Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Canon F1 - Camera Operations Part IV

This section covers: Self-Timer; Double Exposures; Frame Counter; Dioptric Adjustment Lenses; Changing Viewfinders - WaistLevel finder/Speed Finder; Changing the Focusing Screens; Magnifier R

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV
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Credit: Tony Kano (Ex-Regional Head (Asia), Richard Yeow (Division Head-Malaysia) of Canon Marketing who share the same enthuasism for making this site possible for all Canon Fans.

We suggest
strongly to use a detailed illustration of various dials and control buttons on the Canon F-1, Click here for cross reference.


This is Canon's exclusive Self-Timer. It is activated by pressure on the shutter release button and is used both as a self-timer and a stopped-down functioning lever. Once having given a full 180° turn to it, you only have to press the shutter release button, but make sure to wind film beforehand. When the shutter release button is depressed and the self-timer lever makes a full 180° turn, the shutter will be activated about 10 seconds later. The time when the shutter shall be activated can be adjusted according to your needs, with 2/3 of a turn of the self-timer or more. This time interval will be between 7 and 10 second.

There is a certain point at which neither self-timer nor shutter is activated. This is a position at 60 degrees from the normal position, and you should turn the self-timer more than 60 degrees, just enough to activate the mechanism.

You should not think that there is something wrong or that the part is not operating correctly. This self-timer lever can still be used as stopped-down functioning lever once the self-timer has been set. When using the mirror lock, adjust the mirror lock device after setting the self-timer.

Double Exposures

This camera is so designed as to allow double exposure photography with precision and no frame discrepancy.

Although, in principle, the camera is designed to prevent double exposures caused by mistakes or carelessness, double exposures can be made intentionally by rewinding and then winding a little bit.

When taking a double exposure, rewind the film until the green mark on the film rewind button makes a 1/2 turn. Rewinding is done the usual way, and multiple exposures on the same frame are possible if the above process is repeated as many times as desired.

Frame Counter

When the back cover is opened, the frame counter automatically returns to the starting position "S", and it begins to count after film has been loaded.

The frame counter is only coupled to film winding and not to rewinding. Consequently, in case of multiple exposures, the counter indicates a greater amount of pictures taken than the ones that actually have used film, because the frame counter continues to advance with each winding and each exposure.

Dioptric Adjustment Lenses

As it is very difficult to have a built-in dioptric adjustment instrument in a 35mm single lens reflex camera, the F-1 compensates for this lack most satisfactorily, with attachable dioptric adjustment lenses.

The camera is equipped with a standard ring of 1.2 diopters, which means that those who see objects clearly at distances between 83cm and 1 meter do not have to use the others. The same applies to those who wear glasses and keep them dioptric adjustment lenses.

In this case, they can select the dioptric adjustment lens that has the same diopter as their glasses, but they are advised to try the lenses until they find the one through which they can see objects most clearly.

Dioptric adjustment lenses are screwed into the eyepiece. A magnifier may also be attached on the eyepiece. After the adjustment lens is removed, the Angle Finder B may be attached.

Kinds of dioptric adjustment lenses: +3, +2, +1, 0, - 2, - 3, - 4
Numbers shown diopter values (+) means a convex lens and (-) means a concave lens

Changing Viewfinders

The pentagonal viewfinder can be removed by pulling it towards the rear while pressing the two stopper buttons on both sides of the viewfinder.

When attaching a viewfinder, slide it in from the rear side of the camera body so that its attachment rails are inserted. Push it all the way in and it will lock with a clicking sound.

The other viewfinders can be attached in the same way as the pentagonal viewfinder.

Waist Level Finder

This is the simplest form of interchangeable viewfinder with a collapsible hood, and is used,for waist level viewing. The principle of this viewfinder is to look directly at the focusing screen. On it, the right of the image becomes left and vice versa. Focusing can be confirmed through a 5X magnifier. Since this is a simplified hood without a pentaprism, the meter information window cannot be seen. Consequently, light metering must be conducted previously with the Eyedevel Finder.

The hood can be opened by pressing the rear button, and the magnifier can be lifted by pushing the corresponding device down and then the central area of the field of view is magnified. It can be folded after returning the magnifier to its original position.

