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Nikon F2 - Blank frames
Old 12-08-2019   #1
Beemermark
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Nikon F2 - Blank frames

Ok, so I picked up a Nikon F2AS on eBay for a smoking good price and the camera seems to work fine BUT on a roll of 24 exposures anywhere from 3 to 6 consecutive frames will be blank. Blank like the shutter never opened. All the other frames are properly exposed. I've shot 3 rolls of film at different shutter speeds from 1/15 to 1/2000 with the same results. I can take the back off and fire the camera all day long and the shutter never misses a beat. At the price I got it for I might just send it for an overhaul rather than return it (any 50 year old camera deserves a CLA once in its life) but I wish I could figure out if it is the shutter or if I'm doing something stupid. This isn't my 1st F2 either.
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Old 12-08-2019   #2
farlymac
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Maybe the finder isn't quite on right, and you sometimes get the shutter speed set in an in-between position.

PF

ps: Bet I got a better price on my F2AS; $22.00
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Old 12-08-2019   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Maybe the finder isn't quite on right, and you sometimes get the shutter speed set in an in-between position.

PF
The F2 can shoot inbetween speeds.
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Old 12-09-2019   #4
jonmanjiro
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I had a similar problem with a Nikon S2. Turned out to be related to half pressing the shutter button but not taking the shot. It triggered something inside the camera that made the camera act like a shot had been taken even though the shutter had not moved, and you had to wind on the film to reset the shutter, resulting in a blank frame. Making a conscious effort to not ride the shutter button with my finger except when actually taking a shot solved the issue. Though of course a CLA is the more permanent solution.
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Old 12-09-2019   #5
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If the shutter fires at 1/2000s while you don't want it to, the frames will look blank if a tad lower speed was needed (and selected) so that the film shows something. In this case the shutter needs a CLA.

Could also be that the mirror doesn't flip up prior to the shutter firing. With the mirror not swinging, almost no light will reach the film. This would explain why you don't notice anything strange when firing the shutter with the camera back removed and looking at the shutter curtains from the back. Could be worth looking at the mirror box from the front to see how the mirror behaves when you fire the shutter at various speeds. Could be that some sticky goo from the deteriorated mirror damping foam strip had got inside something.

Did you try with locking the mirror up manually ?
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Old 12-09-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
..

Could also be that the mirror doesn't flip up prior to the shutter firing. With the mirror not swinging, almost no light will reach the film. This would explain why you don't notice anything strange when firing the shutter with the camera back removed and looking at the shutter curtains from the back. Could be worth looking at the mirror box from the front to see how the mirror behaves when you fire the shutter at various speeds. Coud be that some sticky goo from the deteriorated mirror damping foam strip had got inside something.

Did you try with locking the mirror up manually ?
My Zenit 212K does that. Unless I wind the film stroke with authority all the way to the hard stop, it will just click when I take a pic and take blank frames. The shutter moves but the mirror does not.
I can tell when it happens because the sound is much more subdued.
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Old 12-09-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
My Zenit 212K does that. Unless I wind the film stroke with authority all the way to the hard stop, it will just click when I take a pic and take blank frames.

In a totally unrelated camera: My Komaflex does the same thing. My heart skips a beat each time it happens, because the Komaflex shutter mechanism is famous for breaking if you so much as look at it wrong. I have to cock the shutter and be SURE its clicked all the way or else it'll just click faintly and no exposure takes place.
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Old 12-09-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
My Zenit 212K does that. Unless I wind the film stroke with authority all the way to the hard stop, it will just click when I take a pic and take blank frames. The shutter moves but the mirror does not.
I can tell when it happens because the sound is much more subdued.

Spotmatic also does that.
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Old 12-09-2019   #9
p.giannakis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Spotmatic also does that.

The erratic problem of opening the shutter but not moving the mirror up is something that was happening to my Pentax MX. The CLA did not sort it out but that's another story...
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Old 12-09-2019   #10
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Guess what? My FED-2 does it if I not press shutter release all the way and from top to the bottom. Push release just at one place and it happens.

And guess what II? All of the cameras in this thread have same shutter.

