To Canon FD Fans

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by yeknom02, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    One of my cameras is a Canon AE-1, and I love it for the most part. However, I'm in the market for a different FD-mount camera after finding that once the battery dies, the shutter doesn't function. Will any of the FD-era cameras function with a dead meter battery?

    In any case, I imagine that other cameras out there might be more feature-laden. What are some of the "better" cameras that Canon offered? I imagine the New F1 and the A-1 might both be improvements, but I can't find a side-by-side comparison of all the Canon cameras.

    Cheers!
     
  2. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Yes! Many can be used w/o batteries. Here's a great place to do comparisons.... http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/film/series_f.html?lang=us

    I'll speak what I know the most about, and that's the Canon EF. It's a fabulous camera! It's half electronic, and half mechanical. The common speeds we all use, 1/1000 to 1/2" are all mechanical, thus no batteries required. From 1" to 30" (yes, there's a dial for 30 seconds!) are electronically controlled. BULB setting is naturally, mechanical.

    The meter takes two commonly available alkaline batteries and gives dead on exposures (slide film, no problem) because it has a compensating circuit that regulates the voltage. Not to mention it's a silicon meter that goes down to EV -2.

    It's got mirror-lock-up, multiple exposures, flash sync of 1/125", etc., and it's very intuitive to use.

    Simply put, I love it.

    Other mechanical cameras that I know of are the old F-1 and the FTb. I'm sure there are many others.

    More on the EF.... http://www.mikegrigsby.com/html/canon_ef.html
     
  3. Hi,

    I have an AE-1 and a recently-acquired F-1N (with AE finder). If the battery fails on the F-1 -- I use a Silver Oxide 6V, same size as AE-1 battery -- the mechanical shutter speeds are 1/2000 to 1/125 sec., "S" (1/90 sec.), and "B" (bulb). I haven't had battery failure, yet, as I check my battery before going out, and usually carry a spare.

    I've had the AE-1 since about 1978; still works perfectly. However, I now use the F-1, almost exclusively; it's a great, solid camera. I bought mine through KEH (http://www.keh.com/).

    The above post finds another good resource. I've never used the EF, but have heard nothing but very good things about them.

    The following site holds an archive of information/descriptions on the entire FD line-up, with links on each page to other dedicated products, including cameras, lenses, and accessories. I hope you find it useful:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/SLRs/ae1/index.htm

    Happy hunting!
     
  4. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    +EF. Totally Mechanical: FT, FTb
     
  5. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Andrew, does the F1-N use the same battery as my AE-1? If not, what style batteries does it use, and where can I get them?

    Hearing more and more good things about the F-1 series, though not sure about which "generation" would be best...
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Any of the ones with fully mechanical shutters will work without the battery at all speeds. FTb, F-1 ('70's models), and TLb, for example. The EF will work without a battery from 1/2 sec. to '1000 sec., and it has a '125 flash synch due to its unique shutter among FD cameras.

    Take a look at this page from the Canon Website for some info: http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/film/series_f.html.
     
  7. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Yes the F1-N uses the same battery as the AE-1.
    Excellent camera. Its heavy, but fits in the hand nicely.
     
  8. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    If you get a 'New' F-1; get it with the AE Finder
     
  9. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    What is the AE finder?
     
  10. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    The AE finder allows you to shoot aperture priority. The Standard finder will only allow you to shoot manually. The AE finder works when you turn the shutter dial to the "A". The meter on the left will disappear and a new meter appears that shows what shutter speed the camera will be shooting at. I love the F-1n. It's built like a tank. Weighs as much as one too :smile: I've ran over a thousand rolls through the camera in the past 20 years and it still runs like a champ.
     
  11. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Speaking of the AE finder.. I have a plain prism on mine.. its labeled "Eye level prism FN". it does not have the little arm that reaches over the shutter speed dial.
    And yet it works fine in Aperture Priority mode.
     
  12. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    I would carry a spare battery and spend the money on lenses :wink:
     
  13. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Not to pick on the OP here, but I have never understood the hand-wringing about batteries in cameras. Regardless of which camera I have with me, I carry a set of spares. If the batteries die, I replace them and keep shooting. Just like when I reach the end of the roll of film, I replace it.
     
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  15. Mr.canon

    Mr.canon Member

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    Well i've just bought a battery like that. And it costs 7euro for one battery. So replacing them after each roll will make it a bit expensive isnt it :blink:
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Go to eBay and search for "dog collar batteries".

    Yes, really :smile:.

    They are the alkaline versions, so won't give the same long-life results as the silver oxide versions. I bought something like 24 of them last time, for very little $. They work fine in my Mamiya cameras that take the same batteries.

    The silver oxide versions are better - go to eBay and search for "PX28 silver".
     
  17. Mr.canon

    Mr.canon Member

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    yes. You have to remember i am from holland. SO shipping it from another country wouldnt be really cheap:D
     
  18. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Check out the FTb.

    Jeff
     
  19. Mr.canon

    Mr.canon Member

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    FTB? whats that? And how come that some of the cams tend to "eat" battery's
     
  20. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    If batteries are a concern, get an FTB and get an old selenium cell meter.
     
  21. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I now have my dad's AE-1, but haven't really used it. With my A-1, I'd say the life of a PX28 battery is measured in years. I do carry a spare, but I don't get the impression the power consumption is very high. (Maybe if you do lots of minute long bulb exposures, you'd see a problem -- haven't tried that.)
     
  22. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    Check out this page from the Canon museum for more info on all "F" series cameras. Most of these will operate without a battery (the meter will need a battery, but the shutter won't).

    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/film/series_f.html

    Jim B.
     
  23. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    These cameras have 40-50 years. Better budget for a good CLA and you'll have a new camera for another 50 years. That's what I do with mine. I have 5 FTb; they are excellent; ( not as good as the EF; but fully Manual, metallic and reliable)
     
  24. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Yeah I let my AE-1 sit for a few years with the battery in it. I know..duh. Worked fine and the battery is still going. T'aint cheap but if it lasts years it's OK. I use a Weston meter too. :D
     
  25. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    I'd just like to upgrade, really. I picked up an AE-1 because it was cheap. I think I've done my looking and settled on a New F-1. I'm probably going to have to put it on my Christmas list, though, since it's far from cheap enough for me to afford any time soon.
     
  26. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

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    Changing a battery is not a big deal. Everything from your cell phone to your car uses a battery, and all such batteries will eventually be replaced. As for which Canon FD camera to get, the EF is a good camera; inexpensive, and styled after the F1. The FTb is a great camera, and is fully manual. The meter requires a battery (just as the EF does), I simply got an adapter which allows me to use an SR44 battery stepped-down to 1.35 volts. If you have a little extra money to spend, the F1 is the way to go. I prefer the old F1 to the newer versions, they have a certain look to them which I like.