Canon AE-1 Shutter Problem...

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by chase_morris, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. I have a Canon AE-1, and the mirror will not lift up when the shutter is fired.
    Please watch this video of the shutter releasing before responding:
    Yesterday I removed the bottom plate of the camera to oil the gears, thus to stop the "infamous shutter sqeaking noise". I inserted the oil syrenge directly into the bottom. I believe that I somehow interfered with the internal components because the mirror will not lift when the shutter is fired, and the camera makes a close-to "stuck" noise (listen in the video). The shutter will open when I have a lens attached, but the mirror will not flip up, and there is an odd noise as I mentioned.
    If you know of a way that I could repair this myself, Please let me know. I do not really want to send it to a repair shop because I can purchase the same camera for the price of the repair. Although I am looking for methods to fix this unit, If you know of a repair shop that will fix it for under $30, pleaase let me know.
    Thank You
  2. Chase, watching your video I noticed that your camera has a lot of gooey foam and this may be causing the mirror to be stuck. The foam appears to be stuck to the mirror. I also noticed a lack of foam for the mirror dampener which should have a clean strip attached. Maybe someone could chime in with a fix but at the very least you need to remove and clean up the the old foam and refoam the camera once you get the mirror problem solved. I recently had my A-1 CLA'd because it develped the shutter squeak that A series bodies are famous for and it cost $85 and it was money well spent. My A-1 looks and functions as new and will last a long time because of the CLA. I too could have passed on getting it repaired and attempt a DIY project but I didn't have the confidence to perform the squeak repair and I'm glad I sent it off.
  3. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    And another A series camera is Junk because of DIY repair. where did your oil go?
    SORRY but I preach about this all the time. Glad I have all the bodies I want. I have my cameras professionally Serviced Cost is $65-75.00 and lasts about 10 years.
  4. The $30 camera repair is as difficult to find as the 10 cent cup of coffee and DIY camera repair is like DIY root canals in most cases. The A-series squeak is not resolved by oiling the gears on the underside. You probably got oil into places where is doesn't belong and/or bent something in there. Chalk it up as a learning experience because I seriously doubt a competent repair tech would want to take responsibility for the camera at this point.
    Chances are it could have been CLA'd professionally for under $100 but after an 'oil bath' I doubt it now. Perhaps a body such as the FT or FTb would be a better choice. Prices are reasonable and they don't have the squeak issue.
  5. No camera repair shop can do a repair for $30. Heck, if a plumber charges $75 for walking into your house, a computer tech charges $60 for 30 minutes of work... no way a camera repair person can touch a camera for $30, especially if you have just made a simple problem far worse.
  6. Ok, I was exaggerating about the $30 or more (I really meant below about $75). I found a good looking service called Garry's Camera Repair for $45. Has anyone used this?
  7. As we have said before, know your skills, abilities and limitations. Although I don't lump every DIY repair attempt into the "it will be a disaster" category, for I and others do have adequate skills to succeed, I do discourage the approach that inserts a two inch-needle blindly up through the mechanism from the bottom. I seem to recall a fairly recent thread about this very procedure. To me it seems analogous to closing one's eyes and jabbing a three-foot sword into a car's engine compartment in the hope of touching the right part. A lot of hoses and wires stand to be cut up as collateral damage.
    Nor can we assume that an oil flood killed this camera. Just as likely, there was a mechanical mishap as a result of a dubious procedure. There's a lot of stuff in there on the side of that mirror cage. Dislodge one end of a spring and it might be over. It could even be coincidence.
    Chase, if you're going to send it for service, it might be well to use someone that the forum recommends, even if it runs a little more. But you're right, you can probably find another camera for less...and it will likely need the same service. The lubricants are 30 years old in every AE-1 that hasn't had a CLA.
    What interests me is that the shutter doesn't seem to hold open on bulb, if I "read" the video correctly. That suggests to me something other than excessive oil.
  8. Instructions to fix the canon squeal can be found here:
    It sounds as if you may have got oil on the gap associated with one if the electromagnets in the bottom of the camera. Attempting to clean it all off again may help.
  9. I've used Garry's Camera Repair for an A-1, AE-1 and A-1 CLA.
    All came back looking and working good. I was very satisfied.
  10. I sent an AE1 program with a shutter squeak to Garry last week. He received it on Tuesday did the repair and sent it back to me on Friday. Squeak is gone and everything seems great - all for $53 (which includes return shipping). I dont know if he would charge extra for having to remove the oil. Send him an email - he responds quickly.

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