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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 15 May 2012 (Tuesday) 08:43
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A-1 squeak - any DIY fix?

 
nccb
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May 15, 2012 08:43 |  #1

Have an old A-1 that I bought off CL and used a few times. Went to sell it on POTN, and the buyer asked about the squeak - I didn't even know about the squeak issue until they asked and I googled. Ignorant me thought it's just how the shutter sounded on this old camera.

Any way to fix on my own? I'm willing to take a risk, as I got it for cheap. And yes, I know I can pay someone else $120 to do it - I may end up doing that eventually if there's no other option. But want to just check POTN experts who have had this camera to see if it was easy or hard to fix....


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Numenorean
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May 15, 2012 09:01 |  #2

Google the issue....first result was a YouTube video on how to fix it.

Looked pretty simple, though the guy used a knife to unscrew stuff....I would recommend a screwdriver.


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nccb
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May 15, 2012 09:05 |  #3

Ha - yeah - I saw that video before I posted the thread. I saw the knife and thought the same thing. Was wondering if anyone had any insight as to where exactly to stick the syringe though - he doesn't really go into that (other than in the front side of the camera).


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Numenorean
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May 15, 2012 09:07 |  #4

Try an image search, I thought I saw some diagrams and such, but I don't really know and don't have one of those cameras.


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nccb
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May 15, 2012 09:09 |  #5

Good idea, I'll give that a go. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see the innards of one of these old cameras.


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nccb
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May 15, 2012 10:12 |  #6

Nice! Found some good stuff here.... complete repair manual.......we'll see how this goes....

http://jameskbeard.com …0&%20Repair%20G​uide_z.pdf (external link)


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nccb
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May 15, 2012 16:12 |  #7

After actually unscrewing the bottom off the a-1 I have no idea how that guy used a butter knife to unscrew these. Holy cow those are tiny screws. Not sure if I'm gonna do this or get a pro to do it.


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Virto
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May 15, 2012 17:42 |  #8

Unless you're going to keep it, if you don't feel comfortable with doing the work yourself, I'd just sell it with the shutter squeak. 120 seems high for this kind of lube/fix.

A-1s don't sell for really high amounts even when pristine, even on KEH. Might not be worth the repair investment to you.


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amfoto1
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May 15, 2012 18:16 |  #9

This is a temporary solution, at best... but it will work for a while.

When the A-series Canons develop the dreaded "shutter squeak", it's actually sort of a cry to "please clean and lube me properly throughout!" It actually isn't related to the shutter, but is a lack of lube in the mirror mechanism that causes the noise.

However, the trick with the syringe works. Let's see if I can do this from memory... Oh wait, I just Googled it and found this illustrated site that explains it at least as well as I could!

http://www.paradesquar​e.ca/canon_fd/a_series​_chirp.htm (external link)

Notice the "mirror governor" in the drawing near the top? That's what you are trying to get a tiny drop or two of oil onto. I use a lightweight oil that's used by clock makers, similar to "sewing machine" oil.

Working through the screw hole with a syringe to lube it, you are doing it blind. You can't see the mechanism you are trying to get the oil onto. It's also possible to oil this from below, after removing the bottom plate of the camera... or from above, after removing the top. From the top, I think you can see some of the mechanism, but you have to do a lot of disassembly. Through the hole is the quickest and easiest. I've never tried it from the bottom, learned to do it through the screw hole and probably have done this quick fix on a couple dozen A series camera over the years.

If you get too much lube in there, it can run into other areas you don't want it... onto the mirror or shutter or up into the pentaprism. Only one or two little droplets are needed. I suggest practicing with the syringe outside the camera first, to see how much oil is pushed out with any particular amount of pressure on the plunger.

But if the camera is squealing like that, it's really due for a proper, complete CLA or "Clean Lube Adjust". If you were quoted $120 for the fix, that's actually a full CLA, in which they would disassemble, clean thoroughly inside and out, lubricate mechanisms throughout the camera, check shutter accuracy and adjust if needed, check the metering system and adjust if necessary, replace light seals in the mirror box and around the film door, possibly other places (varies in different camera models). You might be able to get this done for a little less than $120 if you shop around, but that's actually about what I'd expect locally. After a CLA, the camera should be ready to shoot for another 25 or 30 years or so. So that works out to, what, $4 or $5 a year maintenance? Really not bad, when you think of it that way.

A freshly CLAed camera will usually bring a higher price from a knowledgeable buyer... but probably not enough to recoup both the purchase price and cost of the CLA. About the top price I've seen for an A-1 in good condition is $100 or a little more. But I really haven't been tracking prices of them lately.


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nccb
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May 15, 2012 19:05 |  #10

Found a guy in Kansas, John Titterington, who will do the works for $87 (includes shipping), and based on some other boards, he does impeccable work. Maybe I'll give him a shot.


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LowriderS10
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May 15, 2012 20:31 |  #11

Ahhh...the fabled Canon sneeze...


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A-1 squeak - any DIY fix?
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