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The Canon A-1 is an advanced level single lens reflex (SLR) 35mm film camera for use with interchangeable lenses. It was manufactured by Canon Camera K. K. Canon in Japan from April 1978 to 1985. It employs a horizontal cloth-curtain focal plae shutter with a speed range of 30 to 1/1000 second plus bulb and flash sync speed of 1/60 second. It has dimensions of 92 millimetres (3.6 in) height, 141 millimetres (5.6 in) width, 48 millimetres (1.9 in) depth and 620 grams (22 oz) weight. Unlike most SLRs of the time, it was available in only one colour; all black.
Type: 35mm SLR (Single-Lens-Reflex) camera with electronically controlled, multiple-mode AE (automatic exposure) and focal plane shutter.
Format: 24 x 36mm.
Photographic Modes: Six modes, including 5 AE modes: Shutter-speed priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Programmed AE, full AE flash photography with specified Canon electronic flashes, and stopped-down AE, as well as manual override.
interchangeable Lenses: Canon FD lenses (usable with 4 full aperture metering AE modes and with stopped-down AE) Canon FL lenses (usable with stopped-down AE).
Standard Lenses: Canon FD 55mm and 50mm lenses.
Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level pentaprism.
Field of View: 93.5% vertical and 95.3% horizontal coverage of the actual picture area.
Magnification: 0.83X at infinity with a standard 50mm lens.
Focusing Screen: Standard split-image microprism rangefinder
Viewfinder Information: Displayed in the form of LED digital readout below the visual field. Includes shutter speed, aperture, flashing warning of incorrect exposures and settings bulb indication, charge completion indicator with specified Canon flash units, manual aperture control signal, error indication for incorrect stopping-down operation. Shutter speed and aperture data displayed in 1/2 step increments. Viewfinder information can be cancelled by turning off the viewfinder display switch.
Eyepiece Shutter: Built-in. Keeps out extraneous light during self-timer or remote control operation.
Mirror: Instant-return type with shock-absorbing mechanism No image cut-off in the viewfinder even with the FD 400mm telephoto.
AE Mechanism: Electronically controlled. Employs 3 LSIs with 12L, one Linear LSI and one Bi-MOS IC for light metering.
AE Mode Selection: By means of the AE mode selector. Two main settings: Tv for shutter-speed priority AE, Av for aperture priority AE.
Light Metering System: Through-the-lens (TTL) Central Emphasis metering by silicon photocell located just above eyepiece lens. Light reaches the silicon photocell after passing through a Fresnel lens condenser.
ISO Film Speed Setting: ISO 6 to ISO 12830 in 1/3 step increments. With lock.
Meter Coupling Range: EV—2 to EV 18 at ISO 100 with FD 50mm f/1.4 lens. In the programmed AE mode, meter coupling range depends on the programmed shutter speed and aperture combinations.
Exposure Compensation: +2 f/stop scale gradations in increments of 1/3 of a gradation, with 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, and 4 markings.
Exposure Memory: EV is stored and locked when the exposure memory switch is pressed. When pressed, the shutter-speed/ aperture combination can be changed for the same EV stored in the memory.
Exposure Preview: Viewfinder digital readout activated by pressing the shutter button halfway, or by pressing the exposure preview switch or the exposure memory switch.
Stop-down Lever: Operates when pushed in. Stopping-down an FD lens is possible only when the aperture ring is disengaged from the "A" mark.
Manual Override: Possible by disengaging the FD lens from the "A" mark and setting the AE mode selector to Tv. Aperture manually controlled with aperture ring, shutter speed with AT dial.
Shutter: Cloth focal plane shutter with four spindles. Electronically controlled, stepless, from 30 sec. to 1/1000 sec. Shock and noise damper mechanisms are incorporated.
Shutter Speed Scale: B, 30, 15, 8, 4, 2, 1, 2, 4, 8,15 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000 plus P (with the AE mode selector at Tv). "P" setting is required for programmed AE mode. Intermediate speeds not on the scale cannot be set.
Aperture Scale: 1.4 2 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22 (with the AE mode selector at Av).
Shutter Release Button: Oversized, 2-step button with electromagnetic shutter release. Pressing it halfway activates meter circuit; pressing it all the way sets shutter in operation. Can be locked by setting the main switch to "L" to prevent accidental shutter release. With cable release socket.
Flash Coupling: Aeeessory shoe has eontaets for directly coup" Ied flash units and automatic flash control eontaets for automatic exposure. JIS-B (PC) type flash terminal with shock preventive rim on front of the body.
Automatic Flash: Full AE flash photography with Canon Speedlites 199A, 177A, 155A and 133A. Shutter speed automatically set. Aperture automatically controlled aeeording to the flash settings.
Back Cover: Opened by pulling up rewind knob. Removable for attaching Data Back A. With memo holder.
Film Loading: Easy film loading with multi-slot take-up spool.
Film Advance Lever: Single-stroke 120° throw with 30° stand-off. Winding with several short strokes is possible. Automatic winding possible by mounting Canon Motor Drive MA or Power Winder A.
I have used this camera for just about anything you could imagine, from action shots to professional portraits with all stops between using both film and slides. I still use it after almost 30 years and it performs as well as it did the day I bought it. It has several of the capabilities of today's digitals. The only possible down side is that you must use 35mm film, plus the added expense to have the pictures developed.
It is what I consider to be an excellent camera regardless of price. I also purchased additional lenses, filters, special effects filters, remote flash equipment, etc. over the years to enable professional studio portraits.
his camera was given to me as a gift, with a whole range of lenses.
I haven't been disappointed at all with this setup. I have a 28mm, 50mm, 35-70mm, 70-210mm and x2 TC. These cover the full focal range for me and offer the versatility that I need.
The exposure is fine for most occasions, and is able to take some punishment when being slung around.
I would highly recommend this camera for anyone wanting to shoot 35mm film.
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