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Questions about the Canon AE 1 camera

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by senior smoke, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Hello:
    I collect cameras, a while back I inherited a new in the box Canon AE 1 camera. Recently, I picked up a used Canon AE 1 Program camera from an estate sale.

    Here are my questions, The Canon AE 1 camera has a chrome ring around the lens, but I have also seen the same camera without this chrome ring. Also the Canon program camera does not have this same chrome ring either, why not, and what camera is considered a better camera?
    Steve Balistreri
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
     
  2. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Barfin:
    Thank you for explaining that to me. So what camera is considered the better of the two, the AE 1 with the chrome around the lens or the other AE 1 without the chrome?

    Any idea what collectors prefer? What about the Canon program camera, is that better than the standard AE 1 or not?

    I have also seen AE 1's that are all black. What's the deal with that?
    Steve
     
  3. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The mount style means nothing. It's the actual lens specs that matter. Canon made high end lenses with the earlier mount, and low end lenses with the later mount, so you cannot depend on the mount style for quality.

    I have both styles of lenses. I used to have an AE-1, and now have my dad's AE-1P. In addition, I also have an A1 with motor drive, and a couple of T-90s. Plus a pile of lenses.

    The later "bayonet" style lenses are faster to change, but that's about their only advantage. I found that at the time if I needed to switch lenses, it was easier to just carry two or more cameras. When shooting wildlife I often had three cameras on me. Two A-1 and an AE-1. That was in the days before quality zoom lenses were made. Back then quality zooms had much narrower ranges, and I preferred fixed focal length lenses anyway.

    As for all black cameras, at some point the fad got started that only "pro's" had black cameras and anyone with a silver camera was an amateur. Which is a lot of nonsense, but that's how fads go. The ONLY advantage I found with a black camera was that under limited circumstances it did not cause reflections. Like sun glint spooking wildlife, or limiting its own reflection for those few times I had to shoot through a glass window. It's basically for looks and so people can pretend they are a "pro". My A-1s only came in black. My AE-1 was silver. Black was available, but I chose to spend the cost difference on accessories. It did not bother me that it was in "amateur silver"; what counted was depositing the checks from photo sales into my bank account.

    As for which is the better camera, the AE-1 or AE-1P, it depends. The AE-1 you set your shutter speed, and the meter would set your f-stop. The AE-1P has Program mode, so you just set it to P and the camera makes the aperture AND shutter speed decision. If you are just taking snapshots, the AE-1P is probably best. If you are taking photos, not snapshots, you'll want to exercise some control over depth of field, so the AE-1 works just fine.

    Frankly, I think program modes, auto focusing, white balance, and other gadgets have taken away the basics of photography. People are not composing photos, creating art. They are taking technically good snapshots. Ask some modern users about how they composed the depth of field and you'll get a deer in the headlights look. When I bought my medium format camera I ordered it WITHOUT a metering system. Totally manual. I did not want a crutch, as its sole purpose was to create photo artwork, not snapshots. (I use it mainly for waterfall photography.)

    One big advantage of both the AE-1 and AE-1P is that these camera have a depth of field preview, so they are worthwhile for teaching the concepts of photography. Cannon came out with the T-70 to replace them, but it lacked the depth of field preview. It was a snapshot camera with a built in autowinder.

    Except for the specialty lenses, I seldom use my 35mm gear anymore. One T-90 has a dead display and I've not bothered to get it fixed. The macro and telephoto lenses are all I use, well, sometimes the fisheye. Anything else is either done with medium format or I swipe the wife's digital.
     
  4. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    If you are going to collect camera's start with the best, Nikon
     
  5. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Brian:
    Thanks for the info.
    Steve

    Barfin:
    Thanks for the info.
    Steve
     
  6. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Steve I was just kidding you about the Nikons, my wife bought me a Nikon FM2, that was the best camera I have ever had though, it has titanium shutters on it and at the time it was the fastest there was it goes to 1/4,000 of a second, it would freeze frame stuff really moving

    I miss the 35 MM stuff but I guess as with everything it gets replaced

    We have about $3,000 worth of digitals, and I hate them all, one is a Nikon can't remember the model, but it came with a 200 some page manual that you need to memorize to be able to use all the features
     
  7. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Catpower:
    I have a lot of cameras, and I still like film over digital. I had an uncle who was a professional photographer and he once told me that more professionals use Nikon than Canon.
    Steve
     
  8. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Bruce:
    I think there were few of those. Suggest hold on to it.
    Steve