shouldn't I see the f-stops?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sarallyn, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. sarallyn

    sarallyn TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone -- complete noob here (I've only ever used a sony cybershot dsc-650).

    I just inherited a canon ae-1 (film camera... it's old, too) with a 35-135 mm f/3.5-4.5 lens.
    My problem is that when I took the lens off and adjusted the f-stops, I couldn't see the hole widen or become smaller. When I look through the lens and adjust the f-stops, it looks like it just stays on the maximum aperture.
    Is it supposed to be like that?? Is this a complete noob question, or is there something wrong? I'll be developing my first roll of film from it this weekend... I'll see how it turns out (probably absolutely horrible).

    Thanks.
     
  2. petey

    petey TPF Noob!

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    could it be locked?

    on Nikon AF lenses there is a little switch.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I believe that the aperture remains at it's widest, until you trip the shutter. That's how modern lenses/cameras work.

    Remember that you are looking though the lens when you look into the viewfinder. If the lens stopped down before the exposure, the viewfinder would get darker and harder to see, as less light was allowed in.

    This is also why some cameras have a DOF preview button. It stops down the aperture so that you can preview the DOF...but of course, it makes it darker.
     
  4. sarallyn

    sarallyn TPF Noob!

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    nope -- I don't think it's locked. I can turn and switch to different f-stops, but nothing will appear in the lens.
    one thing I just noticed when I took the lens off is that when I switch to different f-stops there is a little metal part on the base of the camera (that fits into the camera when the lens is one) that will move from side to side as I change the aperture.
     
  5. sarallyn

    sarallyn TPF Noob!

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    hmm... I know the camera is from the 60s or 70s, and I'm sure the lens is pretty old, too.

    but I think you're right... I'll have to see how my prints come out.
     
  6. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Darned right, it's old. Brings back memories. I had the AE1-P, a slightly upgraded version. In any event, with the lens off the camera, I don't think you'll see the aperture change. This is because you're always composing the shot with the lens wide open (there isn't enough light for the human eye when the lens is stopped down). When you press the shutter button, the lens stops down to the desired setting and the pic is taken. The lens immediately opens up again.

    As I recall, there is a switch on the lens that will stop down the lens. It's intended to allow the photographer to view depth of field.
     
  7. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I responded before I read your post. You're exactly correct.
     
  8. snaremop

    snaremop TPF Noob!

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    There's definitely nothing wrong.. my new D40 does that as well.
     
  9. sarallyn

    sarallyn TPF Noob!

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    alright, awesome!! glad there's nothing wrong. thanks for the responses!
     
  10. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    It sounds like lube oil is leaking onto the aperture blades making them stick open. Flick the lever in back of the lens. It should close down with that. Regardless, it will need servicing unless you want to use it wide open all the time. Of course, that doesn't work with the AE-1 since it is a shutter priority based camera.
     
  11. sarallyn

    sarallyn TPF Noob!

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    The lever moves when I adjust the aperture; I think it's what the others suggested (the f-stop will close with the shutter).
     
  12. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    With the lens off the camera, you should see the aperture blades close when turning the aperture ring.
     

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