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Canon AV-1 Camera - Camera operations: Part II

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Preparation: Plastic Insert If you have bought the camera new (highly unlikely...) when pull up the film rewind knob to open the camera's back cover, you will see a piece of plastic warning sheet. Remove the plastic insert, which is attached to the pressure plate, and snap the back cover shut. The insert is no longer necessary and may be thrown away.

Plastic Insert.jpg
However, if you bought a "used" camera in Japan, chances are the plastic sheet may still be intact. This is because most discontinued cameras are actually new, unused models that had failed to be sold off when the AF versions took over the market more than a decade ago.

Lens Cap and Rear Dust Cap
The front and rear lens caps should always be on the lens when the lens is not on the camera. For protection when the lens is mounted on the camera but not in use, please see to it that the front lens cap is attached.

Lens Cap Most Canon lenses are provided with a clip-on front lens cap which is easily affached and removed from the front of the lens by pressing in the tabs on both sides of the cap. This type of cap may also be attached to a Canon filter screwed into the lens. Rear Dust Cap.

The rear dust cap must be removed before mounting the lens.

There are basically two distinctive types of FD lenses. Chrome ring or black ring. Operation with an FD lens which lacks a chrome Breech-lock mount ring:

Removal from Lens
1. Turn the cap counterclockwise until it stops.
2. Pull the cap out.

1. Align the arrow on the cap with the red dot at the rear of the lens. 2. In that position, apply slight pressure to the cap and turn it clockwise until it is tight.
Note: The rear dust cap for this type of lens has serrated edges. Do not mount a rear dust cap which lacks the serrated edges.

Operation with an FD lens which has a chrome Breech-lock mount ring or with an FL lens:

Removal from Lens 1. Turn the lens' mount ring clockwise until it stops. 2. Pull the cap out.
Note: Once the rear cap is removed, the Breech-lock mount ring is locked so that it cannot be turned. (The diaphragm blades are also locked and will not move even if the aperture ring is rotated. )

Re-attachment 1. Make sure the mount ring is locked so that it cannot be turned. 2. Align the arrow on the cap with the red dot on the lens' mount ring. 3. In that position, push lightly down on the cap and turn the mount ring counterclockwise until it is tight.

Lens Hood When shooting into bright light, light rays entering the lens may form defects on the image called ghost and flare. Attaching a hood onto the lens helps to prevent this. Bayonetmount hoods are available as optional accessories for most Canon lenses.

Please use only that hood which is specified for the lens concerned. This type of hood fits into the bayonet mount at the front of the lens where it is fixed by turning until it is tight. Some hoods for wide-angle lenses require proper positioning before mounting. Align the red dot on this type of hood with the notch in the bayonet mount at the front of the lens. Then lightly push the hood into the mount and turn it until it is tight.

Mounting on the Camera and Dismounting

Before mounting an FD lens, check the setting of the lens' aperture ring. If it is set to the "A" mark on the aperture scale, remove it from that mark by rotating the aperture ring to any other position while pressing the AE lock pin.

Operation with an FD lens which lacks a chrome Breech-lock mount ring:

Mounting 1. Remove the lens' rear dust cap and the camera's body cap. 2.Align the projecting red mount positioning point on the lens with the red dot above the camera mount. 3.In this position, apply slight pressure to the lens, and simply rotate the whole lens clockwise until it stops and the lens release button pops out with a click.
Do not press the lens release button while mounting the lens. Only when this button pops out can you be sure that the lens is properly mounted and that it will function properly. It is also possible to mount this type of lens when it is not perfectly aligned with this camera.

To facilitate mounting when it is very dark or when you are in a great hurry, the mount positioning point is rounded. Simply find this point with your finger and align it as closely as possible with the red dot on the camera.

Turn the lens slightly back and forth while applying slight pressure until it drops into position and continue with step 3 above. Excessive sloppiness will make mounting impossible; please be as accurate as possible.

Dismounting 1. Turn the lens counterclockwise until it stops while pressing the lens release button. Pull the lens out. 2. When the lens is dismounted, the diaphragm blades are locked in a half-closed position and will not move even if you turn the lens aperture ring.

Operation with an FD lens which has a chrome Breech-loock mount ring or with an FL lens:

Mounting 1. Remove the lens' rear dust cap and the camera's body cap.2. Make sure the mount ring is locked so that it cannot be turned.3. Align the red dot of the Breech-lock ring with the red dot on the camera body above the camera mount. 4. In this position, fit the rear of the lens into the camera body and turn the Breech-lock ring clockwise until it is tight.