Speed Finder

The Canon F-1's viewfinder system has been developed to meet the increasing diversification of photography and to make more abundant information available. The metering function will not be lost by replacing the viewfinder with the Speed Finder. It is designed with the eyepoint 60mm behind the viewfinder. The entire frame is visible at 60mm.

This makes the viewfinder very suitable for photography in sports coverage since it can be used by a photographer wearing a helmet with a wind vizor or shield to protect the glasses. The most outstanding feature in this viewfinder is its revolving head. With it, the level can be changed easily from waist to eye and the position of the camera can be chosen freely. This extremely resourceful viewfinder is easy to operate and will cause less fatigue when objects are seen from high altitudes with the camera held upside down, or when checking the field of view for copy work, or when photographing from a low angle.

Type: Used at both eye level and waist level.

Perfect visibility point: 6cm from the rear lens of the eyepiece. Diopter: - 0.84D Magnification: 0.54X at infinity with 50mm lens.

1. The change from waist level to eye level c~n be made with one touch. This viewfinder can be used without placing the eye against the eyepiece to enable the cameraman to take various postures according to his photographic purposes.

2. Since the field of view can be seen even when the cameraman is wearing a helmet with a wind vizor, or goggles, this viewfinder is suitable for airborne photography or to be used by motorists and skiers.

3. This viewfinder is easy to use with glasses on and the field of view can always be confirmed in action photography for sports coverage.

4. When this viewfinder is set at the waist level, the cameraman does not need to lie on his stomach with th~iewfinder placed on the ground. It can also be used holding it over the head and looking at it upside down.

5. The angle of the viewfinder can be changed in accordance with the circumstances for all kinds of copy work, photomicrography, copying, close-up photography, and macrophotography. Besides, as it can be used with the eye away from the eyepiece, it causes less fatigue in photography over extended periods of time.

6. With this viewfinder, meter information can be read easily and metering can also be performed.
7. Only this viewfinder has the attaching button at the bottom.

Changing the Focusing Screens

There are 4 interchangeable focusing screens.

To remove the focusing screen, first detach the pentaprism and insert your finger nails into the two notches on the rear end of the screen, lift it upwards until the rear end comes up, and remove it by picking it up from the metallic edges.

When inserting the focusing screen, the guide bar should face toward the lens. Insert it under the metallic holder in the mirror box and then press down on the rear end of the focusing screen until it reaches the bottom.

The interchangeable focusing screens are:
A. Microprism
B. Split-image
C. All-matte
D. Section-matte Angle Finder

The Angle Finder is a viewfinder attachment to permit photography from low camera angles or in copy work. Depending on the subject, it can be rotated, so that the camera can be used vertically or horizontally. It can be attached onto the eyepiece of the Eye-level Finder, the Servo EE Finder and the Booster T Finder in place of the eyepiece ring. There are two types of Angle Finders, the popular type A2 and the high quality type B. With the former the right and left sides of the subject is seen in reverse, and with the latter an upright image can be seen through the prism. The diopter can be adjusted and all meter information can be seen through either of the Angle Finders.

Magnifier R

This is an attachable magnifier which serves for precision focusing in close-up photography, copying, and wide-angle photography. With this magnifier, the center of the field of view can be seen with a magnification of 2.5X. It can be fixed on the eyepiece by means of the eyepiece ring. Since not all of the field of view can be seen with the magnifier attached, it is raised on its hinges to make the whole field of view visible through the viewfinder.

However, since it cannot be raised up when attached to the Servo EE Finder or the Booster T Finder, the clip-on attachment ring is to be used instead of the Magnifier Adapter R.

| Back | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV
This page has a converted pdf file (224 K) for download. Click on icon to proceed. 

Credit: Tony Kano (Ex-Regional Head (Asia), Richard Yeow (Division Head-Malaysia) of Canon Marketing who share the same enthuasism for making this site possible for all Canon Fans.

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An external source Prepared by Christian Rollinger for Canon F1's Camera Operational Manual in PDF (2.58MB)

Update: Scanned Copies of Canon F-1 Repair Manual (4.8MB) at Christian Rollinger website.


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