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  1. #1

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    Canon F-1 viewfinders vs AE-1 Program

    I'm interested in moving from an AE-1P to a "new" F-1 as I prefer mechanical cameras. I was wondering if anybody can weigh in on the eye-level finder of the New F-1 vs the AE-1? The info I find lists the AE-1P's finder as having 0.86% magnification vs the F-1 at 0.8x. Is there any difference or is this just different terminology. Also, any difference in brightness?

  2. #2
    flatulent1's Avatar
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    I think the difference between 0.8x and 0.83x (from the specs in the back of both manuals) is insignificant. More significant would be viewfinder coverage, which tells you how much of the final image is missing from the viewfinder.

    AE1P viewfinder coverage = 94%
    New F-1 viewfinder coverage = 97%

    Advantage, New F-1.

    Brightness? No idea. Both have interchangeable focusing screens, which could affect brightness.

    By the way, the New F-1 is largely battery dependent. If you're wanting a true mechanical camera, look to the original F-1 or the F-1n (second version). The numbers above apply to all three versions of the F-1.

    The only advantage the AE1P viewfinder has over the original F-1 or F-1n is in the brightness of the viewfinder display. The AE1P's scale appears lit; the original F-1's match needle scale is not. This only comes into play if you like to shoot in dim light.

    Overall, the F-1 (all versions) is a much nicer camera than the AE1P, though they're both very capable cameras.
    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


    I am beginning to resent being referred to as 'half-fast'.
    Whatever that's supposed to mean.

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I have a Canon F1n and the view finder is bright. Also they're different focusing screens, diopters for people that wear glasses and there are different finders like a waist level finder and for shooting sports, a speed finder.

  4. #4

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    I have a older F-1 and the viewfinder is very good.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    semeuse's Avatar
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    I have both, but use the F1 almost exclusively - I prefer the feel of my "tank" - not due to any noticeable differences in the viewfinders (they are barely perceptible), but because I prefer the control the F1 allows.

  6. #6
    yeknom02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatulent1 View Post
    By the way, the New F-1 is largely battery dependent. If you're wanting a true mechanical camera, look to the original F-1 or the F-1n (second version). The numbers above apply to all three versions of the F-1.
    So, the F-1n is the latest version of the F-1?

    I recently sold my AE-1, so I may want to get an F-1 of some variety in the future. I'm also trying to sort out the differences.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
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  7. #7
    semeuse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeknom02 View Post
    So, the F-1n is the latest version of the F-1?
    The chronological order is: F-1, F-1n, New F-1

  8. #8

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    Have a look at the Canon museum for a better idea of timelines etc:

    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/c...1976-1985.html

    Sim2.

  9. #9
    Andrew K's Avatar
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    I'm guessing you are refering to a New type OLD F1? If you are the finder is about the same as a AE1P.

    A NEW F1 is brighter still - fitted with a f1.2 lens the view through the finder is often brighter than room conditions....

    As a former factory repair tech I would get a NEW F1 over a mechanical old F1, as the mechanical bodies had some interesting habbits - like shutter bounce, and the meters were not that reliable..

    Also from memory the NEW F1 has close to 100% viewfinder - I wear glasses, and I've always found it easier to see the full viewfinder when using a AEFN finder rather than the standard finder. If you want to see all of the screen all of the time get a speed finder - they take some getting used to, but the view is amazing...
    A camera is only a black box with a hole in it....

    my blog...some film, some digital http://andrewk1965.wordpress.com/

  10. #10
    Andrew Horodysky's Avatar
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    I have the New F-1 and an AE-1 (not P). Coverage is more in the F-1 viewfinder, but I really don't notice or think about the difference. And, I can't tell if one is brighter than the other. I don't get hung-up on the specs. I use the AE-1 mostly for family photography (with color print film), and F-1 for my own work (primarily with B&W film). For a truly mechanical machine, you'll need to look at older models/versions.

    I also use the same lens set with both cameras, interchangeably (35/2, 50/1.2L, 100/2). Although I enjoy the F-1 tremendously (I don't know of any other 35mm SLR that feels so good in my hands), the AE-1 is still a great camera (I've owned it since the late '70s)... don't get rid of yours. To add to your current kit, you can get a solid, used F-1 body through KEH.

    Cheers.

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