Canon F-1 viewfinders vs AE-1 Program

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mtngael, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. mtngael

    mtngael Member

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    I'm interested in moving from an AE-1P to a "new" F-1 as I prefer mechanical cameras. I was wondering if anybody can weigh in on the eye-level finder of the New F-1 vs the AE-1? The info I find lists the AE-1P's finder as having 0.86% magnification vs the F-1 at 0.8x. Is there any difference or is this just different terminology. Also, any difference in brightness?
     
  2. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I think the difference between 0.8x and 0.83x (from the specs in the back of both manuals) is insignificant. More significant would be viewfinder coverage, which tells you how much of the final image is missing from the viewfinder.

    AE1P viewfinder coverage = 94%
    New F-1 viewfinder coverage = 97%

    Advantage, New F-1.

    Brightness? No idea. Both have interchangeable focusing screens, which could affect brightness.

    By the way, the New F-1 is largely battery dependent. If you're wanting a true mechanical camera, look to the original F-1 or the F-1n (second version). The numbers above apply to all three versions of the F-1.

    The only advantage the AE1P viewfinder has over the original F-1 or F-1n is in the brightness of the viewfinder display. The AE1P's scale appears lit; the original F-1's match needle scale is not. This only comes into play if you like to shoot in dim light.

    Overall, the F-1 (all versions) is a much nicer camera than the AE1P, though they're both very capable cameras.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I have a Canon F1n and the view finder is bright. Also they're different focusing screens, diopters for people that wear glasses and there are different finders like a waist level finder and for shooting sports, a speed finder.
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a older F-1 and the viewfinder is very good.

    Jeff
     
  5. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    I have both, but use the F1 almost exclusively - I prefer the feel of my "tank" - not due to any noticeable differences in the viewfinders (they are barely perceptible), but because I prefer the control the F1 allows.
     
  6. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    So, the F-1n is the latest version of the F-1?

    I recently sold my AE-1, so I may want to get an F-1 of some variety in the future. I'm also trying to sort out the differences.
     
  7. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    The chronological order is: F-1, F-1n, New F-1
     
  8. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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  9. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    I'm guessing you are refering to a New type OLD F1? If you are the finder is about the same as a AE1P.

    A NEW F1 is brighter still - fitted with a f1.2 lens the view through the finder is often brighter than room conditions....

    As a former factory repair tech I would get a NEW F1 over a mechanical old F1, as the mechanical bodies had some interesting habbits - like shutter bounce, and the meters were not that reliable..

    Also from memory the NEW F1 has close to 100% viewfinder - I wear glasses, and I've always found it easier to see the full viewfinder when using a AEFN finder rather than the standard finder. If you want to see all of the screen all of the time get a speed finder - they take some getting used to, but the view is amazing...
     
  10. I have the New F-1 and an AE-1 (not P). Coverage is more in the F-1 viewfinder, but I really don't notice or think about the difference. And, I can't tell if one is brighter than the other. I don't get hung-up on the specs. I use the AE-1 mostly for family photography (with color print film), and F-1 for my own work (primarily with B&W film). For a truly mechanical machine, you'll need to look at older models/versions.

    I also use the same lens set with both cameras, interchangeably (35/2, 50/1.2L, 100/2). Although I enjoy the F-1 tremendously (I don't know of any other 35mm SLR that feels so good in my hands), the AE-1 is still a great camera (I've owned it since the late '70s)... don't get rid of yours. To add to your current kit, you can get a solid, used F-1 body through KEH.

    Cheers.
     
  11. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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  12. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I've had the ae1, ae1p, a1, and f1n. I don't have the ae1p anymore but if I wouldn't mind having one again. I just met a guy in maui yesterday who had one that he bought new in 1982. Still going strong.
     
  13. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Yup. Original went up to ASA 2000. The revision of this model went up to 3200 and got the 70 degree (I think) winder for film advance/shutter cock. After that the platform changed completely with the F-1N ("New").
     
