Was given a Canon AE-1—what to check for?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by alvareo, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    I mentioned the 35mm f2 as possible candidates for standard lens.

    I did not put it on my "favorites" list because I don't own it. I own a Nikkor-O 35/2.0 though, which is nice.

    But i consider that the thorium 35/2 (concave front) has been overblown. I mean, there are new tests on the 'web out there, where it's compared to the convex front 35/2 and the new FD 35/2 and performance is similar. I CAN BET that the enhanced performance on film is due to the yellowing of the elements, and i would like to see a film teset where the non-concave 35/2 are tested along the concave 35/2 using a strong yellow filter.
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Member

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    There's access to the mirror governor from the front.
    Remove the shroud around the lens mount and the upper left mounting
    ring and it's directly below the screw hole. I use a syringe to put a drop of Naptha or watch oil in it.

    I'd never use WDanything near the camera. YMMV of course.
     
  3. OP
    alvareo

    alvareo Member

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    Alright, so I've shot a few rolls and it appears to be working 100%. Got a new FD 50mm 1.4 and it's great. I've only seen the results from the third, fourth and fifth rolls as I didn't have access to colour developing until now, which is where I shot the first two rolls including the exposure tests, but I don't see any exposure issues on the rolls I have developed (all of which were taken relying on the built-in meter by the way—seems to be very reliable). Thing is, I was shooting the sixth roll and as I was done with it I started winding it back into the canister, and it felt too loose. Thought something had become loose so I opened it in a dark room, and I only saw the canister, so obviously all film was inside it. My guess is I could only do one or two spins before it was completely inside it, meaning I exposed the same two or three frames constantly, effectively losing all photos I took. Since I wasn't sure about that and had no way of taking the film out of it (or, obviously, to see any picture without developing at least part of the roll), I loaded another roll I had on me. Paid attention a couple times to see if the rewind knob was spinning every time I advanced the film, which it was, and then stopped worrying. A day later, I pay attention again, and it didn't turn. Not knowing whether I had already exposed that frame, I covered the lens, snapped a photo, and advanced it. No turn again. I did it twice more, and it did turn both times. I opened the back of the camera and the sporckets were correctly lined up. Fine. Today I took a photo, it didn't turn. Covered the lens, advanced, and it turned. What could possibly be the issue here? I don't feel any looseness when advancing the film.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The film may have naturally uncoiled a bit within the cassette.
    Before you test, take up the tension with the rewind crank.
    My guess is that the first roll didn't catch properly at the very beginning, and you therefore didn't even advance to the first frame at the beginning.
    You certainly wouldn't be the first to have that happen!
    When I load a 35mm camera with manual wind I try to always take up the tension (with the rewind crank) first and then observe the rewind crank as I wind to the first frame. If I'm concerned, I'll repeat the "take up tension and observe the crank" test in the midst of the roll.
     
  5. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    What MattKing said.

    Enjoy the 50/1.4! A very good normal lens.
     
  6. OP
    alvareo

    alvareo Member

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    Well, that's the thing. When putting in the new roll, I did check. I took up the tension and all. As usual, I fired a few exposures (around four) to get to the counter on zero. As I mentioned, I paid attention in the mids of the roll again. And of the four times I paid attention, twice the roll didn't actually move even when I advanced it and the frame counter moved a number. The first time that happened, I took up the tension and as I said after a couple advances it did move... until now that it happened again. It seems odd to me. Hell, I don't even know how many frames I've actually exposed (I'll know when I fire a double exposure at the end, lol) and, thus, how many exposures/lost photos I have on each.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Aside of the Canon lenses there are many lenses with FD mount from other manufacturers. At least here they often are offered dirt cheap.
    And at least from the major independant lens makers you can expect a good lens.
     
  8. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    Is the film rewind button on the bottom of the camera engaging and disengaging properly ? Had such a problem with my X-700 with motor drive where it was not engaging properly and causing the same problems. After shooting a few frames try the rewind crank it it goes one or more turns it will show the problem. They are not like my Canon film cameras where it is done automatically. When you have the back open you can test this function. Things do get sticky by not using a camera. When you have the back open do a number of exposures with the back open to see if the shutter and film rewind work properly
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  9. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Member

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    ^^^^What he suggests is certainly likely, I've seen a bunch of cameras that had been improperly loaded (leader not fully engaged with spool)
    and it's very common error.
    I always take up two frames & put tension on it with the back open, easy to do & haven't missed that once in a lifetime shot yet.
    Also haven't found it yet.

