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  1. #21

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    Have 2 F-1. Probably best Canons I have. Solid tanks. You need the AE Finder FN and then you have the A-1; only better.

  2. #22
    sionnac's Avatar
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    Never had the F-1; my A-1 developed an electrical problem a few years ago and after a repair and CLA, no squeak and going strong. I carry it often.

  3. #23

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    The red LCDs in the view finder can be turn off.

    Jeff

  4. #24
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    You can turn the red LCDs off, though, with a simple switch. I don't understand what the big deal is, because being able to see the red LEDs can be a great boon in low light. Coupled with the fact that the meter is adjustable to high ISOs unlike most of my cameras that stop at 1600, would make this my go-to low-light camera if I had more faster lenses for it.
    f/22 and be there.

  5. #25

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    Personally, I never liked the A-1's ergonomics at all. I have owned a couple of A-1s on different occassions, and I always sold them. I just think that the body is pretty quirky and non-intuitive to use. And the shutter lube issue is also the achilles heel. I think any number of Canon FD-mount bodies are superior to actually use. Certainly, at the high end, the F-1n and the T90 are more well thought-out in terms of ergonomics. And at the lower mid range, I also would rather use an FTbn or TX, or when looking for automation, a T70.

    Compared to, say, the Minolta XD-11, which was the other multi-mode automatic SLR from the same era, ease of use is no contest in favor of the Minolta.

  6. #26
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    I loved my A1 - purchased it 2nd hand and used it for many years. Shot many a sports assignment with it and my trusty F1 (first version). Was very sad to see it go but I know it went to a good home. Same for the F1.

    In the time I owned it, it didn't suffer the "squeak" and the MA Drive performed superbly. If I hadn't needed to go AF, I'd still have both of these babies today. Solid and reliable two great workhorses.

  7. #27

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    I'm enjoying this thread so far. I went to my favorite junk shop today looking for gear, and actually got some good finds. I found an old Fuji passport camera sitting on the shelf for 2100 yen (I live in Japan, price in US dollars is about $20). I didn't care for the camera, but I liked the Fuji PA-45 instant film back that was attached to it (they are running for $100 and up on Ebay).

    As I was at the counter getting ready to pay for the Fuji stuff, I saw that the clerks were sorting through a plastic bin full of old 35mm cameras and lenses. Amazingly enough, I realized that I still don't have a 35mm film camera (I shoot large format), so I thought I would look in the bin and see if they had anything interesting.

    I got lucky, I found an old F1 in nearly mint condition, with a 50mm 1.8 lens on it. The price was ichi man yen, or $100. I found a 35mm 3.5 lens for $10, a Canon 2x teleconverter for $5, and a 100~200 zoom for $10. Also in the bin was a decent looking A1.

    I used to read National Geographic magazines voraciously when I was in elementary school, and I still remember the Canon A1 ads on the back cover: "Hexa-photo-cybernetic" (or something like that) were the words that described it. I lusted after that camera, thinking (ignorantly) that it was the kind of camera that National Geographic photographers used to take the pictures in the magazines.

    I asked how much for the A1, and the clerk said "san-zen-yen" (about $30). I thought "why not?", and told him I'd take it too. I was surprised to find when I came home that it had a flawless 50 1.4 lens on it.

    The F1 works perfectly; amazingly enough the battery is still good, and the meter seems to work normally. The A1 didn't have a battery in it, I'll go pick up some extra batteries and film tomorrow, and hopefully a couple of reels that will work in one of my tanks.

  8. #28

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    FYI, the 50mm f1.4 FD alone is worth $60~$70, so even if your A-1 squeaks, you did well.

  9. #29

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    I must admit sounds like a good deal to me also!

    Jeff

  10. #30

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    Nice buy sangetsu!

    I used Canon gear exclusively when I was trying to earn a living at this stuff. Shooting motorsports it was always my T90s with my early F1 used some for fun. I also have a couple of A1s and like them a lot for general use. The T90 is my favorite but any problems with one is likely to be permanent as parts (I hear) are impossible to find. Of course they sell cheap so I guess parts are just an Ebay buy away. The F1 is a tank. As close to indestructible as a camera can be. Coupled with the motor drive MF it was a great conversation starter at the race track.
    Of them all, as a camera to try out the Canon FD system with I'd say either a F1 or an A1. The F1 is fully manual and has a great "pro cachet". The A1 was an advanced amateur camera with more bells and whistles. A1 will be cheaper than the F1. F1s don't get a shutter squeak but its pretty easy to fix. BTW, its not the shutter that squeaks, its the mirror damper. Takes about 30 minutes to fix but if the thing is squeaking then its probably a good idea to get it CLAd so the rest of the body can be cleaned and lubed. Once done you'll probably use it the rest of your life with no problems.
    Various Canons and Nikons. A Mamiya and a Bronica. A couple Brownies, and a Couple of Argus' (Argi?)

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