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Questions about a canon AE-1 and film

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by senior smoke, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Hello:
    Recently I had a thread that mentioned that I inherited a Canon AE-1 camera. I have a lot of cameras as I have picked them up at rummage sales over the years.

    I always liked film compared to digital. I found a Canon AE-1 the other day at a rummage sale with the chrome ring around the lens. It came with a FD 50 mm F/1.8 S.C. Lens and a 2X Converter, and a 70-150mm 2x Matched Multiplier teleconverter.

    Can this 70-150mm lens realistically take the place of a zoom lens? Also film development in my area runs roughly $11.00 per roll for 24 pictures.

    Anyone know of any place either by mail or in a national store chain that develops film for less? Even though I have a lot of cameras I don't really know much about them. I plan to take a photography night class as I was told the Canon AE-1 is a good camera to learn photography.
    Thanks,
    Steve Balistreri
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
     
  2. tgs1420@gmail.com

    tgs1420@gmail.com Member

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    trap shooting ?
     
  3. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Steve if you want it and will pay shipping I have all the equipment to develop you own film all you will need is a small room with plumbing to make you darkroom

    An older fella I used to work with gave it to me and it has set in the corner of the shop for about 10 years, I think it has all the bells and whistles even has an enlarger
     
  4. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Cat:
    Thanks for the generous offer but I don't want to develop my own film. I appreciate your generosity though.
    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  5. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    Try Walmart, CVS & Walgreens for processing. Don't know about prints as most will want to do a scan to a DVD so you can see the pictures on your computer or tv assuming you have a DVD player.

    Eric
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The AE-1 is an excellent camera for photography class because you can:<br>
    * Manually set your aperture on the lens;<br>
    * Manually set your shutter speed on the camera;<br>
    * Check actual depth of field by using the stop down slide control.

    The problem with many modern digital cameras is that they do all of this automatically, many lack overrides, and few have any way to check actual depth of field.

    I have a library of photo books. Since you are wanting to learn photography, particularly film with an SLR, I'd recommend you get a copy of this old book. It explains quite a bit and is an excellent book for beginners and novices. And it's pretty cheap.

    http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Photography-New-Photo-No/dp/0912656247/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373058262&sr=1-4&keywords=photography

    As for film processing, you may have to just bite the bullet on it and pay the costs. Be aware that some photo developers WILL NOT return your negatives, and are only doing low res jpeg scans of your negatives onto CD, instead of high res tif files. Wal-Mart is probably the worst place to go for in-house development:


    brianinoregon_2008_0303321.jpg


    Note the part about not returning negatives. Inexcusable. Be sure to check the fine print elsewhere and ask questions.
     
  7. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Mixer and Brian:
    Thanks for the info.
    Steve
     
  8. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Steve,

    That 70-150mm lens on top of a 2X teleconverter becomes a 140-300mm lens. Best to try the whole set-up at home before you rely on it for "great photos" on vacation.

    Chichay
     
  9. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Chichay:
    Thanks for the info.
    Steve
     
  10. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Converters are generally a cheap compromise. And because they are a compromise, they have drawbacks.

    So, like Chickay says, your 70-150mm lens becomes a 140-300mm.

    Sounds good, right?

    Now let's assume that your some lens is an f2.8 at 70mm and an f4 at 150mm.

    A 2x converter not only doubles the focal length, it decreases the effective aperture by 2x as well. Remember that a smaller aperture is a larger number. So you now have a 140 f5.6 to 300 f8.

    You're going to need some pretty fast film for that, and will probably need to mount the camera on a tripod.

    Keep in mind that on a bright sunny day, you use the "Sunny f16 Rule". This rule means that the shutter speed is the reciprocal of the film speed at f16.

    So if you use 400 asa film, that would be 1/400 of a second at f16. Wide open at 300mm f8, you could increase shutter speed to 1/800.

    The rule of thumb for handheld shutter speed with a lens is the speed should be the reciprocal of the focal length. So a 300mm would need a minimum of 1/300 sec shutter speed. The nearest is 1/400. so you'd be OK.

