Canon AE-1 Program has died...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Nikki, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Nikki

    Nikki Member

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    I think the shutter is slipping. When I advance the film, I can hear the shutter( mirror?) operating...like I have taken a picture. Is it worth fixing do y'all think? Or should I give it and all of my FD lenses up?I'd appreciate any advice you have to offer. Thanks.

    Heartsick, Nikki
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Don't give up the lens...just find another AE-1 or A1 and keep going..at today's prices you can find an F-1 for the price you may have paid for a new AE-1.
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Has it ever been serviced? Doesn't sound like anything a good CLA wouldn't take care of.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2005
  4. Nikki

    Nikki Member

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    No I haven't had it serviced. Its been well taken care of by me for the last year but I don't know what happened to it or how it was taken care of for the first 20 years. Fixing it might cost $200 I'm just not sure if it's not better to just buy another Canon A-series or just sell out to autofocus completely... I'm in the middle of a photography class too!

    Sorry I just miserable over the whole thing.

    Thanks for your input.

    Nikki
     
  5. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Well, I guess it depends on how much you have invested in FD glass, your emotional investment in this particular camera body and how you feel about autofocus but, I've had a bunch of 35mm gear serviced over the years and $200 sounds like a little too much to pay to have it fixed (especially if all it needs is a CLA).
     
  6. mikeb_z5

    mikeb_z5 Member

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    try contacting Karl Aimo at AE1REPAIR@aol.com. He's a retired Canon service technician. Very reasonable, prompt, and honest. If you send him your camera, he'll contact you with pricing. I've sent him 2 ae1p's in the last year for CLA/shutter squeal/mirror foam replacement. Both were under $80 and are now like new.

    Mike
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    A friend handed me an AE-1P three days ago with the opposite problem, shutter won't fire, so I've researched this in the last couple of days.

    The AE-1 has a shutter release that has a permanent magnet holding the release mechanism. To fire the camera, current is put through electromagnetic coil around the permanent magnet when the shutter release button is pressed. This cancels the field of the permanent magnet and the shutter mechanism is released. The common problems are that the permanent magnet fails, or the capacitor in this circuit fails, or there is a short or dirty contact in the circuit. Sounds like your permanent magnet is too weak to hold the release mechanism or there is a short that charges the electromagnetic coil as soon as the shutter is cocked. Simply removing the bottom plate, which is easy to do, will let you watch the mechanism.

    I've seen people advertizing this repair for something on the order of $80. No parts are available from Canon (from what I've read), so you'll need to rob the magnet from another body, or perhaps replace the capacitor, or clean the switch contacts in the circuit.

    I found a free AE-1 repair manual online a few days ago. Can't recall where, and it's too big to email or post. You could Google for it. It has instructions for diagnostic tests and for repair procedures, including disassembly/reassembly. I'll append a URL if I find the source later.

    Lee

    Eureka!

    http://www.canonfd.com/choose.htm

    There are several AE-1P publications here, including a parts list, general repair manual, and a troubleshooting guide.
     
  8. kwmullet

    kwmullet Member

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    FD or EF? F1 or EOS?


    For a number of years, I was out of photography. When I was last "in", it was the mid-eighties, there was no autofocus, and the 35mm gear I used was US Navy Canon F1s and FD lenses.

    When I got back into photography about ten years later, everything had gone autofocus (or so it seemed) and auto-exposure. When I started doing it professionally again, I got a couple of Canon EOS-1n sets and EF lenses.

    My wife prefers to shoot autofocus, but if it werent' for that fact, I'd trade all my EOS & EF gear for a nice F1 and FD equivalents.

    Before you decide, you might want to give this site a skim:

    The Autofocus Problems Page
    Think that if you just switch your AF camera to manual focus it's as good as having a manual focus camera? Expect anything close to the rated resolution of your lens when using Autofocus? You might think different after spending some time at this site:

    http://medfmt.8k.com/third/af.html
     
  9. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    This is interesting info. The data confirms what many have intuitively known from the start.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    FD compatible bodies are cheap and plentiful in general. If you're heavily invested in FD lenses, consider looking into another body like a New F-1.

