Canon F1 surprise

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by jon_shumpert|2, Dec 8, 2020.

  1. The title of the post has two meanings. First, I have been wanting to buy an F1 for a long time, but kept putting it off because I have a lot of Nikon equipment. Yesterday, I found one at a thrift store. I tested everything except the electronics and it worked fine mechanically. This leads me to surprise number 2. When I got home, I was taking the battery cover off and the bottom plate fell off the camera. It caused a little bit of "oh crap" stress until I realized it was supposed to come off. I had never seen this with any other camera. Any other surprises I should be aware of? The meter works and the shutter speeds seem to be accurate, but I will have the camera checked out by the local camera repair guy. The prism has a little dent, but other than that, it has the usual wear. It has the focus screen A, but I will be buying a split image screen for it. Here is a pic of it.

    alfonsomartinez likes this.
  2. The first two generations of the F-1 had a removable baseplate. Takes not-available mercury batteries but you can use a zinc-air battery if you want 1.35V, or just use a hand-held meter or an app on your phone. I find changing screens and prisms much easier than a Nikon F or F2. All F-1's are highly regarded, and the first-gen is my favorite.
  3. I haven't loaded it with film yet, but I really like the feel of it. The film advance is smooth and everything else about it seems well made. The lens is in great condition too, with no fungus. When I first looked at the camera and lens closely, I saw some strange redness. It is still on the camera a little and can be seen in the photo. I realized the red dust was from the inside of the fitted case. I never use those anyway, so I won't miss it. Over all, I am excited to have found this camera.
  4. The smooth film advance is because Canon went to the extra effort of polishing the gears. Plus there are ball bearings on most rotating shafts. A fine piece of 1970's engineering, before electronics became the norm.
  5. Be aware that F1s often have shutter problems. Yes, mine did. As for a battery, I use a 675 which I get by the five pack. They are cheap which is good as they last nowhere as long as the old Mercury PX625.

    (Those two cameras hanging from my neck are f1s - a second and a third generation)
  6. When you do get it going, give us a post with images - more camera p o r n, of course, as well as environmental.:D
  7. I'm curious Chuck, what kind of shutter problems? Outside of shutter capping and shutter bounce (not surprising in a nearly 50 year old camera....both easily fixed) I haven't heard of shutter problems in an F-1.
  8. Did the lens come with the camera? If so I think you must have got a real bargain - I note it's a 50mm f/1.4 not one of the more regular lenses. :)
  9. Shutter bounce. But I have to add that the problem surfaced not long after I bought it NEW, direct from Cannon. I worked for a camera company in Minneapolis and saw that problem on several other F1s and Ftbs.
  10. The lens came with the camera. The camera came with the original case, which has deteriorated badly. The lining of the case has a lot of red dust, which got on the camera and lens. When I first looked through the lens I thought it had some strange color fungus and then realized it was just some of the dust on the front element. I cleaned it and the lens is in very good condition, inside and out. I really like 50mm f1.4 lenses and have them for every manual camera brand I own. I am looking forward to seeing how this lens performs. I will have the camera checked out by my local repair tech this week or next, and then take some shots with it if everything works correctly.
    petrochemist likes this.
  11. Very nice!

    I've sold off a lot of my Canon FD stuff, but I've kept one of my F-1s. I primarily use F2s now(which were the direct competitor) and there's a whole lot to like about the F2, but the F-1 is special in its own way and in some ways I feel a bit more "refined" than the F2.

    BTW, it's interesting to me to see how Canon and Nikon diverged on the New F-1 and the F3. Even though I'm now primarily a Nikon shooter, I've never really taken to the F3. Still, though, I think it's interesting to compare the film advance. The F2 is smooth, but not like the F-1. The New F-1 dropped a lot of the fine finishing, and the film advance certainly feels solid but not particularly smooth. The F3, on the other hand, one ups the F2 and the original F-1 with a film advance that's often considered among the best if not the best made.
  12. The F2 has a 120 degrees film advance. If I am not mistaken the original F1 has the longest winding stroke. The winding stroke of the F3 is longer and thus helps in its smoothness. The short stroke on the F2 helps advancing the film quickly without the motor drive.
  13. Yep, the original F-1 had a 180 degree advance, which was shortened to 139 degree on the F-1n.
  14. Now that you mention it, one of my old F-1's shows some shutter bounce. But so does my old Nikon F2. I chalked it up to age.
  15. Update on the F1. I just got home from picking up a Minolta Hi-Matic 9 that needed repair. The repair guy was nice enough to run tests on the shutter speeds and meter. The shutter speeds above 1/4 second are good and the meter under-exposes about 1/2 stop. The meter is probably off due to not having the correct battery, but I am amazed that the shutter speeds were good. I am going to try to shoot with it this weekend and will most likely use a handheld meter for exposures.
  16. I've read that CDS cells lose sensitivity as they age, so your meter being off by only a 1/2 stop isn't really bad. Especially after nearly 50 years. I don't know if I'd worry about it, if you're shooting negative film.

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