Canon F-1 and batteries- MR-9 adapter or modification?
I've recently acquired two original Canon F-1 bodies and I'm trying to decide which route to take. I've heard good stuff about the C.R.I.S. Camera MR-9 adapter, but I've also read that it leaves the battery cover sticking out. I'd also read that the F-1 couldn't be modified for 1.5v batteries but then I read elsewhere that a resistance diode can be added to drop a 1.5v to the 1.35v required. Can anyone weigh in on either option, which is best etc.? My gut feeling is that an adapter would be better than camera surgery but wanted to hear from folks with more knowledge than me!
If the modification is indeed possible, is it reliable long term? (interested in the long term reliablility of the MR-9 too!) And does anyone know of any reliable camera techs performing it? Ideally I'd get it done at the same time that I have the bodies CLA'd.
Also, if anyone can report on the MR-9 adapter, does it indeed stick out of the bottom plate? and if so, how much? Thanks to all in advance!
Last edited by mtngael; 05-30-2011 at 08:15 AM. Click to view previous post history.
A search should come up with several options.
When I got my F-1n, I did the same search and settled on buying hearing aid batteries (675) and using a rubber o-ring to hold them in place. I seem to be replacing the battery a couple of times in the run of a year, but the batteries are cheap and didn't require any modifications. The battery cover fits the way it should.
So the hearing aid battery is a 1.35v then? What o-ring did you use...size etc.? I think I saw a mention of that option but what I found didn't go into enough detail to tell me much!
Aah, just looked 'em up. Have you found any difference in the metering accuracy with the 1.4v 675 vs a 1.35v battery such as the Wein Cell (an option that I've ruled out due to reports of a very short lifespan)
The battery is 1.4V and works fine. For o-rings, I just went to the store and bought a package that had some small o-rings in it. It was a repair kit for Moen faucet. If you have a plumbing store that sells loose o-rings, just get the smallest that fits over (around) a 675 battery.
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Jon Goodman (interslice on eBay) sells an adapter which takes the 675 hearing aid battery and exactly mimics the shape and size of the 675 housing. This is an advantage over the 0-ring approach for cameras that have unusual locations for the contacts.
Jon is really helpful - his main claims to fame are his camera light seal kits.
No connection, just a satisfied customer, etc., etc.
EDIT: The hearing aid batteries use exactly the same battery technology as the Wein cells. Jon's adapter or the o-ring approach give you what is essentially a Wein cell with interchangeable very cheap hearing batteries. They give relatively short life, but it's easy to find them and a dozen are often less than one single silver oxide cell.
“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
Do those batteries require drilling a hole in the battery cover? I read that the technology of those batteries required air for the battery, and read that some had drilled holes in their battery covers.
I wrap a 675 hearing aid battery in a metal split washer of the right size. It works great. Much, much better than Wein cells, which IME are terribly inconsistent, short-lived, and expensive. My meters never matched between camera bodies or my hand held light meter when using Wein cells. They always do with the 675's. I have two F-1's and two FT-bs, and they have never matched so well since the discontinuation of the proper batteries. You can get large multi packs of the 675's for very little money.
FWIW, I didn't make up this technique or read it on the Internet. The way I learned of it was from my camera repair person, when I asked him to modify my cameras to take 1.5V alkalines. He said there was no modification necessary. The only drawback is shorter battery life (about 6 months).
However, I feel that the battery issues with the PX625's are a blessing in disguise. The batteries are not needed at all for the mechanical bits of the camera to work properly; they are only needed for the light meter. Not having an in-camera meter will force you to think about lighting constantly, and to rely on experience and/or external meters, which will give you better results by far than any in-camera meter ever made, IMHO. I keep the batteries in as a backup, though I really have not used the camera meters all that often. I check them on a grey card against my spot meter every now and then to make sure they are still fine, so I can rely on them if I need to. They always are, until they aren't, then I replace them for cents, rather than dollars like with Wein cells.
I'd suggest investing in a good incident meter instead of worrying a lot about the ones in your cameras.
It is interesting that the 675 batteries are also zinc-air, or whatever it is called. I had nothing but [expensive] trouble with Wein cells, and no trouble whatsoever with the 675's.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Sounds like the Wein cells are definitely out! I do have both a reflected/incident and a spot meter than I can use for off-camera metering, but I do often use in camera metering...when I want to travel light or I'm trying to grab a fleeting shot.
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but this is a related question. May I ask if anyone knows if the same battery issue happens with the A1 (not an ae-1, but the A1)? I ask because shots I take on my Pentax K1000 generally have a correct exposure but I'm finding the shots I take on my Canon A1 to be generally brighter than those taken on the K1000 in similar conditions. If so, would someone be so kind as to point me in the direction of how to compensate or adjust the camera? Thank you!
Originally Posted by mtngael