Canon F1n first impression and questions

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I just received a Canon F-1 (n) yesterday.
    The body is in great condition with very little brassing. The prism has a bit more brassing than the body so either it was added later or the body was in a case for most of its life.

    My first impression was that it was this was a camera that meant business. The paint is a matte black instead of a shiny black I was expecting. The dials and levers all have a robust industrial feel to them.

    After fuddling with the camera for a while, one thing became apparent. This camera is HEAVY. I am am going to need some weight training if I plan on using this.

    The camera I received had the standard prism, not the AE prism. However I found that setting the shutter speed to "A" will allow the camera to change shutter speeds. Is this not aperture priority?

    Also one thing I was dissapointed about. From what I understood the F1n had spot metering or average metering. However, I have found that in order to switch from one pattern to another, you actually have to replace the view screen. Certainly not like my T70 that switches back and forth on a moments notice.

    Last question: What is the button next to the shutter speed dial labeled "R" for?
     
  2. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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  3. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    That is aperture priority, my preferred way of shooting an F-1. As far as the metering goes, I have several screens for mine, but I stopped bothering with them. If I want to fiddle with metering settings I'll take my T90 along. The F-1 is a wonderful camera, though.
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    The F1 I have (older type) had semi spot metering which worked for me. I guess it depends on what you like.

    Jeff
     
  5. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    Now the quest begins to acquire the lenses and accessories. I have two of the New F1s with motor drives and still use them a lot. You will get a lot of enjoyment from this camera.

    Gord
     
  6. mikeb380

    mikeb380 Member

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    "R" button¿

    My F1n doesn't have a button with an "R". Are you misreading the marking "A" on the deck next to the shutter release? this is a two position turn switch which unlocks the advance "A" or locks it by turning to the "L" position. You can find a manual for the camera on line at many web sites to download free. I got my first F1 in 1972 when they first came out and later got another so that I carried two of them, one with motor drive and the other without. These were the best cameras I ever owned and I recently purchased and F1n after about 10 years without one. If they made a digital back for that camera it would be the best digital/analog camera in existance. Yes, it is heavy but with a motor drive and a 300mm lens you can handhold all day due to the perfect balance. I love that camera.

    For some reason, the prisms on the F1 seem to get more wear than other parts of the camera. Many of the prisms have dents and dings on them, I guess because they protrude above the body so much.

    Michael :D
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like you have a New F-1, Darin, sometimes called the "F-1N" (but not by Canon), not the F-1n, which was the intermediate version between the original F-1 and the New F-1. This may explain some of the confusion.

    I've had mine since I purchased it new around 1982 or so. Great camera.
     
  8. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I am not misreading the A on the shutter speed dial. It is indeed a rewind button and it is on the first pic HERE.
     
  9. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Huh? and Argh! I didnt know there were 3 versions of the Canon F-1.

    -If only canon had been more thoughtful of Ebay auctions before they named the f-1
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2009
  10. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    Yep F1,F1n & F1N. The first 2 had only mechanical shutters. I have the same problem with eBay sellers. You have to make sure the photo of the item was from the exact item NOT a stock print they dug up. According to them if it says Canon F1 the parts will work on all three (besides lenses) :D :D
    PS. The 1.4 V hearing aid batteries work fine !
     
  11. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    "When the AE Power Winder FN or AE Motor Drive FN is attached to the New Canon F-1, a choice of shutter-priority AE or manual exposure is available according to the shooting situation and your personal preference."

    -So to get shutter priority metering you have to have have a external winder attached??
    Wtf is the AE Finder for then if the camera allready has aperture priority but requires the winder for Tv?
     
  12. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Hmm, F1, F1n, F1N, so which one is the 84 Olympics model I just acquired? Are there different models of the 17mm lens that came attached to it? Bill Barber
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The winder on the New F-1 is supplying extra power to the camera to set the aperture automatically with shutter priority AE. The AE Finder FN has the metering control for aperture priority AE. If you have the standard finder, you don't have aperture priority AE.

    I have the AE finder and the motor drive, but personally, I've always used spot metering and manual exposure.
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    '84 Olympics I would assume is the New F-1, because it was already in production for a couple of years by then, though there was an Olympics model of the F-1n as well, but must have been 1980. If the rewind knob is on top and there is a battery door on the front, then you've got a New F-1. If there is a self-timer/stop down lever on the face of the camera, then it would be an F-1n.
     
  16. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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  17. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    According to the information I have read the F1n and the F1N were produced with one year overlapping. The F1n I have, according to the serial # (inside the film chamber) was produced in 1981. I think that was the same year that the F1N was produced also. You hear so much from different sources it is hard to confirm.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The clues you have are:Matte black rather than glossy, Rewind switch on top of the camera, Auto exposure, and I believe it uses a PX-28 battery. It's a New F1 not F1N or F1n.
    The older models did not have any auto features unless you used the special prism and arm that fit in the side of the camera to give TV auto.
     
