Canon F1 35mm SLRs

Canon F1 35mm SLRs 

DESCRIPTION

Canon's original SLR workhorse. A rugged, manual focus professional body.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 56  
[Feb 11, 2017]
richard hale
Intermediate

Strength:

Build quality, simplicity

Weakness:

weight

I'm coming into this review from a modern viewpoint. All the basic strengths of this camera have been covered elsewhere. All the pro features which were needed at the time of its introduction are really now obsolete so what we are left with in this day an age is an extremely well made, beautifully balanced, simple mechanical camera with a wide range of reasonably available lenses.
I had a New F1 but did not quite like the balance of it compared to the original, so I did a swap. Both cameras are beautifully made handle very well and are very robust. This doe not come cheap. Everything you would want the F1 to do the Ft and Ftb's can do as well, the F1 is just more refined. If you want a film camera to survive just about anything on a budget they would be my recommendations..... but there is no getting away from it, for the pure tactile pleasure and pride of ownership the F1 models are up there with the best.
I only have 2 quibbles:-
I do not particularly like the meter display were the aperture and the shutter speed needles both move. I would prefer a simple +/- display
I would prefer a separate MLU lever as per the Ft rather than the combined self timer/dof/mlu of all the other Canon f
models.
But as I say these are quibbles and subjective.
The only downside that is not subjective is the weight. It is heavy. This does not bother me if I going out with a view to take a specific photo, but for a walk around camera I choose something lighter,

Similar Products Used:

Canon Ftb, EF, Ft QL, Nikon F3,F4,FA, FM2, Pentax KM,MX,KX, Minolta XE1, Fujica St801

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Feb 21, 2009]
Richard Tibor
Intermediate

Strength:

Built like a tank.

Weakness:

Weighs as much as a tank.

Best manual focus camera ever build, period! g out and buy one now!

Customer Service

It never failed me.

Similar Products Used:

Almost every other manual focus SLR ever made. The F-1 is the best.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 05, 2007]
dgrohne
Expert

Strength:

As other reviewers have stated, this camera is rugged; I have never needed any type of service. It is heavy; it is almost manual-everything; it is not forgiving for photographers' mistakes, but it takes the best 35 mm pictures.

Weakness:

For one focused more on the art of photography rather than one focused on who has the most gadgets, there are no weaknesses

The Canon F-1 was my first SLR, purchased in 1981. It has been a mainstay through 26 years of traveling through Europe and the United States, and has survived tinkering by 3 children and curious pets. I can honestly say that this camera has taught me the mechanics of photography, and that all other cameras that came after it, including the digitals, had slight disappointments in comparison to the F-1.

I use mainly the 50mm f1.4 lens, a Spiratone Portdragon portrait lens, and a Spiratone 500mm Minitel Catadioptric lens. In the past I used an 80-300 mm Vivitar zoom lens but the quality wasn't there.

Now my daughter is using the F-1 in her high school photography class. I had missed how well black and white prints from this camera came out, even the night shots on the bulb setting. Needless to say the instructor is green with envy, as I am sure this is the best camera in the class!

Customer Service

Never needed. May have to use E-bay for parts. BTW the service manual is available on line: http://www.canonfd.com/f1repair/f1repair.pdf and the PX-625 battery is also available from online stores.

Similar Products Used:

Canon AL-1

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 29, 2005]
Bidi
Intermediate

Strength:

Solid, dependable, natural-feel, Interchangable vieuwfinder, focusing screen, back, winder.

Weakness:

Slow on sudden action, but it's an allover manual camera! And for a manual camera pretty fast.

I'm using the 2nd improved version of the old F1. This is truly a great camera! It took me a week or 3 to get used to it. It feels so natural, and the meter works really good on my Velvia slides! No more over- or underexposure, just what I want. Really solid and heavy. Quiet shutter and mirror lock-up. And it looks really nice! Only the batteries for the lightmeter are expensive, special mecury replacement batteries. But that says nothing about the camera itself.

Similar Products Used:

Canon A1 Canon EF Canon AE-1 Olympus C3000Z Praktica TL Ricoh 35 ZF

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 08, 2004]
gsm18439@aol.com
Expert

Strength:

Sharp. Steady. No vibration or shake. I routinely hand-hold shots at 1/8 of a second in natural light. Reliable. Versatile. Quality of the optics and range of lenses.

Weakness:

Weight - although this can be a plus when shooting without a tripod at slow shutter speeds. Some accessories are getting a little hard to find.

I received my first Canon F1 as a gift. After 30 years of hard use, it finally died. So I found an almost mint one on Ebay. I have mostly used the f1.4 lens (although the second one I bought has an f1.2 lens). I also picked up a parts camera just in case. . .

Customer Service

n/a

Similar Products Used:

I have not bothered with any others in the last 30 years.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 03, 2004]
Rick Bursky
Expert

Strength:

The F-1 is an incredible camera and has never let me down. Except for cleaning and minor adjustments has never needed to be repaired. And I've had that camera through the wringer, including jump from airplanes. It's a great camera.

