I can't advance the film, and the shutter won't release either. Batteries are fine. The take-up spool and sprocket wheel are turning fine.
I did notice a crack on the plastic top cover, on the side the film advance lever is on, when someone returned it to me.....but I haven't gotten deep enough into the camera to find out if the mechanics of it have been damaged. Is my continued search likely to lead me to a solution?
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What has probably happened is that you have not yet engaged the sprockets into the sprocket holes in the film. Open the back and make sure the film is being pulled by the take up spool under the wind on lever until both top and bottom sprockets are engaged. If there are any torn sprocket holes in the film, cut the damaged film off, cut a new lead in section to half film width, and try again. You will lose a few shots, but the rest of the film will be fine. Shutter won't start working until the film is properly advanced. If you need to get damaged film off the take up spool just press the film return button, the one you would press the rewind the film into the can at the end of the film. It is on the bottom under the sprocket shaft.
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.
Check all the batteries. Get fresh ones. If this is a manual, lever-action film advance and you have a camera with a spring-driven shutter you probably have a stripped sprocket and it needs new parts. If you have an electric shutter but there's one spring driven shutter speed as a backup, try that setting. If it is a totally motor driven advance, try checking the drive battery and clean the contacts. If the motor drive is removeable, take it off and try the lever-action advance. Remember, a group of AA cells are only as good as the weakest one. Good luck
You may end up sacrificing the used film or you can rewind it early.
I have had it happen that the film sprocket holes had striped out causing the advance sprocket to get out of sync with the film making it ride up onto the area between sprockets and creating a jam.
If you can, rewind the film onto the feed roll to preserve the exposed portion and then remove it from the camera.
Try the film advance then with an empty camera, releasing the shutter and repeating the cycle to determine if the advance mechanism will now act as it should; if it does, then the film was probably at fault and it may never happen again.
If you cannot respool the film, I would take it to a professional photo lab and have them unload the camera in a dark room if you want to try to save the pictures already on it.
If the film advance lever is "flopping" back and forth, the problem is most likely a jammed advance mechanism inside. The shutter is cocked *mechanically* and released the same way--no battery power is needed. One old trick you could try to release things is to push the rewind button on the bottom of the camera.*sometimes* it will free up the mechanism enough to unjam.
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:
No, it is not the battery. My guess is that the film leader did not stay in the take-up spool and is now bunched up around it. Try rewinding the film carefully as you normally would but remember that you are only rewinding a small portion of the length. You can even just open the film door and start over. You will only loose 3 or 4 frames on the roll.
Your camera is cocked but since the shutter is not working you cannot release it and hence your film advance mechanism does not work.
ME-super will work without batteries in full manual mode so set your shutter to B and try to release it.
If the shutter will not release in B mode then the shutter/mirror box will need servicing : rubber components in the mirror box mechanism have perished and need replacing. After that your camera will be fine for another couple of years.