Nikon FE front focus issue

Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
6
Location
Uppsala, Sweden
Hi all!

I've been shooting more and more film recently, and my 35mm camera of choice is the Nikon FE. When I got my last batch of negatives back from the lab, I was shocked to see how badly out of focus they were. First, I just assumed I had been sloppy, but then I realised there was a systematic error - constant front focus. To test this, I set up my FE with a 50/1.8 on a tripod and focused it on a fixed subject. Then I replaced the FE with my D700, and put the same lens on it, set on the same focusing distance, and took an exposure... out of focus...

When focusing on the FE, the focusing distance in this experiment was set to 1.2m, but when using the focus assist function on the D700, the focusing distance was closer to 2m. Quite a significant error, in other words.

I repeated the experiment, with the same result, using other lenses.

So, to my question... Do anyone know what's wrong, and if so, what should I do to fix it? Could focusing screen misaligned?

Fingers crossed! :smile:

/Börje
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
6
Location
Uppsala, Sweden
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
To my eyes, it looks ok. I also took it to the local camera store, and they couldn't spot anything obviously out of place.

Here are two pics of the mirror and the focusing screen:

http://obj.fotosidan.se/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=130698&d=1375711495

http://obj.fotosidan.se/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=130697&d=1375711485

As I said before, the focus error is quite significant, at about 50cm over 2meters. If I focus at something in the far distance, the focus distance on the lens is set to 5 meters rathers than infinity.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
10,094
Location
Newcastle
Maybe it's just the missing bit of foam, but maybe the retaining frame for the focus screen isn't fully clipped home?
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
6
Location
Uppsala, Sweden
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
The missing bit of foam just fell out today, so that can't be the problem.

Will see if I can remove and reinsert the focus screen. I don't have the appropriate tweezers, but maybe I can make do with something else.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
6
Location
Uppsala, Sweden
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
I tested removing and reinserting the focusing screen. No change. :-/
Oh well, any other insights are welcome.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2007
Messages
1,021
Location
SW Florida
Maybe your FE has a magnified diopter attached to the eyepiece? Or maybe the eyepiece itself is not screwed in completely?
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
6
Location
Uppsala, Sweden
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Maybe your FE has a magnified diopter attached to the eyepiece? Or maybe the eyepiece itself is not screwed in completely?
There's no diopter attached, and the eyepiece is properly attached. However, even if there was a diopter or misplaced eyepiece, I don't see how that could possibly effect the split image? It could make the image more or less blurry, sure, but not really influence the split image.

I noticed one other thing today, however. The Hot shoe on top of the pentaprism is a bit skewed to the side by ~2mm. It looks like it's taken a knock from above at some point. The pentaprism itself looks alright, but maybe some of the elements inside has been misplaced?

In any case, I have started looking for a new camera now. A FM2 is on top of the list. :)
 

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