Canon A1 Reviews

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★★☆☆☆

“I used an A-1 years ago. I remember at that time...”

Written on: 24/06/2003 by Manje Richardson. (1 review written)

I used an A-1 years ago. I remember at that time Canon was still marketing its clumsy two-handed breechlock mount system as 'superior'. But when EOS arrived, Canon immediately dropped the breech ring for a bayonet lock like of its competitors! Back in the late 1970s this was a modern camera, but today there are more modern systems on the market that provide more shooting options. Because it's long since been discontinued, only used cameras and lenses are available. Canon dropped all bodies… Read Full Review

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118042_Brooke Willson.'s Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 23/07/2003

I was never crazy about the A-1, but this reviewer's comments about the Canon breechlock are completely off base. It was never a "two-handed" system: when the lens was mounted on the camera, the locking ring turned by itself to ensure the lens didn't fall off. One then tightened the ring to snug. The genius of the breechlock was that it was the only quick-mount that adjusted for wear. To take the lens off, one grasped the ring, turned, and removed the lens. Used breechlock lenses are still priced higher than bayonets.
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<br>Thousands of loyal Canon users like myself were so appalled when Canon switched to the cheap and awful "bayonet" system that we switched to other cameras. I regret having done that: my F1n is still the best 35mm camera I've ever used (I've owned Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus), and the lenses as good or better than any.
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Mistyish's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 30/08/2008

I totally disagree with the reviewer. In fact the A1 is a far robust camera than many of its competitors of the time. I still use my own and it has never needed any repairs. My daughter who is 11 years old has recently taken some very good photographs. The A1 like the Nikon FE2, Contax RTS2 etc are fantastic tools for creating great photographs as many photographers the world over have proved.

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Alun Jenner's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 31/07/2004

I must disagree with the reviewer's comments. I bought a Canon A-1 in 1984. It is still in mint condition. At the time it's reviews were outstanding. In my view it's build quality is not far behind my Olympus E-1. Considering the advances since then this is an outstanding achievement. The A-1 is a timeless classic!

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Cbrmac's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 05/07/2004

Absolute rubbish, the Canon A1 is one of the finest Canons ever made short of the F-1 shutter noise due to lack of servicing, like all mechanical parts require lubricating, after twenty plus years still going strong, sadly some so called photographers can't take pics unless using 4,000 sec shutter speeds, 1,000 asa with a f1.2 lens :-)

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Roadkilltl's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 27/04/2004

I dont agree with this review at all! I have been using this model camera for many years and my father used it for many years before that.
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<br>READERS BEWARE! This really is an EXCELLENT CAMERA!!! It is a bargain today and you can find a lot of used equipment that is in good shape. Just the fact that you can find 25 year-old equipment still in mint shape means that people really thought this camera was excellent and worth keeping in good shape!

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Phil J's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 21/12/2003

What rot! The A1, granted, is an old camera, and is supassed by many modern equivelents. However, it's my thinking that this review was submitted by someone who had only ever used auto-everything cameras, and don't know the history, enginuity and great following of the Canon marque. The breech locking lenses are great, one-handed and quick changing. Top shutter speed of 1/1000 - so what? It's fast enough for most people, or Canon would have produced higher speeds for the camera; they spent a large amount of money on making the A1 and AE1 for a specific market, so, if you want faster speeds, look at another camera. The infamous "squeek" is a problem, but is easily remedied by a trip to your local camera repair man. As for the comment about you buying a discontinued camera, with no parts or support from the company, it doesn't matter. I have found that independent specialists have more knowledge of a product that the people that make it: because it's thier business to do so.
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<br>In sumation: If you want a reliable, dependable rugged camera, and don't mind forgoing modern trappings such as multi-segment metering and autofocus, then buy a Canon A1. Cheaper than its contemories (OM2/3, Nikon F2 etc) then you will not regret it. They are a great camera that will certaily outlast thier modern conterparts.

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123341_Ray Mancuso.'s Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 21/08/2003

Having used both new and old Canon systems I don't share the critics view of the alledged qualities of the breechlock mount or the A-1 for that matter. The old cloth shutter on this camera has a lousy flash sync speed and ruined many a outdoor flash photo for me before I switched to newer equipment. The breechlock is a solution to a problem that never existed - it does take two separate hand movements to operate, and mount/flange wear in real life isn't a problem to anyone using a camera with a stainless or plated metal mount unless they're hanging unsupported megatelephotos off it. Bottom line - if you buy the A1 you're buying a discontinued model with discontinued lenses and no parts support from the manufacturer.

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Gary Land.'s Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 30/07/2003

This review is totally off base and misleading to someone not familiar with the legendary Canon A-1. I think that the fact that a camera introduced over 25 years ago is still being widely used and written about today is enough contradictory evidence to show that the reviewer’s opinion is certainly not that of people that really know photography and more specifically the Canon A-1. The reviewer states that he “used an A-1 years ago” which is a hint that the recently written review is not based off sound data. I still have and use an A-1 that I purchased in 1979. My remarks about the A-1 are based off 24 years of using these cameras.
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<br>The reviewer speaks of it’s “clumsy two-handed breech lock mount system”. First, I have never had to use two hands. Second, so what if it did take two hands? Why is this even an issue? It takes all of about 5 seconds to change a lens. The reviewer states that the cloth shutter tends to stick at times. I have four A-1’s and I have never had a problem with the shutter sticking, not even the one that is 24 years old, and the “squeal” the author refers to is simply a result of lack of lubrication. Most any moving part needs lubrication from time to time if it is expected to continue to give good service. As far as broke or taped battery doors, I have never had a problem with this either. This problem is a result of rough handling by owners and not a flaw of the camera. I have no idea what the reviewer means by “the circuitry is fairly delicate – these cameras are easily damaged by use of certain flash guns.” The reviewer fails to state what he bases this statement on. However, I have never known of anyone having a problem of this type with an A-1. The reviewer lists the top shutter speed of 1/1000 as a bad point. This is really reaching to try to find something negative with this camera. It would be a really rare situation where 1/1000 would be too slow of a shutter speed. I doubt that the average photographer would ever have a need for a faster shutter speed. The reviewer states the camera is totally dependant on batteries as if this was something unique to the A-1. What modern camera is not dependant on batteries?
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<br>The reviewer ends the review by saying “because of these issues I would not recommend this camera.” However, the reviewer has not presented any legitimate reasons for not recommending it. This person’s review should be discounted either due to lack of knowledge of the camera or due to some agenda other than unbiased advise to people interested in a good camera. I have used Canon A-1’s for over 24 years and I would rate this camera a 10 out of 10 in all areas for what it is designed for. These cameras can be bought today for reasonable prices and there are an unlimited supply of lens and accessories readily available. Most shutter squeal and light seal issues can be fixed for a minimal fee. Buy an A-1 and you will see why it is still being used and discussed 25 years after its introduction.
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