Canon A-1 camera
cameras photography

The girl with the cameras

That seems to be how my friends perceive me. And I cannot blame them for that because my flat currently is home to at least 40 different analogue cameras. So it should not have come as a surprise when a friend gave me another beautiful camera for my birthday a few weeks ago. He said he didn’t have a use for it and it would be in better hands at my place. Imagine my surprise when I was handed this amazing Canon A-1!

Canon A-1 with 35mm lens
Still a bit dusty but cleaning this beauty only took half an hour. The lens is my own.

I already own a Canon AV-1  and a AE-1. The AV-1 was my first SLR camera. And with the help of that camera I learned how aperture and shutter-speed work together and what kind of effects I could achieve. Still, the AV-1 has its limits especially when it came to dark interiors or when I wanted to take a quick picture and had to find the correct aperture first (and often missed my chance at taking a picture because I wasn’t fast enough). But I still took the AV-1 on many journeys. She’s been to London, Paris, Vienna, New York City, Amsterdam and Denmark so far. Whereas the AE-1 just sits on her shelf (whoever wants to have it: drop me a message!). We don’t like each other much.

The A-1 on the other hand is the predecessor to both of the above mentioned cameras and the most professional one. It basically combines AV and AE. I can switch between shutter speed priority and aperture priority, I can use it in automatic mode (then either shutter speed or aperture are automatically adjusted) and it goes up to 12800 ASA! Plus allows you to over- or underexpose your pictures with the help of the „exposure compensation scale“. It is one of the few cameras I own where I actually read the manual before I started using the camera (the other being my digital Nikon and my old Pentacon Six). There were simply to many dials and buttons and options. And without the manual I would not have known that this camera actually allows you to double exposure your pictures!

The first film is inside it right now and I wonder how the pictures will turn out. I’ve tried to use it in automatic mode, AV and TV mode as well as over / underexposing shots and doing some long exposures as well as multiple exposures. 

This camera can easily turn into a replacement for my old AV-1 which is falling apart anyway. So thank you Alexander for this wonderful gift! It will travel with me to London and Dublin in a few days!

Canon A-1 camera
The camera is in almost perfect condition. Of course the black foam inside the back of the camera got sticky over the years but that shouldn’t be a big problem.

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