Vintage and Classic Cameras
Jammed Nikon FE, solving a common occurrence.

The curse of the flat Nikon FE battery. The Nikon FE is a beautifully built semi professional camera from the Japanese manufacturer, Nippon Kogaku. Nikon FEs commonly turn up "jammed", that is the shutter won't release, even though the shutter is cocked. The most likely cause is flat batteries as the camera requires a voltage to release the shutter. When the batteries give up, the mirror will retract as usual, but that's it... the shutter stays shut, giving the impression of a terminally sick camera. With the mirror up, some of the cameras circuitry is active, which rapidly depletes any remaining juice in the batteries. The solution is new batteries, but, you must note that unless the shutter is released the camera will still not function, just dropping in a fresh set won't solve the problem, and in fact as the circuitry is active with the mirror up, the camera will start draining the batteries as soon as they go in. It's this which seems to catch people out.

Here's the solution. Rotate the shutter speed selector knob on the top housing to 1/90th sec or B, instantly you select, the shutter will release, now pop in the fresh LR44 batteries, make sure the polarity is set correctly, the camera will not work with them the wrong way. Ideally use plastic tweezers. Load the battery carrier as shown below.


Nikon FE camera


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