Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Canon A-1: Wonderful, Ridiculous Machine

Released in 1978, the Canon A-1 was the first SLR in history to offer a full Program mode, allowing the camera to choose both the shutter speed and aperture and thus allowing the user to concentrate completely on getting the shot. I like historically significant cameras, so this one was on my list. I considered myself lucky when one popped up on Craigslist for a good price.

I was thinking about what a great deal I had gotten as I was driving home after buying my Canon A-1. I suppose I did get a good deal, although it wasn't quite the deal it seemed. The body came with the "Action Grip", three lenses, a generic flash, a cable release, user manual, and a camera bag that held everything. All of this for $60. I had noticed that the battery door was cracked, but replacement doors are cheap and this is a common issue, so I didn't worry too much about it.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Camera Review: Nikon FM2n

The Nikon FM2n entered the world as a minor update to the groundbreaking FM2 in 1984. With an all-mechanical shutter reaching unheard-of speeds of 1/4000s, the FM2 is a camera that is already unique enough to be on my "want" list.

Early FM2n models saw only a couple of changes over the FM2, the most obvious being an update to the maximum flash sync speed from 1/200s to 1/250s.  A new mirror stop was also added to the FM2n, as well as an extra light trap in the mirror box. Later FM2n's (from 1989 onward) also saw the titanium honeycomb-patterned shutter replaced with a smooth aluminum one.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Finding a Replacement For Mercury Batteries

At this point I have several different cameras that require the old mercury batteries, which are no longer available. Since alkaline batteries have a different voltage and discharge pattern, some cameras cannot accept them as replacements because it would render the meter wildly inaccurate, and in some cases risk damaging the electronics.

The good news is that there are a couple of alternatives that work pretty well.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Camera Review: Rollei 35

Ah, the Rollei 35. People love it! They're going for about $150 on eBay right now, more than the price of many great SLR's. As for me, I'd have a hard time paying that much for one. Sure it has some great talking points, but never before has a camera made me feel so inadequate.