Canon AE-1 Battery Doesn't Last More than a Day

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by michael_black|9, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. I bought a Canon AE-1 off eBay over the Summer. I got a battery in August and took a couple of shots. Hearing that the battery is supposed to last months, I put the Camera in the lock position and left it. The next day, the battery meter said it was dead. Didn't work. Got another battery, took a couple of shots, the battery meter said it was fine. Later, it was half way dead. I took the battery out and put it in and out when I needed to take shots but it was dying very fast regardless.
    So I come to you, asking what the heck is going on with my camera??
  2. Seems like a short circuit in the camera. Another possibility is are the small knobs to the side of the camera (exposure). AFAIK the AE1 cannot be switched off, you only lock the shutter release button. It is possible to drain a battery by continuously pressing the exposure button to the left of the bayonet (in a camera bag) but that doesn't seem to be the most likely case.
  3. Jos makes a good point- is the metering system actually off before it's put away? I never owned an AE-1 and don't know if the meter de-energizes immediately or after a time delay.
    Dirt or corrosion in the battery compartment can also create discharge.
  4. I have 7 AE-1 Programs here at my house. 6 I use for my film work and one I bought this summer off eBay and refurbished it for a friend for x-mas. None of them have a battery draining issue. I bought every one of them from eBay some had kits of lenses with them others just the body and were not tested. Two of them are in my film backpack that I grab from time to time just to go out and photograph with film as I get the urge to do so about once a month. Most of the time the AE-1 Programs just sit in the backpack in Lock position and I change the batter in them every year and a half or so sometimes every two years. Are you sure the batteries are brand new from say Radio Shack since they sell them? I read somewhere on the web supporting Rick's claim of corrosion on the battery terminals. You can remove that corrosion with a little mixture of baking soda and water on a Q-tip and clean that off quickly.
  5. I cleaned the battery compartment, but I guess I can try again. I keep the camera outside of a case and usually leave the exposure where it is. The batteries are brand new from Walmart, Duracell. This is pretty frustrating and demoralizing considering this is my first experience with a film camera in a long time... Would you guys suggest just buying a new body? The auction came with 3 lenses that all seem nice.
  6. If you've ruled out the usual suspects (e.g. old battery, dirty contacts, stuck exposure button to the left of the lens mount, etc.), then it's probably much more economically viable to look for another AE-1 body than attempt to have yours diagnosed and/or corrected by a camera repair technician.
    The fact that your auction came with three lenses in good condition means the transaction wasn't a total loss. Just find another AE-1 and put those lenses to good use.
  7. The fact that your auction came with three lenses in good condition means the transaction wasn't a total loss. Just find another AE-1 and put those lenses to good use.​
    Gerry has offered you some good advice, Michael. You have a nice trio of lenses, and you can use this experience as an opportunity to replace your AE-1 with a better FD body, such as an A-1, F-1, or T90.
    Film bodies are so cheap these days that it makes sense to get a really good one.
  8. The AE-1 only uses the battery power, when you push the shutter button. There is even no need to switch it to the L-position in order to save energy. So your camera body must have an electricity issue. I'd give it back, have it repaired or get me a new one for a couple of bucks.
  9. mpo


    I have three A-1's (not the same, I know) and one of them has a similar problem. I don't know what originates this problem, but in my case, I discovered that storing the camera with the shutter cocked avoids this effect.

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