i recently have bought a canon f-1 from a thrift shop where it was exposed to dust and sun. the shutter mechanism works correctly (it is not jammed, but i don't know if it has the correct speed or not) when you set the speed to 60 or higher. Below that, the shutter stays open and the mirror stays up.

enter image description here

to unblock the situation i have to either change the speed to 60 or higher or wind again. i am new to photography and is saw in many forums that this is not supposed to happen.


  • it's battery is dead

  • i don't know which F-1 version this is, maybe these pictures can help to identify it:

enter image description here enter image description here

is it a problem ? is it because of the battery ? can i solve this problem ? and how ?

Thank you

  • \$\begingroup\$ It would seem like the shutter itself has a lot of resistance, obviously the fast the shutter speed the more energy it is using, it sounds like once it goes under 60 it simply isn't using enough energy to make the shutter move. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthew
    Mar 7, 2018 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are a couple different types of F-1 that were produced. Can you take a picture of the camera from above looking down at the controls? (The layouts were slightly different between models). That'll let us figure out exactly which f-1 you have. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Mar 7, 2018 at 14:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say 'higher' shutter speed you actually mean shorter or faster, don't you? 1/125 is not "higher" than 1/60, it is less. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 7, 2018 at 15:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Only the F1 had a self timer in the location pictured. The F1n and the New F1 did not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 7, 2018 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Snake, is this a stock photo or of your actual camera? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Mar 7, 2018 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


I assume the picture is not a stock photo but shows your camera with the mirror stuck up and the shutter stuck open.

Then you have one of two versions of the “old” F-1. I can't tell from the picture whether it's the very first model or the “F-1 (later model)” – commonly referred to as F-1n. Both, “F-1” and “F-1 (later model)” have all mechanically controlled shutter speeds and the battery is only needed for the meter. It's not essential for this issue but you can tell them apart by their maximum film speed setting as Corey has outlined above.

You don't have a “New F-1” which has a different front layout (e.g. no self-timer, different stop-down lever). The “New F-1” has shutter speeds of 1/60s and slower controlled electronically.

This problem does not occur due to the battery being dead.

If it is the slow speeds (60, 30, 15 ...) which are affected, a dirty escapement could be the culprit. This is not an uncommon issue with the F-1. But this is not something you can fix at home. Have the camera checked by someone who knows how to service mechanical cameras. If you are lucky it just needs a CLA (clean, lube, adjust).

  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you cmuseum, the picture is not a stock photo, i added more photos in the post if you want to take a look at the camera. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8, 2018 at 10:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ i found a battery for the camera, but the problem is still persistent so you are right, this is not a battery problem \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9, 2018 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The film transport lever is not the one of an early F-1 but of an “F-1 (later model)” / F-1n, but it may have been replaced during a repair. \$\endgroup\$
    – cmuseum
    Mar 11, 2018 at 6:20

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