Canon A-1 with FD 1.4/50mm S.S.C.

On we go with a Canon A-1, a Canon FD 1.4/50mm S.S.C. lens attached and an Agfa Vista 200 loaded.

The next days hopefully will bring a little bit sunshine as it would make so much more fun. My first impression while playing around with the A-1 … solid … very solid. Somehow it reminds me on the Pentax LX. As already mentioned here, the A-1 was my dream camera in the 80th, when I finally ended up with a Minolta X-700. The A-1 was simply too expensive.

The usual reviews are numerous out there … a wonderful one is here at Casual Photophile, so there’s no need to repeat all that. As a top-of-the-line model, it offers so many features, knobs and knurles, more than I’ll ever need and so I miss the simplicity of a user interface. Last time I shot a Contax 139 Quartz and … this is so simple in all it’s usability. I know that the Canon A-1 has a lot more gimmicks inside, so no need to worry.
Compared to the Contax 139 Quartz, where all things go so smooth, the A-1 is more … crude.

What I found strange, was the aperture setting during Aperture Priority Mode, where it would be easy setting the aperture on the lens … no, here you need to use a knurl on the front with the right hand, which is also used to set time value in Shutter Priority Mode. Another one … when grabbing the body with the left hand, you always press the stop-down lever which is quite annoying. More of those quirks can be read here on Jittery Pixel, who has listed all of them.

As soon as the film is through and back from the lab, I’ll post some images on my Flickr-Page.

In case you’d like to comment, it’s appreciated … and maybe, you want to check out my website too!


P.S. … and don’t forget my Flickr page.


  1. I want to try both of the cameras you mention! I don’t know that I need to own them – just to try them. I hear good things about both, which line up with your impressions.

    1. Hi Jim,
      after owning the X-700 over such a long time (and using it for around 15 years as my main camera) I was simply curious how my ‘then dream camera’ would feel. Well, I’m still in the middle of my first roll, but personally I’d prefer the X-700 over the A-1 with regards to (easier) handling, (less) complexity, (smaller) size and (less) weight.

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