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The Canon AE-1 is a 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) film camera for use with interchangeable lenses.

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Camera fires automatically after cranking the lever.

I just picked up my camera after 2 weeks of not using it. I cranked the lever to take a picture and it fired automatically. Also, the light meter/on switch was off. I tried a couple more times and it kept firing automatically at the end of the crank.

I am living abroad right now with limited film and no known resources for film camera repair. Please help!

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The Canon AE-1 uses a combo magnet/electromagnet to hold the shutter in the charged position.

This magnet is deactivated by a small electrical charge (electromagnet) which creates a canceling effect on the magnet causing it to let loose the bar which then allows the shutter to fire.

If something is in-between the magnet and the bar it can prevent the magnet from holding the bar causing it to release after you have wound the shutter charging/film advancement lever.

If you are careful you could try accessing via the bottom cover the shutter magnet/electromagnet and with a moistened strip of paper with reagent quality Isopropyl alcohol 85% or better, wipe the surfaces. If the magnet still won't hold you will need a new unit which will require getting to a camera repair shop.

Look online here: Canon

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There is a magnet that grabs hold of a small metal piece when you $!^& it. You an easily see it when you open the bottom. Remove the plastic gaurd by pulling it away from the copper. $!^& the lever and when it releases hold the metalic piece to the magnet to try to remagnetize it. Worked for me.

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Thank you so much this saved me so much money at a repiar shop.


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Grace zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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