    The counter will always work if the back is closed.
     
  10. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    I'm doing that now as all my Canon etc were automatically engaged even with the MD but Minolta has theirs you have to manually engage.
     
  11. OP
    alvareo

    alvareo Member

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    I'll say it again: I did this and still have the issue

    I'm sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean, could you rephrase this?
     
  12. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    When you tighten up the roll after shooting does it rewind your film completely before you activate the bottom rewind button?
     
  13. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    I accept no substitutes! Only Canon FD on my Canons!! No ersatz Canons! Not even a theoretical Nikkor-with-FD-mount would displace them!
     
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  15. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    Can you try removing the bottom plate of the camera (this is very easy) and then giving a little bit of inspection (and perhaps cleaning) to the mechanism around the rewind button? Perhaps it is not disengaging ?
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I think this is what Dennis is getting at.
    I have one camera (not an AE-1) that requires that I manually disengage the rewind mechanism when I open the back after rewinding the film. It is supposed to happen automatically, but doesn't.
     
  17. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    In this case perhaps removing the bottom and 'liberating' the mechanisms with a little bit of naphta ought to solve the problem.
     
  18. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    Yes because I did have a few old A body Canons which this happened. When the back is open there is a little tab just above the film winding spool that gets locked up from years of being unused and old light seal material gums this switch up causing the exact problems noted.
     
  19. OP
    alvareo

    alvareo Member

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    I've paid attention and sometimes the rewind knob turns for only about the last quarter or third of the movement it should be doing. I'm going to end up with a lot of overlapped photos. As soon as I'm done with this terribly exposed roll that will probably get me a call from the lab asking if I know how to use a film camera, I'm going to open it up and see what's up.
     
  20. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    The rewind knob should turn one complete turn when you advance the film. Open the back and check. Also read the owners manual before wasting anymore film. Easy to find a PDF on the camera. Best and safest PDF I found is: M. Butkus NJ. Another is: https://pacificrimcamera.com/rl/rlCanonFD.htm. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  21. OP
    alvareo

    alvareo Member

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    So, I realised the problem is that the roll becomes loose with time (as in a few hours), and I need to turn the rewind knob clockwise before I advance the film. Is this common?
     
  22. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    Yes that is common because the film is retained in it's location on the film plane for exposure before it is advanced. That is why the sprocket are after the location of the film shutter. Before that does not matter as long as it is VERY dark :surprised:
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There is no spring loading on the spool of the cassette, the only thing that arrests that spool is the friction of the rewind crank, if there is any.

    BUT that does not matter. No need to tension the film.
    In practically all cameras there is so few way between the "tunnel" that holds the film at the gate and the sprocket wheel that it can't move significantly.
     
  24. OP
    alvareo

    alvareo Member

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    I don't think I explained myself correctly. With time, the tension in the roll loosens up to the point of not, or barely, advancing if I pull the 'lever' after taking a photo. So, every time I take one, I have to turn the rewind knob clockwise, take a photo, and then advance the film, otherwise it's so loose that it doesn't move from its place.
     
  25. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Actually, the roll is advancing in the important place - across the film gate - when you advance the wind lever. The only thing that isn't happening is that your check on the system - the movement of the rewind lever - isn't showing you anything. Instead, the film is just becoming marginally more taught within the now loosely rolled cassette.
    The camera is working fine, but your system for checking it isn't, unless you put it under tension.
     
  26. OP
    alvareo

    alvareo Member

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    Sort of thing you only realise when it's mentioned to you—you're right: when I got back the rolls with which I noticed this problem, I only got one double exposure (who knows why)—besides that I got a bunch of blank frames between exposures, for when I covered the lens and advanced what I now know was one additional frame. Sometimes I get frames overlapping one or two mm, but it's usually once per roll. Now to find out why I get the occasional double exposure...
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017