Modern Classic SLR Series
Canon EOS-1 - Instruction Manual - Index Page

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With the distinction of being Canon's top of the line AF SLR towards the end of '80, the Canon EOS-1 camera represented the ultimate in camera design that meets the requirements of the most demanding professional photographers during those days.

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There are three main points in the design of the EOS-1 to which particular attention has been paid:

1. To allow the photographer complete concentration on picture composition.
2. To support the photographer's freedom of choice by allowing complete control and fast access to most of the camera's main operations.
3. To provide the necessary performance for today's expanded shooting opportunities.

Credit:This section of the website relating to instruction manual was based largely on an original User's Manual published in 1989 (CY8-6105-002), courtesy of Canon Marketing. Certain content contained herein may not be applicable to current user's environment as EOS-1 has been replaced with EOS-1n in 1994. If you have any doubt relating to compatibility issues, please check with your nearest Canon authorized dealers for verifications.

Using the most up-to-date Canon pioneered technology during that time, the EOS-1 has one of the fastest and most responsive AF system available in the EOS series during those era plus a comprehensive metering system, Predictive Focus Tracking for moving subjects and enhanced reliability to handle difficult shooting conditions.

There are also 8 different Custom Function Control that gives you the freedom to set certain functions to your preference. Then, there is the full line of over 50 different EF lenses, Speedlites and EOS-1 accessories such as the Power Drive Booster E1, Command Back E1 and user interchangeable focusing screens which meet the requirements for a variety of shooting tasks.

NOTE: Recommended to open a new browser window for visual reference on various control on the camera before proceeding to other section. Table of content: Nomenclature (Main Reference Map).... Full LCD Display Panels



A. Battery Load and Check
B. Main
Switch ..
Lens Attachment ....
Dioptric Adjustment ...
Focusing .... F. Display Panel information ...
Film Load ..... Film Speed Setting .... H. Film Rewind ....
L Film
Winding Mode ... Self-Timer .... J. Setting the AF Mode.... K. Setting the Metering Mode
Evaluative Metering | Partial | Spot Metering

AE Lock Photography


L. Setting the Shooting Mode: Program | Program Shift | Aperture Priority | Shutter Priority | Depth of Field AE | Additional Info | Manual | Depth of Field Preview | Bulb Mode
Difficult Subjects for Autofocus | Manual Focusing
N. Exposure
Compensation ..........
O. Auto
Exposure Bracketing ........
Multiple Exposure ..... Clearing Preset Exposure..
Custom Function Control ......... Special Film Usage (Shooting with Infrared Film)
R. Dedicated
Flash Photography & Third Party Options


S. Reference ..
Battery Issues | Usage
T. Camera
Care ...... LCD | Power Efficiency
U. Accessories ........
V. Appendix:
Viewfinder & Display Panel Information ..
Program Line Characteristics

General Information on: Interchangeable Focusing Screens
Speedlite 430EZ | Canon Power Drive Booster E1 | Command Back E1 | Dioptric Adjustment Lenses
W. Specifications ......

Important Information
: The Canon EOS-1 will give optimum performance together with specially designed Canon EOS EF lenses and other Canon brand accessories. Canon claimed it was possible that the use of incompatible lenses or other accessories may result in unsatisfactory performance or damage to your Canon EOS-1. As the Canon EOS-1 has long been discontinued and replaced with the EOS-1n in 1994 and you may have problems getting parts supplies other than general parts for the camera. However, since there are great similarities between the EOS-1n and the original EOS-1, chances may be there for some common items used in their design.


1 ) The Canon EOS-1 has been designed for increased resistance to moisture. However, this camera is not waterproof and must therefore be handled with reasonable care. Keep the camera out of salt spray and protect it from excessive moisture. If used at the beach, clean it thoroughly afterward with a dry cloth. If dropped in water, contact an authorized Canon service facility.
2) Do not attempt to disassemble the camera yourself.
3) Remove the battery if you do not expect to use the camera for about three weeks or longer.
4) When storing the camera, wrap it in a clean, soft cloth and place in a cool, dry, dust-free place. Be sure to keep the camera out of direct sunlight, and away from "hot spots" such as the trunk or rear window shelf of a car. Avoid places where moth balls are used and in excessive humidity, use a desiccant.
5) Carefully check the camera's operation after prolonged storage.
WARNING: The battery may explode or cause burns if disassembled, recharged, shorted, exposed to high temperatures, or disposed in fire.
7) Film passing through X-ray examinations at airports may be exposed and ruined even when loaded in the camera. Request a hand checked inspection to avoid damage.
8) Aerosol spray dust removers are not recommended for the shutter curtain.

NOTE: Condensation is a problem when bringing cold equipment into a warm room. If the autofocus optics cloud over, accuracy may be seriously affected. Before entering a warm room, put equipment in a plastic bag so condensation forms on the outside of the bag.

