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Canon AV-1 Camera - Camera operations: Part V

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Checking the Exposure Look into the viewfinder. On the extreme right is a scale with shutter speeds from 1000 sec. to 2 sec. All solid black numbers are reciprocals of the real shutter speed so that 500, for instance, stands for a shutter speed of 500 sec.

Only the black-outlined "2" at the bottom of the scale is a whole number standing for 2 sec. Above 1000 is a red overexposure index. Below the last number 2 is the red underexposure index.

release button halfway. The meter needle will jump up to indicate the shutter speed the camera has set for the aperture you have chosen. Notice that the meter needle quickly changes position as the light conditions change or as the camera is moved. To assure exact exposure, the camera controls the shutter speed steplessly and will not fix it until the shutter button is pressed.

Now gently press the shutter
If the meter needle points to the red index at the top or bottom of the shutter speed scale when the shutter button is pressed halfway, exposure will be incorrect. Correct the exposure according to the chart below.
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Check the exposure according to the following chart.

Position of Meter Needle

With Aperture Ring at:


Not touching any red mark

Any f/stop


Touching Underexposure Index

Any f/stop

Turn the aperture ring to a larger f stop


Largest f/stop

Incorrect. Swit:ch to flash, add light or use a film with a higher ASA rating

Touching Overexposure Index

Any f/stop

Turn the aperture ring to a smaller f stop


Smallest f/Stop

Incorrect. Attached an ND filter or use a film with a lower ASA rating.

: * ND filters, which reduce the light coming into the lens but do not affect color, are available as optional accessories. ** If there is light behindyour subject, exposure may not be correct even if the meter needle is not touching a red mark. *** Remember: A large f/stop is a small number on the aperture scale. A small f/stop is a large number on the aperture scale.

If the meter needle points to or below the camera shake warning index when the shutter button is pressed halfway and you are using a 50mm lens, there is a good chance of camera shake which will blur the picture. Correct as follows: 1. Select a larger f/stop. 2. Use a flash. Or 3. Attach the camera to a tripod and use a cable release. Of course, if you are as steady as a tripod, you can try hand-held shooting.

Holding the Camera

Camera shake can ruin your picture with blur. Although the best precaution in preventing camera shake is to press the shutter release button gently, it is also helpful to hold the camera properly. Before focusing and taking your shot, please read the following suggestions.

When the meter needle points above the camera shake warning index:

1. Grip the camera firmly in both hands with some right fingers on the finger grip and with the left hand supporting the lens.
2. Press at least one elbow firmly against your body, and press the camera firmly to your cheek or forehead.
3. Spread your feet slightly apart with one a little ahead of the other and relax.
Lean against a steady support, such as a wall or a tree, if one is available.
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When the meter needle points at or below the camera shake warning index when using a standard lens: Choose a larger f/stop or use a flash and hold the camera as described above. If the aperture ring is at the largest f/stop and you do not have a flash, use a tripod and a cable release.

Composing Look into the viewfinder eyepiece and compose your picture so that your subject is where you want it to be. The subject will be recorded on the film exactly as you see it in the viewfinder. While composing, keep in mind that the AV-1 uses the Central Emphasis Metering method of exposure measurement which reads the entire viewing area with emphasis on the central portion. As long as the subject is pretty well centered in the image, this method normally assures very accurate exposure.

Focusing To focus, rotate the focusing ring as you look through the viewfinder. The focusing screen inside the viewfinder has three focusing aids: a split-image rangefinder, which isthe horizontal line in dead-center, a microprism ring, which surrounds the split-image rangefinder, and a surrounding matte screen.

1. The split-image rangefinder "tells you" that the image is in focus when the image, which is divided horizontally when out of focus, merges to become one complete image.

2. The microprism ring presents a clear, steady image when in focus but a broken, shimmering image when not accurately in focus.
3. The surrounding matte screen is foggy when the subject is out of focus and becomes clear when in focus. When your desired subject is sharp, you know that the focus is set correctly. You can focus with any of these three focusing aids as you like depending on the subject and personal preference.

Shutter Release Once you have set an aperture on the lens, checked the exposure, composed and focused your picture, you are all set to take your shot. Simply press the shutter release button gently all the way down to set the shutter in motion for exposure. Once you have pressed it all the way you may withdraw your finger. For proper function of the camera and the least camera shake, it is very important to press the shutter button gently. Chances of camera shake will also be reduced if you make a habit of pressing the shutter button as you exhale. Following shutter release, advance the film advance lever to wind the film. Pressing the shutter button will not make an exposure if the film is only partially advanced or if battery power is too low.

