Camera Speed Dating – Canon F1

Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

This speed date will be a bit different and a joint effort with my colleague, Mustafa, as he loaned me his Canon F1 to try out and while I have taken some photos with it, I won’t get to develop them for quite awhile. So this is my review of using the camera with some photos that Mustafa has taken previously with it.

But first a few facts! The Canon F-1 is a 35 mm single lens reflex camera that was first made in 1971. It was so good they made it for 10 years, when it was then replaced by the New F-1. This model of Mustafa’s is actually the New F-1, which is capable of TTL full-aperture metering and stopped down metering using the included eye level finder. Aperture priority mode is also available with the separate AE Finder FN as well as shutter priority with the optional motor drive or power winder. The F-1 uses an FD mount, which is Canon’s pre-autofocus lens mount. In fact Canon first introduced the FD mount when they debuted the F-1 in 1971. The F1 and FTb were the first cameras to use Canon’s new FD mount system which then also allowed for full coupled auto-exposure metering. The New F-1 was made until approximately 1994 when it was officially discontinued.

The F-1 was Canon’s counter attack to Nikon’s F & F2, and like the Nikon F series it also had many interchangeable options such as prism viewfinders, backs, motor drives, and flash accessories. Special editions were produced as well – the coolest I’ve seen was one they produced for the 1984 Olympics in L.A.

This camera looks like the sort of camera that takes care of business. It’s extremely rugged and very durable. This also makes it uncomfortably heavy to carry around. So in a way I’m glad it was a short walk around my apartment. With this camera you definitely feel every action, shutter, winding lever and even turning the different setting dials.

Randomly the night I had my Canon F1 date I noticed while watching the 1986 movie masterpiece, Crocodile Dundee, the camera the journalist, Sue, uses is a Canon F1!

So since I haven’t gotten my photos developed yet from my date here are some of Mustafa’s photos. Staying true to his style, he pushed Kentmere 400 to 1600.

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Beau Photo Supplies Inc.