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I have a Nikon F100 body that needs a back repair.

For those not in the know, Nikon abandoned its use of solid metal latches (that were highly durable) in favour of a lighter plastic latch. Over time, these latches or tabs weaken and can eventually break. Both of mine broke after having the camera in storage for a few years, so I think they just failed with age or else were about to fail when the camera was stored.

It is possible to buy used camera backs from a famous auction site or other sources, but they are likely to eventually fail as well.

I know that Nikon, at one time, did repair this fault but I am unsure if they used any upgraded parts. In any event, these parts are no longer available from Nikon.

What options are there to durably repair the back so that the camera will function again? I don't want to use ugly options like duct tape - I want to be able to properly close the back again. I'd ideally like to find a solution that upgrades the strength of the latches so that they will last the remaining lifespan of the camera.

While I'm personally seeking repair shops or options that I can arrange to have done, I'm open to hearing suggestions that involve self-repair in order to make this question more useful in the archive.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd try to get a used F100 on ebay, maybe one that say's "for parts" or broken and see if you can the latches from that item. (I doubt that replacing the plastic latches put into place by Nikon with off-brand metal latches would even be doable - could be wrong though) \$\endgroup\$
    – mwallner
    Jun 10, 2020 at 12:30

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Agree with user:mwallner on this. The film loading door of this model is extremely easy to remove. If you look closely at the hinges, there is a spring loaded pin which enables it to unclip very readily.

However, the broken latch is a common issue - so finding a used body without a door is much easier than vice versa. The rewind spool was also known to break on the F100, and a factory upgrade was made to many examples. You might end up buying a complete, working, F100.

It also depends on your budget - Nikon still has one film body in limited production, the F6, which is a lot like an upgraded, stronger, F100.

If you can't afford a new F6, there are many of these available (on the famous auction site) mainly from dealers in Japan. When purchasing bodies and lenses in the past, I have found the Japanese dealers to be very reliable and accurate with their descriptions.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, the F6 have been discontinued in the end of 2020. As for the F100 door latch, it can be repaired with a piece of metal screwed from the inside and bent to shape. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightproof
    Dec 5, 2021 at 1:16
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The door latch have been, at least in one case, fixed with a piece of metal screwed from the inside to the door and bent to shape. The details are in the Flickr thread: https://www.flickr.com/groups/f100/discuss/72157679748362758/

Also there is supposedly a camera technician living in Manilla, Philippines, who machines metal pieces and sticks/screws them to the broken F100 doors in somewhat similar way. For a fee of course, but he accepts international orders. Unfortunately, I don't have neither his name, nor contacts, but I remember seeing the info somewhere in Flickr discussions at some point.

In any case, the fix is quite possible and can probably be done by yourself.

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