  19. Yeeski

    Yeeski Member

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    If the shutter speed on a New F-1 is set to "A" and the lens' aperture ring is not on the green "A" setting, the F-1 will provide aperture preferred automatic exposure with any finder attached. However, the AE Finder FN is the only one which has a shutter speed scale in the viewfinder to tell you what speed has been selected. If a power winder or motor drive is attached, the New F-1 will provide shutter priority AE at the selected shutter speed if the lens' aperture ring is set to the green "A."

    With respect to the FD 17mm f/4 lens, there were three basic versions. The first one released in 1971 with the original F-1 has the breech lock ring and single coating. The second has the breech lock ring and SSC multi-coating. Canon did not make a lens hood for either of these. The third and last version had the New FD breech-bayonet lens mount and a bayonet mount for the BW-72 lens hood. All three versions are based on the same optical formula.
     
  20. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Thank you all for answering my questions. At first I was a little dissapointed with the New-F1 but I am warming up to it.
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    All the F-1 cameras are a little more "modular" than they need to be (like, on the original F-1, a flash shoe is an accessory), but I've been very happy with my New F-1 for over 25 years now.
     
  22. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    One note about accessories. The accessories for the New F-1(N) have FN in the name, and do not fit the first two models; likewise, the accessories for the first two models fit each other but not the latest version.
     
  23. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    There were three Canons named the F-1, but the second version was indistinguishable from the first from across the room. It was a minor tweak of features, and nothing else. It looks almost exactly the same and takes all the same accessories.

    The one you have is the third model to carry the name, but the first major redesign. It is an '80s camera through and through, and is a *totally* different camera, sans the lens mount. It does not take the same bottom plates, motor drives, prisms, etc., and looks nothing like the older ones from an aesthetic design POV.

    They are all great cameras, and all take the same lenses. Just be careful when purchasing accessories to make sure you get the ones for the '80s version.

    I have one each of the F-1 model 1 and F-1 model 2. I do not have the one you have. I know this is not the question, but if anyone is interested, here are the differences I have noticed between model 1 and model 2:

    1. The EI can be set from 25 to 2000 in third stops on model one, and from 25 to 3200 in third stops on model 2. I prefer the model 2 for this feature. (Same difference between FTb models 1 and 2.)

    2. The advance lever is all metal and has a lower profile and a longer throw on model 1, while it is plastic tipped, higher in profile, has a shorter throw, and there is a larger angle when in the ready position on model 2. I prefer the model 2 for this feature; mainly for the ready position and shorter stroke. This lets my hook my thumb around the advance lever, allows me to advance more positively and quickly, and without having to shift my whole hand as much. (Same difference between FTb models 1 and 2.)

    3. The battery check feature is combined with the meter on/off switch on both models. However, the battery check position is momentary on model 2, while it clicks into position on model 1. I prefer model 1 in this case.

    4. The shutter release collar is more "collar like" on model 2. It is taller, wider, and has a flare on top and a recessed "cup" shape, while model 1's collar is simply a low profile, straight tube in which the shutter release sits. I prefer model 2 in this case. I can easily rest my finger on the collar and shoot by making a slight shift in my finger. On model 1, you have to be a bit more careful not to trip the shutter if you are resting your finger up there. Perhaps there was no difference between the two models in this regard, and there were simply different collars available for the system. (FTb model 2 may have this same feature, though I don't know, as both of my FTbs are the older models.)

    5. There is an area to slip a film box top on model 2, but not on model 1. I prefer to have the ability to do this (minus Scotch tape) when I am shooting multiple bodies with different films, Like on my recent cross-country trip, on which I brought all five of my FD bodies plus a Nikon F. (FTb model 2 may be the same.)

    (FTb model 2 uses the same style DOF preview/self timer/mirror lockup/manual aperture control assembly that was used on F-1 models 1 and 2. It is operationally the same, but cosmetically different than the one on FTb model 1.)

    None of these differences are a big deal, and they would not keep me from purchasing or using one camera over the other.

    I would purchase an old F-1 over a new F-1 simply because all of my accessories are for the older ones. My Speed Finder, MF drive, F drive, and my lovely Type F focusing screen would not work with the new one!

    Canon lists them like so in their online "Camera Museum" (http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/):

    1st model (1971): "F-1"
    2nd model (1976 with minor changes): "F-1 (Later model)"
    3rd model (1981 - your model): "New F-1"

    KEH lists the cameras as follows:

    1st model: "F-1"
    2nd model: "F-1 2ND STYLE"
    3rd model: "F-1N LATEST"

    A lot of people call them F-1, F-1n, and F-1N, respectively.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2009
  24. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    I just bought a F-1N (latest) used and am beginning to play with it. It feels wonderful, and the bits and bobs will take a bit getting used to. If I wanted to change focussing screens, is eb*y the place to find them?
     
  25. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    New F-1 focusing screens are hard to find. Kevin Cameras on eBay has something of a selection of them.
     
  26. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    The F1n is a superb camera--one of the best ever. I love mine and have been looking for a nice second F1n body. The AE Power Winder FN provides a nice compromise of performance and price. I am sure you will enjoy this camera. In many ways, it is a tribute to the best in camera design.