Introduction: Fix Nikon FG Blinking Light Meter

About: Film maker, musician, tinkerer. Living in Philly.

Does your Nikon FG's light meter blink 125 and 60, no matter what lighting conditions you're in? If so, you've found the right Instructable!

Tools Required:

  • Small Phillips head screwdriver
  • Small flat head screwdriver
  • Pointed spanner wrench (Calipers also work)
  • Soldering iron
  • Short wire

The 1982 Nikon FG is a great camera with several features that make it fantastic for beginners. It has an easy to read LED light meter, two automatic shooting mode and even beeps at you if your scene is too dark or too bright!

One of these features however, can cause issues with this 25 year old camera. When loading film, you have to go through a few frames before you're past the film that has been exposed to light. The camera makes it easy to wind the film the right amount—just close the back and shoot blank frames until the frame counter reaches 1.

Because the camera has an automatic exposure mode, and typically these first few frames are shot with the lens cap on, there's a switch inside the camera that disables the light meter before the frame counter reaches 1.

The issue is that if this switch fails, the light meter can be disabled permanently. If your Nikon FG won't beep, the light meter flashes or blinks 60 and 125, and your film is loaded and the frame counter is past 1, then you have this exact problem.

There are a few ways to restore this feature but in this tutorial, I'm going to show you a quick and easy way to disable it for good and permanently enable your Nikon FG's light meter.

Step 1: Remove the Top of the Camera

The first step is to remove the top of the camera. YouTube user "Fix Old Cameras" has a great video on how to do just that:

YouTube Video

Once you've removed the top, you'll find that there are a few wires connecting it to the rest of the camera. Don't disconnect these and carefully rest the top of the camera somewhere.

Step 2: Bypass the Switch

With the top of the camera removed, we can get a clear view of the switch responsible for disabling the light meter.

To verify that this is indeed the problem, make sure your camera has good batteries and that your lens cap is on and the camera's beeper is turned on. Use a screwdriver or small wire to bridge the two solder points I have marked and hold the shutter button down half way. If the camera beeps, you know that this switch is indeed responsible for the problem.

To fix this permanently, simply use a soldering iron to remove the black and yellow wires, and then use a small piece of wire to bridge the two solder points I have marked.

Step 3: Re-assemble and Go Shoot!

After that, follow the instructions in the YouTube video I linked to in the first step to put your camera back together. Your light meter should now work perfectly every time! Just note that your light meter will be enabled even when you're loading your film into the camera, so it's a good idea to set your shutter speed manually during that step so your camera doesn't get confused by the lack of light.