Nikon FG Early Activation Hack

While I was working on the light meter for the Nikon FG, I thought of a ‘fix’ that I’d read about for another issue – making the light meter active as soon as the film door is closed. The FG, by default, will only activate its light meter after the film counter is on 1. If you’re like me, you want to get as many frames out of your film as possible, so activating the camera’s light meter as soon as you’ve put in a new film is useful.

The fix for this that I had read about is to solder a piece of wire between the contacts that detect the position of the frame counter. However, that requires soldering. I’ve moved recently and my soldering iron is in a box somewhere. Can’t be bothered with all that.

A memory surfaced, back from the depths of time, about an overclocking hack for the first generation of Intel Celeron computer processors. As I recall, these processors were protected from overclocking. However, you could bypass this protection by drawing a line between two exposed electronic components on the processor chip with a lead pencil. With this conductive line in place, you could modify some of the processor settings and get moar speeds.


Nikon FG light meter adjustment
Hacky hacky hacky

You can see, on the right, two points of solder that connect the contacts to the black and yellow wires. The sources I’ve seen suggested soldering a small piece of wire between these two. You could also do the same where the black and yellow wires are soldered to the PCB. But I drew a fairly liberal line of 3B pencil lead between the contacts on the PCB, which you can just see as a smudgy grey line. It works. The meter is now active as soon as the film door is closed.

And, if I ever want to revert it to normal behaviour, all I’ll need is an eraser.





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