Looking for a Backup to a Canon A1

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by 3 Olives, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. 3 Olives

    3 Olives Subscriber

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    I've done a lot of searches and reading but it doesn't seem to help. I need to find a camera for my son as a backup or alternate for his Canon A1. He'll be using the A1 for lessons at the Light Factory in Charlotte this summer and school next fall. He goes to the School Of The Arts in Charlotte and photography will be his second major. A backup or second camera is a necessity. Thanks.
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Canon Ae-1s seem to be quite plentiful. Since the Canon lens mount is proprietary, you don't have much of an option.
     
  3. fatboy22

    fatboy22 Subscriber

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    Canon F1 Body would be a great backup. I have 2 of them they are very solid workhorse pro level camera bodies. Just make sure it has had it light seals and mirror damper foam replaced. The F1 will take all of the Canon FD lenses. They are very reasonable about $125 for a body in really good shape. A very rock soild all mechanical SLR.

    Jamie
     
  4. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I used to have an A1 and and F1 prior to changing to the EOS system.
    Loved both of them dearly. An F1 (older version or newer version) would be an excellent backup - plus they're built like tanks.
    An AE-1 Program is also another good consideration too.
     
  5. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Another A-1 would be a good choice (I don't think I'd want to use an AE-1 or Program after using the A-1). I was going to sell mine but took it out of its box last weekend and after playing with it a bit decided I'm not ready to part with it yet. There are also the T bodies but I don't know what they go for now. A good A-1 (watch for shutter squeak) should be under $100.

    Dan
     
  6. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    AV1, AE1, AT1, FTB, T70, T90.....I've used all except AT1, and they are all excellent cameras...all you have to to do is decide which camera would suit you e.g. T70 is more automatic compared to a basic FTB.
     
  7. Ann M

    Ann M Member

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    The T90 is a very nice camera if you can get one in good condition. I've had one for years and still use it a lot. It has spot metering and depth-of-field preview, both of which I find extremely useful. It was one of two cameras (the other was MF) that I used for my photography HND and well up to the job.
     
  8. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I would go for an F1. I am becoming increasingly biased in favour of mechanical cameras.
     
  9. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    erm well it is the most expensive to buy..........my AV1 and T70 are a great BACKUP to my T90....come to think of it my MTL3 with screw lenses is as well.

    I'm not a pro, so if my AV1 or T70 break down I just get another one for about £15-£20.....T90s are still available for £60-£80.
     
  10. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    £60-80? I must be out of touch. I bought my first T90 in 1999 for over £250
     
  11. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    I'm with Ann on this one. I had an A1 way back in the 80's and eventually 'progressed' to a T90 which I used almost exclusively until I switched systems to Nikon. For me, the best feature was the multi-spot metering.

    All that said, why limit oneself to canon? My current favourite is the Olympus OM system - in particular the OM2n - which has a superb meter and as good a selection of lenses as any 35mm system I can think of. As the A1 and T90 are very battery dependent, an OM1 might also be a good option as the battery only works the meter and, therefore, if the battery fails, the camera will still function.
     
  12. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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  13. Fotoguy20d

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    "All that said, why limit oneself to canon? "


    If it's a back-up body to an A-1, you'd probably want to stick with the same lens mount system. And, I'm of the opinion that once you're comfortable with one manufacturer's layout/controls you're not likely to want to pick up anything else.

    Dan
     
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  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I'll go for the F-1 because of its durablity. T-90 is also not a bad choice.

    Jeff
     
  16. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    Get an F-1n (2nd model...mechanical). A mechanical body will keep on going when the bunny falls over. Plus, the F-1 was the top-of-the-line system camera with interchangeable screens and other specialized accessories.
     
  17. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    ****£60-80? I must be out of touch. I bought my first T90 in 1999 for over £250****

    Shooosh keep it a secret, all the newbies are paying high prices for Nikon gear thinking it's going to make them great photographers....so more Canon goodies for us at cheaper prices.
     
  18. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I had a look on ebay this afternoon and I have my eye on 3 T90s and an F1 all at really good prices. All hail the FD mount. Canon switching to the EOS mount was the best move they made for us FD lovers :D:D:D
     
  19. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Yes, I envy those of you who haven't needed to switch from FD!
    I had to trade it all in for that nasty d***** stuff (and a film body too!!), due to the majority of my clients demanding their images that way.
    Some still ask for film - bless that EOS1 and GS1, but for the price I've had to pay for EOS kit - I could have an FD kit 3x over. :sad:
    I miss my old A1 and F1 dearly - hopefully they are still being used by the film lovers that bought them a number of years ago.
     
