Obtained a Canon AE-1

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Everythingisnt, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #1
    Well recently I "obtained" an old Canon AE-1 SLR (Actually I found it in an old closet) and was wondering if it is worth the trouble obtaining film and a new battery in order to start using it?

    The battery should be easy enough to find at my local camera store, and it uses old 35mm film (which I can also obtain). It has a standard kit lens on it as well as a 100-200mm Telephoto lens, and another lens which seems to be a wide-angle but has the word "macro" on it. (I will post photos soon).

    I would like to know a couple things. First off as I already mentioned, is there much of a point in using this camera? Right now I use an aged Canon Powershot S-80, and would certainly appreciate the better quality that these lenses would afford me. If I'm planning on doing nature photography as well as some landscapes, would this camera be of any help?

    I was also hoping there might be some interesting ways to use a film camera that I couldn't do with digital. Any ideas about this would be appreciated.


    Anyways, sorry for what must seem like a rather confused post, but I am genuinely not sure if I should use this camera or not. I'm currently saving for a good DSLR (Being literally broke from buying film equipment :mad:) and would like to know how well this camera would serve in the meantime. Thanks!
     
  2. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Personally, I think film is as dead as the vinyl LP, and for the same very valid reasons. But...it will only cost you a couple of PX28 batteries, which are about $5 each and likely available at your local hardware store, film and developing in order to find out for yourself.
     
  3. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

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    #3
    Congrats on the find! Go get some batteries and cheap film and test it out!

    Film is a completely different medium that digital, and has many of its own unique characteristics, depending on the film.

    One thing you can do with film that you can't with digital is cross processing.

    here's an example:
    [​IMG]

    Also, the colors from digital come nowhere close to some Fuji Velvia 50 or Kodak's E100VS. Its a bit more expensive than negative film, but worth the money.
     
  4. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Go get some slide film! Either of the two already mentioned make great colors for landscapes.

    Edit: In fact, I don't think that camera needs batteries for anything other than the meter. And be careful, after a while you may see medium format as quite tempting. :)
     
  5. bootedbear macrumors 6502

    bootedbear

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    #5
    The AE-1 is a fantastic camera. I loved mine dearly before it got stolen in a break-in. I replaced it with an AE-1P which I never liked quite as much.
     
  6. phiberglass macrumors 6502a

    phiberglass

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    #6
    I own a Canon AE-1 Program, but it doesn't work :( Go mess around with it you should have some fun.
     
  7. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #7

    lies. both are alive and breathing!
     
  8. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #8
    You can do cross processing pretty easily in Photoshop, either with the curves tool or with devoted film emulation plugins like Exposure. I do it all the time.
     
  9. Everythingisnt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #9
    Thanks for the replies!

    I'm heading down to my local camera shop today to purchase a battery and some rolls of film - I'll probably try some black and white as well as color (I'll keep an eye out for Fuji Velvia 50 or Kodak's E100VS (Thanks shieldyoureyes!)).

    After cleaning the lenses thoroughly I've been playing around with the camera. As soon as I get the battery and film I'll go try it out.
     
  10. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

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    #10
    Oh, of course you can, but its hardly the same thing. They never quite look as nice as real xpro film does. Its like comparing a digital B&W conversion with Tri-x. :D
     
  11. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #11
    ...but certainly coughing up blood...
     
  12. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

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    #12
    Can't agree more. :D
     
  13. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #13
    That's what sucks about digital. It's much harder to get the same tonal range in B&W that you can get in film.
     
  14. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I keep my AE-1 on the shelf with some film and a battery in it at all times. It's a great camera, with a wonderful viewfinder, even if my Nikon D50 gives somewhat quicker turnaround. I don't know about the lenses you have, but Canon's 50mm lenses are great if you come across any of those!
     
  15. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #15
    The vinyl LP is far from dead. The LP outlasted both the 8-track and the cassette, and a lot of music fans and audiophiles hold onto huge record collections which they listen to, when they can. So yeah, if you say that film is as dead as the LP, then it's actually a pretty apt comparison because it's not dead at all.

