Modern Classic SLR Series
The Canon AE-1 Program - Advanced Camera Operation - Part III

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19. Shooting with Light Behind Your Subject (and Other Unusual Light)

Exposure Correction/Compensation

When there is light, such as the sun or a bright window, behind your subject, the AE-1 PROGRAM's meter may be over-influenced by such light and your subject will come out too dark. You can correct the exposure by: (1) Pressing the AE lock switch; (2) Adjusting the ISO/ ASA; or (3) Manually setting both the shutter speed and aperture (canceling AE photography).

An exposure compensation scale was one of the features not available in the AE-1 PROGRAM. In fact, of all the A-series models, only the Canon A-1 has an exposure compensation scale which set the compensations in 1/3-step up to -/+ 2 stops.

1.AE Lock Switch For example, when shooting a backlit subject

Note: You DON'T have to continue pressing the AE lock button switch. As long you after activating it by pressing it once and your finger is still pressing the shutter release button halfway. The 'locked" exposure value will still be in the memory, it will be cancelled once your finger is lifted off from the shutter release button.

1) Approach your subject and, looking in the viewfinder, center your subject so that it takes up about one-third of the viewing area.
2) While pressing the shutter button halfway, press the AE lock switch.
3) Keeping the shutter button pressed halfway, step back, compose the picture as you like, and shoot. Your subject will be correctly exposed.

. Adjusting the ISO/ASA

Sometimes, like in a theater, concert hall or a spot lighted subject in a dark scene, for instance, where it is quite dark, the AE- 1 PROGRAM's meter may be over-influenced by the darkness and your subject will come out too light.

To expose your subject correctly, turn the ISO/ASA film speed lever to a higher number. Each full step on the ISO/ASA film speed scale equals one f/stop. If ISO/ASA 200 film is loaded, for instance, and you turn the lever to ISO/ASA 400, your subject will receive one f/stop less exposure. Exactly how much higher you should set the ISO/ASA film speed depends on the situation. To be on the safe side, you may wish to bracket the exposure.

3. Manual Override Instead of using the AE lock switch or changing the ISO/ASA, you can also make an exposure correction by canceling AE photography. When you do this, you will be setting both shutter speed and aperture by yourself. This is called manual override and is useful whenever you want to set adifferent aperture than the one the AE-1 PROGRAM would select automatically in AE.


Note: Just as doubling the ISO/ASA will underexpose the picture one f/stop, halving it (setting the lever to ISO/ASA 100 for ISO/ASA 200 film) will overexpose the picture one f/stop.

Caution: Following exposure, do not forget to reset the film speed lever to the correct ISO/ASA film speed, or all following frames will be incorrectly exposed!

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1. Set a shutter speed by turning the shutter speed selector dial.
2. Remove the lens from "A" and set an aperture by turning the aperture ring.

Note: 1.When you press the shutter button halfway, the aperture that the AE- 1 PROGRAM would select automatically will light up. You may wish to use this aperture reading as a basis for setting an aperture on the aperture ring. A red "M" will light up in the viewfinder to remind you that the lens is removed 2. You may find it worthwhile to bracket the exposure. This means taking several shots at different exposures so that at least one of them tums out correctly exposed. Take the first shot at the exposure you think is right. Then take two more, one with the aperture ring set one step higher and the other with it set one step lower. It is possible to do the same thing by changing the ISO/ASA setting or the shutter speed.

20. Shooting with a Non-FD Len
With a Canon FD lens, metering is done with the lens diaphragm at its widest opening. This is called "full-aperture metering."

Stopped-down Metering With a Canon FL lens, the TS 35mm lens or any other non-FD lens, full-aperture metering is not possible. The lens must actually be closed (stopped down) to the shooting aperture for metering. This is called "stopped-down metering." In stopped-down metering, the lens diaphragm will open or close as you turn the aperture ring.

