Canon FX Shutter Stuck? viewfinder is black! help please :[

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by miss_m, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Ok, sorry if this isn't the right forum ...
    I have a 35mm Canon FX Film SLR (1964 vintage model) that I bought off ebay, in working condition for my photography class. I am used to digital, but quite new to Film SLRs.
    I replaced the battery with a new WEINCELL PX625/PX13, and I took a few pictures yesterday. It appeared to work fine. I am using 100 speed b&w film
    Just an hour ago, I took a picture, and after the picture was supposedly taken ... the shutter was stuck. The viewfinder is black and I think this might mean one of the mirrors is stuck? i'm not sure, but I am in a huge panic because I need this camera for my photo class, I don't have the money for expensive repairs or money to buy a new one ... if it's broken and I can't fix it, I don't know what i'm going to do.
    The film crank won't budge. Since there is film inside the camera, I can't open it or anything ... not sure of what to do. Even the manual doesn't help me.
    Is there anything I can do? any manual SLR expert that can help me? i'd greatly appreciate it very much!
    I searched all over and I can't find a solution for it.
  2. with the lens off can you see if the shutter is closed? If you see film then the second shutter curtain didn't close, and the mirror will not come down until it does. If you see the second shutter curtain, then it may not have completed its travel entirely, and so the mirror didn't return. In which case you will need to open the camera and gently prod the curtain all the way closed. If that is the case the mirror should return and you'll be able to use the advance lever again.
    Did you try firing the shutter on all speeds before loading it? A lot of old cameras need "exercise" or the shutter will stick on slow speeds.
    In any event you need to open the camera probably. Rewind the film, but leave a little sticking out (or if you rewind too far you can pull it back out with a special tool) so you can finish the roll later.
  3. As long as you haven't left the mirror up with the mirror lock lever (make sure about this first), it might be that the mirror is stuck to the bumper foam at the top of the mirror's travel, something that often happens to older cameras when the old foam breaks down. You should try removing the lens and then gently pull the mirror down. If it will not come down (and the mirror lock lever is correctly pointing down), you have a problem. If it does come down, you'll have to replace the foam so it doesn't happen again.
    If it turns out there is something wrong with the camera, removing the film shouldn't be a problem if you have access to a darkroom.
  4. Do not try to move the mirror though if the shutter isn't closed (if you can see the film through the film gate, instead of the shutter cloth - then do not touch the mirror)
    And you may remove the film without the need for a darkroom but simply rewinding gently and "feeling" for the end of the film - when you feel tension at the rewind crank let go it generally means the film has let go of the take up spool.
  5. Hi, thank you both for you responses.
    Dave, I rewound the film and removed the lens. I can see the shutter curtain stuck ... it is only half way closed with a slit of space open between. I closed it gently, but now the shutter button still does not go down all the way. The viewfinder is still black ...
    I only have one roll of film currently, so I can't really test it with film until I put my old roll back in.
    I didn't try firing the shutter on all speeds yet ...
    And Mark, the mirror lock lever is down/off.
  6. You don't need film in it to test it. Did it let you wind on after closing the shutter? Try firing it starting the with the fastest speed and go down to the lowest speeds. If it starts sticking just shoot it at high speeds again and see if it starts to "clear up".
    If a camera has been sitting for a long time these symptoms are quite common, but they also indicate a CLA is probably in order if the camera still fails to fire normally after a few dozen firings.
  7. after I closed the shutter, it won't let me wind. The shutter button won't press down all the way.
    Also, would the fastest speed be the bigger numbers? or the smaller ones on the dial?
  8. ok ... the mirror JUST became unstuck ... I can see through the viewfinder now ...
    how do I prevent this from happening again?
  9. 1/1000 1/500 etc. are the fast speeds.
    If it won't wind it is probably because the shutter hasn't cycled fully. Did you try to push the mirror down after closing the shutter? (if you do do so very gently, be especially careful not to push it too far which can ruin the alignment of the mirror).
    Beyond that you'd probably need to find somebody is more familiar with Canons in particular to help you.
  10. After closing the shutter, the mirror came down and I can see through the viewfinder. But the crank still won't crank, and the window is on "S". I inserted the film correctly ...
    How do I get it to crank so I can take a picture? it wouldn't even crank without film.
  11. :\ Can you return it for a refund? I honestly can't give any more of an opinion without having it in my hands, but it's obviously not working right.
  12. After closing the shutter, the mirror came down and I can see through the viewfinder. But the crank still won't crank.​
    The shutter may be closed enough to enable the mirror return but not enough to unlock the winding mechanism. Or there may be something else jammed up. If no parts need replacing, a camera repairman could probably fix it (and lube/adjust the mechanisms) but it would not be cost effective unless the camera also has sentimental value. A camera tinkerer/shade tree mechanic might also get lucky if it's simply jammed (I've managed to un-jam a few.) Since I hate to see a student stuck at the beginning of the term with a broken camera, I've emailed you about a potential free (if no overseas postage) Canon AE-1 + lens to replace it.
  13. Erik, i've just sent you a response in return. Thanks so much for your help.
    And thank you to everyone else to decided to help me in this thread. :]
  14. A Canon AE-1 w/50mm f/1.8 lens replacement camera is on it's way. If you take any good photos with it, come back to the forum and share.
  15. @Erik Magnuson. What a wonderful gesture! Fotogs are the Finest!
  16. After all this time, I've managed to replicate Miss M's shutter jam.
    Here's what you do:
    Set shutter speed to 1 second, or 1/2 second.
    Fire the shutter.
    Before the shutter has finished its cycle, be impatient and start winding the film.
    Your camera is now well and truly jammed, with the mirror still up because the shutter hasn't finished yet.
    I asked Clarence Gass about this, and he says that's a well known way to jam a mechanical shutter, especially on an SLR. The entire events sequence timing (shutter, mirror, diaphragm actuation) is thrown off, and it's not exactly easy to unjam this. Such a camera needs professional help.

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