February 10, 2014

Unkind rewind of the Nikon L35AF series


Last week I purchased a Nikon  L35 AW AF aka Action Touch. It is the underwater version of the L35AF Pikaichi.

I love the series but it has a consistent problem that pops up: malfunctioning rewinds and frame counters.

A good part of the discussion at Flickr's L35AF group focuses on jams.

Well, my latest L35 indeed have a related problem. The film advanced and rewound BUT the film counter remained at 36 and would not reset back to 1 or "S."

Good news, and this is a consistent part of how to bring an L35AF back to life, I was able to fiddle with it to get the gear back into good order.

There are important pointers on how to get the L35AF back into alignment.

Film advance won't work, shutter release stuck, rewind button jammed, counter not counting??? Fear not. An L35AF CAN BE FIXED through simply fiddling without opening up the camera OR sending in for repair.

You only need three things to get started:

  • good batteries
  • a roll of film which you are able to pull out of the cassette
  • a paper clip to push down some of the sensor pins in the film chamber (I didn't need to this time but it's good to have)
  • patience

Like many point and shoots, good functioning relies on a number operations to take place in the correct order. WHEN you turn on a camera, when you put in the batteries, whether you put the film in the camera when it is ON or OFF, can sometimes have an impact on the start up of your camera. Often, jams occur when it falls out of sequence as was the case in my stuck film counter.

I'm happy to say it is fixed.

What I did but note film rewinding can't occur without film in the camera:

  1. Started with the camera off.
  2. Removed the batteries.
  3. With the camera OFF, put the batteries back in.
  4. Turned ON the camera.
  5. Loaded the camera with the back door open but with the pressure plate down (this is unique to the L35 AW AF).
  6. Exposed frames with the film door open. This prevented the film counter from advancing.
  7. Closed the film door.
  8. Rewound the film, the counter counted down to 1 but would not go to "S".
  9. Pulled out the film from the cassette to get some lead and put it in the camera.
  10. Turned the camera OFF.
  11. Rewound the film again. It rolled to "S."
All this to say, don't give up on your camera in a jam. The camera just has to reset and will simply function again. It's just a matter of undoing all the dry fires and misuse the camera suffers while in the hands of less caring individuals.

I've done this three times with three different models of the L35 series (original L35, the One Touch, and the Action Touch aka L35 AW AF) and have brought all the cameras back to life.

So keep trying.

They're worth it...



1 comment:

  1. Got a nice L35 AW AF in the mail yesterday. It works fine btw. But I bought it because my 'normal' L35AF showed all the symptoms you descibe how to fix above. Will be fun trying to fix that :-)

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