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Photography Question 
Angi Taylor

canon ae-1 troubleshooting

I own a canon ae-1 and am having a problem with the shutter button not activating the shutter and the film advance not allow the film to advance. I have replaced the battery and eliminated that as a problem. The battery meter also verifies that the battery is good. What else could be the problem and how do I fix it? Thank you in advance for your expertise.

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7/7/2005 7:03:00 PM

Dawn Cagle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/17/2005
  I had the same problem with my first ae-1 and the estimate to fix it was more than the cost of a replacement. So, I bought another ae-1, and guess what? You got it, after about 3 pictures the shutter release jammed! I love this camera but the down time is getting a little annoying.....I ordered a repair manual and am hoping to puzzle out a solution, if I find anything useful I'll pass it along. Sorry.

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8/16/2005 10:41:08 AM

Will Turner   I have been down this road too, though not with a Canon AE-1. Is the mirror locked up as well? Could be that the jam is mechanical. Just about every SLR of this era can usually release its shutter by moving a small cam on the bottom after pulling the bottom plate, you have to hunt for it. Then it's time to find out what caused the jam. Often the shutter magnet (on the bottom) and its contacts become corroded or gunked up. A broken electrical connection could also be the cause.

If the camera is important to you, a good Clean-Lube-Adjust CLA ($75-$125) by a competent shop would fix all this, replace worn parts, and clean your viewfinder and check shutter speed accuracy at the same time. If you really want to keep it, this is a better way to go than tinkering, which often fixes only the immediate malfunction, not the incipient ones waiting in the wings. By the time you've shelled out for the parts camera, manual, and small dedicated repair tools (you'll know why these are used the first time you scratch or break a part with a screwdriver blade) you're on the way to the cost of a CLA anyway.

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8/17/2005 7:08:43 AM

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