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David T. Nethery

Recommend repair specialist for Nikon R-10 ?

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Recently I took a chance on a Nikon R-10 on eBay. I love these cameras and the price seemed right . 


Camera arrived this week, looks to be in excellent shape , (physically/cosmetically I'd rate it "Near Mint - "like new" ) , motor sounds smooth, everything seems to work (I shot a test roll and will have that back in a week or two, which should reveal any problems, notably the light meter) 


However, I noticed on a few shots that the auto-exposure seemed to be "sticking" at times ... the needle didn't always move smoothly along the f-stop scale in the viewfinder as the light conditions changed. Sometimes I noticed when moving from bright sunlight to dimmer shade the needle would stick where it had been at f16 or f11 and then suddenly jump to f 5.6 or f4 after a few seconds pointing towards a more dimly lit area. Now the problem seems to be worse as I'm testing it when I don't have any film loaded in the camera , if I just depress the trigger slightly to activate the light meter it seems very sluggish when I move from dim light to bright light , back to dim light ... sometimes the needle moves smoothly as expected, sometimes it sticks and then jumps abruptly. :(

I would like to get it looked at . Can anyone recommend a good repair service for the Nikon R-10 in North America , someone you've actually had repair your camera and would send your camera in to again ? (I have seen on his blog that Ignacio Benedeti Corzo highly recommends http://microdeltabalears.com/castellano.htm in Spain for service on Nikon R-10 , but I'd rather not ship it to Spain if I can avoid the international shipping costs , because it's an extra expense on top of whatever it's going to cost to have the camera serviced .) 


I have read in some previous discussions about the R10 that sometimes the needle can get stuck in old hardened lube, which seems like what may be happening here (?) , except in my case the needle does move smoothly some of the time on auto-exposure , but not always. And I can set the f-stop easily with the manual exposure control knob , so the needle doesn't seem to be totally stuck , but is laggy on auto.



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I suppose I could get along fine with an otherwise functional Nikon R10 that is manual exposure only , but in the past I almost always used the auto-exposure with my Nikons (I've owned both an R-8 and R-10 before , one got dropped and broke , the other I sold , wish I had not ... ) and had excellent results from the auto-exposure. I would use the camera to spot meter (zoom in close , take a reading) and then lock it with the manual exposure/EE lock, but never became much of an expert at using an external light meter. 
 Lazy , I guess.

I realize it's a separate topic to discuss using a hand-held meter to set the exposure manually on a Super-8 camera, but if any of you Nikon R-8 or R-10 owners have any tips , I'd appreciate it. I know the fully opened shutter angle is 160° so if things were simple (which they are apparently not) I'd be able to set the ASA on the hand held meter , then get a reading for the correct f-stop setting at 1/40 sec (at 18 fps) or 1/54 (at 24 fps) and that would be that ... except everything I have ever read says that the reflex viewfinder will steal light , but it always seems very vague to me ... some people say the viewfinder light loss amounts to "about 1/3rd of a stop" others say "about 1/2 a stop". How does anyone really know for sure ? And supposedly all the older hand held meters (I have a Gossen Scout 2 and a Sekonic L-158) will assume that the camera has a shutter angle of 180° , so I have to adjust for that if using the "Cine Scale" on these meters. And yes, I realize the only way to really work it out for sure is to shoot a test roll with bracketed exposures , but do any of you Nikon R-8/R-10 owners have any experience to share on using a hand held meter with the Nikon R10/R8 ? 


With the exposure latitude of the Kodak S-8 neg. stocks if I'm off by 1/3rd of a stop or 1/2 a stop (by relying on the Gossen or Sekonic meter reading) will that really matter too much ? Although I understand that with neg. stock slight over-exposure is better dealt with than under-exposure.

Edited by David T. Nethery

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There's a guy on this forum and on the Super 8mm facebook group named Kirk Billingsly (I think that's his last name....) who can repair R10 and R8s. He does it for fun actually. So search around for his name and hit him up.

 

As far as manual exposure, what you were doing before is right. But if you want to use a manual meter, I'd meter for a slightly slower speed then use that. So 40ASA for 50D, 160 for 200T and 400 for 500T. 180 is a slower shutter than 160 so that shouldn't matter too much. As you said, negative stock always likes more light. You can really overexpose and you'll be fine. Or just use a light meter app like I do (or a more updated actual meter) and you can set the shutter speed to be more exact as well as the ASA. Negative film has a lot of latitude so a third under or over will be ok but generally I'd recommend to go over if you have a choice.

