I just got a Canon AE-1 and its in good condition... but everytime I use the camera and push down the shutter button the light meter just keeps flashing at me and the little meter drops to the bottom... it doesnt change. theres a brand new battery in it and everything... and when i developed the film... it came out blank... i know i took shots and rewound it. but it was blank... help?
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Re: light meter problem and blank developed film
I'm afraid you have a somewhat serious problem. There is a tungsten cable that runs from the speed dial to the rewind side if the camera. This cable sets the brushes for the electrical contacts the are under the rewind assembly. Adjusting speeds or ASA changes the position of the contacts.
It is very likely that the cable has broken and needs replaced. Canon no longer supports these nor do they have parts
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First thing I would do is sacrifice a roll of film. Load the film as you have been. Then with the back open and tension on the film (do not touch the film over the shutter, advance the film. It may be that you are putting the film on the takeup spool incorrectly. Watch how the film advances on the spool. If it is on the spool incorrectly it will disconnect then not advance. If that does not work it may be a errant takeup spool.
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.
It likely did not catch when it was first loaded, and as such never advanced through the camera. Open the back of the camera, with no film in it, then set the shutter speed to 1, advance the film advance lever and take a shot. You should see the shutter curtains open and then close a second later. Then advance the film lever again and watch to see that the sprockets are turning. If they are, then the camera is exposing and the mechanics are working properly to advance the film. Chances are it was just loaded incorrectly.
You have a case of AE(auto exposure) Unit faulty or getting bad. It suppose to register as it move within the AE unit according to the exposure calculation but somehow it is broken. Technician usualy replace the AE unit and takes care of the problem. It can also be rebuilt if new parts are not available. This requires complete disassembly and mirror box removal. The average cost of repair probably runs around $100. Yes, "A" mode is correct for most of the shots and it was a state of art electronic system and more computerized than you think. It has 3 IC chips in there for precessing and 1 chip for the exposure. All works together for good. -James
To open the back pull on the rewind knob ( pulling up ) until back opens. Check that your 6 volt battery is ok ( ae -1 has an electronic shutter so will not work without a battery ): battery situated on the left hand side of the camera ( if it is facing you ) underneath small flip up door ( lock is at the bottom on the left of the small door ) . Check the battery by pressing the shutter release gently and seeing if your light meter needle moves. No movement ? replace battery.
You have two modes for taking pictures : auto which is actually AV ( aperture priority) or full manual : both are set by moving the shutter speed dial on the top right hand side ( underneath film winding lever ).