1976 - 1984

35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera
FX [A] [O] [J]  

Serial is : #1637142

Serial is : #2261205
Marketed   April 1976
Original Price   81,000 yen (w/FD 50mm f/1.4SSC),
4,000 yen (case)

Introduced in April 1976, the AE-1 was a very successful camera worldwide.

When the AE-1 came out, TTL manual-metering models (including the Canon FTb and FTb-N) were still the mainstream in the 35mm SLR market. Autoexposure models were still at the very top end of the SLR market. They were expensive and produced in small numbers.

The AE-1, however, was designed from the ground up with five major units and twenty-five minor units. They were centrally controlled by a microcomputer. By incorporating electronics, the parts count could be reduced by 300. The manufacturing of the camera was also highly automated. This made it possible to produce a low-cost camera having high-end features.

Camera models such as the AE-1 model of 1976 was largely responsible for having revolutionized the entire camera design concept and also the manufacturing process of modern 35mm SLR cameras as we know it today. It was also the world's first camera to have all its functions to be controlled fully by a built-in micro CPU (Central Processing Unit). It also held the record as the world's best-selling 35mm SLR camera todate, with more than five million units sold worldwide!

*Has also black versions.

F-1 (n)
35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera

Serial is : #574883
Marketed   September 1976
Original Price   161,000 yen (w/FD 55mm f/1.2SSC)
143,000 yen (w/FD 50mm f/1.4SSC)
104,000 yen (body)

An F-1 with a few improvements. The film advance winding stroke was reduced from 180 to 139. And the film advance lever's ready position was widened from 15 to 30. This made film advance faster. The film advance lever also had a new plastic tip. The film speed range was also increased from ISO 2000 to ISO 3200. The PC terminal had a fastener to prevent the PC cord from disconnection. In all, thirteen improvements over the old F-1 were made.

35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera

Serial is : #197441
Marketed   December 1976
Original Price   For export only (no Japanese price)

The AE-1 with shutter speed-priority AE and TTL metering became wildly popular in Japan and overseas.

However in a few overseas markets, the AE-1 had a high price tag. There were also many users who still preferred manual metering. In response to these people, the AT-1 was developed. It had the same body as the AE-1. It featured match-needle metering and TTL centerweighted averaging metering with CdS photocell. The camera could use the same accessories as the AE-1.

35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera

Serial is : #1765339
Marketed   April 1978
Original Price   114,000 yen (w/FD 50mm f/1.4SSC),
83,000 (body)
The A-1 was the top-of-the-line A-series camera. (The AE-1 was the first in this series.) It was a sophisticated electronic camera with all-digital control.

Besides the shutter speed-priority AE and aperture-priority AE modes, it featured the first fully automatic program AE mode, preset aperture-priority AE, and Speedlite AE mode.

The viewfinder information was also easy to read with a 7-segment red LED readout. The control settings were displayed at the same time which made it very useful.

Besides Power Winder A, developed at the same time as the AE-1, accessories for the A-1 included the compact Motor Drive MA which attained a maximum shooting speed of 5 fps. This Motor Drive had a convenient vertical-grip shutter button. Also, there was the Speedlite 199A which had bounce flash capability.The A-1's body had a fine black finish.

This is my daily camera. The one I prefer.
I've a lot of the accessories that come with even those I'll never use.

35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera

Serial is : #700105
Serial is : #870944
Marketed   May 1979
Original Price   57,000 yen (w/New FD 50mm f/2)

Even though the camera would cost more, shutter speed-priority AE cameras were important to Canon since users could comprehend shutter speeds easier than aperture settings. However, in America and other overseas markets, aperture-priority AE 35mm cameras were in the majority.

Overseas distributors also clamored for an aperture-priority AE model. Canon responded with the AV-1.

When this camera appeared, a new type of FD lenses featuring instant mounting/demounting was also introduced. A low-cost FD 50mm f/2 lens was made available for the AV-1.

