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

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8. General guidelines to handle the camera correctly by hand The slightest movement of your body during shutter release may cause blur in the picture. The best way to prevent camera movement is to hold the camera as steady as possible, with your left hand supporting the camera and lens. Press your left elbow to your body and lightly press the camera against your cheek or forehead. For a vertical shot steady at least one elbow against your body. Spread your feet slightly apart, one foot ahead of the other, and relax. Lean against a steady support if one is available. Note: There is no distinctive way to define the most suitable way for you. Select a method that provides comfort in addition to stability. It may help to practice in front of a mirror.

9.AE (Automatic Exposure) Photography The AE-1 PROGRAM offers the following two AE modes, either of which you can choose according to the shooting situation or personal preference.

1) Programmed AE for those who prefer the camera sets both the shutter speed and aperture settings. The advantage of this exposure mode is that it allows you to concentrate fully on your subject. (2) Shutter-speed priority AE for controlling the subject's movement. Faster shutter speeds can be used to freeze subject motion, and slower shutter speeds can provide artistic blur effects.

1) Programmed AE

Look into the viewfinder and press the shutter button halfway. A green "P" and a number will appear to the right of the field of view, indicating programmed AE and the aperture selected automatically by the camera.
Exposure will be correct if the aperture display does not blink. The "P" will blink to warn you of camera shake when the shutter speed is 1/30 sec. or slower. If the "P" blinks, use a flash or attach the camera to a tripod. You can also use a film with a higher ISO/ASA rating.  

Turn the shutter speed selector dial until the green "PROGRAM" on the shutter speed dial is aligned with the index. Do not set the shutter speed selector dial between the click stop settings. Note that it does not turn past "PROGRAM" or "B".

Note *: When there is not enough light for correct exposure, the maximum aperture of the lens blinks; "16" will blinks to indicate too much light.
Note **: When shooting with a lens whose maximum aperture is f/1.8 or f/3.5, for an example, the aperture display will indicate a maximum aperture of either f/1.4 or f/2, or f4 respectively.

2) Shutter-speed Priority AE Photography Turn the shutter speed selector dial from "PROGRAM" and set a shutter speed. While looking in the viewfinder, press the shutter release button halfway. Exposure will be correct as long as the aperture display does not blink.

Bright.gif Dark.gif
In the case of an overexposure warning, "32" blinks regardless of the lens' minimum aperture. When using a lens whose minimum aperture is f/16 or f/22, even when "32" does not blink, 1) choose a faster shutter speed until the number displayed in the viewfinder is equal to or 2) smaller than the lens' minimum aperture.
To warn of underexposure, a number equal to or smaller than the lens' maximum aperture will blink. Choose a slower shutter speed until the aperture display stops blinking.

Note: If you must set the shutter speed selector dial to a number below "60." If action is a particularly important elemen in the shot, check sections on choosing a shutter speed.

10. One Shot at a time - Other than using the Motor Drive MA or Power Winder (s) A or A2 Turn the focusing ring until the main subject is sharp and compose the picture.

Infocus.gif OUTfocus.gif
Note *: If there is light, such as the sun or a window, behind your subject, see more details on exposure compensation.
Note **: The AE-1 PROGRAM's focusing screen can be changed according to the subject you are shooting and the lens in use.

Gently press the shutter button all the way down to take the picture.

11. Rewinding the Film

ae1pbase.jpg Rewind.gif Liftcrank.jpg

You can tell you have reached the end of the film by the frame counter and the film advance lever. Either the film advance lever will not turn at all or it will not turn all the way. First press in the rewind button. Then turn the rewind crank in the direction of the arrow until the frame counter, which counts backwards as you rewind, reaches "S."

Next, open the back cover, remove the film cartridge and place it back in its canister. It should be developed as soon as possible.

Caution: Until you have rewound the film back into the cartridge. Don't open the film back yet - If you do, light falling on the film may ruin the picture.Make sure the rewind crank does not move as oppose loading sequence.

* Self-Timer

windfilm.jpg FrameCounter.gif
The AE- 1 PROGRAM sets the exposure the moment you press the shutter button. Do not stand in front of the lens whiie pressing the button or exposure may be incorrect.
Advance the film to the next frame and focus your subject. Set the main switch to "S."
Use the viewfinder cover to cover the eyepiece whenever your eye is not to it at the moment you take a shot. If it is uncovered, stray light entering from the rear may cause underexposure

To start the self-timer, press the shutter button. A "beepbeep" sound will be emitted. The shutter will be released automatically ten seconds later. At two seconds before shutter release, the camera will begin to beep at a faster rate.

Note: Following exposure, unless you want to use the self-timer for the next frame, reset the main switch to "A" or "L."

Cancellation: What if the self-timer operation has started but you wish to stop it ? If you have started the selftimer and wish to cancel it before shutter release, press the battery check button or push the main switch back to "L".

* * Flash Photography

With dedicated Speedlite 188A
Make sure the main switch on the flash is OFF. Then slide the flash into the AE-1 PROGRAM's accessory shoe. Tighten the lock nut.
Slide the Speedlite's ISO/ASA film speed switch to the ISO/ASA speed of your film. Then push the Aperture/ MANU selection switch to select an aperture. The green and red positions each indicate the distance range which corresponds to the aperture you have set on the flash.

Please note: For correct exposure, the subject must be within a certain range of distances from the camera. The required distance range is indicated on the Speedlite 188A by the red or green line.

Turn the Speedlite's main switch ON. When the flash is charged, its pilot lamp will glow. When the shutter button is depressed halfway, the auto working aperture and a green ~ will appear in the viewfinder, indicating that the flash is charged. Immediately following shutter release, continue to press the shutter button halfway; the green ~ will flash on and off for two seconds if your shooting distance provided correct exposure.

Note: 1. Canon offers eight other Speedlites for the AE- 1 PROGRAM. With slight differences, all nine are used in almost the same way. Refer to the Speedlite's instructions for more details. Make sure the AE- 1 PROGRAM's shutter speed selector dial is not on "B." Any other setting is okay. 2. If the flash icon does not flash on and off for two seconds after shutter release, change your shooting distance so it is within the distance range specified on the flash.

Carrying the Camera

Thread the ends of the strap through the rings on the camera as shown.
For carrying the camera, in particular, insert it into its semi-hard case (optional accessory) as shown.
To remove the top cover, turn it down, then push it straight up and out. Turn the lens' focusing ring to infinity (OO) before closing the top cover.

Note: Do not forget to turn the main switch to "L" to prevent accidental shutter release when carrying the camera.

Pre-shooting Checklist Shutter speed selector dial set to "
PROGRAM" (for programmed AE) or to a shutter speed (for shutter-speed priority AE)? Lens aperture ring set to "A" ? ISO/ASA setting? Battery inserted or function normally ? Film Advance ?

Maintainance AE- 1 PROGRAM camera is a precision instrument. Regular use with proper care will ensure maximum performance. Reliable under normal use, it can be damaged by moisture, heat, shock, water, sand or the use of force. We recommend periodic external cleaning with a blower brush and lens cleaning with lens cleaning tissue which has been moistened with a few drops of lens cleaning fluid. During prolonged storage, remove the camera from its case and wrap it in a clean soft cloth. Remove the battery.

| Previous | Next | 3/3 More Advance Controls

Part I: Basic Camera Operations (3 parts)
II: Advance Camera Operations (5 parts)
III: Other Issues (2 parts)

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