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Thanks, Nick !

 

I just had a reply from Kirk on the Facebook group.

 

I purchased the Cinemeter II app and a Luxi for my iPhone , but haven't used it yet . Is that the one you use ?

Edited by David T. Nethery

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Ya I switch between Pocket Light Meter and Luxi (both free apps. I don't use the actual Luxi dongle thing). I've heard great things about the Cinemeter II app though.

 

And that's great about Kirk. He'll fix ya up.

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Kirk recommended contacting Phil V. at Pro8mm , but I think I read somewhere on Facebook ( Super 8mm group or Pro8mm User Group ) that Phil said he won't work on Nikons because it's too much of a hassle to open them up . I'll have to contact him to find out if he's changed his mind about that (or maybe he found a Nikon specialist in L.A. who will do the work ?) .

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Thanks, Nick !

 

I just had a reply from Kirk on the Facebook group.

 

I purchased the Cinemeter II app and a Luxi for my iPhone , but haven't used it yet . Is that the one you use ?

 

Hey David,

 

I have a Nikon R10 with the same problem, but mine doesn't move at all. I was going to fix it myself since I had one before and I was able to make it work, but if somebody already have the process figured out and the parts I wouldn't mind having that person doing it right instead of me experimenting with the camera.

 

Is Kirk going to help you with your camera? Can he fix them?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I'm going to have to contact him to see if he still works on these cameras . Since he recommended that I contact someone else I'm guessing he either doesn't do it anymore or he's too busy. Here's what he wrote on the Super 8 group on Facebook:

 

 

Page 33 [of the repair manual] you will see highlights regarding the EE Servo. The R10 and R8 for that matter both suffer from frozen meter needle. I have found that the cause is the hardening of the vintage lubrication and long periods of not using the camera attribute to this. The needle sway arm will actually set in place and the lubrication as it ages hardens and acts as an adhesive holding the needle stationary. Using dental tools, I have been able to delicately remove this, clean with isopropyl alcohol and re-grease. The key is to take your time and be patient. The only negative thing in working on Nikon R8/10's is the skin is very hard to remove compared to a Canon Super. No matter how delicate you are removing it and how well you re-adhere it, it never looks the same.

 

On the Facebook group he posted the R10 repair manual . But I don't know if I'm brave enough to open it up myself . I'm really looking for someone who has done this before and knows what they are doing.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/27648968851/files/

 

(it's the second file at that link : Repair_NikonR10_CD.pdf )

Edited by David T. Nethery

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I don't know the guy but from what I've seen, I think he's more of a "teach a man to fish" kinda guy. But perhaps if you just say you mean business and won't jerk him around, he might do it. I think since he's was doing it as a hobby thing, he doesn't want to start a whole repair business per se.

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Ya I switch between Pocket Light Meter and Luxi (both free apps. I don't use the actual Luxi dongle thing). I've heard great things about the Cinemeter II app though.

 

Hi, NIck -

 

I downloaded the Luxi free version (since I've also got the Luxi dongle attachment ) I get somewhat different f-stop readings with the Luxi light meter app vs. Cinemeter II app , but I guess it illustrates the old saying: "A photographer with one light meter knows what his exposure is. A photographer with two light meters is never sure.”

 

I've just got to try it , do my bracketed exposures, then adjust based on those tests. I've done this before with 16mm . Don't know why I'm such a chicken using manual exposure with an external light meter for Super-8 ... I've shot 16mm with my Cine Kodak K-100 and my Bolex H16 , manual exposure , using an external meter , those films turned out fine. I think in the past with Super-8 I've always depended on the internal meter and let it be casual, "worry free" shooting , which is part of what draws me back to shooting Super-8 , that wonderful ability to just pop a cartridge in the camera and go shoot. If I think of all the cameras I've used , my happiest experiences have been using the Nikon R8 or R10 Super-8mm , Canon 514 XL Super-8mm , Cine Kodak K-100 16mm . (honorable mention to Yashica LD-8 Super-8 camera , which has always worked fine with the right lighting conditions, BUT doesn't have manual exposure or an EE Lock (like the Canon 514) , so it's only auto-exposure and you're at the mercy of the light .)