1. Turn the Breech-lock ring counterclockwise until it stops. 2. Pull the lens out from the camera body. When removing a lens, take special care not to damage the protruding pins and levers on the rear. With the exception of the Fish-eye 7.5mm lens, always put a lens down with the rear facing up.

CAUTION: Since the following two FL lenses might cause damage to the camera, they cannot be mounted on the AV-1: FL 19mm f/3.5, FL 58mm f/1.2. The following two FL lenses may be mounted, but, for technical reasons the camera's built-in meter becomes unreliable and is unusable: FL 35mm f/2.5, FL 50mm f/1.8. One of these lenses may be mounted only after the film has been completely advanced.

Carrying the Camera (Neckstrap and Semi-hard Case) Thread the tips of the neckstrap through the corresponding rings on the camera so that the tips are on the inside. Then adjust the strap to the length most comfortable for you.

neckstrap1.jpg neckstrap2.jpg neckstrap3.jpg

To protect the camera while carrying it, insert it into its semi-hard case. The two straps on the case go around the neckstrap and snap into position. Be sure to slip the neckstrap over your neck or shoulder or wrap it around your hand to prevent the camera from falling and turn the shutter button lock lever to "L" to prevent accidental shutter release. You can easily shoot with the camera still in the case by turning the top cover down. If you wish to remove the top cover, turn it down, slide it straight up in the direction of the arrow and pull it out as indicated in the photo. To replace the top cover, insert its hook into the corresponding hole in the case and pull the cover straight down. The lens' focusing ring should be turned to infinity (
oo) for closing the top cover.

The lens hood can be reversed onto standard and some wide-angle lenses in which case even the hood will fit perfectly into the semi-hard case.

Loading the Battery

This camera will not function unless a battery is loaded. Use one brand-new silver oxide or alkaline-manganese battery as specified in the table below or an equivalent battery of another brand.

Usable Batteries


Silver Oxide Battery (6V)

Eveready (UCAR) No. 544, JIS 4G13, Mallory PX 28

Alkaline-Manganese Battery (6V)

(Eveready (UCAR) No. 537,
Sony Eveready A544

polar.jpg fig1cells.jpg
Always wipe the battery poles (polarity) and camera contacts with a clean, dry cloth before insertion to prevent any corrosion and damage to the camera due to dirt or fingerprints.

As most problems arise from electronic cameras are battery related, alway handle them with care, sometimes even the invisible sebum of your hand may cause weak electrical contact, never hold them by hand.

To load the battery:
1. Push the battery chamber cover opening switch in the direction of the arrow. The battery chamber cover will flip open. 2. Following the diagram on the inside of the battery chamber, load the battery negative pole first, pushing it downwards in the chamber. Make sure the poles are facing in the correct directions. To unload the battery, simply tip the positive end forwards and pull it out from the top.
Note: The battery should be removed if the camera is not to be used for a very long time.

Checking the Battery Life of the battery in normal use is approximately one year. Using the camera frequently at slow shutter speeds (small apertures), at the "B" setting of the selector dial or in very low temperatures takes more battery power and requires replacing the battery more often. The battery requires checking under the following circumstances:

1. When a new battery is loaded.
2. If the shutter will not function when the shutter button lock lever is at "A".
3. When long exposures are frequently made.
4. When the camera is used very frequently.

5. When the camera is used after it has been
stored for a very long time. 6. When the camera is used in very low temperatures.

Check the power level of the battery as follows: 1. Look into the viewfinder while pressing the battery check button on the top of the camera. When the battery check button is pressed, the meter needle in the viewfinder swings up. 2. The condition of the battery depends on where the meter needle comes to rest according to the chart on the above right:


Position of the Meter Needle

Power Level

At or above battery check/
camer:a shake warning index


Below battery check/
camer:a shake warning index

Not sufficient. Change the battery

When the battery is exhausted, a picture will not be taken when you press the shutter release button.

It is a good idea to carry a spare battery when you expect to use the camera continuously for a long time, such as on a vacation, when you plan to use the "B" setting of the selector dial often, or when the camera is to be used in very low temperatures (0°C, 32°F). Please go to
USING THE CAMERA IN EXTREMELY LOW TEMPERATURES for recommendations concerning the battery when shooting in low temperatures.

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

Essentials: - Canon AV-1 Instruction Manual | Determine Years of Made of your Canon
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