Preparation and setting up the camera for shooting

Note: BEFORE Loading the first roll of film or even load the batteries into the camera, remove the plastic sheet on the inside of the camera back cover as the camera may function with the sheet in place.

A. Battery Load and Check

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The camera operates on a 6-volt, 2CR5 lithium battery.

1 ) Remove the grip by turning its screw on the bottom of the camera with a coin or viewfinder cover. This screw cannot be removed from the grip.
2) Load the battery upside down with the label facing you.
3) Replace the grip securely.

* Note: When the Power Drive Booster E1 is attached, the 2CR5 is replaced by the Booster's battery magazine where the power source comes from a combined 8 pieces of AA-size batteries.


1) Set the main switch to "A" or "".
2) Open the palm door and press the battery check button.
Note: Battery power is indicated by the number bars that appear at the bottom of the display panel.

B. Main Switches

lcdbattery1.gif lcdbattery2.gif
Main Switch:

Note: A blinking "" - Replace battery if old or reload if new (Check the polarity of the cell(s) and reinsert again).
lcdbattery3.gif lcdbattery4.gif

The Main Switch of the Canon EOS-1 camera has three positions:

"L" - Off position. Be sure to set here after shooting to prevent accidental shutter release and minimize battery drain.
"A" - Standard operating position. No audible signals sound.

"" - Same as A, but with audible in-focus signal.

C. Lens attachment & Information
lensalign0.jpg lensalign1.jpg
Lens attachment and Information:

1) Remove the body and rear lens caps by turning them counterclockwise

2) Align the lens'
red dot to the red dot on the camera. 3) With the camera facing you, turn the lens clockwise until it stops and locks with a click. 4) Remove the front lens cap

lensalign3.jpg lensalign4.jpg
For automatic focusing, slide the lens' focus mode switch to "AF". Set to "M" for manual operation. To remove the lens, press the lens release button and turn counterclockwise.

Note: * The electronic contacts must be clean for proper contact. Do not touch these contacts. Should you find the EOS-1having difficulties like unable to attain proper focus or couldn't shift between its One Shot AF or AI Servo AF modes, chances are the electronic contacts may be dirty. Wipe any dirt with a clean, soft non-static cloth. ** Do not set the lens on its rear end without the lens cap attached to prevent damage to the electronic contacts. This is one habit that is hard to discard off with most users of EOS cameras. Usually it is the reasonably priced EF lenses that are able to survive such habit of putting the lenses down without damaging the contacts. The heavier and expensive optics would not be able to stand upright when being placed like this without their rear end caps attached.

D. Dioptric Adjustment
Adjust the eye sight correction to suit your preference. This also allows near or far-sighted users to take pictures without wearing glasses.

1) Press on the center of the Eyecup Ec frame and push up from the bottom to remove.

The original Eyecup Ec for the EOS-1 is quite fragile and does not last very long in use. One of the improvements made for the successor EOS-1N model is the new Eyecup Ec II which solved the reliability problem altogether and can be used for the EOS-1 model as well.

2) Look into the viewfinder and turn the dioptric adjustment dial in either direction until the AF frame appears sharp. Be sure to hold the camera firmly. This adjustment may be easier if the camera is mounted on a tripod.

* The adjustment range is from -3 dpt to + 1 dpt (diopter). For adjustment exceeding this range, use a Dioptric Adjustment Lens optionally available.

The Dioptric Adjustment Lenses for the EOS-1 can also be used on the new EOS-1N and EOS-1N RS models.
** You can check the entire field of view with your eye at maximum 0.8 inch/20 mm away from the viewfinder.

E. Focusing

1) Open the palm door and press the white mode clear button, marked "CLEAR".
2) Center the AF frame" " subject to the subject you wish to take.

3) Press the shutter button halfway and automatic focus (AF) starts. When correct focus is obtained, the green AF symbol lights up in the viewfinder.

Notes: Do not touch the front of the lens during focusing.
When AF is impossible, the green AF symbol starts blinking and the shutter will not release.
AF operation is also possible with the AE Lock Button when using Custom Function control #4.
AF can be done with the Canon Circular Polarizing Filter PL-C or any independent maker's PL-C type of polarizing filters.
If you need the shutter button height or release stroke adjusted, please contact the nearest Canon service facility for such adjustment.

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Credit: To all the good people who has contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough granting us permission to use their images appeared in this site.

Members of the EOS Site Maintenance Team : Philip Chong, CYLeow, Vincent Thian. images handling on EOS models: EeWyn; Setup, coordination by: Wati. Mirza. *Credit: Mr. Richard Yeow & Mr. Simon Wong from camera division of Canon Marketing, for their continual effort in sopporting development of this EOS/EF website. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Canon Inc over the years and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification."Canon", "EF lenses" & "EOS" are registered tradenames of Canon Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.