Edited by David T. Nethery

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Wow that is great! That repair manual has a lot of extremely detailed information. As I mentioned before I had another R10 like 5 years ago with exactly the same problem, I tried to find someone to fix it and I couldn't find anyone so I decided to give it a try myself. I do some work on my cameras and some photo cameras, so I did it. It's not really difficult but you have to remove the cover on top of the knobs and since they are made of aluminum they bend and they don't look the same. You have to remove the leatherette and since it has been there for 40 years it's hard to do it without damaging it, even if you do it really carefully the leatherette is going to stretch and it won't fit the same later.

 

After that you remove a few screws and you can pretty much see the mechanism and it is pretty obvious to figure how it works. The problem is there is a rounded piece made out of rubber and after 40 years they just "liquify" they look like asphalt, very sticky and black. In order to make the camera work I had to replicate the part but that part moves some small pieces made out of copper and those are the ones that open or close the aperture. That same rubber part is connected to a small motor which is the one that controls the auto aperture, so if you can fix one you are fixing the two modes.

 

I made the camera work, but the part that I made kept falling, I kept replacing it and at some point I broke one of those copper parts and that was it. I sold the camera for parts on eBay. Around a month ago I got another one and this one is in like new condition, but with the same problem. Now that I have the repair manual (I have to study it) I'm going to try to replicate the part in a better way, maybe get it 3D printed or something. I'm going to document (video) the process and if I can find a good way to fix it I'll share the results.

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Wow that is great! That repair manual has a lot of extremely detailed information. As I mentioned before I had another R10 like 5 years ago with exactly the same problem, I tried to find someone to fix it and I couldn't find anyone so I decided to give it a try myself. I do some work on my cameras and some photo cameras, so I did it. It's not really difficult but you have to remove the cover on top of the knobs and since they are made of aluminum they bend and they don't look the same. You have to remove the leatherette and since it has been there for 40 years it's hard to do it without damaging it, even if you do it really carefully the leatherette is going to stretch and it won't fit the same later.

 

After that you remove a few screws and you can pretty much see the mechanism and it is pretty obvious to figure how it works. The problem is there is a rounded piece made out of rubber and after 40 years they just "liquify" they look like asphalt, very sticky and black. In order to make the camera work I had to replicate the part but that part moves some small pieces made out of copper and those are the ones that open or close the aperture. That same rubber part is connected to a small motor which is the one that controls the auto aperture, so if you can fix one you are fixing the two modes.

 

I made the camera work, but the part that I made kept falling, I kept replacing it and at some point I broke one of those copper parts and that was it. I sold the camera for parts on eBay. Around a month ago I got another one and this one is in like new condition, but with the same problem. Now that I have the repair manual (I have to study it) I'm going to try to replicate the part in a better way, maybe get it 3D printed or something. I'm going to document (video) the process and if I can find a good way to fix it I'll share the results.

 

 

Hi, Ruben -

 

I just heard back this morning from Jesse Chambless [ http://www.chamblesscineequip.com/ ] He has a repair technician who can fix the sticky light meter on the Nikon R10 and is also careful in removing the leatherette and getting it back on looking good after the repair has been made . So you might want to check with him.

 

So, I think I may have good news (embarrassing to me, but good ) about my Nikon R10 : I could have sworn I had put fresh batteries in it when I shot that test roll, but when I pushed the battery check button just now the red light did not light up ... (even though the camera motor runs and the power zoom works) , hmmmm ... that doesn't seem right after only having put one roll of film through the camera ... so I put in 6 brand new Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries and the light meter seems to be working normally again ! How embarrassing ... I must have unknowingly put old batteries in it by mistake . The batteries still had enough juice to run the camera motor , but apparently not enough for both the camera motor and the light meter . I guess the R10's light meter takes a lot of the battery power ! Or else there's some sort of electrical short where the camera is draining the batteries really fast , so I will have to shoot another test roll of film to find out . But I'm feeling hopeful now.

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Those are good news David,

 

I'm glad you asked Chambless about the repair. I already contacted them to get a quote and I'm glad to hear your camera is working fine now. I still think you have the same problem to an extent, but fresh batteries allow the motor to fight the weight of the part and makes it work. I have seen that motor and it's a small one, nothing compared to the one actually moving the film mechanism.

 

Maybe the amount of effort the motor is putting on moving that (probably sticky) part is a factor on the fast power consumption.

