Canon F-1 (old) battery question

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by tugger, May 21, 2019.

  1. Hello,

    Just was gifted the old Canon F-1. Looks as if it takes the old mercury battery. From posts that I've searched on here it seems an adapter plus the hearing aid batteries are the way to go.

    Does anyone have a preferred place to buy this?

    I found the below on ebay, is that good enough? Any place to buy it from the US?

    1.35V MR-9 PX625 MRB625 Adapter + Battery For Film Camera/Light Meter MADE IN UK | eBay


    Excited to shoot film for the first time.
  2. I've been using hearing aid batteries without an adapter in my original F-1 and FTb for years. Yes, they rattle around, but I've never had contact trouble in these cameras(that's not universally the case for all cameras).
  3. For an adapter, just go to your local hardware store and get an "O" ring. Works perfectly for me and costs next to nothing.
  4. This one on the ebay is just a spacer, actual adapter reducing voltage to 1.3 v would be around 30£. Hearing aid cell is much cheaper and works fine on its own in F-1
  5. So an "O" ring would go around the hearing aid cell and make it stay in place I assume?
  6. I read something about the exposure meter would read differently on certain batteries? So if I use just a hearing aid cell would I need to expose differently?
  7. Yes, it would.

    To answer your other question, re voltage.
    Hearing aid cell delivers constant 1.4v ( if not mistaken), so in theory, yes it would affect light meter reading. But it would be negligible, besides given the age of your camera ( CdS light meters don't age well, besides they are rather slow to respond), and negative film latitude I would not worry too much. If roll you develop is off to your liking just adjust iso rating on your camera for next roll.
    It's a bit harder for alkaline cell though, they slowly drop voltage so results would not be consistent.
    Just don't worry, go out and shoot

  8. Thanks for the tips! I guess last question would be -- to get the right O ring size, would i just bring in my battery and say I want it to fit around this? Or would I need to take in the camera? Or do you know the right size?
  9. we use metric ;)
    Spend few dollars on a Wein-cell ( basically a hearing aid cell), use it and when depleted remove a metal washer from it. Hearing aid cell fits perfectly.
  10. When you see the rings, you'll know. Not sure? buy two. Really not sure, OK, bring your camera and the battery. The right size is about the smallest most places carry. Just me, the Wein is a waste of money.
  11. Agreed on the Wein being a waste of money.

    I buy O-rings in bulk from work from McMaster-Carr and they're about a nickel each for reasonable sizes-and they're not known for being an inexpensive supplier.

    In any case, as I said I have many years of using F-1s and FTbs with no adapter whatsoever.

    Also, I use to shoot slide film in my F-1n with the ASA dial set to box speed and a hearing aide battery in the meter. Back then(mid-2000s) I was shooting Kodachrome 64, E100G/E100GX, Elite Chrome 100, and Velvia(RVP, not RVP-50). I'd not think twice now about shooting Velvia 50, Provia 100F, or E100(the three films I'm using in 2019) in my F-1n now still at box speed with a hearing aide battery...I'd do it if I didn't mostly shoot those films in my F2s, F4s, F6 and F100(plus FM2n at times).
  12. With the old F-1 and FTb, neither the ring, nor an o-ring are necessary. The spring in the battery compartment has sufficient tension to hold the battery in place. Now, if you really feel the need to center the battery, another workable solution is to use some 18 ga. or so wire. Cut off a piece equal to the circumference of the battery and just coil it up in the compartment, Bob's your uncle.

    I buy my batteries from Costco. You can buy a card of -- 48, I think it is now -- for less than $10. Given the rather short life of these batteries, I always keep a few spares in my camera bag. My F-1 works very well with these batteries. I've tested it on several occasions against a couple of accurate Gossen meters I own, and it usually agrees exactly with them.

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