks up, is that normal?

rangefinder does not move without a lens either

it looks like the rangefinder is stuck around 5 - 7 feet

The RF patch does not move in the viewfinder, even when the focus wheel is moved?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
Yes! Six months ago, The rangefinder was working. Today I pick the camera up, it still had the 50 on it. but the rangefinder wasn't working even before I took the lens off. They said they just kept the camera in the back.

not sure tho. I'm not going to do a lot but I'll try to clean the inside. I don't think its possible for me to get a refund. :/

Whats strange is I will set the focus to infinity mount the lens but then when I unmount the lens I notice the focus isn't at infinity anymore.
You've got to make sure the Infinity lock is engaged before you un-mount the lens, and that the mount is back at infinity when the lens is put on. It will move while changing lenses. There is a possibility of damaging the mount if the proper procedure is not followed, which could have happened at the store after you looked at it. Hope you can get your money back, but in the meantime, maybe the mount is just out of sync with the rangefinder, and you just have to do a proper mounting to get it back in order.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post

Whats strange is I will set the focus to infinity mount the lens but then when I unmount the lens I notice the focus isn't at infinity anymore.
Speaking of the 135mm? This is normal...when the 135mm lens is unmounted, the helical will not be at infinity.

With the 50mm lens, it's best to lock the lens at infinity so it's easier to press down on the release tab and turn the lens to remove it. The camera focus helical will then remain at infinity.

To mount the 135, move the camera helical to infinity, and set the lens to infinity, and line up the red dots, then mount the lens.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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yeah the RF patch does not move even without a lens.

I have remounted the 50 with the focal length being at infinity. still rf patch does not move
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
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looks like it will need service. What's the overall condition of the camera and lenses? RF patch strong and contrasty, clean and clear viewfinder, shutter curtains in good shape, speeds accurate, wind-on smooth? What's the cosmetic condition? is it a black dial or chrome dial? are the lenses black or chrome?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
Yes! Six months ago, The rangefinder was working. Today I pick the camera up, it still had the 50 on it. but the rangefinder wasn't working even before I took the lens off. They said they just kept the camera in the back.

not sure tho. I'm not going to do a lot but I'll try to clean the inside. I don't think its possible for me to get a refund. :/


Whats strange is I will set the focus to infinity mount the lens but then when I unmount the lens I notice the focus isn't at infinity anymore.
So they handed you a broken camera after taking your money.
Sorry to hear that. Not sure why you cannot get a refund.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
looks like it will need service. What's the overall condition of the camera and lenses? RF patch strong and contrasty, clean and clear viewfinder, shutter curtains in good shape, speeds accurate, wind-on smooth? What's the cosmetic condition? is it a black dial or chrome dial? are the lenses black or chrome?
the viewfinder is strong and contrast is great, the camera is beautiful. I know shutter speeds and the shutter speeds sound great. I can't believe how good the RF patch looks for its age it just doesn't move.

Its a silver version. everything about this camera looks amazing expect the RF patch not moving.

This camera was in a pilots bag, get this i shot the film that was in the bag already, film expired in 1973 and the photos came out amazing


based on the film coming out I figured the bag was in someones closet for 40 years
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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You'll just need to make the call on whether service is worth the money or not, if you can't return it. Or maybe you can get them to do a partial refund if you really want to keep it. Good luck whichever way you go!

I'd recommend Pro Camera for service if you go that route: procamera.us.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
the viewfinder is strong and contrast is great, the camera is beautiful. I know shutter speeds and the shutter speeds sound great. I can't believe how good the RF patch looks for its age it just doesn't move.

Its a silver version. everything about this camera looks amazing expect the RF patch not moving.

This camera was in a pilots bag, get this i shot the film that was in the bag already, film expired in 1973 and the photos came out amazing


based on the film coming out I figured the bag was in someones closet for 40 years

Plus some extra fogging from being on an airplane.


One other thing you can check is inside the lens box you will see a small wheel in the top. This rides on a flange (back edge of the helical) that extends from the lens mount, and as you turn the focus wheel back and forth, the wheel should follow the flange. If it doesn't, then maybe the problem is simply a stuck mechanism that can be caused by died up lubricants. That of course would require a tear down to get to, or something like a slight nudge to break it free. Don't mess with it if you don't feel competent enough, but if you do please do not force it. If the nudge won't move it then it's best left to an expert to sort out.


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Old 1 Week Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Plus some extra fogging from being on an airplane.

