AE-1 light meter problem : LUSENET : Canon FD : One Thread

Hi all, I recently got an AE-1 from eBay. It's in mint condition, except for one problem: No matter what, the light meter indicates an underexposure. The battery is fresh, and I've replaced it with the battery from my school's AT-1 just to check. The meter needle does move during a battery check and it indicates a full battery. When the shutter is depressed halfway, the needle moves from the top to the very bottom, as far as it will go. The LED also blinks indicating an underexposure. The only time I get a slightly different meter reading is when I take the lense (50mm ) off and then try metering. In that case, the needle moves a fraction upwards. (f16 is up at the top of the meter, f1.8 is at the bottom for those not familiar with the AE-1)

Anyone have any ideas? TIA, Mike Ball Calgary, Alberta

-- Mike Ball (, May 29, 2002



Did you check the film speed on the camera? If it is set at a low ISO (100 or below), the camera will "think" it has to increase exposure. If you are checking the meter indoors, the camera will indicate underexposure almost constantly. Taking off the lens will only increase the light entering the camera a little bit, hence the "needle moving a fraction upwards". Also, is the camera set at a high shutter speed? The AE-1 is a shutter priority camera, which variably sets the aperture automatically when a shutter speed is selected. If the camera is set at a high shutter speed (1/250 to 1/1000), and the film speed dial is set at a low ISO, the meter will automatically signal underexposure. My dad's AE-1 had the same problem - he thought the meter was broken, but it was actually the film speed set at a really low setting (I believe it was ISO 25). The AE-1 is a great camera, and one in mint condition is a real find. Hope this helps. Enjoy the AE-1!


-- James (, May 30, 2002.

Hi, Yes, I've checked the ISO. The needle doesn't move regardless of what ISO, shutter, aperature, manual or auto, etc. The one thing I did notice is that the ISO dial seems to have a bit of a "springy pull" to onse side, and it sort of grinds along a bit, almost as if there were a few grains of sand inside the dial... strange.... I've read a few things in this forum about problems with the ISO dial not connecting with the rest of the camera. Does this sound characteristic?

Thanks, Mike Ball

-- Mike Ball (, May 30, 2002.

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