Battery For Canon F1

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Stephen J. Collier, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. Stephen J. Collier

    Stephen J. Collier Member

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    Ok, I am sick of trying to find info on the net; it all seems to be unsubstantiated opinion or marketing bull. So here is my question...

    I want to buy a Canon F1 to replace my problematic AE-1, but it seems that the mercury batteries that run the old F1s are not longer made due to environmental reasons. I could buy the New F1 which takes an alkaline battery, but they are much more expensive and don’t offer anything that I need or could justify paying for. The problem is that the batteries (“Wein Air Cell”) that are supposed to replace the mercury ones apparently are not up to snuff and die in a month or two. I don’t feel like buying batteries ever month at $5.00 a pop. I know that there has to be other photographers out there who’ve had this problem, seeing as this effects just about every camera made before the 80’s. So let me know what you have gone through. It might just make more sense to buy the New F1.
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Or have one of the apug members who live in country's that still allow the sale of mercury batteries to buy you some and ship them over here :smile:
     
  3. Stephen J. Collier

    Stephen J. Collier Member

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    I went over that, but I understand and agree with the reasons for outlawing them, so I decided not to go that route. Blame it on my environmental consciousness, damn you conscience. :smile:
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    One option is to have the camera modified to take alkaline cells. If you look around on the net, there are also instructions on making adapters for alkaline cells and it is possible to purchase such adapters for around $30 each.

    When I had an EF, I just used the Weincell zinc-air cells and kept spares on hand to replace them. It's not that they are defective in some way, but it's in the nature of a zinc-air cell to oxidize with exposure to air, so they don't last as long as other batteries. They come with a plastic cover that is removed to enable their use, and I've heard of people putting this cover back on the battery between uses to extend battery life, but I never bothered. The cheapest source I found for them was B&H.

    I highly recommend the New F-1. The focusing screens are brighter than the old ones, the mirror damping is much better, and for me spot metering is a major attraction. I'd save up for one.
     
  5. Stephen J. Collier

    Stephen J. Collier Member

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    Thanks David. I think I am going to save my pennies. I just needed some one to back me up on that!
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I have purchased batteries for one of my Minolta rangefinders from this website and have had very good luck with them:

    http://www.photobattery.com/

    The guy that owns this site supplies batteries for just about anything you can think of.

    Dave
     
  7. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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  8. Stephen J. Collier

    Stephen J. Collier Member

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    Has anyone tried this solution???

    If it works it might be worth it. It may still be less to buy an F-1 with this
    $30 one time fee than to pitch in for the new F-1.
     
  9. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Hello Stephen,
    I bought a battery adapter for the Leica MR meter from Rolleicamera. Works fine.
     
  10. Stephen J. Collier

    Stephen J. Collier Member

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    Thanks for the info Clogz and David on the adapters.
     
  11. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    If you are talking about the original Canon F-1, the only reason it needed a battery was for the built in light meter. Get a 1 degree spot meter and go for it.
     
  12. photomc

    photomc Member

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    One thing to remember is there have been more than two iterations of the F-1, there was the original F1, the F1n and the New F1. Check here for the models and there specs. http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/f_camera.html . I have had a new F1 for several years now and love it, built like a tank. The first two DO use a mercury battery, but Freestyle has a Wein replacement for it - Dad use's one of these on his FTB and they work just fine. Good luck
     
  13. Jimster

    Jimster Member

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    I use #675 hearing aid batteries, purchased in 8-packs in most pharmacies. They are
    1.4v zinc air cells like the Wein cell, but the diameter is smaller. Three options for
    centering them are: rubber o-ring, length of 16g wire (with insulation left on) bent into
    a circle, metal skirt removed from hearing aid battery packaged as Wein cell. The
    8-pack was approximately $5. They don't take up much room in a camera bag, and
    while they don't last forever, I average 1 every 5 to 6 months. I use them in a
    Canon FTb for the meter and am satisfied with the accuracy.
     
  14. Stephen J. Collier

    Stephen J. Collier Member

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    Well, the whole thread is null and void now. I got a New F-1 off eBay today for a song. The body looked to be in great shape and the posting said everything was functioning as it’s supposed to. I didn’t even have to save my pennies; it fit into the price range that I had set for myself. Thanks for all the advice everyone.
     
  15. thescarletmole

    thescarletmole Member

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    Always the A1 option

    I purchased an F1 back in the late 80's (the last of the F1 versions that can be distinguished from earlier versions by the location of the self-timer. The older versions had a mechanical lever on the camera face, to the left of the lense as you face the front of the camera.) I paid +/- 1000 USD just for the body. I travelled a lot oversees and spent more time worrying about my 1000 dollar camera than I did about taking photos. I was a fantastic camera, no doubt about it. But I sold it several years later and bought 2 used A1 bodies and a 200mm 2.8 FD lense with the money. You can get A1 bodies that are not as old as the F1's that you're looking for. They use newer alkaline batteries that are commonly available, has aperature and shutter priority + programme mode. The A1 is a greatly underappreciated camera. I still have 3, the oldest going on 20 years and have never had a minutes problem. The Motor Drive MA for the A1 can be found at reasonable prices.