Week Forty Five, Canon AE-1

September 12, 2017

Week 45 – The Canon AE – 1

Just because he made me shoot the fancy Nikon last week and I know he sniffs at Canons I opted for the Canon AE-1 this week. Not the whole story but I’m sticking with it! I actually wanted to try my hand at some different lenses that I hear a lot about on twitter.

Let’s get the camera out of the way first and quickly! My go too 35mm is a Pentax Me Super for those that don’t know, aperture priority in auto, full manual able, light comfy and hellishly pretty. The Canon is fully manual capable but in auto is shutter priority so I would need to think on that. A bit bigger than the Pentax and to me not so pretty – but still a good looking camera, I do like the mid/late 1970s SLR’s! The AE-1 sold over a million units and for good reason, simple and effective it did the job for the keen amateur and was affordable. This one is all black and nicely brassed, rubbed in all the right places. Promising!

Lenses – I tend to stick to the 50mm or equivalent usually with just 135mm I occasionally use with the Pentax to get a little closer if my feet can’t. Chatter inferred the 100mm option was lighter and more usable so a Canon FD 100 was first in the bag. Next was a wide, so many people seem to prefer the 24/28 range over 50mm so a little 28mm canon FD was added also. Finally the one thing I liked from my digital spell was macro, I have close-up filters but they can be a faff! By the time you’ve hunted in your bag and screwed it on the moment – read small moving object has passed so, a 50mm macro FD was the last edition.

Film – EmulsiveFilm had a fresh film party! DeltaDefJam, any of Ilford’s 100/400/3200 options so I went for the Delta 100. I popped a Kodak colour 200 in the bag more in hope as the forecast was grim, rain rain and more rain! Truly though I can’t complain with so many places around the world being battered by storms, I can only work with what is put in front of me. I did manage half a dozen colour shots but time ran out, they will follow.

Let’s do just a short over view then so you can get to what I think are pretty fun pics considering. The camera it’s self is a beauty, simple to learn, easy to use. I ran the full set of shutter speeds from 1000th down to 2 seconds AND bulb! Just over half the film I zone metered and split the remaining on the camera meter using both auto and manual, I was happy with all and quite impressed! The 28mm I struggle with, closer up I found it useful and sharp but found it lacking at infinity, this could be this lens itself, maybe it is off a tad. The 100mm I made myself put on, not for any other reason than I am used to a 50, it did well though! The apples shot wouldn’t have been possible without it along with a couple of others. Now I saved my favourite till last! The 50mm macro, what a great little lens! As a 50mm it does the job, a tad slow at just f3.5 but usable. The macro was a game changer for me, no faffing just a twist and you right up close. Easy to focus I could have shot the whole roll just on that. It is nice and sharp and when used fast gave great shallow DoF and loads of bokeh. Equally I did pretty well with it on a tripod dodging rain in my back yard messing with the bulb option and the garden fairies.

Summing up… in short - I had great fun!!!!!

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