  20. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I think an AT-1 is a good backup for an A-1; they take the same lenses, use the same battery, they're the same size, feel the same. It's an all manual camera, no auto exposure, but familiar enough as to be easy to use, all the more so since the A-1 isn't particularly good at metered manual exposure control.

    The A-1 would make a good backup camera to a T90, which is a fabulous camera, my favorite. Full automation, several metering options, built-in motor drive, great handling; very nearly an EOS 1V without the autofocus. And not terribly expensive these days, either. But, like the A-1, not so good at metered manual exposure control.

    I've often wondered, though, what a backup camera should be. A replacement, in case one goes down? In which case the best backup would be another A-1. Or a camera that offers something the first doesn't have? The T90 has a higher degree of automation and better design, but none of the A or T series have mirror lockup, and if that's important then an F-1, F-1n or FTb might be a better choice.
     
  21. darinwc

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    i would highly reccomend the AE-1 program as a backup to the A-1. It has a wonderfully bright screen, takes the same motor drives and batteries as the A-1, and is easy to handhold. However, be careful buying online as the common shutter squeak problem of the A series.
    The F1 would also be a great 1st or 2nd camera.
     
  22. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I recommend an AE-1 Program. What a great backup camera! They are small and weigh almost nothing, so can easily be capped and put in a coat pocket. They can often be had for about $20 with a 50mm 1.8 on ebay. I just bought two with 50mm 1.8s for $40 shipped, and they are in very nice shape and work perfectly. They are stripped down as far as features, but they do have a locking D of F preview. Pretty good for a $20 backup. I gave them to some students at school, but I would love to get a few more some day.
     
  23. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    ****I've often wondered, though, what a backup camera should be**

    Well I wont take my Canon T90 to Ibiza with my grand children kicking sand everywhere, even fine dust in the apartment near the beach, it's everywhere...........one of my T70 and Konica C35 P&S is used for my backup.
     
  24. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    There are a couple problems with the Canon A-1 (AE-1 and AE-1 Program, too) that your son might find limiting or frustrating as a film student.

    He will most likely be required to shoot in manual metering mode. There is no coupling for the meter with the lens aperture on these cameras. The display will indicate the "proper" aperture, but as the aperture ring is turned, there is no feedback in the viewfinder. This requires the photographer to visually check the aperture setting on the lens.

    The other problem I had with A-series Canons was their centerweighted metering pattern. They would frequently underexpose images if any light source was in the frame, or in high-contrast situations. I grew to hate that metering pattern. True, once one understands how it works, one can make allowances for this. But I still find it to be an inferior metering pattern.

    I highly recommend either the original F-1, as others here have, or a good old workhorse that's almost as capable -- the FTb. Both cameras have match-needle metering in which one needle is coupled to the lens aperture, the other to the shutter speed selection. One can properly determine exposure without having to take ones eye away from the viewfinder. The other nice thing to me about these cameras is the way they meter. Metering occurs only within a small rectangle visible in the viewfinder, approximating 12% or so of the image. I found that judicious placement of this rectangle, even in high-contrast situations, allowed me to meter a scene accurately. My incorrectly exposed images dropped almost to zero when I switched from the hi-tech A-1 to the low tech FTb (and soon after the F-1). The quality of my images improved dramatically as well and my A-series cameras were relegated to the shelf soon after.

    Another big plus to me about the original F-1 (but not the New F-1) and the FTb is they both have mirror lock-up. Very useful for macro or long telephoto work.

    Best,

    Michael
     
  25. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    He's asking for a backup for an A-1, not for which is the best FD model to use. I agree with your preference of bodies, but it has nothing to do with the original question.
     
  26. largely

    largely Member

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    I'm a Canon guy and use my T90 and plain old AE-1 for 35mm work.
    The AE-1 does offer finder feedback once you learn to leave it in it's shutter priority mode and watch the aperture change in the finder as you turn the shutter speed dial with your index finger. Fast and easy. Camera is built like a tank.
    But for a BACKUP camera (whether I'm shooting 36 or 6x6) I think a camera which is totally independent of batteries is a better choice. I carry a Pentax K1000 for this purpose. It's my "always with me wherever I go" camera.