"The AE-1 had a lasting legacy in the camera industry, as manufacturers introduced increasingly advanced electronic metering and focusing sytems. In the end, they managed to do away with film completely as cameras became highly specialized imaging computers."
The beginning of the end.
You can say that again! When the AE-1 and the later Program went on sale we used to sell tons of them. At Christmas time we would have multiple stacks of them on the floor behind the camera counter and they would sell like hotcakes! They were very reliable and we rarely took back returns due to defects.
Originally Posted by Jeff Kubach
My first camera was the AV-1. It was aperture preferred only with no manual mode. I bought it because I was going to the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville Tennessee. My boss had marked it down real cheap because it was a display model.
The camera got me interested in photography but I soon discovered that I wanted a manual mode, After doing a lot of research I bought a Contax 139 on sale.
Yeah, there is no one right answer. Everyone has what works for them.
Originally Posted by StoneNYC
In cultural terms I think that kind of makes sense, but I don't think it actually describes the AE-1 very accurately. As far as I remember, they were still expensive enough that people had them repaired instead of replacing them, and they seem to take periodic service perfectly well. IMHO, the "disposable" aspect didn't come in until the advent of cheapo auto-everything P&S cameras in the 1980s/90s.
Originally Posted by frank
I don't have a strong feeling on it personally, but it seems like a reasonable person could argue that the AE-1 is "great" in some sense precisely *because* of the mass-produced aspect. It's sort of the Brownie of its era---a camera that made photography accessible to masses of people, with some compromises. Unlike the Brownie, though, those compromises related to handling and feature set rather than to "performance" in the sense of image quality.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
Of course there is a 'right answer' and here it is:
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
Neither. I don't trust anything newer than a Nikkormat FT2; it uses a battery only for the meter, uses cells you can actually get, and uses pre AI lenses.
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Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh
When you consider the AE-1, you need to think about what was happening in the market when it was introduced.
It was a fully functional SLR, with shutter priority automatic, compatible with an extensive line of high quality lenses, and it was priced low enough to be attractive to a large number of people who would never have considered an SLR before.
In its day, many films were a bit slower (think Kodachrome), so shutter priority automatic was very attractive.
It caused a lot of people to move from Instamatics to SLRs.
And the economies of scale that arose from mass production made it possible.
I sold a lot of them in its day.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Pintos were sold in great numbers (10 million) no one considers them great.The difference is the AE-1 won't explode if it hit in the film door.
Originally Posted by ntenny
APUG: F, F/FTN,F2,F2A,F2AS,F3,F3HP,FA,FE,FM,FM2,FE2,XK,XM,XD, XD-5,XD-7,XD-11,XE,XE-5,XE-7,SRT101,SRT102,XG9,XG7,XG1,XG-SE,XG-M,X700,OM-1,OM-1n,OM-2,OM-2n,OM-4,F-1,F-1N,AE-1P,R5,500C/M,SCII
Following this thread it seems to me the AE-1 has quite a different reputation in the US than over here.
(The same time the Pentax K-1000, a camera I never heard of back then, is praised there as learner camera, though it even lacks DOF-control.)
AE-1P over the AE-1. Has full manual, shutter priority, aperture priority, very simple all-on-one-dial use, very good ergonomics. Drawback is the LCD light meter, but it works pretty well.
Canon AE-1P 35mm | 50mm/f1.8 FDn | 28mm/2.8 FD | 70-200mm/f4-5 FD | 35-70mm/F2.8-3.5 Sigma FD