One other thing you can check is inside the lens box you will see a small wheel in the top. This rides on a flange (back edge of the helical) that extends from the lens mount, and as you turn the focus wheel back and forth, the wheel should follow the flange. If it doesn't, then maybe the problem is simply a stuck mechanism that can be caused by died up lubricants. That of course would require a tear down to get to, or something like a slight nudge to break it free. Don't mess with it if you don't feel competent enough, but if you do please do not force it. If the nudge won't move it then it's best left to an expert to sort out.

PF
can you get to it from here? are you talking about the box for the rf patch?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #27
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It is that little wheel at the top of the film chamber in front of the shutter. It should move freely back and forth a couple millimeters. You can look through the viewfinder and move that wheel to see if the rangefinder patch moves. Since you have the focusing helicoid assembly off, you must ensure that the helicoid is at infinity AND the focusing wheel is locked at infinity. Now that you have it apart, you won't be able to return it though.
Good luck!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #28
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That's a bold move cotton. My local repairman would have fixed it properly for about $115 plus shipping. Now that you've taken it apart, double that if you muck it up.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #29
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I made sure the helicoid is at infinity AND the focusing wheel is locked at infinity while taking it apart. I'm not touching the shutter. or removing the top plate.

I was following this tutorial
https://richardhaw.com/2017/03/04/re...ront-overhaul/

The wheel above the shutter does move a couple of millimeters but the RF patch is still not moving. I wanted to clean the inside as much as possible, I don't think it needs much cleaning. this camera is clean.

the quote I looked at from someone else link was 400$ If someone can fix it for around 100$ I can do that if they would take payments. lol

I used to work in a cell phone repair shop, cell phones are far easier but have fixed a couple of cameras in the past.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #30
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contact procamera.us. any legit repair shop will need to see it to give you a quote on just the focusing, unless they quote for a total CLA in which case they will work on every aspect of the camera whether it needs work or not.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #31
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Flush the rangefinder pulley arm shaft with lighter fluid (pointed by the yellow arrow), be generous with the lighter fluid, from there it won't go on any optical surface and it will dry out without leaving any residue anyway. The rangefinder pulley arm must not only "move a couple of millimeters" but a least for 1 centimeter and it must be snappy, with a very strong detent.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
contact procamera.us. any legit repair shop will need to see it to give you a quote on just the focusing, unless they quote for a total CLA in which case they will work on every aspect of the camera whether it needs work or not.
I sent them a message! thanks you!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
Flush the rangefinder pulley arm shaft with lighter fluid (pointed by the yellow arrow), be generous with the lighter fluid, from there it won't go on any optical surface and it will dry out without leaving any residue anyway. The rangefinder pulley arm must not only "move a couple of millimeters" but a least for 1 centimeter and it must be snappy, with a very strong detent.

Oh the knob!?

That knob doesn't move at all the bigger one next to it moves forward and backward
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Old 1 Week Ago   #34
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Is it moved easily or is it sticky? When you move that, does the overlaid image in the rangefinder patch move? The rangefinder patch is not supposed to move when no lens is attached and you focus with the wheel - disregard if that isn't what you meant. But seems to me that we haven't established with any certainty that something is not working, the terminology is confusing...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #35
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Oh the knob!?

That knob doesn't move at all the bigger one next to it moves forward and backward
Not the "knob" but the rangefinder pulley arm shaft spindle. I don't know how to spell it better. That shaft must be clean, free, with no sticky grime around it.

The "bigger" one (which is the rangefinder pulley) must move forward and backward yes but it must be spring loaded, that is, if you gently push it backwards towards the shutter curtains, it must then move forwards by itself and instantly when you remove your finger off it.

If you do this while looking through the viewfinder, the mobile part of the rangefinder patch must then move left to right and right to left.

Is the small rangefinder window (front of the camera) really clean ? A greasy, dried out for months, fingerprint on the window would be enough to make you think that the rangefinder patch is not moving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Is it moved easily or is it sticky? When you move that, does the overlaid image in the rangefinder patch move? The rangefinder patch is not supposed to move when no lens is attached and you focus with the wheel
With a Nikon rangefinder camera, the rangefinder patch will move in the viewfinder when no lens is attached and you focus with the wheel, because the focusing helicoid, which will make the rangefinder pulley move backwards and forwards, is built in the camera body (unless when it's temporarily removed from the camera for service, as it is the case for now with Timotao's S2).
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Old 1 Week Ago   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
Not the "knob" but the rangefinder pulley arm shaft spindle. I don't know how to spell it better. That shaft must be clean, free, with no sticky grime around it.

The "bigger" one (which is the rangefinder pulley) must move forward and backward yes but it must be spring loaded, that is, if you gently push it backwards towards the shutter curtains, it must then move forwards by itself and instantly when you remove your finger off it.