On my FED-2 then it happens here is no opening between curtains during exposure. No opening, no light, frame is blank. And shutter sound is slightly different, for sure.
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Old 12-09-2019   #11
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I have occasionally had this on my F2a when I either havent wound on the film all the way but enough to allow for the shutter to fire. However something this consistent does sound like a problem with the camera itself.
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Old 12-09-2019   #12
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With the back off and no lens the shutter fires and the mirror opens every time. I'm starting to agree the problem is with the mirror hanging. Since it does it for consecutive shots, not single shots at random, something must be causing the mirror to hang as described above, or maybe just because a lens is attached. Anyway I started the return process but I'm waiting to see if the seller will maybe chip in to help with a CLA. I'm on the fence on this one as I think almost any F2 is going to need a CLA but this one isn't that nice cosmetically. Then again it was $310 with a 25/2.8, 50 1.4, and 135/2.8 AIS lenses.
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Old 12-09-2019   #13
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If the mirror is causing the problem, would you not see that in the viewfinder when you press the shutter release?
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Old 12-09-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
If the mirror is causing the problem, would you not see that in the viewfinder when you press the shutter release?

Yes, and I don't see it. Which is why it must be hanging up because of another issue when I take a picture. I don't believe it can be the shutter because when a the negative is exposed the exposure is perfect.
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Old 12-09-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
I had a similar problem with a Nikon S2. Turned out to be related to half pressing the shutter button but not taking the shot. It triggered something inside the camera that made the camera act like a shot had been taken even though the shutter had not moved, and you had to wind on the film to reset the shutter, resulting in a blank frame. Making a conscious effort to not ride the shutter button with my finger except when actually taking a shot solved the issue. Though of course a CLA is the more permanent solution.
Seconding what Jon says here. Did you hear the shutter firing in those blank frames?

I've had Rolleiflexes, Contax IIs (the reverse actually, the shutter will fire but it won't let you wind until you fully drive the shutter button home again) and a Nikon S3 with this issue.

It stems from the fact that there are usually two mechanisms in these cameras, one for unlocking the wind mechanism and one for firing the shutter. The trigger point is usually set to be at the identical detent during manufacture/CLA, but of course over time it can go out of alignment and one thing happens before the other.
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Old 12-09-2019   #16
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Quote:
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Seconding what Jon says here. Did you hear the shutter firing in those blank frames?
......
go out of alignment and one thing happens before the other.

Even with hearing aids I'm hard of hearing but there is no missing the sound when an F2 fires -


Yes, I think something is out of alignment and the mirror hangs for 3 or 4 shots, probably just for a millisecond or so. Only thing I can think of. I guess I asked the question just to be sure I wasn't doing something stupid (as you get old it's easier to do something stupid) but i think it definitely calling for a CLA.
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Old 12-09-2019   #17
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Place the camera on a table, take the prism off, take some shots (no film in it).
Use a slow shutter speed.
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Old 12-10-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
With the back off and no lens the shutter fires and the mirror opens every time. I'm starting to agree the problem is with the mirror hanging.

In my experience this is so erratic that is very difficult to reproduce. In my MX it started with a blank frame every two films but it progressivly got worst to the point that i had 2 blank frames every roll of film. Truth be told, i never had much confidence on the people who servised it (if they did at all..) and said that is not repairable - i sold mine as it had cost me so much money.
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Old 12-10-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
In my experience this is so erratic that is very difficult to reproduce. In my MX it started with a blank frame every two films but it progressivly got worst to the point that i had 2 blank frames every roll of film. Truth be told, i never had much confidence on the people who servised it (if they did at all..) and said that is not repairable - i sold mine as it had cost me so much money.
Two films is 72 exposures. Is it really hard to hold camera in hands and with back open to fire it 72 times?


And why every old film camera has to be always tested with dumping film in it first?
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Old 12-10-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
Even with hearing aids I'm hard of hearing but there is no missing the sound when an F2 fires -
That's the thing though, if its the same problem as my Nikon S2 as I mentioned above, the shutter does not fire. Instead only the advance mechanism is triggered and you have to advance the film again to be able to take a shot. So if you find yourself thinking "hmmmm that's weird, i thought I already advanced the film to the next frame..." it could be your problem.

Anyway, whatever your camera's problem is, it sounds like something that can only be fixed with a proper CLA.
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Old 12-10-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Two films is 72 exposures. Is it really hard to hold camera in hands and with back open to fire it 72 times?

And why every old film camera has to be always tested with dumping film in it first?
Why to do that? I knew what the problem was and using film showed me that it was getting worst.
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