1. Push the stop-down lever towards the lens until it locks.
Make sure the shutter speed selector dial is NOT on "PROGRAM" mode.
3. While pressing the shutter button, turn the aperture ring until the stopped-down metering index and 5.6 appear. Correct exposure cannot be obtained with any other display.
4.Press the shutter button all the way down for exposure.

1. Stopped-down metering
is not possible when the shutter speed selector dial is set to "PROGRAM. "
2. You can also press the exposure preview switch and turn the shutter speeed selector dial until the stopped-down metering index and 5.6 appear.
3. Once the lens is stopped down, you can check depth of field visually simply by inspecting the subject through the viewfinder.

Lenses which
cannot be mounted on the AE-1 PROGRAM:
FL19mm f/3.5; FL 58mm f/1.2; R 56mm f/1.2; R 100mm f/3.5; FL-P 38mm f/2.8
Lenses which
cannot be used with the AE-1 PROGRAM's meter for mechanical reasons: FL 50mm f/1.8; FL 35mm f/2.5; R 50mm f/1.8; R 35mm f/2.5; R 100mm f/2

CAUTION: NEVER attempt to do stopped-down metering with an FD lens unless there are close-up accessories between it and the camera. If you do stopped-down with an FD lens attached, erroreous exposure may result.

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21. Shooting with Close-up accessories

With few exceptions (Referred to the respective instructions for the accessory), stopped-down metering is necessary whenever you insert an accessory between the camera and lens for close-up photography.

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1. If you insert an accessory designed for AUTOMATIC diaphragm control, such as the Auto Bellows or Bellows FL, between the camera and ANY lens, follow the steps for stopped-down metering mentioned earlier.

2. If you insert an accessory designed for MANUAL diaphragm control, such as M Extension Tubes or Bellows M, between the camera and a NON-FD lens, follow the steps for stopped-down metering. Turn the A-M ring of an FL lens to "M" for taking the shot (not necessary if Canon Macro Auto Ring and Double Cable Release are used).

. If you insert an accessory designed for MANUAL diaphragm control between the camera and an FD lens, unless you use the Canon Macro Auto Ring and Double Cable Release, first set the lens for manual diaphragm control before mounting it on the accessory. Then follow the steps for stopped-down metering.

: The instructions with the accessory will tell you whether or not manual diaphragm control is necessary.The procedure differs according to the type of lens.

Film Plane Indicator This mark, engraved on top of the camera body, indicates the exact position of the film plane. It is useful for measuring the exact shooting distance from film to subject in close-up photography. Distances on the lens' distance scale are calibrated from this mark. It is not used in general photography.

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Note: The aperture ring of an FD lens must be removed from "A" before you mount the lens on any of these close-up accessories except for FD-U Extension Tubes and Extenders FD 2x and FD 1.4x, which are designed for normal full-aperture metering.

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New FD Lens (without Chrome Mount Ring) except for FD Macro Lenses

1. Insert the slot of the accessory manual diaphragm adapter over the tip of the automatic aperture lever at the rear of the lens. Push the lever counterclockwise and lower the adapter into the groove. The diaphragm blades will open or close as you turn the aperture ring.
2. Mount the lens on the accessory. When the manual diaphragm adapter is attached,
NEVER mount the lens DIRECTLY on the camera or on an accessory designed for automatic diaphragm control. such as the Auto Bellows or Bellows FL.

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FD Lens with Chrome Mount Ring and FD Macro Lenses [except for FD 200mm f/4 Macro Lens]

1. Push the automatic aperture lever at the rear of the lens counterclockwise until it automatically locks. 2. Mount the lens on the accessory. Note: Some of these lenses have an additional lock lever. With these lenses, push the automatic aperture lever fully counterclockwise, then push the lock lever to "L." Be sure to reset the automatic aperture lever to its normal position before mounting the lens DIRECTLY on the CAMERA. In the case of a lens with a lock lever, switch it back to the position of the white dot.

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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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Highly suggestive useful external links/resources created by Mr.Christian Rollinger:

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