    Sending it to Karl Aimo is a good suggestion. There are a few standard shutter problems with A-series Canon's, and someone like Karl Aimo who has done hundreds of these should be able to fix it quickly and affordably.
     
  11. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Autofocus cameras can be a real PITA. Most modern cameras like the EOS line are more like computers than cameras IMO. It is very easy to select a shutter speed and lens aperture on the Canon A and F series cameras and a hassle to try and use an EOS or similar auto-everything electronic marvel. I have students ready to throw their EOSs and Maxxums in the trash because the cameras will freeze up and not let them take a very simple picture manually without reprogramming everything.

    You can probably find a good used A or F body very inexpensively and I would recommend you do that. The only reason I would suggest an autofocus camera is if your eyesight is failing with age or you need it for some specialized daily purpose like pro sports photography. For anything else, the older cameras will be easier to adjust and use for most people. That is unless you are doing some programmed setting in which case you might as well invest in a point-and-shoot camera and save some money.

    There are some other issues with things like maximum apertures on the newer autofocus lenses that also tend to impede creative use of the cameras. Most new AF cameras come with zoom lenses with max apertures around 4-5.6 or thereabouts. Try doing a very shallow depth of field shot with them...nowhere near as easy as with an old 50mm f/1.4 FD lens.

    "They don't make them like they used to."

    Rant over.

    Joe
     
  12. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Hi Nikki

    The way I look at it is this: the only reason to get out of the FD world is if you want AF. Everything else, a FD camera can handle - and they are so cheap, (between the AE-1's, AE-1p's, EF, T series, newF1, AT, AV... on and on and on you have a nice spread of price options). So unless you want, or need AF - look at it this way:
    A T-90 will offer you pretty much EOS w/o AF, and they are known as "the tank" for a reason. Full manual, or full (quite sophisticated too) auto modes, metering options, etc. But, you still have to pay $300 plus for a really nice one. Oh, yeah, and they are putridly ugly.
    A NewF1 is... well, its just too cool for words!(OK, that last bit is just my personal bias...) - but: professional quality, strength, a monster motor drive (4.5fps), ability to shoot with a dead batt. (albeit limited - but try it with a modern SLR...), very modular, etc. You can probably have one for life, but you might be looking at $300-400 for a nice one with all the goodies.

    OK, so those are the "I am going to stick to FD lenses for good and want that ONE camera" options. Now, this may not fit your budget - fine.

    You rother option is buying a AE, AT, AV for $50-75 for a body in nice shape, and using it until it cacks out (which may be soon, but may be not before you do!). They are not as flexible as the above, not as robust, don't have some of the advanced features (but you'd be surprised how few). And can keep you happily shooting for years at a price where even a "camera-a-year" approach is pretty cheap (the gear will costs you less than you spend on coffee in a couple of weeks, hehehehe)

    And the "in-between" options - A-1, a nice, semi-pro level camera or an EF (the only FD SLR with mirror lock - other than the old F1!).

    And if you choose the AF path, let me know what lenses you have, I'd more than happy to ease your transition into the new way of Auto this and that!

    And simply, all new cameras are ugly. So there. :wink:

    These are of course just suggestions from an "advanced beginner", heavily laced with what I hope you will all take as humour :smile:
     
  13. Nikki

    Nikki Member

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    gnashings-

    Thank for your suggestions and advice. I have given it up and am selling what I have to buy new autofocus lenses. It was mostly sentimental reasons for keeping the older canon and its lenses, but with my failing eyesight, autofocus is just my next step--(I really hate wearing my glasses).

    Thx, Nikki
     
  14. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Nikki,

    e-mail me a list of what you have and how much you want for it, that is if you are interested in going that route. If not, I am sure you will be ale to collect enough coin to offset the move to AF via ebay or classifieds!

    pgaluszewski@sympatico.ca

    Peter.
     
  15. stwcar

    stwcar Member

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