AE-1 Beginner

Discussion in 'Canon Cameras' started by ybs, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. ybs

    ybs TPF Noob!

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    Hi I just found my father's old ae-1 (not pro) and thought it would be fun to start shooting with it. Bought battery and film but it turned out it needs some mechanical fixing before it works. Parts have been ordered and I think I'll be able to fix it.

    What I'm curious about is the different types of lenses. I will partly use this for shooting birds and other animals which may be pretty far away. Let's say 15-25 meters away. I've checked eBay and several lenses are to be found. What would your recommendation be? The one I got today has zoom between 80 (75?) - 200.

    Greetings from Sweden!


     
  2. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm not sure how much money you'd want to spend on a film camera that you're using just for fun. It occurs to me that unless you own your own darkroom (and that's a whole different topic) then the cost to "buy" a roll of film and they pay to "process" the roll of film is going to run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $15/roll (and it could be closer to $20/roll by now). After shooting not too many rolls... you're starting to pay more for film & processing then you would to just buy a new DSLR camera.

    However... I still have my AE-1 and won't part with it. It was my first 35mm SLR purchased new, it's been all over the country with me, and has a lot of nostalgic value. So I can understand wanting to keep the old camera (mine is on the shelf... I don't actually use it anymore.)

    BTW, the "AE" feature (Auto-Exposure) is essentially the equivalent of Tv mode (Time value mode, aka shutter priority mode) on a modern camera. You set the film ASA (aka "ISO" setting) and dial in the shutter speed you want to use... and dial the lens f-stop ring to the "A" position and the camera will automatically set the aperture for your (you'll see the needle (which really is a needle ... not a digital display) indicate which aperture it plans to use including showing you if what it would have to use (based on your selected shutter speed) is too high or too low.

    These cameras generally came with a Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 lens as the kit lens and it used a bayonet mount. But there are FD lenses that use a breech mount. The mounting is identical except you mount the lens and rotate a locking ring (it threads on) whereas the bayonet mount pushes on and you give it a roughly 60ยบ rotation and it clicks to lock. Your camera can use either the bayonet mount or breech mount style of the FD lenses.

    In terms of what works for birds... birders typically like lenses in the 400mm-600mm focal length range.
     
  3. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My primary wildlife lens was a Canon FD 400mm f/4.5 SSC.
    Great lens and not soooo expensive.
     

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