Quote Originally Posted by owenphillips View Post
when not in auto mode, ie using the aperture selector, apertures 16, 11 and 8 fire the shutter at quite a rapid speed, but apertures 5.6, 4 and 2.8 behave as if the camera is in a bulb mode - the shutter hanging open as long as the release button is held.... This can't be how it is supposed to work?!
You're right, it isn't. When an aperture is selected, the camera should default to 1/60th. The aperture selections are on one circuit, and when you move the lever to A, it moves the camera onto another circuit which brings the meter (and variable shutter speeds) into play. It's hard to describe in words, but once you see it, it's very clear. I can only imagine that with your camera, this switch is not happening for some reason, maybe the lever is out of alignment, and is reaching the metered circuit too early? The only way to tell would be to have a look.

Quote Originally Posted by owenphillips View Post
Am I right in thinking the LCA doesn't have an aperture iris, rather the shutter can open at different apertures depending on the level of light?
Sort of. There is not a separate shutter curtain and iris diaphragm; rather, the iris diaphragm is by default closed, and opens out to a pre-determined aperture (depending on the level of light) before closing again. I assume the shutter speed is either very similar or the same for all apertures, other than 2.8. If the meter decides 2.8 is necessary, then the shutter speed varies to however long is necessary, which is one of the more interesting features of the camera.

Sorry my suggestion wasn't the problem, from your description it all sounded so familiar, I was so sure I had seen it before. In my case, I was sure it was an electrical problem rather than a mechanical one, therefore something I really had little chance of fixing. In your case, I'm really not sure.

Probably best to cut your losses and sell it, you'll get back half what you paid if you go the eBay route (if you're honest about the problems). Or maybe keep an eye out for a working beater going for cheap, and maybe do a bit of chopping/changing, or just a bit of TLC. So long as you don't go over the 80 mark in total, which is the "I could have just gotten a working one off eBay in the first place, for less than what I've already spent" line. It's a shame because it can be a perfectly capable and really fun camera, with a unique feature set.

Good luck.