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Possible canonet shutter issues...could be something else
Old 12-30-2011   #1
d 2 4 5 4 7 0 k
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Possible canonet shutter issues...could be something else

Hi chaps, thanks for taking the time to read this...

OK, so i have the above camera, and recently got it out to use it. The shutter won't fire. I have replaced the battery, and the meter works and moves as it should, but when the camera is cocked, it simply refuses to take a picture.

When i press the shutter release button, it goes down and comes right back up again. There is no click from the mechanism, and obviously no click from the shutter. Should the shutter release click regardless of the shutter blades opening or not?

Before i get the screwdrivers out, i need to know whether this is a classic case of the stuck shutter issue, which is prevalent in these cameras, or weather there is something missing in the chain of actions which should follow pressing the shutter release. incidentally, i also tried to set the self-timer, and flicking it into action does nothing. No ticking, no countdown...nothing at all.

I placed a battery in the camera, and the gauge in the RF window functions as it should, and the battery check light glows when the button is pressed, but the batteries did expire in '09', so do you think this may be a problem, and new batteries are required? Or would the camera fire without a battery anyway?
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Stuck shutter likely...
Old 12-30-2011   #2
kuzano
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Stuck shutter likely...

I was buying and selling Canonet GIII's on eBay over a period of time. I was amazed at how many very nice, but non exercised, GIII's I came across. Many times I would simply warm those stuck camera's up and start exercising the shutter, by cocking and clicking the shutter repeatedly. I would simply sit and watch TV for a couple of hours and do this process. It usually worked. Warming the lens assembly usually consisted of blowing a warm (not hot) hair dryer around the outside of the lens barrel.

On very stubborn one's, I would apply a light variation of the "Ronsonol Flush". This often worked very fast. However, I am not an advocate of the "Ronsonol Flood the D__n Thing". Flooding inside this lens often gets old lube on the blades and glass. Normally, I get an eyedropper and deposit Ronsonol near where I think the shutter is adjacent, like through the ASA lever or the self timer slide.

Common problem, usually a fairly simple fix. Eventually the works will get sticky again, so perhaps a CLA???
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Old 12-30-2011   #3
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When you say 'warm it up', you mean by actual heat? Would it be worthwhile sitting it on a radiator for a few hours, would that help with the oil sticking the blades shut?
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Old 12-30-2011   #4
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Assuming you don't have it set on auto, right?
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Hmmm....
Old 12-30-2011   #5
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Hmmm....

Quote:
Originally Posted by d 2 4 5 4 7 0 k View Post
When you say 'warm it up', you mean by actual heat? Would it be worthwhile sitting it on a radiator for a few hours, would that help with the oil sticking the blades shut?
That might work. I'd be tempted to put it on a metal plate or in a large pan (no lid) to insulate the bottom of the camera from such direct heat. Again... a hair dryer played over the lens assembly would be my method of choice.

essentially the idea is to soften up the old gummy lube inside the lens.
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Old 01-04-2012   #6
russelljtdyer
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I had this same problem a couple of months ago with my Canonet GIII-QL17. There's another thread in this forum on it in which others explain in some detail, but I can't find the thread at the moment. Basically, the lens needs to be lubricated inside. It probably works when warm because you're getting the lubricant flowing.

There is no easy way to get at the parts that need cleaning and lubricating, and it's about impossible without a special wrench made for taking that lens apart. From the schematics I saw on-line elsewhere, unless you're a skilled camera repairman with the right tools, you should not attempt it--the wrench needs to be turned from inside the lens from the back, while being careful not to ruin the shutter and other parts. It's bizarre. I brought mine to a repair shop and they fixed it for me after a few days and charged me about $60.
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Old 01-04-2012   #7
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First, try shooting it at another aperture, and not on the "A" setting. In automatic, the shutter will not fire if the light isn't sufficient. Also, make sure the self timer isn't stuck, it is the metal lever on the top left of the lens body (when looking at the top with the lens pointed away from you). The timer lever should be in the downward position. If not, try gently pushing down on it, if it's not totally jammed, it should make a winding noise as you push, and the shutter should fire once the lever reaches the end of it's travel. If the problem is sticky shutter blades, good luck. Sometimes using Ronsonol helps, but about half the time it doesn't. Sometimes it's tne actual shutter mechanism which needs a cleaning/lube, and this requires major surgery.
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Old 01-04-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russelljtdyer View Post
There is no easy way to get at the parts that need cleaning and lubricating, and it's about impossible without a special wrench made for taking that lens apart. From the schematics I saw on-line elsewhere, unless you're a skilled camera repairman with the right tools, you should not attempt it--the wrench needs to be turned from inside the lens from the back, while being careful not to ruin the shutter and other parts.

Well, that's not entirely true. If you're of average mechanical skill, these cameras are fairly easy to work on. I bought some cheap tools -- a pair of long, thin needle nose pliers and a General brand vernier caliper (total outlay: under $50), ground the points so they'd fit the slots in the retaining rings and had the lens apart in a few minutes. Be careful and gentle, but don't be afraid to use Ronsonol as a solvent/lubricant on the retaining rings as they can accumulate crud in the threads, which makes them hard to loosen.

First, make sure you don't have it set on "A"utomatic -- if the light is too bright or dark, the shutter won't fire. The shutter on mine wouldn't fire, though there was a slight click when the release was pressed. The trouble turned out to be a jammed self-timer. Once the front lens element is off, the self-timer subassembly can be removed by taking out one screw, and since I had no need for it, I left it out. Removing it unjammed the shutter release. I used Ronsonol on the shutter and aperture blades to make sure there was no oil on them, and cleaned them carefully with a Q-tip and the edge of a torn paper towel. I discovered that the shutter blades will be kept from operating by the capillary action of the Ronsonol until it dries!

There are several guides on disassembly on the web, but the "special tool" is not needed to remove the rear lens element, I managed it with the sharpened pliers. However, you shouldn't need to do this as the shutter and aperture blades are both accessible by removing the front element only. If you search carefully, you can find a PDF repair manual that shows detailed drawings of the shutter...give me your email if you can't find it and I'll send you a copy.

If you can find a cheap, nonfunctional one, use it for practice. It's quite fun to be able to say that you repaired it yourself!
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