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  1. #1

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    Finding a light leak

    I have an Canon AE-1 with a light leak. It has caused light streaks of various colors (but mostly red) on film. The problem is that I don't know where the light leak is coming from. I've tried shining a flashlight through the lens, and then using a bulb exposure, but I can't find any light leaking anywhere. Is there a better way to find the source of the light leak?

  2. #2

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    g'day reub,
    in older cameras the problem is most likely the foam light seal around the film door

    i have several Canons of this vintage and model, AE1 & AE1P, they have all had this problem

    the foam degrads and falls offf leaving a sticky residue

    it can be replaced easily, either by the owner or a technician

    if doing it yourself, try using the felt from film cannisters

  3. #3
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Jon Goodman, an APUG member, sells an outstanding kit to refoam that camera. I have refoamed cameras before, and Jon's kit is by far the easiest to use. Contact him at "Jon_Goodman@yahoo.com"
    —Eric

  4. #4

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    One question, the foam where that the mirror rests on when it is up is worn away. There is a small gap between the mirror and the top. Could any light be leaking from the viewfinder onto the film?

  5. #5
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Get one of Jon Goodman's kits. You will easily be able to replace all the light seals and the mirror bumper for next to nothing. I've done probably 8 cameras so far and never had a problem. Jon's kit comes with great instructions and he is a very easy person to deal with.

    - Randy

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The foam for the mirror and the foam light seals are the same material. It could be either, but the light seals in the back are more likely, unless you often photograph with your eye away from the viewfinder. It makes sense to have them both replaced at the same time.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7
    DBP
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    Replacing all the foam is usually pretty easy, if sometimes a little messy. I've done it while watching TV. If you don't want to buy a kit, the adhesive backed craft foam sold in art stores works well, as does felt.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    The foam for the mirror and the foam light seals are the same material. It could be either, but the light seals in the back are more likely, unless you often photograph with your eye away from the viewfinder. It makes sense to have them both replaced at the same time.
    OK, I e-mailed Jon asking how much he wants for the kit. If I do replace the foam from the mirror, I might as well clean off the foam that has spread over the focusing screen. How might I acomplish that without scratching it?

  9. #9

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    I have to put in a plug for John Goodman's product too. I bought one of his bigger kits, and have replaced all the light seals on three 35mm slr's and a mamiya 120 film back. There's enough left in the kit to do several more cameras. He sent me instructions by email for a particular camera I needed to do. No extra charge for the extra instructions. Quick service and mail turnaround.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  10. #10
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reub2000
    OK, I e-mailed Jon asking how much he wants for the kit. If I do replace the foam from the mirror, I might as well clean off the foam that has spread over the focusing screen. How might I acomplish that without scratching it?
    Be very careful doing this. I would recommend first using compressed air, then using a paint brush or moderate quality - i.e. one that is very soft. Do not use solvents on the focusing screen, or any liquid for that matter. Most of the debris should brush off with patience and time.

    - Randy

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