Repair: Sticky Nikon F100

Hello, everybody! Today, we are going to talk about the Curse of the Nikon F100! Everybody  who is serious into Nikon gear should know by now that the Nikon F100 and cameras that belong to the same generation tend to develop this annoying sticky rubber problem that is most commonly found on the rubber parts of the grip the back.

This Nikon F100 works perfectly fine but the sticky mess can be annoying. I am sure Nikon added the rubber coating for added grip but never saw this coming!

To be fair, other manufacturers also used similar rubberised coatings and the last one to do so is Sigma. Sigma lenses made in a certain era used to be covered in a thin rubberised coat that would deteriorate into goo or peel-off into small, hard to remove pieces that can get into the lens itself. Thankfully, they stopped using it a few years ago.

The tackiness in the rubber is caused by the breakdown of the rubber due to age and other triggers like temperature and humidity. I don’t have any idea on how to prevent this thing from developing because it seems to happen regardless of how the camera is stored. What I do know is that this problem is less likely to occur when you use or handle the camera in a regular basis, the finger oils probably conditions the rubber somewhat and it’s enough to prevent it from breaking down.

Now, what if you got one with the sticky rubber problem then what should you do? Well, I got one myself and I got rid of the stickiness with a alcohol, lens tissue and patience. Only use lintless types of tissue or else you risk ruining it further by having tissue fibers stuck to the rubber.

img_2880My camera’s grip seems OK so I’m only concerned about the film back. I removed the back and wiped all of the rubber parts with a lens tissue moistened with alcohol. It takes a bit of time at first but when the alcohol started working on the sticky stuff it just went off easily. The whole thing probably took me 20 minutes to clean and it’s now fine to the touch.

I also tried some other solvents just to see how it would react with the rubber and here are the results so far when I tested these on my film back:

  • MEK – Too stringent, crazed the rubber and I would advise you to stay away from this.
  • Naphtha – Zippo fluid, not bad but doesn’t really do much.
  • Acetone – Didn’t do much but left white marks when wiped.
  • Alcohol – Got rid of the stickiness but needs multiple applications.

I am not sure how long this F100 will stay dry but I am going to use this camera regularly to prevent it from developing the sticky rubber problem again. It sucks because once it starts developing it, then that thing has a chance of coming back even if you got rid of the sticky mess. Even with that in mind, I still love the camera and I will use it until it falls apart.

Have a nice weekend and I hope that this will help somebody. As for me, I am now feeling better as the flu is gone. Just some coughs here and there, that’s all. See you, Ric.

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Maintaining this blog requires money to operate. If you think that this site has helped you or you want to show your support by helping with the upkeep of this site, you can simple make a small donation to my account ( Money is not my prime motivation for this blog and I believe that I have enough to run this but you can help me make this site (and the companion facebook page) grow.

Helping support this site will ensure that this will be kept going as long as I have the time and energy for this. I would appreciate it if you just leave out your name or details like your country and other information so that the donations will totally be anonymous it is at all possible. This is a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Ric.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Donald t. DiNaro
    Jun 05, 2017 @ 22:38:43

    The camera F100 has Three major Known faults:
    1. battery shortage by circuitry, dead in one day
    2. Rubber stickiness caused by deterioration Temperature and humidity
    3. battery door rubber deterioration
    4. Back door broken latch tabs, Very Common problem, no parts available, ebay prices high….
    ******** Based on Known problems, AVOID this camera at all costs ************


  2. Curly Hair Artistry
    Jul 05, 2017 @ 15:03:01

    Mine is doing this – and I sent Nikon a note to see what they recommend and am waiting for their reply – but in the meantime I will try this.


  3. Trackback: Articles Index | Richard Haw's Classic Nikkor Maintenance Site

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