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“I have taken thousands of photographs with my Canon...”

Written on: 03/11/2006 by vannbaker (1 review written)

Good Points
I have two Canon A1s, one purchased new in the late 70s and the other purchased used in the early 80s. This camera has proven to be a great camera. What attracted me to the camera was the fact that you take photos on full "auto" or shutter priority or aperture priority or fully manual. If you are into night photography, the viewfinder lids are bright and easy to read.

Many of this camera's features were quite advanced for the 70s and are common place today, but this camera still has a lot to offer the serious amateur or professional.

There are hundreds of accessories available, from bellows to an array of flashes, to power winders and more. If you go to camera shows or scour the web, you can find just about anything you would need.

The camera is heavy compared to many film and digital SLRs, but it is solid and built to last. While it may not be as well built as say, the F1, this camera offers a lot of bang for the buck, whether you are just starting out in photography or you are an accomplished photographer.

Bad Points
This is not a design flaw, but just a consideration when buying an older camera - over time the foam seals of the camera will age and start to crumble, but you can fix this yourself or have the camera serviced (which is highly recommended). A clean and lube will run from under $100 to about $150 depending on how far down the camera is taken to lubricate and replace any worn parts. I mention this because while you can pick up a good, clean A1 with a lens for a great price, you need to be prepared to spend some additional on servicing it at some point, which for some camera buyers, may make it less of an investment.

You cannot use any of the EOS lens with this camera. There are plenty of used lens available, so this is not a problem, but if you buy or already have a Canon EOS system, you can't take advantage of this with the A1.

General Comments
I have taken thousands of photographs with my Canon A1s, with films ranging from Kodachrome 25 and 64 to medium and high speed color print film as well as a range of black/white film.

The camera has a great feel and balance, and has full manual control for virtually any type of subject matter, from macro photography using bellows or experimental night photography, or "Program" mode when I just want to focus and shoot.

My favorite lens is the Canon 35-70 FD lens, it's not too long or too short, and I like the collar ring zoom which makes it easy to focus first, then crop the scene. Canon's standard 50 mm lens is a 2.8, but I prefer the 1.4.

I've made enlargements up to 11 x 14 and I have been quite happy with the results. Recently I purchased an Epsom Scanner with high enough resolution to scan film and slides, and I have decided to hold off on buying a new digital Canon SLR for a while longer.

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