  14. olwick

    olwick Member

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  15. mtngael

    mtngael Member

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    Yikes, I haven't been able to check the thread since I posted and it's already 2 pages! Thanks for all the info, especially the bit about the original F-1's quirks. Regarding the magnification, I figured it was a trivial difference but didn't know if anyone had noticed. The coverage was what I was mainly interested in.

    In regards to the degree of mechanical vs electronics on the New F-1, I was under the assumption that only the meter and various AE modes were electronics dependent, and that if using only manual exposure, that it was otherwise a mechanical camera with mechanically controlled shutter and all (especially since it works with no battery, albeit meterlessly). Am I mistaken? All the literature I've read seemed to indicate that it's essentially a mechanical camera with some bonus features that use an electronics package, as opposed to the AE-1P, which won't even fire the shutter without a battery.
     
  16. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    The New F1 was a class so far beyond the A series cameras. F1N being battery dependent is overcome by caring an extra battery. I owned an orignal F1 F1N and F1 (1986 version). The early F-1 was clunky but better than a Nikon F. The F1n was pretty nice, the Electric F1 was so nice and buttery smooth. I'd love to have kept it (latest F1), but at the time I traded them all for a Nikon n90s system..
     
  17. mtngael

    mtngael Member

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    Like I said, I was under the impression that it wasn't battery dependent. However, I just thought of another question! If the new F-1's electronics are indeed a dominant factor, are they so integrated with the mechanical mechanisms that even if the shutter still fires, would a failure of the electronics turn the camera into a paperweight? I'd also be interested to know if the meter is integrated into all of those electronics or if it's "standalone" so to speak. Meaning that even if those circuit boards fail, is the meter separate, as with the previous fully mechanical versions whose meter was the only electronic component. Sorry to be annoying with all the questions, I just don't want to drop the dough on a new (old!) F-1 if it's no better than my AE-1 if its electronic features go! They seem to be still commanding stiff prices in comparison to the A series bodies and the older Fs.
     
  18. Markster

    Markster Member

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    It's military grade.. Just because it has circuits in it doesn't mean it's fragile. It still has the F1 reputation, it's still very solid. It still stands up to massive abuse (more so, with the seals on the new model).

    Doesn't matter if it takes a battery or has electronics in it or not... It's one of the most rugged cameras ever made, electronics or not.
     
  19. blockend

    blockend Member

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    As a sweeping generalisation, LED cameras can be fixed, LCD cameras are landfill once they play up, or so I've been lead to believe. The longevity of A-Series cameras is far greater than their designers probably envisaged and longer than any consumer plastic camera has right to. They were also produced by the zillion and many were looked after by careful amateurs, so picking a good one up isn't difficult but they can suffer from mirror bearing lubrication problems, which is a straightforward fix.

    Canon F1s by contrast, were always rarer beasts than F series Nikons and the ones that fell into pro hands are often very tired. The ones that are clean and fresh appear to command very high prices. I'd like an F-1 but pragmatism suggests the premium is high over A-series Canons but also over F series Nikons, at least in the UK.

    Later bodied pro cameras of all makes are susceptible to the same electrical gremlins as their amateur brethren, only the bodies are more durable.
     
  20. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    The shutters on the first two versions of the F-1 (F-1 and F-1n) are mechanical. The New F-1 (or F-1N) uses a shutter that is electronically controlled for half of it's speeds. If the battery or electronics fail on the first two versions, all you lose is the light meter.

    The Canon F-1, in any version, was the top line pro camera from Canon at that time. I would be more concerned about past use of any individual camera vs which version to get. As you know, the New F-1 is the latest of the three versions.
     
  21. mtngael

    mtngael Member

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    Sounds good, thanks to all. Now to find a lightly used and non-abused one (whichever I go with) that doesn't break my bank!
     
  22. blockend

    blockend Member

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    As a rough guide, there's an F-1N body currently listed on ebay in 'excellent condition' for £426.99. I imagine US and other prices will be broadly similar.