canon ef lightmeter problem

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by dominik_m, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Hello.
    I have taken canon ef with me for holidays, unfortunately when ready to used I have discovered that lightmeter doesn't work :(
    Long shutter speeds works fine, battery check shows batteries are fine ( I have replaced them anyway), cat selector is on normal and camera swith is ON.
    Yet, lightmeter needle doesn't raise over 1.8, or 2.8 depending on the lens I'm using, unless I set ISO to 3200 and shutter speed to very long.

    Is there anything trivial I am missing?
  2. I can't think of anything off hand that you are doing wrong. How long have you had the camera? I assume that you bought it used. From where? Can you get a refund? How well does the camera work without the meter?
  3. Hiya,
    I have had it for nearly a year. It was repaired, since long shutter speeds were not working and everything was fine until today :( Sod's law I suppose.

    I can use it with handheld meter for now and once I am back I will send it for examination. I just thought that I have forgotten about something ( I have, a back up camera) ...
  4. Surprisingly it has sorted itself. I have not done anything to it, suddenly lightmeter needle came back to life. Magic
  5. I've had 3 old cameras with that very problem, - a light meter that seemed to take an inordinate amount of light, extremely high ISO setting, wide open apertures, and/or very slow shutter speeds to move the needle or generate much of a reading.

    On this last camera I finally found the culprit and there's a good chance it was the problem with the other two, - an old, brittle battery wire. In none of the cases was there corrosion inside the battery compartment and the terminals were clean. In this past case I had removed the bottom cover near the battery socket to inspect the wire. I could see that it had been repaired before. The last inch or two had been replaced with a new wire. And I could also see that what remained of the original wire was in bad shape. I tried to remove more of it and solder in another wire on the end. It didn't want to take the solder, - which should have been my first clue. After a long battle, I finally got a new section of write soldered to the old one but that didn't solve the problem.

    After further disassembly and following a guide on-line, I found the other end of the wire and checked the resistance from that end to the end I attempted to repair. It was noticeably higher that what you'd see just on a normal wire. So I ended up replacing the whole thing. That took a bit of work, since it was routed through the innards of the camera.

    Problem solved.

    Note that the other wiring was all fine. Battery wires are subject to more internal corrosion. The portion of the wire furthest away from the battery connection was in much better shape.

    I suspect you have an intermittent bad connection somewhere.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  6. Tomspielman,
    Thank you very much
    This is what I have suspected, loose connection or corroded wire. I am not skilled enough to disassemble and assemble canon ef myself, ( latter especially) and since I have ordered shiny,new ( to me) Canon EF from Japan in the meantime, upon my return I will just ask camera repair engineer ( Dave from Milton Keynes, cannot praise him enough) to replace that very wire, rather than chasing intermittent problem...
    Once again thank you very much for your input.
  7. Just a brief note: Dave is an uncommon repair guy in this day and age. Most repair people won't even touch the EF because the condition of its circuits can often be very brittle and damage can result just from poking about and gently moving the circuits around. Glad to read about Dave, though. I own three EFs and if I ever have a problem with one, I now know who to send it to.

    Here's hoping the shiny one you get from Japan will be in good working order.

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