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  1. #1
    dj_judas21's Avatar
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    Mirror lock-up on Canon FD 35mm SLRs

    I have a Canon AE-1 Program which is my go-to 35mm SLR. On a couple of occasions recently I've needed MLU functionality. Obviously I want to stay with the FD system and keep my lenses.

    I know that the F-1 first edition has MLU, but do any of the other A-series or T-series have it?

    I'm also aware that the Pellix has a fixed pellicle mirror but I don't like the idea of losing half a stop, or whatever it is. This camera body will be for astrophotography, and every photon counts!

  2. #2
    asterix's Avatar
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    The bodies F-1, FTb, FTb-N, F-1n and EF have it

    look at canonfd.farah.cl//#mlu
    Gruss Henning

  3. #3
    dj_judas21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asterix View Post
    The bodies F-1, FTb, FTb-N, F-1n and EF have it
    Thanks, this is exactly what I wanted to know. The F-1 seems a bit pricey to me, so I'll be buying an FTb.

  4. #4
    asterix's Avatar
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    only the EF accepts 1,5V batteries, all others need 1,35 mercury cells (very hard to find) or an adapter. You may look for a Canon EF.
    Gruss Henning

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    All of the camera bodies mentioned by Asterix are good cameras but as dj_judas21 points out, their built in meters depend on the stable voltage output of mercury cells for their accuracy except for the EF, which has a voltage regulation circuit that let's you use alkaline batteries without having the camera's meter readings drift with the battery's voltage as it runs down. This may or may not be an issue depending on whether you plan ton use the internal meter or use a handheld one.

    I own an EF and it's been my primary camera since 2002. It's a shutter speed priority camera but you can also use it manually. The EF's also somewhat rare apparently, and it was considered second from top of the line behind the F1 when it was new. I haven't seen many EFs turn up for sale in used equipment stores compared to the other Canon FD models. My EF's been a great camera and it's always good for a chuckle because it invariably confuses other photographers who think you're talking about Canon's autofocus lens mount instead of the manual focus body...

  6. #6
    dj_judas21's Avatar
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    I have a source of 1.35v batteries, so that's not a problem. In any case, I need the MLU functionality for astrophotography, where a light meter is practically useless anyway.

    I did have to do a double-take when you mentioned the EF. I had heard of all of the other SLRs mentioned in this thread, but not the EF. Naturally, searching online for Canon EF gives thousands of results for autofocus/digital cameras.

    Thanks all for your advice.

  7. #7

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    There's another advantage to using any of the F1, F1n, FTb, FTBn and the EF for long exposures besides the mirror lockup is that they all have mechanical shutters unlike the newer Canon FD cameras which have electronic shutter releases. You don't need any batteries at all if you're not using the built in meter on any of those cameras.

    I used to have an AE-1 Program (my first 35mm SLR) and I still have an A-1 and a T70; all good cameras but holding the shutter open on those cameras for long exposures would drain the batteries really quickly, particularly in cold weather. The mechanical shutter you'd be getting by purchasing one of those cameras with mirror lockup would probably be a nice secondary benefit for you because you won't have to worry about frequent battery changes or the shutter closing unexpectedly in the middle of an exposure if it gives out at the wrong time.

    This turned into a problem for me when I was doing dusk and night shots in late fall and early spring or on winter days when it wasn't too cold out and it was one of the reasons why I decided to buy the EF when two came up for sale in the camera store I used to frequent. The EF's a strange one though because it's got a hybrid shutter mechanism where the short shutter speeds are purely a mechanical action but everything above one second in length is electronically regulated and subject to battery use. It's easy to get around that caveat by using the bulb selection and watch to manually time the exposures, which is necessary for anything longer than 30 seconds with that camera anyways.

  8. #8
    fstop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asterix View Post
    only the EF accepts 1,5V batteries, all others need 1,35 mercury cells (very hard to find) or an adapter. You may look for a Canon EF.
    Not true, the F-1 and the F-1n take 6v silver oxide,lithium or alkaline batteries.

  9. #9
    asterix's Avatar
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    thats correct for the newer model, better known as New F-1 oder F-1N, built since 1982. The older version 1971, and improved 1973, take 1,35 Mercury cells. You can verify that at the website of the canon camera museum.
    Gruss Henning

  10. #10

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    Asterix is correct. The original F-1 (1971) and the mildly updated F-1n (small "n") version (1976), take 1.35V mercury batteries. The "new" F-1, or F-1N (note the big "N"), introduced in 1981, take 6V batteries.

    As for a good FD camera that has a MLU option, I agree with your choice of a FTb. Readily available, rugged, reliable and inexpensive.

    Jim B.



 

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