Question about Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

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AE-1Problems... Advance lever, Shutter, and more.

Hey, I have two AE-1's in the same position. The Film advance lever wont move, the shutter button does nothing(i can push it down but nothing happens), and the button on the bottom is stuck in. In both cases this happened when there we no film in the camera and i advanced the lever and then tried to "take a picture". When the picture wouldn't take i messed around with the camera and ended up pushing the button on the bottom. With the second camera i was trying to see if the first one was broken because i just got the first one off ebay and hadn't used it yet. The second one got stuck in the same situation and is a camera i have used many times. Please help. Thanks, Peter

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Re: AE-1Problems... Advance lever, Shutter, and more.

This happened to me to both the Canon's I had. I found out it was a dead battery. Once I replaced those it worked fine. The battery is hidden under the hand grip which can be taken off using a coin in the screw slot.


Posted on Nov 24, 2007

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Re: AE-1Problems... Advance lever, Shutter, and more.

To rashborth25

*Press the black button next to the film rewind crank, if it beeps (preferably quickly) it shouldn't be a battery problem. Also, you can depress the shudder button half way and look into the viewfinder and check the exposure meter inside. If it doesn't light up at all, it's likely a power problem.

*Please make sure the battery is installed properly - negative to negative, positive to positive. I know it's obvious, but I've made this mistake, and just reversed the battery and it worked for me.

*Check for any corrosion on the previous battery you used and the camera's battery connectors, if they are discolored (not a shiny steel color) brown or yellow, you may have to clean with a cotton swab, just lightly moist with water, and then dry again with the other end of the swab. Reinsert battery and check again.

*Remove the lens and look inside to check whether or not the mirror is completely down - if the mirror is stuck in an upward position, please state so. Also raise the mirror manually (wont hurt anything) and check if the shudder is open or closed. If this is the case, I would recommend hitting the rewind button, opening the back, removing the film (thankfully no film should be exposed that wasn't already when you loaded the film to begin with), closing the back again, make sure the camera is set to the "A" position, set the exposure to B, and depress the shutter button - if it releases, it would be the shudder was locked in position, if not, try cranking the advance lever again, and hitting the shudder button.

If the advance lever still does not crank, and the shudder button does not release (i.e. click, expose, etc), please reply with any other particulars you can think of.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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Re: AE-1Problems... Advance lever, Shutter, and more.

Didn't work

Posted on Sep 14, 2007

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Re: AE-1Problems... Advance lever, Shutter, and more.

Most importantly, you want to check the "Battery Condition". By pressing battery check button, you want to see needle goes below F/5.6. As the battery get weakened, the needle go up above F/5.6. This where many camera starts to give irratic shutter release sympton. It this is ok. you release magnet in the bottom of the camera getting sticky. These two solution has solved many AE-1 repairs for last 30 years. Good luck -James For further assistance send email, go to

Posted on Mar 26, 2009

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Re: AE-1Problems... Advance lever, Shutter, and more.

No film right ?
I assume you have replaced the battery...if so....
Camera repair shop time ... KC

Posted on Apr 07, 2009

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Re: AE-1Problems... Advance lever, Shutter, and more.

Hi, Attach a lockable cable release and lock the shutter open on B. Now try turning the release 'button' back and forth. This may free up the lock mechanism, if indeed this is the cause of the jam. If it does not work on the B setting, try the same with the shutter uncocked ie just press the cable release as far as it will go. regards sreejith

Posted on Jul 31, 2007

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1 Answer

My Canon AE-1 Program will take a picture when cocking back the film advance lever, the shutter button does not have a roll in my camera what so ever.

Sounds as if the interlock between film advance and shutter mechanism may need looking at. Repair shop job, I'm afraid.

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My advance lever is stuck o my Ricoh camera. I had a roll of film get stripped in it and took it out in the dark room and developed it but now even with no film in it the lever won't advance. I've looked...

Your camera is in cocked position with shutter fully cocked and that is why you cannot advance the film advance lever. Set the shutter to x position ( on your shutter speed dial on the right hand side and top of your camera ) . The shutter should release and then you should be able to advance the film advance lever.

