Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dusting off an old friend

Pursuant of my stated goal in my last post, I got out my Canon AE-1 outfit out of the closet yesterday. I have three lenses for it, a 28/2.8 Albinar, Canon 50/1.8 and a Vivitar 80-200/4.5. Here it is with the Albinar mounted.

I haven't used the AE-1 in a while, so I spent a few minutes wondering why I couldn't see the aperture blades on the lenses move when I twisted the aperture rings. I thought they were all stuck, and was feeling a bit bummed out about it, but as it turns out FD-mount lenses don't function until they're screwed on a camera.

The AE-1 is basically a shutter-priority camera. You twist the aperture dial until it locks in the "AE" or "A" position. Then you twist the shutter dial, and the camera chooses the aperture setting. A needle points to the chosen setting, which you see through the viewfinder. Simple as that. No wonder there was an old Saturday Night Live sketch that said "The AE-1 is so easy to use, even Stevie Wonder can use it." Sorry, Stevie.

The first roll is Tri-X 400. I'm 3/4 of the way through it. And to my embarassment, I found myself glancing at the back of the camera after squeezing off a shot.


  1. Of course you'll have to develop the film yourself and make a contact sheet.

  2. I'm still embarrassed that I tried chimping after a shot! More than once, actually.