I believe my cemera's light meter is broken. When you push halfway on the shutter release, one of three symbols should light up in the view finder... red plus sign, green circle, and red minus sign according to light. No matter how I adjust the brightness, the red minus sign lights up. I've tried a new battery, and still no change.
I've gone to photo shops who have reffered me to send my camera off to some place that MIGHT be able to fix it, and others that have very little experience with non-digital cameras. I am no expert by far, I would just like to know if the problem is able to be fixed.
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Try resetting the camera by pushing both rewind buttons (two buttons with red rewind symbol), and when the motor stops running open and close the back door then try again. If not it could be as simple as a bad release switch (the switches on the N55 and N75 were garbage) or a electronic problem. Also check to make sure you did not pop the shutter blades out of position when loading film. Remove the lens and gently lift up the mirror with a fingernail and make sure the blades are flat.
You did not say which camera body you are using, but you probably have three different auto-focus modes on you camera. You might be using the wrong one.
The modes are as follows:
AF-A Mode: Camera automatically selects single-servo autofocus when AF-A subject is stationary, continuous-servo autofocus when subject is moving. Shutter can only be released if camera is able to focus.
AF-S Mode: For stationary subjects. Focus locks when shutter-release button AF-S is pressed halfway. Shutter can only be released when in-focus indicator is displayed.
AF-C Mode: For moving subjects. Camera focuses continuously while AF-C shutter-release button is pressed halfway. Photographs can be taken even when in-focus indicator is not displayed.
there are a number of things that could be causing this and none of them are good. The impact could have torn the main circuit. If it hit on the rewind side there is an expensive glass disk (glass is used for temperature stability) called a FRE that has contacts on it for the ASA and aperture information to be sent to the main circuit. This is easily broken. You may also have damaged the shutter speed unit or its flex.
I don't know about the SA-7, but the SA-5 doesn't have an on/off switch as such. Pressing the shutter button halfway activates the autofocus and turns on the light meter. The camera switches off after six seconds of inactivity to conserve batteries, though the shutter can still be released accidentally. Turning the mode dial to the "L" position will lock the shutter and prevent accidental release.
You can find a manual for the SA-5 at http://www.butkus.org/chinon/sigma.htm . It's not ideal, but it should help you get started.
The film lever is also a switch. If you had advanced the film lever, **** it outward a little. You will feel the detent click somewhat when doing so. Leave the lever outward and see if the shutter will work. The detent is for appling an closed circuit for the light meter. When the lever is fully pushed back in it shuts the power to the meter on off to conserve battery power
the speed of the film may be to high if your camera has dx coding contacts in the film chamber. otherwise---- film in camera or not it has no effect on meter operation. move the advance lever to the right slightly and push down on the shutter release button slightly to turn meter on.