Not much from your description of the AE-1P. The straight AE-1 viewfinder shows recommended aperature based upon the shutter speed setting. It does use a match needle but the actual shutter speed and f-stop are not shown in the viewfinder.
Originally Posted by kwmullet
Canon EF is a less expensive alternative, and I believe, displays all the things you need to see (90% sure of that). Also, one of the few (perhaps only?) Mercury era camera that automatically adjusts for 1.5v batteries. But the meter is center weighted, not spot. Want a true spot? Canon New F1 with one of the very pricy focusing screens (in the NewF1 the interchangeable screens dictate the type of meter - averaging, center-weight, spot). Also, one of the most "true" spot meters in cameras of that vintage, from what I understand (most narrow angle of metered image).
Then there is the T90. Robust, FD lenses, shows all the things you want to see and then some. Ugly as sin. Basically an EOS minus the AF.
I believe your best choice is the NewF1, given the tru-pro level range of accessories and durability, very fast motor drive, variety of focusing screens and the ability to work fully mechanical if need be from (I believe) 125th of a secon upwards - the slower shutter speeds are electric. The batteries are of a currently available type, so that is another plus.
The only pro-level feature glaringly absent is the MLU feature (present on old F1 and EF) - but as one of the helpful APUG members advised me, it is actually not needed as the mirror slap is quite insignificant. Given the affinity for these cameras showed by sport shooters with their long lenses, I think he has a point. On the other hand, all other makes offer mirror lock up on their pro bodies, and oddly enough, so does Canon on the EOS series of pro cameras...
Here is a very exhaustive source of NewF1 info:
Funny, I was actually toying with the idea of asking the consensus wether to buy an EF (which I can buy now) or wait for the cash to buy a New F1...
Currently have an AE1 - its a nice consumer camera with a host of features that are quite useful, but would not come close to fitting your requirements. Excellent cheap and plentiful back up for whatever you do buy, though!
One tip - for a normal lens, look for the older, "locking ring" type SSC 1.4 lens - its a jewl, and considerably superior to the newer one. Then, of course, there is the 1.2...
Also, FL lenses will fit FD cameras, but must be metered in stopped down mode for true readings.
Best of luck,
Looks like this:
is what I'm looking for. I'm also getting the impression that between the original F1 (FL mount? no hot shoe/funky connectors around the rewind crank, ASA set by pulling up on the shutter speed dial) and the New F1, there were more than one variation. I've run across references to the F-1D, F-1N (numerous things documented as F-1Ns with various differences between them), and a handful of comemorative models.
Anyway... I'm flying my fighter down the trench... I see the two exhaust ports... I'm switching off my targeting computer... "Use film, Luke! Use film!"
Other than a few special models like high speed cameras, dentistry kits, things made for microscopes, industry/military/NASA cameras with special mods, Olive Drab bodies, one version of the F-1N that I've seen with registration pins for very precise multiple exposures, and Olympic logo bodies, there are three common versions--the F-1, F-1n, and New F-1 (commonly called the F-1N, but not in any official Canon literature that I've seen). You might come across one of the rarities occasionally, but I wouldn't make any plans about acquiring one.
If you want the actual Canon-official chronolgy of the F cameras, here is the definitive source:
However, for actual technical specs and descriptions of features and systems, the link in previous post is by far the most exhaustive I have found - nice feature of it is also the ability to "jump" to any other Canon FD cmera, described in as much detail.
As an aside, the most expensive F1 (I believe it was the New F1) I have come across was a body with a serial number that "spelled" out Frank Sinatra's birthday - the auction was into the $2000 US + range with days to go... Whatever floats your boat, I guess...
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All of the F1's had the FD mount. The earlier TL & FT had the FL mount & stop down metering.
Very true, but the FL lenses will fit - as I mentioned earlier and Shaggy pointed out above, unlike the FD lenses, they WILL require a body that can meter stopped down. You are fine with all the A and F bodies (inluding the EF)
Originally Posted by Shaggy
If you are looking for obscure FD parts, particularly New F-1 focusing screens, high-end lenses, and rare lens adapters (which cost more than camera bodies for the lenses to be adapted), kevincameras.com has a surprising horde of them. After too many years of looking around, I finally ordered the SK screen (Bright Laser Matte for long lenses/spot metering) from him for $135. The one I normally use is the SE screen (split image+microprism/spot metering), but now that I'm using the Canon almost exclusively for birds, the screen optimized for tele lenses makes more sense. I've also got the stock AE screen (split image+microprism/averaging), but almost never use it.
I'm looking around at FD and FL lenses in case I can score an F1n body. One thing I notice is that the prices for FL (not surprisingly) tend to be lower. Am I correct in assuming that the only operational downside of using FL lenses on an F1/F1n/F1-new or AE-1 program would be that I'd have to use stopped-down metering? Would I have to worry about the aperture not closing down to the selected f-stop during exposure?
Also -- really stupid question here, but I'll open myself up just the same.
Is "stopped down" metering just the act of depressing or locking down the depth of field preview, taking your meter reading, and using that instead of what your meter reads with the aperture wide-open for focusing? (I'm also assuming that unless you focus and shoot with the DOF closed down, this precludes using any automatic exposure modes.)
Yes, with stopped down metering, you meter at the shooting aperture and try to get the meter needle to line up with the index mark in the finder. I find wide open metering to be more accurate in general. At low light levels, in-camera meters can become non-linear, and when you use stopped down metering, you're reducing the amount of light striking the photocell, so you create a lower light level condition, and you might find that the stopped down reading and the wide open reading don't agree.
Unless there is some particular FL lens that you really want, there are still plenty of pretty cheap FD lenses, both with the older breech-lock system and the later bayonet system (sometimes referred to as FDn), so I'd go for the improved functionality of the FD lenses. Some people prefer the sturdy feel of the older chrome mount ring, and others prefer the updated optics and coatings of the later bayonet mount lenses. Most of mine are the later versions.