    That said, cool about the AE1. I have one of those floating around my house somewhere too.
     
  16. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #16
    I would hate to turn this into a film vs digital thread but you're so wrong and you need to meet more photographers.

    You have to wonder why Fuji is testing the water with a new medium format camera due out next year and an undate to its film stock along with Kodak who have just released new film stock.

    Also digital still hasn't matured, it can't go to extreme climates like film can. To put it simply, you're so wrong and along with my Canon 5D, I still use film.

    Might I also add that you still can't get a digital back for the Holga! When that happens, then I might concede your point.! :p
     
  17. Everythingisnt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #17
    Thanks for the replies, everyone!

    I just got my first roll of film back from the developers (Kodak Professional 400 black and white).

    I must say that the results are quite pleasing!

    Unfortunately, around 1/4 of the shots I took inside were too underexposed.. I can tell that it will take a while to get used to this camera :p.

    Nonetheless, it's proved to be amazing. And the sound that the shutter makes is much more satisfying than then one on my little digital camera!

    Please excuse the poor quality of these photos - my scanner isn't very good :(.

    Also, any constructive criticism along with advice on how to use this camera would be greatly appreciated :).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Is it an AE-1 or the AE-1 Program ?

    AE-1 was my first SLR, moved up to the A-1 then the F-1.

    F-1 was cool because if the battery died you could pull it out and use the camera manual. Where I was located that was an important feature.

    I'd get batteries, film, and play with it.

    We still do a lot of film work here, but in the larger formats.

    I have a small collection of Canon cameras going back to the early range finder models.
     
  19. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #19
    Try color film, printed to B & W. Tremendous greyscale. I've still got some prints from over thirty years ago that are as amazing for their depth as for their lack of skill...
     
  20. Everythingisnt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #20
    AE-1

    What's the difference between the AE-1 and AE-1 program?
     
  21. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

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    #21
    I don't know jack about photography, but do have a little knowledge of audio. I thought the analogy of film to vinyl was interesting.

    Certainly, vinyl isn't dead. In fact, it's never been better, by which I mean the software (records) and equipment are stellar.

    Digital didn't kill analog, it killed *bad* analog. There were plenty of crappy players and crappy pressings before CDs. After digital came along, the only people pursuing record players were very discriminating, and in some cases, very rich. They nurtured a market that regards fidelity as the only thing that matters. As a result, today there are wonderful record players out there for as little as $200-300, and flat-out amazing feats of engineering that can cost $2000, $10,000, or $50,000.

    So has the same happened to photography and film? I'd imagine the only people keeping film alive are those who know how great it can be. I'd bet the film products, while fewer and more specialized, are achingly wonderful.

    I'd love to hear a photographers opinion on this.
     
  22. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

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    #22
    Sorry to go off topic, but why slide film?

    Note: I also have an AE-1 that I'm thinking of resurrecting now that I've seen this thread and your pics. I always took great photos with it but I ditched it for a HP Photosmart, which takes awful pictures now.
     
  23. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #23
    Clearly you've never used film. :)

    Yes, the price of film and replacing the batteries is certainly worth it. The AE-1 is by far one of my favorite SLRs and I am a Nikon user. :)
     
  24. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #24

    AE-1 Program is the new model of the AE-1.

    I never owned one, nor used one but it was the update to the AE-1. It came out in 1981 where as the AE-1 came out I believe in 1976.

    You should be able to find a ton of info on both models in a google search.

    They were extremely popular cameras. I still have my AE-1 that I bough in 1977, as well as every other Canon I ever owned.

    One day I want to build a cabinet in the house to display them, but for now they are safely tucked away.


    EDIT - here is a URL with a good description of the AE-1 Program
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/SLRs/ae1pgrm/index.htm


    and the AE-1
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/SLRs/ae1/index.htm
     
  25. mashny macrumors regular

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    Sep 3, 2006
    #25
    I have a Canon AE-1 Program that I got as a gift almost 25 years ago, and it still works great. I rarely use it nowadays, but it's served me very well in the time I've had it, and at times was used extensively. I don't know how much I'll use it in the future, but I'll never give it away or sell it.
     

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