Canon AE1 Program

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Marvin, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    I have been given two Canon cameras lately but I was a Minolta user back in the day so what do you think of the AE1 program.
     
  2. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    Great cameras. I have 2 of the AE 1p models. Silver finish on one and black on the other. Not that colour means anything but with a black lens it looks great. Performance wise I have never had a problem and with a good selection of glass they can be a very good tool.
     
  3. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Back in the day I sold both the Minolta X700 and the Canon AE1 Program's new. Both cameras were equally good. You couldn't go wrong with either camera. We had few returns on either brand. Optics were comparable.

    I don't know how either model has aged.
     
  4. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    In fact I just picked up a Canon A1 with the MA power winder. Just finished on Eblay. You really have to shop around for the regular power winders that haven't been wore out. Another thing I found is using the Eneloop AA batteries works the best on the winders.
     
  5. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Besides the dreaded shutter squeak, I have never had a problem with either of the AE 1 program bodies I own, and they're my workhorse cameras, always in the bag, always the go-to option when shooting 35. Good, cheap and pretty reliable. FD glass is the same.
     
  6. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    As I recall the Canon AE-1 Program was a game changer at the time. Many people left their "favorite" brand to go over to the Canon side at the time. My Minolta XE-7 was fairly new so I didn't change.

    You have camera history.......make sure you honor it and keep it alive for all to enjoy!

    Bob E.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Great cameras and glass. Look up KEH for good deals.

    Jeff
     
  9. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    1976 started a virtual revolution: the introduction of the AE-1 (and the incredible sales figures to follow). That said, the Minolta electronic versions are nothing to scoff at even though they were not as 'famous' as the Canon AE-1. And, best of all, no shutter squeak. - David Lyga
     
  10. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Oh David, none of the other companies electronic offering were worse than the AE-1. The Minolta XE-7, Pentax K2, Nikon/Nikkormat EL series, The Olympus OM-2 they are all at least as good if not better than the AE-1. Canon made a lot of sale because the AE-1 had the lowest price.
     
  11. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Canon has done a better job than its competitors when it comes to marketing, and I think that they learned that from the AE-1 and certainly the Rebel with Andre Agassi.

    Sometimes, it's not about whether you have a better camera. It's really about being able to sell your product.

    For nearly all photographers in that era, the offerings from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Minolta (plus the others) would serve them well.

    I had some friends who had the AE-1, and I always thought it was a very nice camera.
     
  12. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    True, elekm, marketing is much more important than one would think. But the AE-1 had follow-through reliability. And few complaints other than the 'expensive' battery (at that time). Now batteries for digital are outrageous.

    And Chan Tran: also true that those other cameras really were just as good. But the perception was important with the AE-1 as it did seem to be more user friendly. Few knew at the time that the top and bottom were plastic. The advertising, as I well remember, was constant and incessant. - David Lyga
     
  13. gb hill

    gb hill Member

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    It's a good shooter. Reading through this thread I brought mine out of hiding, loaded a roll of HP-5 & went for a walk. I had it CLA'd a couple of years ago for the "canon squeal" Cleaned up it's a joy to use & oh, if you ever have an A series Canon with the squeal, A CLA'd Canon sounds so solid to the ears.:smile:
     
  14. Markster

    Markster Member

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    I've read the viewfinder on the AE-1P (or maybe on the A-series entirely) was one of the brightest and best of its time. I have always enjoyed this. Even in dark situations I can see through my viewfinder better than the shot actually turns out!!

    I love the ergonomics. I love the shape and size. I love the handling. You can bling it well up with flash and power winder and data back and massive zoom lense and this and that, but when you want to you can just take the body and a single prime lense and have a blast shooting.

    It's not perfect, but it's darned good in almost anything you need. I can only give positive reviews, so long as you picked up one that's working, and not one that somebody pawned off because it doesn't work. Getting a full service for it can be expensive, and will probably be needed at some point down the line. I used mine for 10 years with shutter squeak before getting a CLA and I'm at 16+ years now and it still runs great. Just needs a new battery door! (lol)
     
  15. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    Thanks for all the information, I also picked up a EOS Rebel with lens at the local Goodwill for $20.