Worn out/broken shutter on Canon Digital Rebel XT/350D - what do images look like?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jenny_ss, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. I am at about 43-44K images so far on my Rebel XT (I still have 6 months left of warranty). I have read that the average shutter life for rebel XT's is about 30-50K clicks. So I am expecting it to break soon. However, I have no idea how I would notice that. I have read some forums where people have posted sample pictures usually with a lighter line in the middle of the image. Is this symptom universal? I have recently came back from a vacation in the Carribbean and am very dissapointed with my photos - most of them seem to be overexposed. I mostly shoot in the AV mode and ISo 100 or 200 on bright sunny days. However, in images with F3.5, ISO 100 and shutter speed derived automatically the image is way to light. To rephrase my question(s): 1) how will I know when the shutter should be replaced? What do images with a worn out shutter look like? Or where can I find them (i had not much luck with google) 2) are my pictures an indication of shutter problem? or am I doing something wrong with the settings (on earlier photos I always had to brighten them a bit, so these ones are definitely way too bright for what I'm used to. and it's not just one or two - it's 80% of photos over a span of several days, different angles and subn positions in regards to the photographer). Or maybe the camera gives me shutter speeds that are too slow for the aperture size? (I am mostly using 28-200 USM lense and have never had any problems with it) http://images18.fotki.com/v375/photos/4/417128/4193712/IMG_0482-vi.jpg? 1167084744 http://images18.fotki.com/v375/photos/4/417128/4193712/IMG_1849-vi.jpg? 1167084747 http://images18.fotki.com/v375/photos/4/417128/4193712/IMG_1132-vi.jpg? 1167085035 (ISO 100, F5.6 1/160s - aperture priority) Thank you for your help
  2. Hi Jenny, I can't see any evidence of shutter failure and believe me, you'll know it when it happens. I'll include a shot from a Canon 1Ds II that had the shutter fail - although I'm sure they can go in various ways. But the shots I looked at of yours sure seems like your camera's healthy and I certainly wouldn't angst about it. I have a 10D that's quite a few years old and its shutter's still banging away. My shutter replacement was covered under warranty even tho' my camera was out of warranty (long story) but I think they're in the $250 range to replace on yours so it's not a huge deal. Just keep taking pictures and don't worry about it. Good luck!
  3. If you have to ask it is not the shutter. Shutter failure is a major catastrophic event, one of the most common symptoms is that the camera will simply not function at all. When it happens you will know it. And those numbers are just estimates, don't obsess over them. Your shutter could fail tomorrow or after 100-150K exposures no way to know.
  4. The mirror hinge is more likely to give up first than the shutter itself.

    Many times I've read about shutter failure, but eventually the owner finds out that it was the mirror hinge that broke.
  5. You photos don't look overexposed so much as suffering from poor contrast. Possibly due to difficult lighting. A few tweaks in photoshop should imrove things. In addition f3.5 in bright light might max out the shutter. Ie it only goes to 1/4000 and correct exposure at f3.5 in bright midday light might require 1/8000. I am not saying this is what the problem is but it may be a possibility.
  6. I don't see anything in those pictures to indicate shutter problems. Have a look at the EXIF info on those and see if you perhaps accidentally set exposure compensation. I've done it and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
    For sunny shots, you may have to stop down a bit to avoid the scene being too bright. Make sure you pay attention to the shutter speed indication in the viewfinder; if it's flashing at the camera's highest shutter speed, that means that the metering system says you need a faster shutter speed than the camera has available in order to get a correct exposure with your chosen aperture. I don't know the XT so I don't know if it has a custom function called "safety shift" but if it does, you may want to turn that on; see the manual to find out if it has this and, if so, what it does. Another benefit of stopping down a bit is that you may get sharper pictures; most lenses are not at their sharpest when wide open, and your 28-200 is surely among those.
    Are you using the lens hood? Flare shows up in different ways, and one of them is called veiling glare. It results in the scene looking washed out. If you're shooting on a sunny day, this is a possibility, and particularly so if you're not only shooting in the sun but have other reflective things (like white sand and water) around to reflect the sunlight back at you at a variety of angles.

    EV compensation on all of these pictures (and tons of other ones) is 0.00 and if i do add contrast in photoshop it beconmes a lot better - but the whole point is that I don't want to do that. I want the camera to take pictures that don't need any twiking afterwards.

