Canon AE-1 camera: a Backlight control switch question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bantor, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    As the title suggests i have an Canon AE-1, i bought it used. Now, i was trying to push the backlight control switch down, and it seams to be stuck either open and i just can't push it down, or perhaps it was pushed down before i bought it and it just stuck that way. The thing is i am not sure as to what the actual function of this button "feels" like so all i am doing is throwing random conjectures out there.

    If anybody know the "feel" of operating the backlight control switch i would greatly appreciate the help.

    Thanks

    -bantor
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It's a springy button that doesn't move much. It doesn't have a click. Look through the viewfinder and watch the meter as you push the button; the meter's needle should move. All it does is cause the meter to recommend 1.5 stops more exposure. When you release the button, the meter goes back to normal.
     
  3. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Hm, thanks for the quick reply, and based on it there is no doubt that the switch is jiggered. Frig. Well then i guess this is as good of time as any to learn how to fix it. Any segestions?

    -bantor
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Well, as long as it's not affecting the meterings, I'd just leave it alone. Not every back lit situation will require exactly 1.5 stops, so most of the time it's just as easy to do it manually. I've been using an AE-1 for over a year now, and until you posted this post, I didn't even know I had a back lit compensation button. :)

    A test roll of slide film should tell you if the meter is on target. If it's overexposed by 1.5 stops then you know the button is stuck down. At this point you could get it repaired, or compensate by setting the ISO dial 1.5 stops slower.
     
  5. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Indeed, good point. I didn't really think that it would effect my pictures to much. The normal photos i took looked pretty good, but i am not sure what you mean by test roll of slide film. Can i get it develpoed like normal film?

    -bantor
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Print film can usually be printed nicely even if it's a stop or so off, but slide film shows slight exposure adjustments very clearly. There are probably places that don't develop slide film, but most full service labs do.
     
  7. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    So i went back to the store i bought the camera from just to test out the exact feel of the switch, and there is no doubt about it, the switch is stuck down. So i know how to compensate i have another question.

    ksmattfish: when you said "or compensate by setting the ISO dial 1.5 stops slower." does "ISO" mean the film speed, or shutter speed? I am not to sure.

    thanks for the help

    -bantor
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    ISO refers to film speed. If the meter is overexposing by 1.5 stops then you could compensate by setting the ISO faster. Earlier I said slower, but it should be faster. So if you are shooting ISO 100 film, set the camera between ISO 200 and 400. If you are shooting ISO 400 set the camera between ISO 800 and 1600.

    I would do a quick test roll. Just because the button is stuck down doesn't mean the meter is overexposing for sure.
     
  9. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Indeed, that is a good idea, i am gonna but some 800 in right away and i will take a few pics of the same thing then switch the ISO speed then take a few more of the same thing, genius you are ksmattfish.

    -bantor
     

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