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  1. #1

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    Canon Canonet QL17... Sticky Aperture Blades

    I have this Canonet which I bought off eBay. Its very, very clean and the meter works and all that, but the aperture blades were slow to open back up. It would stop down just fine, but would only (reluctantly) open back up upon advancing the film lever once or twice. I opened up the lens and tried cleaning the blades with a bit of rubbing alcohol, and that only seemed to make it worse. Now they're even stiffer. Any tips?
    ~ Michelle

  2. #2

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    ifit's not the blades themselves - oil can clog them -- then it is the little tracks around the edges that they run in -- this camera is very old (as are they all) and there may be grudoo in that area, or just stiffness from age -- depending on how ambitious you are, and how mechanically inclined, you can clean further in --

  3. #3

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    Don't risk ruining it by futzing around. Get it serviced, they're great little cameras.

  4. #4
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Whenever someone begins contemplating a DIY repair on a Canonet QL17 I refer them to the photograph at the beginning of this thread.

    After paying for a professional CLA all of the moving parts in my QL17 now function correctly and like new, and I'm extremely satisfied. Also, the lens elements and rangefinder are now internally cleaner than I ever thought possible.

    However, I would be remiss if I didn't also suggest reading the entire thread, as apparently not everyone else had the same good experience that I did.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    —Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  5. #5

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    Aug 2012
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    Did you try cocking the shutter first, then adjusting the aperture? One of my Canonets exhibits this very behavior when the shutter isn't cocked, but the effect is nearly negligible when it's ready to roll. While I'm sure it's due to a bit of gunk somewhere, it wasnt enough in and of itself to be a "send away for repair"-worthy issue.

    Since then, events unrelated to the aperture blades have me considering sending it out for a full CLA, but if that were still the only factor, I wouldn't be sending it out.

  6. #6
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    What I do is remove both the front and rear element sets. Then I set the shutter to bulb and keep a cable release locked in order to keep the shutter blades open. Then carefully, using a clean soft tissue with a drop or two of lighter fluid, I gently wipe the aperture blades at all the different size openings, both front and rear. There is a surprisingly small amount of oil needed to hinder these blades' quick movement, as the tension is caused by only a simple wire spring.

    Sometimes there is oil in the shutter blades as well. I know that this sounds 'disastrous' but you can insert a pencil in the open aperture and then release the shutter blades by unlocking the cable release. With the pencil there the shutter blades will not fully close and will 'expose' the places where there is a tiny bit of oil (to wipe clean). Just be careful and force nothing. After wiped clean simply remove the pencil.

    Oil on these blades is usually caused by the camera having been in a very hot environment (glove compartment during summer) for even a few hours. The oil from the helical can slowly merge with the rest of the lens's mechanics, including the aperture blades. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 09-28-2012 at 07:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7

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    This thread is a few months old now, but since I had the identical problem with a ql17 I bought at a thrift shop this morning, I though I would share my experience.

    In manual mode, I think the expected behavior of the ql17 is that the aperture blades will snap into the desired position when the rewind lever is pulled. Mine, however, were stuck at the smallest aperture. I worked them by setting the aperture ring to f16, firing the shutter, setting the aperture to f1.7, firing again, then back to f16, and so on. It took a few of these cycles (about 80), but now the aperture works regularly. I would not be surprised if it got sticky again after a few months of idleness, but I know how to fix it :-).

    I am not sure what is supposed to happen in automatic mode, since I am waiting for a replacement battery to test it.



 

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