My girlfriend's mom gave me her old Nikon FG, I found the manual and I've read it dozens of times now. I know the batteries are fresh; I replaced them today and I depress the shutter release button slightly and the power indicator shines.
When I set the shutter speed to any other setting aside from "M90" or "B", after depressing the shutter release button, the shutter opens, but then fails to close. The only way I can get it to close is to switch it back to "M90".
Mechanically it operates perfectly but, because it doesn't seem to function when on any other setting aside "M90" or "B", it appears the more advanced capabilities are rendered useless. So far I have taken several pictures with it but they have all been on the "M90" setting.
In other words it seems as if I have a glorified single-use camera.
As I said, I've read the manual multiple times and configured everything the way it should be before the shot. I'm a sculptor and lately I've found myself getting into photography. I've heard very good things about this camera and I would like to explore it to its fullest potential, but this is a real hindrance.
Yeah, when I put it on "A" and change the aperture (are the terms "aperture", "diopter" and "f/stop" interchangeable? Still a tad confused... anyway) When I adjust the aperture different LED's light up depending on what it's set at. I assume this means that the "brain" of the camera is still working.
As for the lens; it's what came on it when a got it, the markings read (clockwise) "Nikon NIKKOR 50mm 1:18 4032604".
I would assume the string of numbers at the end are some sort of serial number? I apologize in advance for my inexperienced questions; they are probably reserved for a different thread, but I really am curious about photography.
yes - set the speed dial (the one with P,A, M90, etc) to "A" and then move the aperture ring on the lens (1.8, 4, 5.6,8 etc) - the LED's in the finder should light up different numbers (shutter speed) as you change the aperture. Another test - set the lens to the largest number - 22, and the speed dial to "P" (have to push the button to move the dial to "P" - check you manual) and test fire the camera. it will use 90 as the speed until the frame counter advances past 1 (best to test without film) Does this work, mirror flipping back down after the shutter fires?
Yep, the various LED's light up as I change the aperture. There is already film in it, I was just using the "M90" setting to snap a few pics at a Thanksgiving dinner, so I can't test it without film (obviously) and when I place it on "P" and fire it, I hear the shutter open, mirror flip up, but then it doesn't go back down. Not sure if the shutter closes and the mirror just sticks or what, but the only way I can get it back down is to move the setting to "M90".
I had that happen with my FG as well, and tried all the things you mentioned. I basically gave up on it, and was thinking of selling it for parts, as is. For one more try, I put a fresh battery in it and worked the audio alarm switch back and forth a few times. After that, the shutter worked like normal. So far it has been shooting fine. Of course, no guarantees that yours will respond to this, but it worked for mine.
Something just occurred to me; I've never heard the audio warning sound no matter what settings I put it on or what I point it at. I know it takes very little energy to run an LED, perhaps an insufficient voltage could contribute to the camera not operating correctly? I have two 1.5v button cells in it currently, they seem to fit correctly and I've done the power test in the manual (place on any setting besides "B" "M90" and partially depress the shutter button) and the LED lights up...
This really is a neat camera, I've seen what it can do and I'd really like to get into it. It makes more sense to use this as a gateway into the hobby instead of buying a new camera, and the original owner took care of it.
Use the film wind lever to fire off a few shots... whether film is in the camera or not, just make the film counter go from S to 1. Around 1, or just before 1, you'll see the LEDs operating normally in the viewfinder.
It's not about them operating strangely; the camera isn't functioning the way it is supposed to regardless of setting. On M90 or B it works fine, but when I try to put it on a set shutter speed it doesn't work. The LEDs light up fine, the camera itself isn't doing what it's supposed to.
Sorry, I didn't understand correctly. Then, as others have said, you are back to the batteries. Try new type 303/357 ones. And use a pencil eraser to clean the battery terminals.
The good news -- you can get an FG from Keh.com -- they are inexpensive -- Keh is an honest vendor -- and you'll be off to the races. The FG is a delightful camera. For a bit more money, you could consider an FM3a -- IMHO, the best manual camera Nikon ever made.