My Latest Beauty: a Nikkormat EL-W with an AW-1

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FilmOnly

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My Nikkormat EL-W and AW-1 arrived today. What a beautiful camera this is. I have never owned or used one before. It is astonishingly well-made--a real heavyweight. I have used and owned many cameras from various manufacturers, and the EL-W is easily among my favorites (perhaps the best?).

One unfortunate note: the meter is as dead as a doornail. I gather it uses CdS cells, and may be repairable. Any suggestions out there? I use a hand-held light meter, and so the non-functioning meter is a not a huge issue (but a disappointment nonetheless). A functioning in-camera meter is handy for comparison purposes. I bought the camera from KEH, and it is truly in LN- condition. I am surprised they missed the meter issue. I have purchased numerous photographic items from them over the years, and I have never encountered this type of problem.

I have taken about 15 or 16 shots, and the camera handles very well. The shutter is fairly quiet, and the supposedly "noisy" AW-1 is actually quieter than either the Pentax MA Motor or Minolta Autowinder G I once owned (both of which are of a later vintage than the AW-1). The all-metal construction of the AW-1 is simply staggering. The camera's shutter release is also quite nice (i.e. soft). Releasing the shutter does not seem to shake the camera as it did with my AE-1 Program. The EL-W and AW-1 provide a stable, steady foundation for shooting. Too bad the days of real cameras are long gone.
 
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jphendren

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I bought the camera from KEH, and it is truly in LN- condition. I am surprised they missed the meter issue.

I buy from KEH all of the time, and their grading system is the best in the business. But I have read that their rating only covers cosmetics. However, they do guarantee that every camera they sell is 100% functional, so you can return it for either a refund or another Nikkormat EL-W, if they have one.

Jared
 
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FilmOnly

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I, too, enjoy dealing with KEH. Their rating system is the best. However, this camera should have had the "Meter INOP" designation (and price). I spoke with them a short while ago. They do not have another EL-W (as I had expected), but they offered to repair the meter for me. Once I am done with the roll that is in it, I will go ahead and send it out.
 

jphendren

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"However, this camera should have had the "Meter INOP" designation (and price)."

I completely agree.

Jared
 

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As long as we're human mistakes will happen. Kudos to KEH though for offering to repair the meter. It's just another example of their excellent customer service and fair business practices.
 
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FilmOnly

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I could not agree more, Frank. KEH is the most reputable company in the business. I buy virtually all of my camera equipment from them, and will continue to do so.
 
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FilmOnly

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Correction: KEH did not sell me a camera with a faulty meter. As it turns out, I learned about Nikon's "M90" feature the hard way. The camera actually had no battery at all! Originally, I had been stumped because the Nikkormat EL-W is a fully electronic camera (shutter and meter), and yet I was able to fire the shutter but the meter did not work. I did some reading, and found out about its M90 feature, a mechanical speed of 1/90th in case of battery failure. Thus, I had been shooting on 1/90th (i.e. without a battery). I inserted a battery, and the meter is fine (and quite accurate, too, considering the camera's vintage). I am sure my KEH salesman will have a good laugh over this one.
 

SchwinnParamount

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Correction: KEH did not sell me a camera with a faulty meter. As it turns out, I learned about Nikon's "M90" feature the hard way. The camera actually had no battery at all! Originally, I had been stumped because the Nikkormat EL-W is a fully electronic camera (shutter and meter), and yet I was able to fire the shutter but the meter did not work. I did some reading, and found out about its M90 feature, a mechanical speed of 1/90th in case of battery failure. Thus, I had been shooting on 1/90th (i.e. without a battery). I inserted a battery, and the meter is fine (and quite accurate, too, considering the camera's vintage). I am sure my KEH salesman will have a good laugh over this one.

My Nikon F3 came without a battery and I assumed otherwise. Without the battery, I couldn't get the shutter to fire. There is a separate manual shutter release on the camera that I discovered in a panic. I had thought the camera came from KEH with an inoperable shutter until I found that manual shutter release. It was only then that I realized that I needed to put a new battery in the camera.

I was going to call my KEH salesman and ask for help but luckily, found the problem myself in the nick of time.
 
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