Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Canon New F-1 - Exposure Control

 
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Manual or AE body ? The New F-1 is both !

I think Canon also has been struggling, facing the task of decisions concerned its exposure control system on the New F-1during its early days of determining how should the New F-1 handles the exposure control system. It is one of the major key element in top level camera, which expect will have a eight to ten years business cycle, these decision could made a lot of differences in term of corporate image, financial return on investment and most of all, could spell success or failure in leading the direction of future mid-range models for serious users. Should the New F-1 be an fully AE camera, like the earlier Canon's successful "A" series? Or should it follow the footsteps of the all mechanical F-1, strictly a manual camera? It was finally determined that the New F-1 would be a manual camera, but with AE functions available through system attachments. AE functions, because a professional sometimes needs the versatility and shooting ease of automatic exposure. Manual, because professionals know from experience that AE alone is not enough.

newF1rewndexpcomp.jpg
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Claudio®. who is a collector for Canon photo gear, he also has an Ebay Section as well as maintaining a website on his own where occasionally trading some photo equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Some key factors and valuable input from the users has obviously influenced Canon to take into consideration before the New F-1 was put on the drawing board. Factors where most people expect a top performance camera should be, like extreme accuracy, durability, usable even in the most extreme climatic conditions, yet versatile enough and silky smooth and trouble free operations. Of cause, the system intergration with other system components are equally important. These objectives resulted was a system that uses manual match-needle metering as a base, but includes AE possibilities for even greater flexibility. A mid way between the full AE like the A series cameras and with the backbone formed during the a decade long cycle of the F-1. But, realising the fact that most users, sometimes, a metering is essentially an important aid in fast and responsive photography, the metering side was given a big boost.

Full fletch camera with both Aperture and Shutter AE ? No problem. Just get the AE finder, a motor drive/Winder combination, you have then have a multi modes top professional camera to assist you to handle any imaginable photographic assignments. For more detail illustration or description of how these works, along with how the viewfinder info changes with each automatic exposure changes,
New F-1 as a manual body With the AE Finder,
it will be a aperture
priority AE camera
With a Motor Drive/Winder attached,
it will be a shutter priority AE
camera. Of coz' manual setting
is also retained.

* Click Here for the info page (If not, this page will be too long).

The New F-1 Exposure Control System

Finder attached

Metering Mode

New F-1 Body

AE Motor Drive FN
Power Winder FN

Eye Level Finder FN

Full aperture Metering Match Meter manual Shutter Priority AE
Match Meter manual
Stopped Down Metering Stopped Down manual Stopped Down manual

AE Finder FN

Full aperture Metering Aperture Priority AE
Match Meter manual
Shutter Priority AE
Aperture Priority AE
Match Meter manual
Stopped Down Metering Stopped Down AE
Stopped Down manual
Stopped Down AE
Stopped Down manual

Also check
* AE chart for easier references

Normally, a camera with an easy-to-use exposure system has a single metering sensitivity pattern. Although a single metering pattern is quite sufficient for the average photographer, the demanding professional could not rely on one alone for more precise metering to ensure higher rate of return of successful photograpghs. Thus they have designed three different metering sensitivity patterns for a total of 32 different focusing screen/metering pattern possibilities. How was these possible ? The Nikon F3 and the Pentax (Both launched in 1980, a year a head) has seen and given the photo watchers a clue of how camera designers envisioned in exposure control. AE is a natural trend, metering was another - both Pentax and Nikon has a SPC cell laid under the main reflex mirror box and facing backward to the film plane to perform TTL OTF flash metering (Incidentally, copied and modified the Olympus's pioneered method). In a very surprise move, Canon didn't follow suit. Instead, they moved the SPC cell just under the eyepiece.

newF1AEshutterring.jpg  
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Claudio®. who is a collector for Canon photo gear, he also has an Ebay Section as well as maintaining a website on his own where occasionally trading some photo equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
A new concept of metering, I acknowledged here during that time, innovative but also came with a price - whatever Canon claimed. But, among all the new features of the New F-1 embedded within the system, this modular concept with respective possibility of altering the exposure modes, the metering of the New F-1 was most well remembered by all its users and even impressed non-Canon users as well. Thus, the next page will bring to the detail of how that was done, the pros and cons of Canon's decision.

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Instruction Manual: Canon New F-1 Camera | Motor Drive FN | Canon High Speed Motor Drive Camera |
Main Reference/Layout Map for body: HTML | PDF (471k)
Specifications: HTML | PDF (58k)

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Its Concept, Its System
Metering Options, Viewfinders, Exposures Control, Reliability Issues,
Shutter
Mechanism; Motor Drives/Winder, Data Film backs,
Flash photography, Focusing Screens, Macro/Close-up,
Remote photography.

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