AE-1 light metering not working

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by fencer, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. fencer

    fencer Member

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    Light metering feature in my Canon AE-1 suddenly stopped working. When I press shutter release halfway, indicator doesn't even move - it stays below 1.2 all the time. With or without lens attached - all the same.

    Battery is full and battery check works properly. The shutter works fine.

    Repair shop says the camera's electronics is dead and repair is beyond their capability. It's not the tungsten wire anyway.

    How do you think - what can be broken?
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Dunno, it's f**ed, the repair costs are so high the best and cheapest thing to do IMO is to buy another one that works.
     
  3. momus

    momus Subscriber

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    Unless you need the AE function, I would recommend an AT-1 camera as a replacement. Mine was a lot nicer than the AE-1's I've owned. No problems w/ AE-1's, but they're old cameras w/ complicated electronics (for it's day), and the AT-1 is a better camera in my opinion.
     
  4. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    I had similar problems with Canons myself recently,and got a lot of good advice here- http://www.apug.org/forums/forum52/124984-canon-fd-recommendation.html I then bought a Canon t70,for very cheap just to see what it was like-I'm very impressed.2 AA batteries,partial metering mode,beautiful clear split screen viewfinder and nobody wants these things anymore.Buy one for less than $20 in good shape and throw the AE 1 out.If anything happens get another one-there are plenty of them around in great shape.
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

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    If the repairman says the electronics are dead, I don't see any reason to think otherwise.

    And I agree that it should be less expensive to buy another body than to try to have this one repaired. Canon long ago stopped servicing its "A" series, and any repair attempt would be an electronics nightmare and require another AE-1 to salvage the electronics.

    These bodies aren't expensive. Just try to get one that doesn't have other issues.
     
  6. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    If the electronics are shot just get another. KEH has a few including a cool black one, ranging from $25-45. Or as high as $69 if you want to pay more. Lots of threads praising KEH lately on APUG and I've bought many items from them over the last 15 years or so, bodies and lenses, mostly BGN and UG grade, and have been thrilled with all.
     
  7. limnidytis

    limnidytis Member

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    I've used A series cameras over the years as my main SLR, and still use an A-1. If the camera seems dead, it probably is and isn't worth fixing. Get another body - KEH is good as they offer a warranty. As Alan W pointed out, a T70 might be a better choice as it uses the same lens mount, is more modern and as a bonus uses AA batteries. You can usually buy a user grade T70 for not much money.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I got two. Nice cameras. BUT without DOF-preview feature. One would have to take the hazzle and manipulate the lens.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The Canon AE-1 was for a very long time the highest selling SLR - it may still be.

    If you have a dead one, look for another, live one, from that big pool of under-used ones out there.
     
  10. fencer

    fencer Member

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    Well, I guess you are right about buying another one. I'm just a guy who prefers fixing to disposing.
    Also, these cameras may be cheap like $20 in US but here in Europe it's more like $70-90 if you want to buy from a reputable seller.
    Need to think it through.
     
  11. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Consider adding your location to your profile.
     
  12. elekm

    elekm Member

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    If it's an electronics issue, I'm not sure that you could repair it. If it's electrical vs. electronic, then you might be able to track down the problem. Of course, you might have the electronics knowledge to be able to take care of this problem, so I shouldn't have made that assumption (see the Benny Hill Show for a definition of "assume").

    Once you pull the top deck and see the wires and circuit boards, you might be able to see if there is an obvious issue.

    And I agree with Rich about adding a location. It does help. We don't need a street address or even a town but a country can help other members provide recommendations.
     
  13. photopriscilla

    photopriscilla Member

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    I could not agree more! Good luck! Priscilla

     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Even if it costs more than twice as much as buying another one ?, because the last A series Canon camera I had repaired cost £95
     
  16. fencer

    fencer Member

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    Well, no. That wouldn't make much sense.
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Exactly, and that's what I'm trying to tell you, that's the most probable outcome.
     
  18. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    OK you want to fix it then read this service manual and give it a try
    http://jameskbeard.com/Photography/...AMERAS/AE-1 Camera Service & Repair Guide.pdf

    Otherwise if I were you I simply use it without the meter. With color negative film I got better result without the meter than with the F5 famous matrix meter. The electronics is not completely dead because if it is then the shutter won't work at all. The AE-1 is a fully electronic camera.
     
  19. momus

    momus Subscriber

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    I didn't know these cameras would cost you that much money where you are. I wouldn't have recommended an At-1. If it were me, because I'm cheap, I'd buy a handheld meter, assuming you could pick one of those up for small money in your location. That would get you out shooting, and you'd learn a little about light.
     
  20. gb hill

    gb hill Member

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    My first SLR was a AE-1 I bought while in the Navy. I later sold it & years later my wife got me an AE-1program. I still use that camera, mof even got it cla'd after it came down with the dreaded canon squeal. Works like a charm now & if you can find one cheap enough I suggest you do the upgrade.:smile: Over here in the States you can almost find someone to give you one. I also have a T70 & an AV-1. The AV-1 is a fun camera to use.
     
  21. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    Buying another one is buying another problem. Most sellers of old cameras will sell their problems, unless it is sold by a professional or a serious store like KEH. Once you realize one camera has a problem, depending how serious the problem is, you are better off trying to get it fixed by a local reliable tech. Once it is fixed, you can concentrate on what matters: shooting with joy !
     
  22. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    That's perfectly true, and the advice I would normally give, but unfortunately the cost of getting an AE1 repaired by a professional repairer usually is far more than most people who own these 25year old+ consumer grade cameras are willing to pay, if you replace it with one from a reputable used camera retailer it will probably be cheaper, and you will get a six month warranty.
     
  23. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    benjiboy,

    I might be wrong but second-hand cameras are usually sold between 100 to 150$ (with the 50mm lens). A reliable technician does the job (CLA'd) for approx the same price, unless the problem is very serious. One way or another it is the same cost, although you know the tech fixed it.
    For AE-1, I would suggest Steve Swerington (Camera Classic in NV) + warranty.
     
  24. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Member

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    I'm sure that can buy a good, working AE-1 with a 50/18 FD for much, much less than $100 to $150 without even trying too hard. Maybe $25 to $50 is more like it if you are diligent about finding a bargain.
     
  25. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    From US members I hear that they get hold of decent camera for small amounts. But over here, especially for Canons, that doesn't happen that often on regular re-sell websites.
     
  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I had my canon A1 given a standard C.L.A and had the light seals replaced last year and it cost £100 (about $165 U.S)