 

Thanks for the info.

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I still think you have the same problem to an extent, but fresh batteries allow the motor to fight the weight of the part and makes it work.

 

That makes sense . I'm still cautious about it . (this just seemed too easy ! fresh batteries to the rescue ? I hope ... ) I need to shoot another test roll (or two) .

I may still need to send it in to get serviced. I have to keep reminding myself how old these cameras are . (this one is in such good condition on the outside , looks new, but the insides ,who knows what may be failing ...) But the eBay seller accurately described the camera as appearing to be "fully functional" , including light meter , without actually having put film through it . The meter or anything else could fail some time soon , but I'm happy with the purchase. It's always a gamble with these old beauties.

 

I'm also happy to report that the meter does seem to be accurate (even if the rubber part is gradually failing , getting "goopy" from age) . I took several readings with the camera's auto-exposure on and compared them to the reading I got from the CineMeter II iPhone app and they are identical or very close (within half-a-stop) . Against a neutral grey card the readings are identical from the R10 and the CineMeter II .

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That'w awesome. I remember my other camera's light meter being very accurate. The rubber part just moves the mechanism of the iris so if the meter is in good condition the needle will reflect it.

 

My current camera is in like new condition too, I bought it on eBay too and I'm very happy about it. I just emailed those guys and I asked if they can fix the meter, but my main concern with these jewels that I'm finding an investing in is getting the CLAd (clean, lubricated and adjusted) so I asked if they can service the camera as well. I have 2 other S16 and U16 cameras now and I have paid much more for getting them serviced than what I paid for the cameras, but I want them to last, and who knows if there is going to be possible to find someone to service them in the future.

 

Good luck with the tests, I'd like to see them if you want to share the results.

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Try:

 

Photo Center
7961 Beverly Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 653-6688

Took a couple R10s to them (him, can't recall his name right now) and they took great care with the body skin during opening/closing.

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What about Duall in NYC???

 

Here is the quote I got from Du-All (on Jan. 21, 2019) regarding repair on the Nikon R10 -

 

"It is a very difficult camera to repair. If we can repair that camera , we cannot offer any warranty on the repair

Because that camera is such a hard camera to service, send it in if you like and we will see if we can repair it."
So they are willing to give it a try , but no guarantee.
I also recently contacted Retro-Enterprises in Japan to ask if they offer repair service on the Nikon R10. The answer:

"Yes, we do.

It would cost around US $300-400."

 

As mentioned in my first post above, MicroDelta in Spain offers repair on the Nikon R10. The reply I received was:

 

Hello, I can repair the photometer of your Nikon R10 and the price is 72.00 euros + shipping costs.

The price includes repair, cleaning, lubrication and adjustment. It does not include fungus cleaning of the lens.

-Mateu

(I estimate the shipping costs from East Coast of U.S.A (where I am ) to Spain will be around $180 to get it there and back, but could be slightly more all things considered like insurance ... 72.00 Euros is $82.48 U.S. Dollars at current rate of exchange (Feb. 3, 2019) .

 

Initially I had received a positive reply from Chambless that their repair tech could repair the light meter on the Nikon R10 , but have since found out that is not the case.

Edited by David T. Nethery

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Not sure how anyone can offer a guarantee past it working when you receive it back on a 40 year old Super 8 camera. Way too many other things that can break on them. That's why I just tend to buy them whenever I see them at garage sales and eBay at a good price...repairing them generally costs more than they are worth except for the high end ones from Leica, Beaulieu & maybe that Nikon.

 

However, it's worth it if you send a Beaulieu to Bjorn in Sweden you'll get back a camera that is probably better than brand new and he can reasonably guarantee it because he has the original factory parts available and completely loves what he does.

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As mentioned in my first post above, MicroDelta in Spain offers repair on the Nikon R10. The reply I received was:

 

Hello, I can repair the photometer of your Nikon R10 and the price is 72.00 euros + shipping costs.
The price includes repair, cleaning, lubrication and adjustment. It does not include fungus cleaning of the lens.

-Mateu

(I estimate the shipping costs from East Coast of U.S.A (where I am ) to Spain will be around $180 to get it there and back, but could be slightly more all things considered like insurance ... 72.00 Euros is $82.48 U.S. Dollars at current rate of exchange (Feb. 3, 2019) .

 

There are very good from what I been told / 72.00 euros still works out better than the other offers ?

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