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Canon A-1 + 50mm f1.8 lens. Excellent condition.

£329.00

Maker Canon Camera K. K.
Type 35 mm SLR
Lens mount Canon FD
Focus Manual
Frame rate Manual lever winding, unmodified.
Dimensions 92 x 141 x 48 mm
Weight 620 g

 

The Canon A-1 is an advanced level single-lens reflex (SLR) 35 mm film camera for use with interchangeable lenses. It was manufactured by Canon Camera K. K. (today Canon Incorporated) in Japan from April 1978 to 1985. It employs a horizontal cloth-curtain focal-plane shutter with a speed range of 30 to 1/1000 second plus bulb and flash synchronization speed of 1/60 second. It has dimensions of 92 millimetres (3.6 in) height, 141 millimetres (5.6 in) width, 48 millimetres (1.9 in) depth and 620 grams (22 oz) weight. Unlike most SLRs of the time, it was available in only one color; all black. The introductory US list price for the body plus Canon FD 50 mm f/1.4 SSC lens was $625, the camera was generally sold with a 30–40% discount (roughly $375 to $435).

The A-1 is a historically significant camera. It was the first SLR to offer an electronically controlled programmed autoexposure mode. Instead of the photographer picking a shutter speed to freeze or blur motion and choosing a lens aperture f-stop to control depth of field (focus), the A-1 has a microprocessor programmed to automatically select a compromise exposure based on light meter input. Virtually all cameras today have at least one program mode.

The A-1 accepts any lens with the Canon FD breech lock mount (introduced in 1971) or Canon New FD pseudo-bayonet mount (sometimes called the FDn mount, introduced 1979). It can also use most earlier FL lenses and some even older R (or Canomatic) series lenses, albeit with reduced functionality. This excludes all of Canon’s EF bayonet mount autofocus lenses (introduced in 1987). During the late 1970s and 1980s, there were approximately 55 Canon FD lenses available for purchase. They ranged from a 7.5mm f/5.6 fisheye to an FD 800mm f/5.6 telephoto, and included lenses with maximum apertures to f/1.2 and a line of L-series lenses of exceptional quality. Accessories for the A-1 included the Canon motor drive MA (automatic film advance up to 5 frames per second), the Canon Databack A (sequential numbering or date stamping on the film), and the Canon Speedlight 155A (guide number 56/17 (feet/meters) at ASA/ISO 100) and Canon Speedlight 199A (guide number 98/30 (feet/meters) at ASA/ISO 100) electronic flashes.

The A-1 is a battery-powered (one 4LR44 or PX-28) microprocessor-controlled manual-focus SLR with manual exposure control or shutter priority, aperture priority or programmed autoexposure. A fifth mode is “stopped down AE”, in which the aperture is closed and alterable by the photographer and the camera selects the shutter speed based on the actual light reading. This differs from aperture priority in which the aperture is not closed until a photograph is taken and the shutter speed is calculated based on the light measured through the fully open aperture. Stopped down AE existed so that old FL lenses could be used with at least some kind of AE, and was also useful for photomicroscopy, manual-aperture lenses, etc. The A-1 is the first SLR to have all four of the now standard PASM exposure modes. It has a viewfinder exposure information system using a six-digit, seven-segment per digit, red alphanumeric LED display on the bottom of the viewfinder to indicate the readings of the built-in centerweighted, silicon photocell light meter. The focusing screen also has Canon’s standard split image rangefinder and microprism collar focusing help.

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