Upgrade from AE-1

Discussion in 'Canon Cameras' started by Uname, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. Uname

    Uname TPF Noob!

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    Hey there,

    I've been using my trusty AE-1 for a couple of years now, and I feel the need to move on.

    Don't get me wrong, I love everything about this camera, but at this point I somehow feel that it is the bottleneck in the quality of my pictures.

    After all, it is a consumer grade camera, right?

    I'd love to move to a more pro grade gear.
    That said, I would prefer to stay at the FD lens mount series, because I already have some very nice lenses.
    I'm aware that this narrows down my selection drastically.

    Would a T90 be a great improvement in picture quality, or would that not make any difference at all?

    Would a complete change of system (e.g. to the Nikon F series) make a bigger difference?

    What options do I have?

    Thanks in advance!

    TL;DR:
    have an AE-1, want to upgrade to a pro level (analog) DSR.
    would prefer to stay FD lens mount, but am open to suggestions of other systems/brands


     
  2. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Welcome to TPF. I don't know about quality of photo's being better but you would have a greater flexibility with the T90, example would be a flash sync of 1/250 and more advanced metering options. You can get a good one at KEH in excellent condition for $139.00. I am not an expert but if you do want to upgrade from the excellent AE-1, I would say the T90 is a logical and affordable progression with your current glass. The T90 is an excellent camera.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Changing cameras won't really do anything for your image quality, unless there is some sort of problem with your current camera.

    A film camera is just a light-tight box that holds the film and connects to a lens. It's the lens and the film that have everything to do with image quality.

    As long as your AE-1 is in good working order, a 'better' camera won't improve your shots.
     
  4. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You have to think about how things work... you are using a "film" camera.

    When you take an exposure, the reflex mirror swings clear and the shutter opens. Everything occupying the space from the back of the lens to the film plane... is filled with nothing but air. The air inside this particular 35mm film camera is just as good as the air inside any other 35mm film camera.

    In other words... as long as the camera's shutter is functioning properly, opens when it should, and closes when it should, the camera itself cannot effect the quality of your image. What can effect the quality of your images is your lens selection and your film selection. If you develop your own film then your developing and printing techniques, your selection of paper and developing processes, etc. also have a part to play.

    The AE-1 can use shutter-speed priority where it will automatically set the aperture (assuming you have a lens that supports this) but that's it. The focus is manual and that's on you.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Canon T90 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Note the issues with LCD screens, lack of spare parts, and a shutter that tends to get "sticky" as it ages. Canon quit supporting the T-90 in 1998. The AE-1 was a massive sales hit; the T-90 was a sales dud that was quickly replaced by newer camera models. Spare parts for AE-1 cameras are a dime a dozen, and working bodies are still very affordable. The T-90 on the other hand was the shortest-lived Canon film camera ever made, and it was NOT sold very widely.

    I recall very vividly when a university newspaper shooter I knew in the mid-1980's bought a pair of T-90 bodies to replace his F1 system bodies...he was pretty dismayed by the T-90's long, slow time lag in one of the exposure modes...the T90 was quite slow on the trigger in that mode. He was simply beside himself, since he shot a lot of sports, and had some beautiful, L-series stuff....24/1.4-L, 35/1.4-l 50/1.2-L,85/1.2,and 300/2.8-L...he was fully stacked and loaded on L-series lenses. Less than a year after he bought into the T-90 system, Canon switched to the new EF mount and he was...extremely upset and distraught.

    I remember the one day he was demonstrating the shutter lag time T90 had...I cannot recall the exposure mode, but I want to say it was Aperture-priority auto, in which the firing delay was around 1/10 second between pressing the shutter release, and the shutter actually firing. As I recall, it was based on the camera needing to compute the exact, electronic shutter speed needed once the lens had stopped down to shooting aperture; keep in mind, the T-90's dual CPU's were pretty slow, one being 32 megahertz, and the other only 1 megahertz (yes, ONE). This was a camera designed in 1986...this was really before computing and CPUs had fully 'arrived', and engineers were not really all that adept at incorporating the new ideas with the older ideas.

    I wish I could recall exactly what mode this slow, delayed firing was present in. ALl I recall was Ross flipping out, and demonstrating this undesired behavior to about four of us...we were like. "Wuuuut? Wow! So,so slow!" But, as I recall, the camera was okay in all its other exposure modes. He was however, used to the lighting-fast response of the F1 from Canon, which was a simply incredible machine. According to Wikpiedia, "The main, low-power CPU runs at 32 kHz while the sub-CPU runs at 1 MHz, and is powered down when not needed. The main CPU handles the LCD display and overall state, while the sub-CPU handles exposure calculations, viewfinder display, and control of the camera's motors. This architecture provides for lower power usage. Both CPUs, plus other integrated circuits and components, are mounted on several flexible circuit boards that fit around the camera's structure."

    So, the T-90 was a pro-level camera that used a 1-megahertz CPU to handle exposure calculations, and that CPU will "shut down" when not needed. perhaps that was the delay that Ross was so steamed about?.
     
  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As an ex-Canon shooter ... the best one I have ever used was the nF-1/New F-1/F-1n (note that there is the original F-1 which is not as good).
    I used the AE finder with a PE screen ... also had the AE Power Winder that I used without battery just as a grip.
    This camera has 1/2 the speeds mechanical so was good when battery dies. Very durable metal body.
    I regret letting it go.
     

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