New here, and Canon AE-1 battery issue

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Hello all!

Been lurking for a while, looks like a nice place! I regularly shoot my Canon digitals, but I've always had a love affair with the first film cameras I got long ago. I had an issue arise recently with one of my AE-1 bodies and figured this was the place to come to for information.

Came across a bargain on some rolls of Kodak B&W film and dragged one of my AE-1s out to have some fun. I'd been using it a few months earlier, and had noticed the self-timer lamp on top was staying dimly lit. When I loaded film this time, I found out the battery was dead. Checked the voltage and compared with the voltage of some new A544s as well as a known good battery in my other AE-1, and it was low. I replaced the battery with the one from the other body and saw that the self-timer lamp is still constantly illuminated. I can't ever remember it doing this, and on the other body the light stays unlit until the self-timer is used.

When I check the battery in-camera, the light turns off but comes back on after I release the battery check button. When I use the self-timer, the light stays dim but flashes bright like it's supposed to. I'm wondering if this is why I had the battery die on me, and didn't know if anyone else had these issues.

Also unrelated, I need to replace the foam seals on the second body and didn't know if anyone here had a write-up. I've found some on Google but I'm guessing these forums are more detailed and experienced.

Thanks!
Chris
 

compur

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The light should only come on when you use the self timer so it seems like an electrical fault such as a broken switch which would account for excessive battery drain. Buying another, working AE-1 would likely cost less than having it repaired.

There are lots of online references giving instructions on light seal replacement, such as this one:

Replace the light seals of your good old film camera

and this one:

 
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Thanks for the help! I'll probably just give this newer AE-1 a little TLC and switch to using it.
 

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I'm not familiar with that particular Canon, you could try asking on the Flickr discussion group for the FPP - Film Photography Project | An Internet Radio Show & On-Line Resource for Film Shooters Worldwide .

I have the set of camera repair books by Tomosy (which are out of print) and I think that's where I read that you could use the velvet from the inside edge of a film cartridge (if you aren't doing your own developing a lab could probably save for you). I don't remember offhand what adhesive was recommended.

The owner of a longtime local camera shop that since retired had suggested I use the loop (soft) side of self adhesive Velcro and cut a narrow strip to fit to use to replace a mirror bumper - that worked fine for that purpose.
 
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I've got a kit on the way from Jon Goodman to fix up this spare AE-1. After I get this one working and tested I'll probably break into the older one and see if I can find why this light is constantly illuminated.
 

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