Modern Classic SLR Series
The Canon AE-1 Program - Basic Steps - Part II

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5. Learning to Operate Basic Control

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Make sure the main switch is on "A."

Turn the main switch to "L''to prevent accidental shutter release or battery drain whenever you are not using the camera.
Turn the film advance lever in the direction of the arrow until it stops. You may turn it in one continuous stroke or in several short strokes. When film is loaded, this will advance it to the next frame.

The AE- 1 PROGRAM has a two-step shutter button. Press it halfway to turn the meter on and to get a display in the viewfinder. Gently squeeze it all the way down to release the shutter. You cannot release the shutter again until the film is advanced. Never apply exccesive force or jab the shutter button. Pressing it gently only with your finger tip. This is important step for getting sharp picture, as most blur images are result of users' own mistake.

6) Setting the Film Speed

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While pressing the lock release button, slide the film speed setting lever until the film speed of your film is aligned with the green index. This is necessary for getting correct exposure.

7. Loading the Film

Filmback.jpg Pull up the rewind knob until the back cover pops open. As with any camera purchase new, when you flip open the film back, a plastic insert is attached to the pressure plate of a new AE-1 PROGRAM to protect it in transport. Before loading the first film cartridge. remove this insert and throw it away.

The AE- 1 PROGRAM uses color (negative or slide) or black-and-white film in standard 35mm cartridges. Place the cartridge in the film chamber as shown. Then push the rewind knob down, turning it until it drops into its normal position.
Pull the film leader across the camera and insert it into any slot of the take-up spool. Shield the film from direct sunlight while loading.

Advance the film once. Make sure the film perforations are engaged in the teeth of the film transport sprocket and the take-up spool.
Warning: While loading the film, take care not to touch the shutter curtain, the film rails or the pressure plate (Shown in Pink).

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The film should be taut. If there is slack. gently turn the rewind crank in the direction of the arrow until it stops. Close the back cover.

Take several blank shots, releasing the shutter and advancing the film, until the frame counter reads " 1" While doing this, keep an eye on the rewind knob. If it rotates in the direction of the arrow, the film is loaded correctly. There is no other way to check IF the film has been loaded correctly - this is a standard pratice for virtually all manual focus camera, so please use this as a guide.

 Each time you advance the film, the frame counter also advances to the next frame. It can count up to 38 frames. The numbers 20 and 36 are in orange to call your attention to the fact that rolls with those numbers of frames are or are almost finished.

Note: For film loading, in particular, do not set the shutter speed selector dial to "PROGRAM" if vou have a lens cap attached to the lens or you are in dim light. We recommend setting the dial to any shutter speed from 1/125 to 1/1000 sec.

The back cover of this camera has a memo holder. It conveniently holds the end of the film box as a reminder of the type of film in use and the number of exposures.
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Part I: Basic Camera Operations (3 parts)
II: Advance Camera Operations (5 parts)
III: Other Issues (2 parts)

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