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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