How to move iris when unmounted

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by newindustar, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. I am normally Nikon but I ran across a beautiful like new 50 1:1.4 FDn (no
    chrome ring) for nearly free but I don't have a Canon to test it on.

    I would like to be able to test the iris unmounted with my finger on the lever
    like you can with most lenses but it does not move except for a bit.

    I seem to recall FD mount lenses must be mounted to unlock the iris. I prodded
    around but could not find a way to move the auto apeture arm.

    I moved the ring from 1:1.4 to A but response from the iris. The apeture signal
    to body lever moves against the spring all the way. The auto apeture arm is
    fully to the right and the red dots are lined up. Eyeballing it the iris
    currently is about at f8.

    I have always been tempted by the F1 for a low light camera and with no
    investment in this lens I am more tempted to get a F1N (as if I needed yet
    another 35mm). I hope the lens is not broken.

    My question is how can I check the iris with out a body?

  2. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    You have a couple options cut out the back of a lens cap, mount it on a body, find a Macro hood, Or well with a nFD getting the mount to turn with out a body is a PIA. So I suggest finding a body
  3. The easiest way is to drill out a rear cap & then move the lever
    over ( take off A setting) without touching the rear glass &
    then use aperture ring to check different f stops.

    The Macro Hood 2 more useful if you can find one. I carry one with
    me at every camera show to check lenses.
    KEH currently has one. Early Macro Hoods need the Manual Diaphram
    Adapter which is even more rare. KEH also has that for $19.
  4. Ah so it is a normal condition! That gives me hope that the lens is ok.

    One would think it possible to push in a pin or something to release it.

    I don't have a rear cap. Some of the bodies are so cheap now maybe I should just take a chance on on A1. The F1 are too expensive now. I think they were cheaper a while ago. Too bad about the slow max shutter speeds on most of the Canons.

    I may have a friend with a T70 if she can find it I'll be able to test it. I think the lens is not worth as much as I'd hoped either.

  5. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    Yea I often find my self limited by a 1/1000th of a second shutter spd.

    My T90's go to 1/4000th I'm almost dead certain I have never used over 1/1000th on either of them. but then I'm a slow film no grain kind of guy.

    And I like a little spin in my prop's
  6. It's tricky but possible to rotate the mount without a cap or body. Looking at the back of the lens with the red dot at 12 o'clock, there are two blades at 1 and 4 o'clock. Whilst applying a bit of clockwise rotation to the mount these two blades can be depressed, and the mount will rotate. You can then move the levers and aperture ring to see if it works OK. Rotating the mount back anti-clockwise is easier - you just have to press the lens release button. The attached photo shows where they are. The postage stamp is not required - it was just to give my phone camera something to focus on. Henry
  7. Henry, you beat me to it! This is actually how I do it most often too. It is a little hard to explain (the picture helps a lot), but once you get the hang of it, it only takes about 2 seconds to do. Of course the other methods might prove more convenient if you happen to have the macro hood, or take the time to modify a rear lens cap. But this does the job too.

  8. Great guys! That worked. I was a bit stumped at first before I figured out the rotating part is inside not outside. I now the proud owner of a perfectly operating iris and a like new 1.4 lens!

    I have tons of Nikon stuff but nothing faster than f1.8. Buying 35mm these days it comes can down to what camera you like the looks and feel of, for me it is the F1n but it's probably too expensive. What is the most one should pay for a nice one? Maybe an old F1 would be cheaper. Possible too big as well.

    How about the A1? I like black cameras. Is the A1 the only black one besides the F1? I guess I would dedicate the camera to handheld night shooting with 800 or 1600 speed film wide open. Small as possible and idiot proof in the dark with some illumination of readouts etc. What body would you recommend. Low shutter speeds more important than high shutter speeds.

  9. Beside the F1 and A1, there are Ftb black, EF, AE1 black and AE1 Program black.
  10. The A-1 has a very sensitive meter (reads down to EV -1), a very good LED readout of shutter and aperture in the viewfinder, has slow speeds down to 30 seconds, has aperture priority (as well as program and shutter speed priority modes), and is relatively lightweight, yet durable. Sounds like a good choice for you.
  11. I second Joseph's comments on the A-1. I have taken photos at night and used the meter and the exposure was fine. You can see the the data in the viewfinder perfectly. I also like the choice of Av or Tv mode. I have never used the program mode. The grip over the battery cover makes the camera feel good in your hand. I like the A-1 so much, I have two. One loaded with color and one with B&W. You can get one on ebay most of the time for under $100. Go on and getcha one, or two.
  12. I have a question regarding a lens that seems to be stuck in the rotated position. Referencing the picture above, the "inner" red dot is moved to the 2:30 position and I can exercise the blades, but the using the lens release button does not allow it to return to the correct 12:00 position.

