camera not adjusting lens opening
on my ae-1, the lens opening will not change, no matter what I set it on. But the lens works on another camera
The Canon AE-1 is a 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) film camera for use with interchangeable lenses.
First check your lens iris blades are working press on the depth of field lever on the lens to close the iris blades, look carefully do you see any shiny or wet marks on the blades looking in from both sides. Also does the blades close with a snap or do they appear sluggish? In either case the lens needs service as the grease that is on the focusing helical unit has migrated to the blades gumming them up. This often happens when you expose your equipment in a high temperatures.
If the lens appears OK then the AE unit within the camera needs repairs. There is a small electro-magnet that can get gummed up as well, so if fails to release.
My camera had both problems. In either case I wouldn't recommend doing either repair your self. Both are quite tricky to fix and require special tools.
This can also be caused by shorting out the circuit with flashes. If the flash has power on when put on or taken off, and the central sync contact on the flash touches either of the two dedicated pins in the back, it will damage the circuit. In most cheap flashes (and almost all old ones) the full voltage of the flash (over 300 volts) is on the sync contact in the center, and there is a switch in the shutter that causes the circuit to complete. Later flashes used a 3 volt sub circuit to complete the circuit, isolating the camera from the full 300 volts.
If the flash sync contact that has 300 volts touches either of the dedicated pins, then you have 300 volts going into a 6 volt circuit. This usually damages either IC3 (PX3) or both IC3 and IC2 (PX-3 and PX-2). These parts haven't been available for nearly 15 years. Damage to these pins can cause problems like the aperture opening all the way or closing down all the way every shot, or the curtains traveling together every shot (blank shots).