by YIM Hafiz
Question by Terisu: Is it worth it to send my old camera in for cleaning?
I have a Nikon FM2 that’s starting to show it’s age. When I ran some IR film through it, there was some visible light leakage. Then I looked inside and noticed the foam rubber’s degraded. I’ve put many good years on this camera, learning a lot along the way, but now I’m thinking of sticking with digital photography. I was only keeping it for IR film, but I learned how to duplicate the effects down to the fogginess and grain in Photoshop (using an IR filter). Also, my local photo place doesn’t do IR film any more, so I have to run it to a lab in the nearest city, and I HATE city driving!
My kids aren’t showing any interest in film photography. They are true children of the digital age, and an all manual film SLR is just a bit too old-style for their tastes. I’m not sure if I want to get rid of my camera, though. I might just put it on a shelf.
So, should I get it cleaned up first, or what?
I wish I had the space to set up a photo lab, but my house is quite cluttered as it is.
Answer by Ben H
Only you can decide whether or not it’s worth it to have it fixed.
First of all, light seals are no big deal. Look up the seller “interslice” on Ebay and you’ll be able to purchase a kit with enough seal material to fix a half dozen cameras for only $ 6(plus a buck or two for shipping if you’re outside the US-inside US is free). He’ll also provide camera specific instructions if you ask for them and he has them(probably does on the FM2). I have no connection with the seller other than as a satisfied customer.
In any case, I will also mention that back in February, I paid $ 150 for a CLA on one of my Canon F-1Ns. The gentleman to whom I sent it was in charge of the Canon west coast service facility before his retirement, and now in his retirement specializes in repairing F-1s. It came back looking and working like new-it was definitely money well spent for me, since I use my camera all the time.
As for not having a local source of IR development-get some tanks and do it yourself. Black and white development is simple, and developing IR film is really no different than developing any standard black and white film.
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