If you do this while looking through the viewfinder, the mobile part of the rangefinder patch must then move left to right and right to left.

Is the small rangefinder window (front of the camera) really clean ? A greasy, dried out for months, fingerprint on the window would be enough to make you think that the rangefinder patch is not moving.

With a Nikon rangefinder camera, the rangefinder patch will move in the viewfinder when no lens is attached and you focus with the wheel, because the focusing helicoid, which will make the rangefinder pulley move backwards and forwards, is built in the camera body (unless when it's temporarily removed from the camera for service, as it is the case for now with Timotao's S2).
i understand! it's pretty clean but doesn't move at all. What i don't understand is how it worked six months ago and hasn't been touched and now it stopped working
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotao View Post
So I picked up a Nikon S2 for 300$ it came with a 135mm! I can't imagine shooting this lens and not seeing through the lens! Lol.

It took me over 6 months to pay off at a antique store! When I first picked up the camera everything was perfect, even low shutter speeds! but now when I focus the rangefinder doesn't move. Is there a setting I need to check? WHen I first looked at the camera the rangefinder moved.

Its so clear and this camera is in perfect condition. I hope I'm just missing something. I've taken the lens off and put it back on.

any advice would be awesome
Congrats! Great find.

Buy Robert Rotoloni's Complete Nikon Rangefinder book - totally awesome indispensable resource

You will also find a few Nikon Rangefinder articles here
https://cameraquest.com/classics.htm

Best,
Stephen
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Old 1 Week Ago   #38
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Quote:
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i understand! it's pretty clean but doesn't move at all. What i don't understand is how it worked six months ago and hasn't been touched and now it stopped working
Well, you haven't had it in your possession those six months, so who knows what has happened to it. It could even have been knocked off the shelf it was sitting on.

It was unnecessary to tear it down to check the rangefinder following wheel. I do understand you'd rather not have to pay a repair person to fix it, but the main thing was to see if the rangefinder was just temporarily stuck. From there it would have been a question of "Does this need to be repaired?", and if it did then you should have returned it for a refund. The S2 is not a camera to use for a first ever DIY repair, unless you have some experience in complicated restorations. If something is broken, you also don't have the parts to fix it.

By taking it apart you've absolved the seller from any responsibility for the condition it was in, so now it's either dive on in to the deep end to attempt the job yourself, or send it off to a repair shop for expert assistance, or bite the bullet and buy a replacement body, selling the first one for parts to recoup at least some of what you possibly will lose on your investment.

If you can't get it back in working order, then at least you have the two lenses, so you'll only need to get another body. But I do wish you good luck sorting out the rangefinder. You can find a copy of the repair manual here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-S-S2-...4AAOSwh-Jd~t70

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Old 1 Week Ago   #39
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@ Timotao

That camera is not a diamond ring and at this point it sounds reasonable to go on with the service you've begun to perform. You were smart enough to remove the front plate and the focusing helical without damaging anything. I see that you put the screws that hold the focusing helical back onto the camera chassis not to mess with the shims which are underneath those screws, so my guess is that you have the skills to go on and fix your problem.

Could be that debris of some sort is locking the swinging optical unit of the rangefinder, or that something is blocking the light within the rangefinder path. In my opinion your camera isn't broken. I have several Nikon RF bodies, some were in shoulder bags which were unintentionally dropped from my body height and they got the bumps. Worse case, their rangefinders were in need of vertical adjustment afterwards, but nothing got broken ever. A more severe shock would have left some very visible marks on the camera cosmetics and the lens optics would have been blown away too! The Nikon rangefinder cameras are robust machines.

I am thinking of the flash sync. yellow wire you will discover under the top plate being desoldered at one end and now laying in the rangefinder optical path. This is common, happened to me once. Could be something else but this is very probably a begining fix.

So, now you need to remove the top plate. This is not difficult if you are very patient and very careful with 1) the flash sync. post, and 2) the A/R knob, not to damage them while taking them off.

Here you go (you can go on looking at Richard Haw's sketches, of course) :

https://www.nicovandijk.net/nikonS2repair.htm

Once the top plate removed, you will check that nothing is masking the rangefinder optical path and that you can see the rangefinder unit mobile parts move when you gently actuate the rangefinder pulley back and forth with your finger.

Caution : NEVER EVER touch the three set screws that hold the rangefinder prism located behind the small window of the front plate, NEVER EVER remove that part or you will never be able to reassemble it properly.

Best of luck, keep us posted.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #40
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If all else works, not having a rangefinder is not the end of the world. The Rollei 35 and the Leica 1A have no rangefinder and they do fine. With high speed film and F11 or F16 your DOF is so great and zone focus estimate will be fine.
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