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

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My AE1 is malfunctioning. The shutter is being released when I advance instead of allowing me to expose the film with the shutter button.

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  • 302 Answers

Hmmm. Sounds like something internal is not engaging as it should. It probably is a plastic gear that has aged a little too long, and some of the teeth are broken off. Yes, this will need a trip to the repair shop. It's probably due for Clean, Lube and Adjust anyway.

Garryscamera.com and many others will repair this camera for you. Luckily, AE-1 was a great seller for Canon, so there are lots of spare parts out there. On Ebay, they are inexpensive and common. Buy one as a backup or parts donor, as they are old enough to start falling apart.

Posted on May 03, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Obertelli
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SOURCE: My AE1 is malfunctioning. The shutter is being

This is very common on all AE-1 variants and the closely related AV-1.

The simple answer is that your camera needs a thorough CLA service (Clean, Lubricate, Adjust). In most cases all that's happened is that the lubricants put in there thirty plus years ago have dried out and gummed up. If you're unlucky then gears or levers have worn, but there are plenty more of these cameras in good condition for free/cheap if that's happened (although they'll also be due a CLA if not done recently).

At the same time, you can get the camera's gooey foam light seals and mirror buffers replaced; most places charge extra for this one-off service, but sometimes they'll do it for free if you politely point out that you can take the camera elsewhere.

Freshly serviced, your camera can last for many more years.

If in the UK then I can recommend Colchester Camera Repair, they're Canon specialists and absolutely excellent, but you may have your own preferred repairer. Any competent camera repairer can do this job very easily.

Don't try to force anything on your camera until you get it repaired, and try to get the job done asap, as sometimes this fault weakens internal parts due to springs being held in stressed positions for longer than designed.

DIY repair is possible but quite tricky, but if you're prepared to risk it going wrong then the experience is worthwhile. You'll find various "how-to" guides online although I haven't got any bookmarked at present to refer you to.

I hope that I've answered your question, please don't forget to rate my answer.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010

Testimonial: "Thanks so much. i've asked other people but they'd never heard of such a thing happening. Hopefully I'll fix it myself since I'm short on cash."

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1 Answer

I cannot press down the shutter release and the film advance tab will not move, therefore making it impossible for me to take photos. Please help.


I guess it is actually an AE1 and not an EOS, as EOS is a digital camera! You will have to scrap the film in the camera by opening the back and removing the film. Take out the film can, then pull the film off the take up spool press the windback button on the bottom of the camera. This should get it working again. Try a few shutter releases and wind ons before putting a new film in. If you have important images on the film you don't wan to lose just do the above in complete darkness, and wind the loose film back into the can using the knob at the bottom.

Jan 04, 2011 | Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

Ae1 when i advance film the shutter releases abd takes a photo


You have bad mirror release magnet.
The magnet became weak and not holding the mirror so when you wind, the mirror goes up and takes pictures or releases the shutter by itself.

Apr 27, 2010 | Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

My AE1 is malfunctioning. The shutter is being released when I advance instead of allowing me to expose the film with the shutter button.


This is very common on all AE-1 variants and the closely related AV-1.

The simple answer is that your camera needs a thorough CLA service (Clean, Lubricate, Adjust). In most cases all that's happened is that the lubricants put in there thirty plus years ago have dried out and gummed up. If you're unlucky then gears or levers have worn, but there are plenty more of these cameras in good condition for free/cheap if that's happened (although they'll also be due a CLA if not done recently).

At the same time, you can get the camera's gooey foam light seals and mirror buffers replaced; most places charge extra for this one-off service, but sometimes they'll do it for free if you politely point out that you can take the camera elsewhere.

Freshly serviced, your camera can last for many more years.

If in the UK then I can recommend Colchester Camera Repair, they're Canon specialists and absolutely excellent, but you may have your own preferred repairer. Any competent camera repairer can do this job very easily.

Don't try to force anything on your camera until you get it repaired, and try to get the job done asap, as sometimes this fault weakens internal parts due to springs being held in stressed positions for longer than designed.

DIY repair is possible but quite tricky, but if you're prepared to risk it going wrong then the experience is worthwhile. You'll find various "how-to" guides online although I haven't got any bookmarked at present to refer you to.

I hope that I've answered your question, please don't forget to rate my answer.

Feb 17, 2010 | Canon EOS-AE-1 35mm SLR Camera

2 Answers

My Mamiya RB67 triggers and shutter lease lever works but film advance lever doesn't move. Trigger button fired several times but film advance still showing 1.


This is not the best solution as it indicates a faulty film back. The film should advance without resorting to activating the film-wind release lever. That is only for intentionally advancing a partially exposed roll of film. Make sure the multi-exposure lever is not engaged and that the counter does advance and the red mark disappears as you advance to an unexposed frame.

Nov 09, 2009 | Mamiya RB67 Pro SD Medium Format Camera

1 Answer

Film Advance Lever and Shutter Curtain


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.

Sep 17, 2009 | Vivitar V3800N 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

Pentax SF10 Camera -- double exposure


If you press the film release button like you are going to rewind exposed film you may be able to activate the film advance lever to cock the camera so you can take another picture, and the film should stay on the first exposure allowing you to re - expose it. I would underexpose each image 1 F stop because.you are exposing the same film twice. Double exposures are always an iffy proposition and anything can happen. After the second exposure cocking the film advance should allow the film to advance once again. You might test this on the final pictures on a roll in case the camera won't start advancing the film after you try it. This way you won't blow a whole roll worth of pictures testing it.

Apr 12, 2009 | Pentax PZ-70 QD 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

Film advance lever wont move. Shutter button does not register.


the self timer may be the issue. the self timer if not all the way released will not allow you to advance to the next frame :( i sometimes have to push it back to the start position

Nov 13, 2008 | Photography

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

1 Answer

Film won't advance


Perhaps you've already solved the mystery. There are 2 parts to the back of that camera, the film back + the part that it slips onto. And they have little safety latches/pins that couple in order to advance the film & release the shutter. I'm sure those just aren't in the right place. Here in Los Angeles you could take it to any major camera store or repair shop & they've help you out.

Mar 06, 2007 | Mamiya RB67 Pro SD Medium Format Camera

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