AE-1 Program
35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera
FX [A] [O] [J]  

Serial is : #3048242
Serial is : #4007566
Marketed   April 1981
Original Price   92,000 yen (w/New FD 50mm f/1.4SSC)
86,500 yen (w/New FD 50mm f/1.8SC)
60,000 yen (body)

It was five years after the AE-1 became a worldwide hit. Many users wanted the program AE mode that was featured in the A-1. This mode set both the shutter speed and aperture automatically. The user just had to press the shutter button.

The AE-1 Program camera was developed in response to the demand for program AE and to succeed the original AE-1. The camera now had both shutter speed-priority AE and program AE modes. It also sported a palm grip like the A-1. The camera was also compatible with the A-1's Motor Drive MA. The viewfinder featured LEDs. It was quite an advanced camera.

To make Motor Drive MA compatible with the AE-1 Program camera, it had three electrical contacts instead of only two which the original version had. Also, Power Winder A was converted into Power Winder A2 for higher performance.

*Has also black versions.

F-1 (New)
35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera

FX [A] [O] [J]

Serial is : #145599

Marketed   September 1981
Original Price   With standard Eye-Level Finder FN:
201,000 yen (w/FD 50mm f/1.2)
181,000 yen (w/FD 50mm f/1.4)
149,000 yen (body)

Instead of being a next-generation successor to the F-1, this camera was called the "New F-1," and not the "F-2." With the first F-1 in 1971, Canon promised that the camera would remain unchanged for 10 years. This promise was fulfilled. During those ten years, there were remarkable advances in electronics, precision manufacturing, and optics. The successor to the top-of-the-line F-1 had to incorporate the best electronic technology for better automation, versatility, and specifications.

For metering flexibility, the New F-1 uses interchangeable focusing screens to change the metering pattern with a segmented metering element. For automation, system AE is incorporated for optimum operation. The camera's basic controls are also the same as the old F-1 so F-1 users can easily adapt to the New F-1.

I've one and I like to use it for static pictures such as monuments. Very useful with a Tilt and Shift 35mm F/1:2.8 and the AD focusing screen. I also have a AE Finder FN and a Speed Finder in addition to the Eye-Level Finder.


35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera

Serial is :#1346486
Serial is : #4007566
Marketed   March 1982
Original Price   90,000 yen (w/FD 50mm f/1.4),
58,000 yen (body)

Targeting users who had difficulty focusing through the viewfinder, the AL-1 featured an electronic focus-assist system besides aperture-priority AE.

The system searches for the peak of the subject's image contrast obtained by three linear CCD arrays. The bottom of the viewfinder has arrows indicating the direction to turn the focusing ring to achieve focus. When focus is achieved, the in-focus mark between the two arrows lights.

The exposure is controlled by a TTL silicon photocell and aperture-priority AE with centerweighted averaging metering. All shutter speeds are electronically controlled and stepless. The camera is also compatible with all FD lenses.

*Has also black versions.

New F-1 High Speed Motor Drive Camera
35mm Focal-Plane Shutter SLR Camera

FX [A] [O] [J]

Serial is : #1167

Marketed   February 1984
Original Price   1,300,300 yen (body set) Limited edition.

Based on the New F-1 and equipped with a fixed pellicle mirror, this camera boasted the fastest continuous shooting speed ever. It has a four-axis, horizontal-travel, focal-plane electromagnetic shutter with metal curtains. One of three shooting speeds can be set. At the H setting, the camera can zip through a 36-exposure roll of film in 2.57 sec. at 14 fps.

Metering system has a match needle for stopped-down TTL. The aperture is stopped down automatically during the exposure. The power pack can be attached to the camera bottom or detached and used separately. The camera requires two dedicated power packs (totaling 24 V) housing ten 1.2 V size-AA Ni-Cd batteries. Priced at $13,700, the camera was a limited edition for press photographers.


Last update : May-19-2023 00:29:39: CEST

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