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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 29 Nov 2014 (Saturday) 23:10
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canon ae-1 program

 
amfoto1
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Dec 02, 2014 10:49 |  #16

I know, this is a digital slr thread, but just wanted to post some thoughts and get some insight.... Digital takes away all of those restrictions, but does it really lead to good photography? Any thoughts?

Edit...part of what made the ae-1 so great was the light meter. Exposure was always spot on. Cant say that about any of the eos cameras i have owned.

Regarding your first question... no, I don't think digital leads to good photography, though it offers some nice tools to achieve it. On the other hand, digital leads to a whole lot more bad shots being taken (and shared). There was some discipline involved in shooting film... knowing there was a cost to it... not getting immediate feedback on the LCD monitor of a DSLR.

Regarding Edit about exposure accuracy/light meter....

Sorry, but there is no frickin' way was the AE-1's meter more accurate than a modern EOS' metering system. I have hundreds of vintage SLRs (including several AE-1 and AE-1 Programs) and their metering systems are far simplistic, most only use a center-weighted mode (that modern EOS also offer, BTW, as one of four metering pattern modes on most models). A few film SLRs offered spot metering as an option. But those systems had far sloppier calibration, far less precision and were much more prone to need regular recalibration, compared to the modern DSLR.

Probably the difference was you.... I bet you were shooting color print film, which has gobs of exposure latitude... and the person making the prints in the 1 hour lab, or the printing device itself automatically make adjustments, producing an envelope full of correctly exposed looking prints, even from poorly exposed negatives. Many people never realized how poor their exposures were, because of this common process.

If you had shot slides or processed your own B&W film, you would see how those vintage metering systems could "lie to you" and how easily they were misused.

Or, if you did shoot slides and/or B&W negs, you must have been much more careful with your settings than you are today with your DSLR.

Plus, some EOS film cameras such as EOS-3 or 1V had (have) metering modes very similar to today's DSLR.

One thing that sucked about AE-1 was the horizontal travel shutter and it's 1/60 flash sync limit (many other manufacturers had moved past that type of shutter ten years earlier). Those may not have been an issue, unless doing panning shots dragging the shutter or a lot of flash photography. AE-1 was a very nice and fun camera. I preferred the AE-1 Program because in had everything the original AE-1, plus offered user-interchangeable focus screens and compatibility with Motor Drive MA for a higher frame rate (about 4.5 fps, if memory serves).


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5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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parkespapa
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Dec 02, 2014 20:08 |  #17

Sorry, I called it an AE-1 in my post, but it is an AE-1 program. I generally would shot underexposed by 2/3 stop, just by setting the iso dial down. Also, would do a lot of spot metering and use the depth of field gauge on the lens, which I found to be very accurate. Plus, the size of the camera, and the way it fit my hands was perfect, or I just think it was. Much easier to hold still on longer exposures. I have trouble holding my D7 still at less than 1/90, while I could hold my AE-1 pretty still up to 1/15.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts on my antique, whether you agreed with me or not.




  
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mfunnell
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Post edited over 6 years ago by mfunnell. (2 edits in all)
     
Dec 02, 2014 23:03 as a reply to  @ parkespapa's post |  #18

I have an AE-1Program which is a nice camera (although mine has taken a very solid knock which would probably have killed a more modern camera but just means the film advance is a bit rough). It's still nice to use and can take good photos. My only gripe with the camera is, and always was, that it could do shutter-priority or program AE but not aperture-priority (and behaves most strangely if the controls are set as seems logical if you were trying to select aperture priority). I think they should have gone that one step further.

When I started saving pennies to buy a camera, this was one on my list of cameras I would love to have bought, but couldn't afford. I have all of those now(!), picked up cheaply (mostly at 2nd-hand shops) when film cameras became easy to get hold of quite cheaply. I still take photos with them from time to time (mostly self-developed B&W which I then scan and print digitally).

...Mike


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rrblint
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Dec 03, 2014 00:08 |  #19

parkespapa wrote in post #17306657 (external link)
...I generally would shot underexposed by 2/3 stop, just by setting the iso dial down...

If you were setting the ISO dial down(i.e. to a lower number) then you were over exposing rather than under exposing.


Mark

  
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parkespapa
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Dec 03, 2014 00:31 |  #20

Said it wrong...sorry...usuall​y used 100 speed film and would set iso to 167. less light sometimes would even go a full stop...never would use the automatic aperture on lens...well, almost never...would use the dial on the lens instead...

for aperture priority set top dial to program and use manual ap on lens...for shutter priority set lens to A and adjust top dial




  
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apersson850
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Post edited over 6 years ago by apersson850.
     
Dec 03, 2014 04:48 |  #21

There was no spot metering on the AE-1 nor the AE-1 Program.
A-1 brought multiple automatic modes, but it took until the T90 to get three (or four, depends on how you count) different metering modes built into the camera. The New F-1 also could change metering mode, by replacing the focusing screen, but not by just flicking a switch.

I started with the EF (the very one you see in my avatar to the left here), which was the predecessor of the AE-1, but also one level higher in ambition. The EF was the automatic version of the F-1, without all the expandability. The AE-1 was in a new class (A class camera, no longer F class), but the level of ambition was more like an automatic FTbN.

The big thing with the AE-1 was the modularity and the use of a microprocessor instead of just dedicated electronics like the EF had. But the EF had vertical shutter with 1/125 s flash sync.


