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Percussive maintenance, or "If in doubt, give it a clout" - Off in the distance
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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2016-05-05 11:11
Subject: Percussive maintenance, or "If in doubt, give it a clout"
Security: Public
Tags:d5100, jammed shutter, photography
Actually, I didn't, but I did consider the option.

On Tuesday, we were on the way to the Distraction Club monthly show in the Phoenix on Cavendish Square. We had arrived at Oxford Circus tube, and were walking along the corridor toward the escalators when I suddenly felt the weight on my shoulder go, and heard a thunk on the ground behind me. I looked round to see my Nikon D5100 DSLR had slipped out of its case and fallen to the tiled floor.

Hoping it was all okay, I picked it up, put it back in the case and zipped the flap properly shut before we proceeded to the pub.

Once at the destination, I could check it over. And that's when I discovered that though all the electronics appeared to work and nothing appeared chipped or cracked, the shutter wouldn't work. And so, swearing silently, the only pictures I took were with my phone.

(The Nexus 6P does remarkably good work in a dimly-lit basement with moving targets, but it doesn't exactly have the same quality of picture)

Taking the lens off (a piece of equipment that had actually cost me more that the camera body when I originally bought it back in Kyoto in 2007), I looked inside the resulting aperture. The mirror wasn't moving properly when I pressed the shutter button. It quivered in place, but that was it.

Hello Google.

Well, it turns out that there are various possibilities, but one seemed to match what I could see. There's a plastic post that's supposed to stop the moving mirror from going too far when it springs forward and then back again, but the mirror had ridden up past it and was jammed on it. I stuck a jeweller's screwdriver in, wiggled a bit, and the mirror came loose. I pressed the shutter button, and everything was back to normal. Hooray and phew!
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Barry
User: hobnobs
Date: 2016-05-08 20:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I had a very similar problem a few decades ago with an old Praktica... Although in my case it was that a clip had moved from where it was supposed to be and had hooked the mirror.

I'm not sure how your Nikon handles the intricacies of range-finding, but from experience it may be worth having the mountings checked to make sure fine focal length at distance hasn't been affected by the knock. (It's rare, but I've seen a few knocks that caused ever-so-slightly loosened mountings that caused issues on <200mm lenses... (It was barely detectable for everyday stuff, but noticeable when shooting at longer ranges.)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2016-05-09 09:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A good point, but it seems OK as far as that's concerned.
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Barry
User: hobnobs
Date: 2016-05-09 09:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Excellent news. :)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2016-05-17 09:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
See my followup post - it wasn't ok after all, but now fixed.

I suspect it was a different issue, since it wasn't the mounting but the other end of the barrel.
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Barry: 33 boats
User: hobnobs
Date: 2016-05-17 10:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:33 boats
I suspect you are correct in that it was a gradual issue that had already started, that was suddenly given a boost by the drop.

Good to know it's all ok now though.
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