    But now, what if the sky is bright overcast? You'll lose an f-stop. Dark overcast? Maybe two f-stops. Somewhere between those you'll find that you cannot hand hold that lens at max 300mm focal length without going to 800 or 1600 film.

    And that's going to make some grainy images.

    Worse, nearly all converters will make the overall image softer. With rare (and very expensive) exceptions, this is the case for all converters.

    If you're just taking snap shots, that's one thing. But if you want quality photos, that's another.

    So yeah, play with the converter. Learn from it. Understand what happens to depth of field as focal length increase, and what happens to f-stops. But don't expect high quality. It's not going to be there.
     
  11. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Brian, you sure sound like you know a lot about photography than myself. I am like the guy who has an eight car garage filled with vintage sports cars and does not have his license to drive yet.
    Steve
     
  12. gunut54

    gunut54 TS Member

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    I have 2 AE-1 cameras....in the day kept one body loaded with Black/white film and other with color....they havent been out of the closet in about 10/12 years.....now even newspapers are firing all there photographers as any of their reporters are now able to take "good enough" photos with their cell phone....
     
  13. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    News reporters as professional photographers? Take a look for yourself at the link.
     
  14. Michael.B

    Michael.B Member

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    Great camera. Especially for flash photography!!!
    Canon made a flash rig that was great. A rheostat clipped to the front of the lens set the intensity of the flash. Most auto flashes adjust by reading the light reflected back. Taking a picture of someone with a dark background resulted in a washed out photo. With the Canon flash, the light intensity was set when you focused the lens.
     
  15. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    I found wrapped in paper at the bottom of the box a Canon FD Mount MC 75-205mm 2X Matched Multiplier converter. So now I have two of these.
    Steve




















    Have one to sell? Sell it yourself



    Canon FD Mount Vivitar Teleconverter MC 75-205mm 2X Matched Multiplier
     
  16. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    TinMan88, which Canon body was that?
     
  17. OLD ONE EYE

    OLD ONE EYE Well-Known Member

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    I am a canon man from way back before the AE1 but when the AE1 came out I got it and used it for 15 years took thousands of pictures with it with a auto winder attached I shot my sons soccer games for 8 years with a 85-300 zoom lens a big bomb but with fantastic images using a mono pod. I did move on to EOS film and then digital now. I adapted most of my FD lenses to my digital cameras with success I did lose the auto focus of the new lenses but the quality is top notch just takes time to get the image right. Here are some of my images if you would like to see them. It is a Yahoo photo sight for posting pictures for friends and people to see .

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/buddywalters/
     
  18. dougp

    dougp TS Member

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    I have two AE-1 Program cameras I used for my work sitting around in a closet ,]great cameras and can kick it off the Program mode and do pretty much every thing I ever wanted to do in the manual mode . I have one 50mm lense but my 35-70 mm wide angle mini zoom is the best lense I ever bought. My 2 zx macro attached to a 150 mm zoom worked great just sometimes a little grainy but that is more to do with the F stop settings . I,m interestd in selling them . The flash I have cost more than the camera as I was shooting photos in pitch dark situations with high speeed film,
    Anyway as I don,t take many photos any more since retiring , just got lazy and use a canon digital for family stuff . Anyone interested in this stuff , can work out a price that is fair and have to ship from Canada .Hate to give them up shot literally thousands of rolls of film through them , had them serviced( cleaned ) often , just a workhorse of a camera and back when I bought them they were affordable and great quality .. So enjoy your AE-1 as it is a great camera as well , If interested in my stuff email me .dougp_3006@ yahoo.ca
     
  19. mike b.

    mike b. Member

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    A problem with vintage cameras are with the shutter speed and the lenses interior leaves which make up the F-stop settings. Over time they will gum up and not react instantaneously. Then overexposed shots appear. Take a practice roll inside and outdoors under different conditions and see how everything works. Any problem will be in the $100+ category in repairs. I have over 100 oldies with some working fine and others are mantle dressing. (actually I can't remember the last time I used any of them) Times have changed for the better because even the Pros are mostly digital these days. (but I still think my 40+ year old slides look pretty good!) mb