Aperture Problems - Canon A1 SLR

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by SimplyPatsy, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. SimplyPatsy

    SimplyPatsy TPF Noob!

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    I recently found my dad's old Canon A1 SLR. I put new batteries and a roll of film in and started using it in program mode and tried out the AV/TV settings.

    When I went to get the film developed, only 4 of the pictures came out.

    I recently took it to a camera service shop and one of the employees quickly looked over the camera. From his quick overview, he told me that the aperture was messed up. When in any automatic settings, the aperture doesn't function properly, BUT when the camera was set manually the aperture worked fine.

    He basically told me I was wasting my time with the camera because Canon will no longer fix aperture problems with this camera and that I was better off with a DSLR.

    In my opinion, I think the camera is just old and hasn't been used in a long time and just needs to be serviced and cleaned up.

    Can anyone help me?? -- Does the camera just need servicing and cleaning up, or is the aperture just done and can no longer be fixed?? :(
     
  2. MarkF48

    MarkF48 TPF Noob!

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    It is possibly the automatic aperature function could be toast. I'm not familiar with that particular camera, but I'll try to make a couple of suggestions that might help to determine if the aperature is doing what it's supposed to.
    To start I don't know how familiar you are with cameras and if you know for sure what the Av/Tv modes are.
    -The Av mode is an aperature priority mode. You manually set the aperature and the shutter speed will change according to the amount of light the camera meters.
    -The Tv mode is shutter priority mode. In this mode the shutter speed is set and the aperature changes its opening depending on the amount of light metered.

    Without film in the camera and the lens cap off, put the camera in Av mode and set the aperature to maybe about f/5.6 or so and ISO to 400. Try firing the camera into different scenes with varying amounts of light, dark closet/bright window. If the Av auto mode is working you should notice a difference in the shutter speed sound either a fast snap or a slower clunk.

    Now put the camera to Tv mode and set the shutter speed to about 1/60 and ISO to 400. Open the back on the camera and again fire the camera into different scenes of varying light. While doing this look through the back of the camera. As the shutter opens you should be able to see light coming through the lens and the aperature should be stopping down while shooting into a bright light source.

    It's kind of difficult to diagnose a camera without knowing if something else is amiss. You hadn't mentioned if the pictures you got back were totally black or overly washed out light. The camera store may have wanted to make a DSLR sale, rather than suggest a repair of the camera/lens. Perhaps some others that have this particular camera will make some suggestions as well.

    I've never used this company for repairs or a CLA(cleaning, lube, adjust), but I have bought a good number of cameras and lenses from them and they are reputable. They have an online repair estimator or possibly give them a call...
    Repair Center - Buy & Sell New & Used Cameras ? Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Leica & More - KEH.com
     
  3. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    What Mark said. In addition, while operating the camera with the back open, make sure the lens is stopping down in the AV mode.

    In TV and programmed mode, I'm pretty sure you have to set your lens to the smallest aperture, being f16, f22, or whatever. In this case, make sure the lens is opening up for the correct exposure. You should do this with any camera before you put in a roll of film.
     
  4. SimplyPatsy

    SimplyPatsy TPF Noob!

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    wow!! you guys are awesome!! thank you soo much! i will try this out and see what happens. :thumbup:
     
  5. SimplyPatsy

    SimplyPatsy TPF Noob!

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    Again, thanks for the advice... I did what ya'll suggested, and the aperture seems to be working fine. I was able to see light come through the back w/ different shutter & f/stop settings. I did notice when in Av mode, the light did NOT come through but it worked fine in Tv. Is it possible that automatic settings are messed up in Av mode?

    I also tried did different combinations of aperture & shutter speeds with the back open and it seemed to work fine and the aperture hole changed in size according to the f/stop setting & the shutter slowed & sped up when it was suppose to.

    I thought maybe that the film speed I was using could have caused some of my picture issues? I was using an 800 ISO because at the time the film was being purchased, I really wasn't aware of the importance of film speed. With that film speed, i was able to take 4 pictures that came out clear in low light conditions. The rest of the pictures just didn't come out, the photo place I took it to said the pictures were just too dark. Once again, I was taking most of the pictures on that roll in automatic settings where the camera just set its own shutter & aperture.

    I will try a lower ISO and manually set the camera and see if they come out before I send it in for repairs.

    Thanks MarkF48 for the link!!
     

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