Canon AE-1 Program Battery Life

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by james_sheridan, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. I'm thinking of getting a Canon AE-1 Program and I was just wondering if anyone knows how long batteries would last on long exposures (eg. star trails), also if the power ran out during a long exposure would the shutter stay open or not?
    James.
     
  2. I'm not sure how long the battery will last during long exposures, but I'm pretty sure the shutter will close when it runs out. If I'm not mistaken, it'd held open by electromagnets. As far as battery life goes, mine will usually last over a year, even with regular use.
     
  3. Thanks Taylor.
     
  4. A former colleague of mine once mentioned that she used an external power source for this purpose. I have never seen this, I only remember that this was self made.
     
  5. You can cut a wooden dowel to the right size to fit into the battery compartment, stick a thumbtack into each end, and hook two wires to it, one at each end, and connect the wires to a box containing four 1.5V AA batteries and you've got your external power pack for a few pennies.
    You can pick up one of these boxes very inexpensively. See here:
    http://www.component-shop.co.uk/html/battery_boxes.html
    The approach, while ugly, will solve the problem of not having access to 6V batteries.
     
  6. I reall like that Jeffery, thanks!
     
  7. James,
    The shutter will close if the battery dies. The A-series cameras keep an electromagnet energized while the shutter is open. When the magnet is de-energized, it releases a catch that lets the second curtain close.
    When making your external battery pack, be certain that your battery holder wires the four cells in series to produce 6V, and be certain that the polarity is correct when you apply power to the camera's battery compartment. I can't say whether the camera is protected against reverse polarity.
     
  8. James, you're very welcome, and I believe Alan is completely correct. His instructions are more detailed than mine.
     
  9. Thanks very much, I'm bidding for one on ebay at the moment. I'll let ye no how it goes!
     
  10. I have had the same battery for about 3 years and I have shot lots of film.
     
  11. Hi, do not use a alkaline battery, if you use a lithium or silver oxide battery it will last quite long, doing time exposures, but you should always have a backup. If the power runs out the shutter will close.
    Joe Careta, Http://www.slr35.com
     
  12. Hi, do not use a alkaline battery, if you use a lithium or silver oxide battery it will last quite long, doing time exposures, but you should always have a backup. If the power runs out the shutter will close.
    Joe Careta, Http://www.slr35.com
     
  13. For long time exposures you would be better off with an FTb because it has a mechanical shutter.
     
  14. With a trip to Radio Shack and a soldering iron you can build a 6 volt battery pack that will hold the shutter open for hours on end. I slipped a four AA battery holder into a big pill bottle, added an on/off switch and an indicator light (serves absolutely no purpose but I love sticking lights on anything I make) and connector leads attached to a cylindrical piece of plastic the same size as the battery. Works fine. You could do the same thing with one of those big six volt batteries, a couple alligator clips, a few feet of wire, and a dummy battery.
    00SkD4-115677584.jpg
     

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