How do shutters fail?

VitaliD

I'm New Here
Mar 27, 2012
12
0
I've never had a camera for long enough for its shutter to go beyond its life expectancy - until recently. I've been using two 5Dm4 for weddings for more than two years now; I didn't check their shutter count but I estimate they are probably near or beyond 150,000. Recently, one of them developed a strange fault: the shutter stops working every 500-1000 shots. The mirror gets stuck open, and the camera stops reacting to the shutter button until I remove the battery (simply switching the camera off doesn't help). After I put the battery back, the mirror gets to its normal closed position and the camera continues working normally for another 500-1000 shots.

Is this how shutter failure (or getting close to shutter failure) looks or is it something else?
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,129
1,647
Canada
This could be a stuck problem and not a failure problem. Look at the hinges of the mirror and see if there is anything stuck in them. I had the same thing happen, and after removing some very fine cat hair that was wrapped around the shutter hinge (thanks Fluffy) it worked fine
 

SecureGSM

2 x 5D IV
Feb 26, 2017
1,239
263
This could be a stuck problem and not a failure problem. Look at the hinges of the mirror and see if there is anything stuck in them. I had the same thing happen, and after removing some very fine cat hair that was wrapped around the shutter hinge (thanks Fluffy) it worked fine
Unlikely the case as per OP message mirror gets unstuck after the battery removal. Switching off and back on does not help. Suggests full circuitry discharge was required.
i would be in touch with Canon repair centre at this stage.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,475
712
It is possible that the shutter is going. Usually, you can spot a issue by setting a max shutter speed like 1/8000 and checking the image. A bad shutter often produces a bar in the image, while slow shutter speeds of a few hundredths of a sec or less look fine. Of course, the mirror has its own motor and is complex, so it can stick.

In either event, it sounds like sending it in for a check and maintenance might serve to make certain it does not have a serious failure when needed most.
 
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pwp

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 25, 2010
2,526
18
@VitaliD, I'd get it checked ASAP, your business depends on it. Can you afford for it to get stuck right at an unrepeatable peak moment? You'll never shoot quite as well on a job if the possibility of equipment failure is playing in the back of your mind.

5-Series shutter replacement costs are reasonably modest. My previous 5D MkIII was on its third shutter when I updated to a 5D MkIV. On the 5D MkIII the shutter made it to around 130K actuations each time which CPS said was pretty normal. The fail showed up as a fairly hideous bar across the bottom of the image.

Interestingly my 5D MkIV is soldiering on getting close to 250K actuations and still all good. My 1DX shutter lasted until 480K actuations and was a more expensive fix. It still hums along like new with over 600K total actuations. It's a tank.

My best ever long term performers were a 5D Classic which was on over 500K when I gave it to an assistant who kept working with it for quite a while, a 20D which had over 300K until I turned it into a paper weight and finally the All-Star 1D MkIV which was on over 750K all original when it was retired for the 1DX. Bring on the 1DX MkIII. :)

-pw