Frame Counter

Each time the film is wound, the AV-1's frame counter advances to the next frame, indicating the number of frames already exposed. It will not advance higher than 38.

The numbers 0, 20 and 36 are marked in orange to indicate usual starting and ending points of films. Don't be surprised if, at the end of the film, the frame counter indicates fewer or more frames than the film is supposed to have; it depends on how economically you loaded the film. The frame counter automatically returns to "S" when the back cover is opened.

Rewinding the Film

If, after shutter release, the film advance lever cannot be turned or stops before the end of its stroke, the film has reached its end.

DO NOT force the film advance lever or the film will tear or become detached from the cartridge. In this case, rewinding would be impossible and you would have to unload the film in complete darkness. DO NOT open the camera's back cover before rewinding or most or all of your film will be ruined.

To rewind the film:

1. Press in the film rewind button on the base of the camera. Once you have pressed it you can remove your finger.

. Unfold the film rewind crank and turn it in the direction of the arrow. Keep cranking until you feel no further pressure on the rewind crank. 3. Then pull the rewind knob up sharply to open the back cover and remove the cartridge. It is preferable to place the exposed cartridge back in its canister and to have it developed as soon as possible.

Backlight Situation (or other lighting problems) Like all metering systems, the AV-1'smetering system is designed to give correct exposure under normal lighting conditions. What is not normal? Not normal is a situation in which your subject is backlit with strong window, sun or artificial light behind it. In this case the camera will be influenced by this light into choosing a shutter speed which wil I underexpose your subject. The metered exposure must be increased. The same holds true if your subject is surrounded by a bright beach or snow and the latter is taking up the major part of the viewing area. In general, some correction may be necessary if your subject is not centered in the viewing screen or if you wish to overexpose the image intentionally for a high-key shot. On the other side of the coin, the camera may be fooled into choosing a shutter speed which will overexpose your subject if it has a very dark background, such as in stage photography and concerts; or you may wish to underexpose your subject intentionally for a low-key shot.

Backlight Control Switch When you press this switch, the camera will automatically reduce the shutter speed 1-1/2 steps to increase exposure.

This will be useful in all those cases described above in which you would like to give your subject a little more exposure, such as in backlit situations. Since the shutter speed will be considerably reduced, make sure to check the shutter speed in the viewfinder before shooting to make sure there is no chance of camera shake and that the meter needle does not point to the underexposure index. It may be necessary to turn the aperture ring to a larger f/stop for hand-held shooting and correct exposure.

Warning: Keep pressing this switch until you fully press the shutter release button. If not the AE Lock will not work.

Changing the Film Speed In comparison with a film with a given film speed, another film with an ASA rating twice that of this film requires only half the amount of light for correct exposure. Consequently, you may make an exposure correction on a particular frame by changing the recommended ASA rating.

For instance, if you have ASA 200 film loaded and you wish to overexpose the image for a backlit situation only 1 f/stop, simply set the film speed dial to ASA 100. The camera will automatically reduce the shutter speed one step for overexposure.

Again, it is advisable to check the shutter speed the camera sets to be sure there is no chance of camera shake. On the other hand if you wish to underexpose the image i f/stop for a low-key shot, reset the film speed dial to ASA 400. This method of exposure correction is useful when you wish to give more or less overexposure than the backlight control switch permits, and it is the only way to make an exposure correction for a low-key shot.By all means,
do not forget to reset the correct ASA film speed on the dial or the entire remainder of the film will be correspondingly over or underexposed.

Time Exposure or shooting at night When you set the selector dial to "B" for "bulb", you can make exposures longer than the slowest shutter speed of two seconds. The shutter will remain open as long as you press the shutter release button. Of course, you are now in complete control of the exposure. You cannot rely on the AV-1's meter, because you yourself are controlling the shutter speed as well as the aperture.

Although the meter needle will point to a shutter speed when the shutter button is pressed halfway, this reading has no meaning.

Using the "B" setting is the recommended procedure for recording multiple bursts of fireworks on a frame. You may also use it when it is so dark that the meter will not couple. You will have to determine the length of exposure either by a separate exposure meter or by experimentation. If you use this setting often, more battery power will be used than usual, so it is wise to have a spare battery handy. When using such slow shutter speeds, you may have problems with reciprocity failure. Compensation of exposure is required.

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