How to Fix a Stuck Shutter on a Film Camera

A camera shutter has two blades that open and close to control the amount of light hitting the film. If one or both of those blades get stuck, it can be a difficult fix, but not impossible! This blog post will teach you how to fix a stuck shutter on a film camera with just a few tools and give some tips and tricks to maintain your shutter on a film camera. The first thing you need to do is figure out which shutter blade is stuck. You can do this by opening the camera back and looking through the lens. If one of the blades is not opening all the way, then that is the one that is stuck.

Film Camera

Reasons Why Stuck Shutter on a Film Camera  Occurs

  • Obstruction of the film path. Dirt, oily fingerprints, or other foreign objects on the shutter blades can cause a stuck shutter. Sometimes even hair can get caught in an old camera and cause this problem.
  • A dirty lens that is not clean enough to allow light through will display as black areas on your photographs when you attempt to take a picture. This can also cause a shutter to get stuck.
  • Exposure and shutter speed settings that are too slow. If a shutter speed is too slow, then it will take longer to expose the film. And if an exposure time is too long, then light can leak in from outside sources and also cause the stuck shutter problem.
  • An incorrect shutter release. If the cable is not attached to the right port, or if it might be broken, it can cause a stuck shutters problem with some cameras.
  • The film may have been wound too tight or not enough, causing the camera’s shutter mechanism to be blocked by an excess film that has formed a loop inside of the camera.

Materials Needed:

  • A Screwdriver
  • WD-40 Spray
  • Toothpick or Paperclip
  • Cotton Swab

Directions: How to Fix a Stuck Shutter on a Film Camera 

Step One: Remove the Lens and Clean it

Some shutters get stuck due to dirt buildup on the blades, so take out your lens and brush off any large debris from its surface. Be careful not to scratch anything! After the blades are clean, give them a chance to dry before you replace the lens. Make sure that the opening for the lens is facing downward when you snap it back into place. Turn your shutter back on and take a few test shots.

Brush Off The Lens

Step Two: Fix the Shutter

Locate the shutter button and open it up, revealing the two blades that make contact with film as they move in front of and away from each other. Sometimes one or both of these will get stuck inside their housing (this is usually due to a buildup of dirt), so you’ll need to use your fingernail or a toothpick to carefully pry the blades apart. If you can’t see the blades, try moving them by hand (although be careful not to break the plastic housing that holds them in place).

Step Three: Use WD-40 Spray and Reassemble Camera

Once the blades are separated, use some WD-40 spray on them to lubricate any dirt particles that might be stuck in place. Once they’re clean, close up your camera’s shutter and reattach it to the camera body. Turn it on and your camera should work just fine.

Use WD-40 Spray on Stuck Parts

Step Four: Test the Camera and Replace Batteries if Necessary

Test the camera by taking a photo of your hand in front of a light source. If there are any problems with the shutter, it will now be readily noticeable, and you can fix them accordingly. Replace old batteries if necessary to ensure that the problem isn’t due to low voltage levels from leaking power cells.

Step Five: Seek Professional Help if Necessary

If the problem persists, it’s time to find a professional. Bring your camera into an authorized repair shop, and they’ll be able to take care of any issues that are outside of what you can do on your own. They might also offer insight as to how this all came about in the first place-a common culprit is low voltage levels from old batteries.

Step Six: Put Your Camera to Good Use Again

Once you’ve fixed the shutter, it’s time to put your camera to good use again! Head outside and find a subject worth photographing-take in as many details of their face as possible with tight shots that show off their facial expressions. They could be smiling, laughing, or even crying-the important thing is that you capture their essence in a photo. If you’re shooting a portrait, make sure the background is simple so that it doesn’t distract from your subject.

If you want to take your pictures even further, use different types of lenses as well. A macro lens will give detail shots a new perspective, while wide-angle lenses show off landscapes in their full glory.

Some Tips and Tricks To Maintain Your Film Camera:

  • Clean the lens regularly with a lens cleaning solution or wipes. If necessary, use compressed air to remove dust and other particles from your camera body.
  • Turn off your camera when storing it for extended periods of time
  • Store an unopened film canister in a dark, cool place (not near windows) as soon as possible after shooting.
  • Keep your camera as dry and dust-free as possible. Store in a light-tight area free from dust particles.
  • If you’re not going to have access to a dark, cool place, store the film canister in an ice chest with plenty of frozen gel packs. The film will last for up to four days this way. Place one or two bags of non-frosted dried beans on top of the film canister to help keep it cool.
  • When storing your camera for long periods, clean and lubricate the moving parts. You can lubricate the moving parts with light oil (not WD40).
  • Cleaning with a dry cloth may not be enough. Consider using an air compressor or canned compressed air if available.
  • If you’re going to transport it, make sure you place your camera in an appropriate padded container or sleeve.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why Is My Film Camera Shutter Stuck?

A: There are a variety of reasons why your film camera shutter could get stuck. It might be that the batteries in your battery pack died, and it’s no longer getting power from them to operate. You may have left your lens cap on when you were shooting photos, which caused the electricity to stay off while the shutter was open. Or You may have accidentally pulled the film back into its tube while it was still exposed and didn’t realize it, which caused a few shots to be lost because of the lack of light hitting your film.


Saving your old film camera from the scrap heap is not as hard as you might think. If you have a stuck shutter, here are some easy steps to fix it that will work for most cameras. Don’t let an unrepairable problem prevent you from taking pictures of all those great memories! We hope this blog post has been helpful. Now you know how to fix a stuck shutter on a film camera!

You may read also – How to Make Easel Backs for Picture Frames

Jennifer Branett
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