Need help in making decision.

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Karikalan, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Karikalan

    Karikalan TPF Noob!

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    Hai everyone, Actually I am not an expert in the field of photography. I own a Canon AV1 and bought it about 6 months back. and learnt with a field photography book. I already feel I am good at taking good photos in normal condition.
    My Canon Av1 (in great working condition) is not a completely manual one. So I couldnt override shutter speed. And I feel that I am ready to go for next level (or to handle a completely manual camera ). And my problem is here. Recently I saw a good Canon A1 for sale (90€) (less than the price I paid for canon AV1(125€) :( ).
    So I am in a unresolvable dilemma, :confused: wheather I should buy it or not. and Since I travel a lot and not in my native country I dont want to add up luggage to me.
    And my friends suggest to save the money for a better DSLR.
    Since you guys are expert over these cameras, may be you can guide me better.
    Do you think, buying Canon A1 would make huge difference. Difference, I mean in the sense of my photographic skills or better photos. Or should I directly go for a DSLR which I have decided to buy in 5 months anycase.
     
  2. kevin_c

    kevin_c TPF Noob!

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    I was in the same situation as you many years ago (back in about 1980 if I remember correctly!).

    I had the AV-1 and like you I learnt a lot from it. It is a good little camera, but compared to the A-1 it's a 'toy'! - When the A-1 came out it was a very sophisticated camera, with led viewfinder display and more modes and options that you could ever need.

    I went out and got a new one, and in all honesty it was worth every penny - My photography improved, mainly because I had more control of exposure, and I took some of my best shots on it.

    The only think mechanically to really look out for (apart from the obvious problems of general wear and tear) is the famous Canon 'squeak' that comes from the shutter, I believe they dry up a bit and the squeak causes the shutter to 'drag' a bit and thus increase exposures causing slight over exposure, although this can be cured for a few £/$ etc. but you may not want to pay for this on top of the price.

    The black finish does tend to get rubbed back to the brass on the top plate if it's not been handled carefully, remember a lot of these were used by pro's/semi-pro's and may have had a hard life.

    As regards waiting for a DSLR, only you can answer that, but if you see a good/cheap A-1 in good working order, I know what i'd do!
     
  3. jwkwd

    jwkwd TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I would get a more manual camera. If for no other reason, if the digital in the future, perhaps, has dead batteries. And just to go on a rant, A friend of mine has never picked up a 35mm camera (SLR), I told her all you have to do is get the needle in the middle (Nikon F2) by turning this and twisting that, then shoot, we'll work out moving objects and such later. After the first roll of film that was properly exposed came back, I tried to explain why this photo had some camera shake or whatever. The bottom line for her is she asked, why are there histograms and whitebalance etc. when film works just fine. When she asked about batteries, I explained sunny 16 and she never looked back. End of rant.
    Anyhow, the A1 is a great camera, that can be found cheap and would last a long time. The one thing to ponder is lens mounts, the older Canon's won't fit new digital bodies. Unless there is backwards compatibility like some manufacturers have, you will have 2 completely different systems that can't be interchanged.
     
  4. Karikalan

    Karikalan TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for your suggestions. As you say I have to go for A1 if the Camera is in really good condition. I will check out with it.
     
  5. kevin_c

    kevin_c TPF Noob!

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    Obviously, as jwkwd said, the lenses that fit your AV-1 (and the A-1 if you get one) will not fit any new Canon DSLR you may get in the future, but if you want to have more control over your film photography, the A-1's a great camera if you already have some FD lenses, you can use it in full manual mode or in full auto mode (Av, Tv or P.), the choice is yours. just watch out for the 'squeak'!
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I can only agree with what's already been said. A manual, mechanical film camera offers great reliability as well as control. Even if you're getting a dSLR there's no reason not to get a film SLR if the price is good.

    As has already been said the manual lenses will not mount and work correctly on any modern dSLR. On the one hand this could mean you might be better off buying a manual Nikon or Pentax camera in order to have lenses interchangeable between film and digital. But on the other hand, you already have Canon FD lenses and the A1 will not only allow you to get more out of them, it will also be a piece of photographic history... maybe you will get the collecting bug like many of us here :D
     

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