Anders

  
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NASS ­ Photo
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Dec 07, 2014 09:48 as a reply to  @ apersson850's post |  #22

I did not have the ae-1, although I had the at-1, and it was great. However, it sits in the closet, because it cannot compete with my 5DM3.


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Mk1Racer
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Dec 07, 2014 18:25 |  #23

I still have the one I bought new in 1984. It served me very well. I remember how I excited I was when I bought it. I'm pretty sure I still have the first pictures I ever took with it (sunset from the parking lot at work).


7D, BG-E7, BGE2x2 (both FS), 17-55 f/2.8 IS, 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS (FS), 50 f/1.8, 85 f/1.8, 70-200 f/2.8L IS Mk I, 70-300 f/4-5.6L, 550EX, Kenko Pro300 1.4xTC

  
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Paulstw
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Dec 08, 2014 01:53 |  #24

I have an AE-1 P too and after 3 rolls of film (bought last year) it's broken. Shutter button is stuck and it won't wind on. Heard it's got something to do with some electro magnet and something like that. Changed the battery and it worked once then stopped again. Even though I on'y had it for a short time it still pained me to see it broken. Not my best experience with 35mm SLR lol.




  
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Tony-S
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Post edited over 6 years ago by Tony-S.
     
Dec 08, 2014 20:08 |  #25

GregDunn wrote in post #17302577 (external link)
Not to mention, the resolution and dynamic range of any modern DSLR far exceeds those of a 35mm film camera.

There's not a digital camera made that can match the dynamic range of Portra or nearly any B&W film. Moreover, you cannot expand tonal range of a digital image as you can with B&W film. And in terms of resolution, CMS 20 II in Adotech or Spar developer will out-resolve even the D800.


"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

  
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parkespapa
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Dec 09, 2014 23:10 |  #26

Tony-S wrote in post #17321537 (external link)
There's not a digital camera made that can match the dynamic range of Portra or nearly any B&W film. Moreover, you cannot expand tonal range of a digital image as you can with B&W film. And in terms of resolution, CMS 20 II in Adotech or Spar developer will out-resolve even the D800.


I totally agree, but I'm still new to digital...IMO, Any great picture is going to come out better on film...Besides my AE-1, I also have a Rebel2000...was never really that happy with it...think my problem was that the fd glass that came with the AE-1 was just better...gonna investigate, I just got a ef 100mm f/2.8 macro and a 50mm f/1.4...Still have some Ilford100 and some fujicolor100, just need to get a battery, and I think I might shoot a roll or two...will let everyone know how it turns out.




  
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HaroldC3
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Dec 10, 2014 10:39 |  #27

I picked up the A1 about a month ago and have only shot a roll of cheap film through it (I have never shot film before and wanted to give it a try).

What I like is the simplicity of "shooting" film but there is more to film than just shooting it which is what makes you really think when using a film camera.


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amfoto1
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Post edited over 6 years ago by amfoto1.
     
Dec 11, 2014 11:51 |  #28

parkespapa wrote in post #17307317 (external link)
Said it wrong...sorry...usuall​y used 100 speed film and would set iso to 167. less light sometimes would even go a full stop...never would use the automatic aperture on lens...well, almost never...would use the dial on the lens instead...

for aperture priority set top dial to program and use manual ap on lens...for shutter priority set lens to A and adjust top dial

If you are having to dial in that much compensation, your camera is probably out of calibration. It wasn't uncommon to need to have the metering systems adjusted on cameras of this vintage (some models stayed truer than others). There are a couple adjustable potentiometers that a camera technician can tweak to bring it back into calibration. Fortunately the AE-1/AE-1 P use batteries that are still available today.

I don't believe you are actually getting Aperture Priority setting the top dial to Program and selecting an aperture manually on the lens. I don't have a camera or manual handy to check right now (in storage).

The AE-1 models were targeted at amateur photographers and shutter priority AE was the preferred mode.

AE-1 (1976-1984) offered manual and shutter priority only. AE-1 Program (1981) offers manual, shutter priority and program modes.

For those who really, really wanted aperture priority instead, Canon offered the AV-1 model, right alongside the AE-1 and AE-1P.

There was also a cheaper AT-1 model (1976), which was manual exposure only.

The Canon A-1 from around the same time (1979) was more advanced amateur/pro-oriented and actually was the first camera to have all the modes we see today: manual, shutter priority, aperture priority and program.

The mostly pro-oriented New F-1 (1980, not the F-1N from 1976) - same time frame as the AE-1 Program - offered manual, shutter priority and aperture priority.... but not program mode. The two earlier F-1 models were both strictly manual, except when fitted with a Servo EE viewfinder that provided shutter priority auto exposure too.


Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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Tony-S
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Dec 11, 2014 14:41 |  #29

amfoto1 wrote in post #17326590 (external link)
For those who really, really wanted aperture priority instead, Canon offered the AV-1 model

And the AL-1, but it also had a great manual exposure mode, unlike the other A-series automatics.

The mostly pro-oriented New F-1 (1980, not the F-1N from 1976)

Usually, the three F-1s are referred to F-1, F-1n and F-1N, with the two former essentially the same cameras, and the latter a completely new camera body and features.

offered manual, shutter priority and aperture priority.... but not program mode.

Shutter priority only with a winder attached and aperture priority (and stopped-down) with the AE Finder attached.


"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 11, 2014 14:44 |  #30

I'm trying yo convince my wife to bury me eith my F1N. I just hope she waits til I die..




  
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