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I bought a Nikon F801s at a camera flea market (actually, it came attached to a lens I wanted). The camera is pretty beaten up on the outside, but very clean inside the film chamber.

When I fire the camera up, it seems to work when I turn it on: the light meter seems to work, reacting to the aperture setting I choose on the lens, and adjusting the displayed shutter speed when pointing at different brightnesses. If I attach an autofocus lens, the autofocus works fine (af-d, screw drive lens). When I push the shutter button down fully, the display starts to flash/blink.

There is no film in the camera yet; I would like to have the best idea of whether the camera is likely to work before I risk putting film into it. I have checked for a troubleshooting section in the manual but there is none.

Is there a problem with the camera? Is it simply telling me that I need to put film in it, or is it telling me that there is a problem and I shouldn't bother?

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The camera simply needed its batteries changed. I also cleared out a bit of blue battery gunk from a previous battery leak. The autofocus seemed much "snappier" when I changed the batteries, but the shutter still did not fire. This gave me enough confidence that I put a cheap film in and sure enough it is working perfectly (as far as I can tell before seeing the developed images).

And, of course, this behaviour is explained in the manual under the battery section: F801s manual

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