Canon FD lens on an AE-1: Aperture question.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bantor, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    I just bought a used Canon AE-1. It is my first "real" camera and I have a small question.

    I was fiddling around with the aperture setting on the lenses I got, and I noticed that regardless of what I do to the aperture setting, as I look through the lens (not the eye peice of the camera but the lens itself) the aperture does not move at all. I am no genius, but I thought adjusting the aperture ring actually adjusted the aperture.

    I am not sure if I am doing somthing wrong or these lenses simply have the aperture ring for looks. Does anybody have any ideas?

    Thanks a bundle.
     
  2. Dweller

    Dweller Inconspicuous Supporter

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    As I understand it the Aperature will stop down to the indicated setting right before the picture is taken. You should be able to press the Depth of Field preview button and see it stop down as expected.

    I believe the reason it stays open is to allow the maximum amount of light to the viewfinder to aid in focusing.
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Dweller is right. If you want to check the depth of field you'll have to push in the little black lever found on the right lower side of the lens, as you look at the camera from the front. Careful though, you need to release it by pressing the little round button that locks it in place. Make sure the lens is on the "A" setting.
     
  4. hammy

    hammy TPF Noob!

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    Yes, they're right, the aperture only stops down right as the shutter button is pushed. This is so you'll have as much light as possible when looking through your viewfinder (aperture is at it's widest opening). But, as they said, you can check your depth of field, or just simply see the aperture in work by switching over the little black slider down to the left of the lens. But obviously, you can't check your DOF in the "A" aperture setting, because it doesn't know what to stop down to. So select your f/stop and then check the depth of field. BE SURE to push the DOF slider back before taking your final picture, though.

    Also, just if you didn't know, when setting your aperture manually, or moving out of the "A" setting for any reason (ie: checking your DOF), BEFORE you go back into the "A" -auto setting, twist the aperture ring to the largest f/stop and then the smallest stop, twice. I guess this is to reset the lens, I am not sure why, it is just mentioned in the manual. If you don't do this, your "A" auto aperture may not function correctly.
    Hope I haven't confused. :wink:
     
  5. Dweller

    Dweller Inconspicuous Supporter

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    It seems I need to revisit my manual. why do you have to be sure to release from DOF preview mode before taking the pic? And I never saw anything about "resetting the lens" but thats a good thing to know. I shoot in manual 99.9% of the time but once in a while I just let the camera do the job for me hehe
     
  6. ksmattfish

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

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    Possibly because the meter is making calculations based on the lens being wide open, and it won't realize that you've got it closed down to f/8 (for example). I'm just speculating here.
     
  7. hammy

    hammy TPF Noob!

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    I believe that's right. ^^^

    I'm just remembering what my manual says...
     
  8. Dave_D

    Dave_D TPF Noob!

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    What he said!!
     
  9. bantor

    bantor TPF Noob!

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    Wow!

    Thanks guys, turns out i have been doing it all wrong, oh well that is what learning is all about. I have read the manual several times but what was said here actual makes things clear unlike the vague manuals one so often recieves.

    Thanks again for your help.

    P.S
    hammy: Thanks for the tips on resetting the camera, I have jsut been going between manual aperture and the 'A' mark with nothing in between! Thanks.

    -Bantor
     
  10. hammy

    hammy TPF Noob!

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    Welcome! Enjoy! AE-1's My first (and still current) camera. Great, simple and durable camera I think, good for quick shots with the auto aperture setting! And then you can switch to all manual, love it. Lenses can be had for cheap too. I've gotten some great photos out of it.
    PS. The "resetting" of the lens by sliding the aperture ring twice becomes a habit after a while of shooting, so don't worry about sometimes forgetting or anything. :wink: :thumbup:
     
  11. Eric.

    Eric. TPF Noob!

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    Ohhh, shoot, my AE-1's electronic board just broke and cannot be fixed. :( Good thing I have that 20D lying around somewhere :p
     
  12. wharrison

    wharrison TPF Noob!

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    Eric:

    Sorry to hear about your AE-1's electronic board going bad, but you might find the following link useful in getting your camera repaired.

    http://www.photo.net/neighbor/subcategory-index?id=1

    Of the many places listed, you might inquire about the possibility of getting it replaced at the following places:

    Photo Tech Repair Service - located in New York City, where I just sent my Canon A-1; it's on its way back; and they seem to have a great number of parts available, which was the primary reason that I sent my A-1 to them. Fortunately, it didn't need much in the way of parts, just minor adjustments and a thorough CLA.

    Abilene Camera Repair in Kansas

    Havel Camera Service

    Karl Aimo -

    By the way, Karl Aimo is excellent - he repaired my wife's AE-1 and provided use with an exposure test and shutter test of Sue's camera after a thorough CLA - but I don't believe that Karl has a electronic board available.

    I am not certain about the others listed; you'll have to do your homework.

    Hope this is more than useful information.

    Best regards.

    Bill
     

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