    Is the lens a goner?

    Thanks, Jim
  13. Thanks for the A1 tips. Low light metering is very important. My Pentax LX did -6 (per specs). Is the A1 the lowest EV meter of all the FD Canons?

    I was tempted by the AL-1 because of the electronic rangefinder, aaa batteries, and A mode. I know about the battery door issue. Any other cons for the AL-1?

    The EF has the professional feel like the F1 and A1? Are these three supposed to be in a league apart in build quality form the rest?
  14. I dug up the AL-1 metering and am rejecting it on this basis.

    Now I am down to A1 or EF. All EF comments would be appreciated.
  15. The EF has the same metering cell as the A-1, so the low light sensitivity(down to EV-2) is supposed to be the same.

    An F-1(original) with a Booster T finder can go down to EV -4.5-this is the lowest published minimum in the Canon line. It's a bit inconvenient to use like this, though, and the booster T is sort of hard to find.

    Although my first FD camera was an A-1, I have to admit that I'm not overly fond of the A-series as a whole. Next to the F-1s, FTb, and EF, they really feel cheap and plasticy to me. The A-1 is the same in this regard as the AE-1, etc. They're fine cameras, but just not built to my taste.

    The EF is a beast all of its own-it really doesn't even share any parts in common with any other Canon camera. Build quality is on the same level as the FTb and original F-1, so in this respect it's a significant step up. The film advance is very, very smooth, something which was lost on the A-series cameras and the New F-1.

    Given the choice between the EF and the A-1, I'd definitely go for the EF.

    By the way, my personal favorite camera in the line is the New F-1.
  16. Ben I know what you mean. The F1N was my camera of interest as well but I am a put off by price. I am accustomed to Nikon FE2 with 4000 shutter, a very Zen little camera for $200.

    I have been put off by F1N prices but maybe I can snag an auction. I am mostly interested in low light lenses cheaper than equivalent Nikon AI mount but am also adverse to camera that are not esthetically pleasing.

    EFs and info seem kinda rare but I am definitely attracted to them.
  17. I have two F-1Ns.

    The first one I bought is the one I use most often. It looks like heck, but works great. It was $175 off of Ebay with the motor drive(AA pack) and a 50mm 1.4. I then sent it off for a CLA, which was another $150. This one has an AE finder on it, although I never use the AE function of the AE finder.

    My second one is a really nice, pretty LA Olympic model with a plain prism. I snagged it for $180 in a Buy It Now off of Ebay. It works great, although I don't use it that much. Part of the reason for the low price was that the Olympic logos were all blacked out, however I was able to clean that up very well.

    So, if you're really interested in the F-1N, there are bargains to be had out there if you watch for them. There is one thing to keep in mind, though, if you buy one with an included motor drive like my first one. There are three places on the bottom of the camera where the motor drive interfaces with camera. Each of these has its own screw cap. The most important of these, however, is the rewind cap, which if missing when the motor drive is removed will fog the film. Mine was missing the rewind cap, so I couldn't use the camera without the motor drive until I located a replacement. A replacement set of caps cost me $30.
  18. Ben, I just figured out there are three F1s. I had thought there was just the old and the new. I need to figure out which is the best bang for the buck. Perhaps it is the NEW F-1 which is pricey.

    F-1(1971), F-1n (1976), New F-1 (1981)

    I guess I have to admit I have a camera collection going as much as I am determined not to. It includes 6 Nikons, three medium format systems, and a slug of folders and rangefinders. Do I need to meddle with Canon? Likely not but then I found that 50mm f1.4. I guess I might as well get just one Canon body to go with it so it might as well be the best one right? Once one has admired and acquired a camera it is hard to give it up. Every new film camera acquisition reinforces ones lurking suspicion that he is a fool when film may become unavailable. At least I am limiting my digital to a single D2H.

    I can recommend the ignored Nikon N2000 and N2020 as being fantastically good cameras from these vintages for under 50 bucks. Tough, ideal feature set and good looking.

    Pros and cons of the various F1s would be helpful.


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