    "correct exposure at f3.5 in bright midday light might require 1/8000" --> perhaps this is where the problem is. The camera sets shutter speed automatically and it is far less than 1/8000 or even 1/4000. On some pictures it is as low as 1/350 (ISO 100, F3.5-4.5). Perhaps the sensor needs some cleaning?

    I will look online for more solutions because I am somewhat worried. When you download 2000 pictures and most of them are way too light - it's a sign that something is wrong (be it the settings, the improper lighting or a mechanical malfunction).

    Going back to the shutter problem - would it make sense for me to just shoot nothing for 5k clicks? My camera is still on warranty and I already have 44K shots on it. I know that the 30-50K range is just an estimate and there is not a lot of evidence as to how accurate it is due to the small sample size (not a lot of people go over 50K clicks on a rebel XT). SO if I helped it brake - the warranty would cover it. The question is - is that a good idea?

    Once again, thank you for all your help.
  8. "you may have to stop down a bit to avoid the scene being too bright"
    --> yes, i will definitely do that in the future. I have not shot that many sunny day pictures so it was not really a problem before. I try to play with EV but usually going to the + side (shots of objects in front of the sun, the sunset etc.) The pictures I usually get are actually darker than what i want them to be, so setting a -EV is not really required...up to now that is.

    "Make sure you pay attention to the shutter speed indication in the viewfinder; if it's flashing at the camera's highest shutter speed"
    --> I always pay attention to that, but as i have mentioned before shutter speed is a problem in a different way - it is too low even for it's maximum (1/160 ISO 100, F5.6)

    "Are you using the lens hood? Flare shows up in different ways, and one of them is called veiling glare. It results in the scene looking washed out"
    --> No I am not using a lense hood and perhaps I should have. Thank you for this pointer, i'll keep it in mind next time I take these sorts of pictures.
  9. "Perhaps the sensor needs some cleaning?"<p>That has nothing to do w/it.
  10. What does the histogram look like?
  11. Warranties don't cover normal wear and tear, such as the shutter wearing out after a lot of use. So you definitely don't want to waste 5k shots in the hope that the shutter will die, as you'll be paying for its replacement sooner then you otherwise would have to. And keep in mind that the shutter doesn't necessarily die on exactly the 50k+1 shot; chances are it will last at least somewhat longer, and you might get thousands or even tens of thousands of shots out of it past that point before anything goes wrong.
    The sensor needs cleaning if you see crud showing up in your pictures. Typically it's more visible when you stop down. If you don't see sensor dust in your images, don't clean the sensor. The sensor has nothing whatsoever to do with exposure metering, as at the time the metering is done, the sensor is behind a closed shutter, which is behind a mirror. Metering is done with a completely separate device, which is up in the top part of the camera and looks at the focusing screen.
    I don't know what is causing this overexposure problem, but if you're setting ISO 100 and f/3.5 and getting a shutter speed of 1/350 in bright sunlight, that's way, way, way wrong; you should be roughly in the 1/2000-1/4000 ballpark in those conditions. If you can consistently duplicate the problem, you should probably contact a Canon service centre and have them fix it while the camera is still under warranty.
  12. Steve Dunn, thank you for your response. I have a contact who works at canon and who told me that as long as the camera is under warranty they will cover it. And the reason I asked him this question is precisly because of what you said - it is normal wear and tear. Of course I will only know once I send them the camera. But then again, as you said - it might live till much longer after the 50K mark and it would be a pity to waist all those shots and then canon refusing to repair it. I will pay closer attention to the shutter speeds from now on and see if there is a consistent problem or if it was just a glitch (be it some weird settings on my part, or maybe the spilled beer on the camera.lol). Thank you guys for clarifying about the sensor - as you could probably tell this is my first dSLR and I'm still learning new things about it every day. What does the histogram look like? --> they look perfectly fine with the curve right in the middle of the shot (no majour skews to either side). I just checked other images and the ones done in shade or on a cloudy day actually have perfectly balanced shutter speeds. The ones done on a very bright sunny days have problems - but I will keep looking. On another hand, my monitor is very light and I have not used a hood nor the EV adjustments. So perhaps a combination of all of these things contributes to the "overexposed" images. By adding some contrast and viewing the images on a darker screen they actually look not that bad. Like this one for instance:

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