Oct 18, 2013 | Ricoh KR-30SP 35mm SLR Camera

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How do i get my advance lever to move it seems jammed

A Canon AE-1 is not an EOS camera the Canon "A" series is manual focus while EOS is auto focus. First thought In answer to the advance lever stuck or jammed I'm going to assume the camera is in serviceable condition and has not been subjected to water damage or harsh use. If we are dealing with just the advance lever then I'd say that you have over advanced the film at the last frame. I've done this myself after loading a 24 exposure and thinking I had a 36 exposure film. At the bottom of the camera there is a little pin which releases the advance lever and allows the user to rewind the film. Under normal conditions when it's time to rewind the film into the canister this pin offers little resistance to pushing in to release, however depending on how much force the advance lever has been subjected to increases the tension on this pin. Push the pin in and rewind the film.
Second thought is if you have film in the camera and it has not been used fully then it's possible that the film has already been advanced to a new frame and the shutter needs to be activated before the lever will become free and advance to the next frame.
Other problems with the Canon "A" series cameras is they have a tendency to dry out the lubrication and begin to squeak when the shutter is fired. This condition can eventually result is a shutter seizure and give the same advance lever condition.
Those are the three things that come to mind over this lever problem lets hope it's just run out of film.

Nov 20, 2010 | Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

I have an Canon AE-1 and the film advance lever will not advance the film, the lever goes half way. The shutter will not release. Thanks

The film is either at the end or stuck. The shutter will not release unless the film advance lever has gone all the way and back.
Make a note of the frame counter. Rewind the film and remove it from the camera (When you feel the film to come loose from the receiving spool, stop rewinding to prevent the end of the film to disappear inside the can. This way you can reload it if it was stuck in the middle.) If the film was completely exposed, take it to be developed.
With the empty camera, try to advance the lever and release the shutter. If this works, the problem was the film and not the camera. Everything is fine. If the problem persists, take it to be repaired.
If the film was stuck in the middle, load it again into the camera. With the lense cap on (preferably in a dark room or similar) 'shoot' as many 'empty' frames as you had on the counter plus two more. Finish the film and develop the pictures.
If the film stucks again at the same place, rewind it and develop normally. It was a bad film.
Hope this helped you to solve the problem.

Nov 16, 2009 | Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

Have a Canon AE-1 Program that I've received yesterday.. while taking it out for a shoot, a problem occured: Everytime I would Advance the lever to the next exposure it would take a photograph as if the...

Camera has a bad magnet, the A series were plagued by this.
Repairs will cost more than probably what it's worth.
The AE-1's used an electromagnet system to activate the shutter for a smoother press and less shake from the camera system.

I got lucky and recently purchased an AE-1 program that doesn't have this problem, it seems to be a hit and miss with these.

Oct 17, 2009 | Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

Canon A-1, film advance lever and shutter release

needs repairing at a qualified shop
when was it last cleaned or serviced ?
if you think the camera is worthy, since its old how much is it worth to you vs a new one

Jun 24, 2009 | Nikon FA 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

Just purchased from an auction. the film advance

The first to check is the battery condition. Press the battery check button on the top cover and see where the meter needle rests in the VF. If the needle is above 5.6, battery is getting weak and it will cause irratic shutter release or no release. It's time to change the battery. If needle is below 5.6, then you have magnet problem or other fault. -James. For further assistance by email, go to

Mar 31, 2009 | Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

Film advance

In most film cameras, a battery is not necessary to manual advance film using the lever. Your Canon AV-1 is no exception. I have owned two cameras from the same group, the AE-1 and the Canon A-1. Neither required a battery for manual film advance.

Make sure the ring around the shutter release button is set to "A", otherwise the shutter won't release and the film lever won't work correctly. If the ring shows an "L", the shutter release is locked.

Here's a graphic of the batteries that can be used in your AV-1:

Nov 17, 2008 | Canon AV1 35mm SLR CAMERA SPARES OR REPAIR...

2 Answers

Takes a picture when film advance lever is moved

The magnets that control the shutter are the likely suspect. Dirt and debris can cause them not to hold properly. Hence, it fires the shutter when you advance the film. It is something you can repair yourself. I can describe the procedure if you are interested.

Sep 09, 2008 | Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

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