Adding to the collection

This past weekend I was lucky enough to score a nice looking Nikon FM10 for relatively little cost. Now for you die hard Nikon purists, I know the FM10 is actually developed by Cosina and shares a lot of it’s internals with several other brands but I wasn’t going to let that stop me adding a camera to the collection!

After a quick once over, I discovered there was an issue with the shutter, It wasn’t firing properly and was jamming. Popped the lens off and it released just fine. So at this point I’m thinking “Ok, perhaps the lens (a cheap 35-70 zoom) was the issue”, So I grabbed one my my 50mm Nikkors, same problem. 🤔

Lets try an older non-ai lens. bang the shutter works fine. Knowing that the camera is completely mechanical (batteries are only for the light meter) I start comparing the lenses to see why one would work and the other not. The culprit? the rear element mount is a touch longer on the AI-S Nikkor. Back to the camera body and the issue becomes obvious. Can you pick it?

My first thought was that the aperture stop down lever was slightly bent causing the mechanism to foul on the lens. But that wasn’t the case.

It’s not super obvious if you don’t know what to look for, but you can see the mirror has moved down and away from it’s intended position, the glue must have softened at some point allowing it to slide down and causing it to impact the back of the lens when mounted. Which is why the older non-ai lens with the shorter mount wasn’t impacted!

After carefully warming up the mirror and easing it back into it’s original position I’m happy to report that the camera is fully functional again! I’m looking forward to popping a test roll in shortly and seeing how it goes in hand, If it’s anything like the Nikon FM it will be lovely to shoot.

Keep an eye out here for a review to come afterwards, I’m also intending to write something up for the Nikon F100 and F5 both of which I’ve owned for years and used extensively but have failed to put any words down here for them.

…and if anyone is actually reading these, let me know if you have any requests for reviews of film, developers, cameras or general photography info.


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