I had a Canon FTb come in today and decided to test it out.

When firing off a some shots, I felt the faster shutter speeds were accurate; however, I noticed that anything 1/4s or slower was noticeably off especially 1s where the curtain will remain open almost as if it is in bulb mode.

Interestingly enough, if I shake the camera while the curtain is open, you'll hear the little mechanical spring and gears turn and shut much faster than compared to leaving it alone.

So my question is: Can this be self-repaired and is it worth the effort? Also, will the inaccurate shutter speeds continue to grow worse (as in will I soon lose 1/125 or faster)?


It likely just needs a CLA - "clean, lube, adjust". At X and below, the second curtain is on a clockwork delay, and that can't tolerate a lot of dust and grit or old, broken-down lubricant. It is something you can do yourself with relatively common precision/jewellers' tools (well, except for accurately adjusting the timer spring, but if you can get within a third of a stop by ear, that's probably good enough), but it's going to involve a lot of teeny-tiny, easy-to-lose and hard-to-manipulate parts to keep track of. (And there's almost always a little spring that seems to need four or five hands if you don't know the trick.) If you're comfortable with that sort of thing, it might be worth trying. You can find a service manual for most old cameras, including the FTb, online.

Sending the camera out for a CLA isn't expensive in absolute terms, but compared to the current price of the camera it may seem like a lot.


Yes it's better to take to some camera repair store. Fixing shutter speed is not easy task and may require adjusting springs tension inside the camera. If you want to know how off is your shutter speed there are shutter speed tester apps for both Android and iOS and there are actual devices that range from cheap ones $100 to couple of hundreds. Calumet used to have shutter speed tester that pops from time to time on eBay

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