Weakness:

The only drawback is the weight.

I bought my F-1 just prior to joing the army. Used it while serving 4 years as a paratrooper, through Art Center College of Design, three years as a professional photographer and twenty years as a serious amatuer.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 28, 2003]
Longbow
Professional

Strength:

Strong and dependable; mine have never seen a repair or even servicing, and still function flawlessly. Capabilities that remain mostly untapped by the vast majority of users. One would have to be quite rich to own the entire system for either camera, or be lucky (talented) enough to have an employer provide it. The F1 is mechanical and only needs battery for metering; new F1 has hybrid shutter where mech. speeds are flash sync.@ 1/90 and 125, 250, 500, 1000 and 2000. Slower speeds are electonically controlled and battery dependent. F1 has mirror lock-up, New F1 has weather tight body, faster responding meter, exposure comp. dial, brighter focusing screen. I consider the New F1 as the superior camera, but both are superb instruments. As far as batteries are concerned--batteries are expendables, as is film. I always have extra batteries in my bag no matter what camera system I'm using, including todays AF/AE cameras.

Weakness:

None. These cameras are for real photographers; if you do not understand proper selection of aperature/shutter speed/DOF/hyperfocal distance and manually obtaining the results you want, these may be more camera than you need.

This reviews both the original F1 which was introduced in 1971 and the New F1, introduced in 1983(?). Have owned the F1 since 1971, and the New F1 since 1988. Both cameras are rugged, professional cameras, with interchangeable finders, backs, prisms and motor drives; attachments for microscopes, telescopes, time lapse and other technical capabilities were part and parcel of the F1 systems. The lense line was immense in quantity, quality and range. The capabilities presented by these systems were far beyond any but the most adept of photographers; the kind of pros that Life Magazine or Nat. Geo. would send out to cover a space launch or to a planetarium to record the heavens. For most of the rest of us, an F1 around the neck was/is a status symbol, like a Hasselblad some yuppie wears to take snaps at the zoo IMO.

Customer Service

Don't know. And since they abandoned the system and its users, I don't care.

Similar Products Used:

Sears Tower box camera, Kodak Brownie, Argus C-3, Voitlander Vito B, Taron 35, Konica FS, Canon FX, Minolta 7000, 7000i, 8000i, Mamiya 645 Pro TL.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 27, 2003]
Wil Eelsing
Expert

Strength:

Excellent built, good ergonomics considering its age, extremely reliable, vast range of system accessories, lenses etc.

Weakness:

The T-Booster unit is rather complicated to use whereas the benefits are doubtful.

Technically speaking, the original F1 is the most reliable camera I've ever used, with the possible exception of a Nikonos (which however, is an altogether different beast). The motor drive may weigh a ton, but it has never failed me. Despite its age (25+ yrs), the shutter speeds are still accurate, and each and every button, dial etc. works like it came out of the box yesterday. I sort of inherited the F1 a few years back, and have taken it with me on subzero hiking trips, in circumstances where every 21st century state-of-the-art camera would have died on me.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used:

Nikon F, Minolta XM, Olympus OM-system

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 31, 2003]
cliffs
Intermediate

Strength:

Mirror lockup, Solid beautifully constructed, still everything fits and moves perfectly after all the years.

Weakness:

Weight, Cds meter not so sensitive as later silicon cells, 1.3V mercury battery required for meter.

The second revision of the original F1 mechanical masterpiece. Sounds as good as new, clockwork selftimer and lower speeds all gear driven, no batteries required. Battery only for meter.

Customer Service

None required

Similar Products Used:

A1, EF, F1N, and T90

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 29, 2003]
james_willy
Intermediate

Strength:

The camera is not as forgiving as the AE-1 because it requires more precise understanding of exposures, and other aspects of photography. However, once these are understood, exposures from the F-1 with a good peice of glass (my fave right now is the Tamron 88mm telephoto macro)are incredible! It's a beast that produces stellar images once tamed.

Weakness:

These units are getting old. Mine is at least 23-25 years old. I haven't bothered with a serial number check, but it is the F1-N body which dates it later than ealier models. Anyway, my F1 has required some TLC as of late. However, once my tech was finished cleaning, refurbishing the foam, lubricating and what not, the camera is once again ready to be abused! So these units are old and hard-er to find parts for...

My father was a pro photographer in the 1980's. He used the F-1N for a good 15 years, and began showing me its various functions, etcetera when I was twelve. 13 years later, I've inherited the unit since dad went digital. I estimate that I've shot 8-10000 images in the last 4 years since receiving it in 1999. Recently got it cleaned and refurbished. I LOVE this camera. I will get it refurbished again if I need to, and the parts are still available.

Customer Service

never had to access. Always dealt with local sells/techies.

Similar Products Used:

Canon AE-1. Smattering of other low-mid range minolta and pentax slr's.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 56  

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