Old F1 vs. Eos1n or Eos-3

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I've just rediscovered photography after a 20 year hiatus and have an old F1 in excellent shape. Should I stick with my F1 or upgrade to the newer autofocus stuff? I know this is subjective and depends on what I'm shooting , etc., etc., but I'm interested in any and all opinions based on any assumptions you want to make. Thank you . Regards, Tom.

-- Dr.Thomas P. Stewart (drtom@buffnet.net), January 16, 1999


Dr. Tom, I get the feeling that you are not a young man, not the newest model - is that reason for your wife to trade you in?

I like the older cameras - I feel like I am taking the pictures, not the camera - hence I am shooting a Canon AE-1P and A-1. Fine old cameras, which I bought (used) recently.

If you already have an F-1 and lenses - USE THEM - then borrow newer equipment and see what Dr. Tom prefers!

How should _-I-_ know what is best for you - YOU figure it out! GRIN

-- rich (teach_sci@hotmail.com), January 16, 1999.

Rich, thank you. I forgot to mention that I also have an AE-1 and 2 tele zooms : a 28-85 and a 70- 210. I also just picked up a MF motor drive. What opinions do others have? Thank you, Tom.

-- Dr.Tom (drtom@buffnet.net), January 16, 1999.

Well Dr, you've got a nice camera. What do you think is going to be better in a new camera ? F-1's are proven, reliable workhorses that let you take full control of the image. What more could you want? Honestly, if you aren't covering fast action, and your eyesight doesn't limit your focusing ability, AF isn't likely to improve your photography. I'd say enjoy your F-1, they don't make them like that anymore. Tom

-- Tom Kessler (T70SSRS@aol.com), January 16, 1999.

Tom, thank you for your response. The only action I shoot is my teenage son playing hockey. All other shots are not really action shots. I really appreciate the advice. I'm still waiting for the batteries for the light meter in the F1 to come in from Radio Shack. Is there another source for these batteries? Thank you. Regards, Tom.

-- Dr.Tom (drtom@buffnet.net), January 17, 1999.

A contrary viewpoint from one who loved the F-1.I sold my old F-1 last year, mint,original and Motor Drive MF and speedfinder for a simple reason-- too heavy a package. But I havent gone EOS yet. I may in fact look at the Minolta line's new flagship model coming in April, the Maxxum 9. These are as far from the F-1 as card punch is to a modern scanner, Tom. F-1 may be a tank but no auto exposure even and that is the least automation one wants and needs nowadays for kid photography. The T-90 is the least of the Canon FD bodies you will want to aspire to IMO. Now Canon USA wants you to think of the EOS line from a marketing standpoint. I expect once you get into the EOS or any autofocus model you will kick yourself for not doing so sooner. My only personal inhibition is the expense of duplicating all those lenses and a certain inertia. If you have the bucks,Tom, dump the manual focus system now and get into the modern era. So many have done this for good reason.

-- Gerry Siegel (veritas@aloha.com), February 01, 1999.

Gerry, thank you for the contrarian veiwpoint. I appreciate it. Regards, Tom.

-- Dr.Thomas P. Stewart (drtom@buffnet.net), February 02, 1999.

I too have just returned to 35mm after 20 years. My first impulse was to trash old gear and buy EOS. I did in fact buy some EOS gear then decided I could not afford the kit I wanted so sold it and returned to my F-1s. Also the old gear is not worth much, my entire F-1 kit is worth less than a single EOS3 body. I am now cornering the 2nd hand FD market :-)

Even though a shoot a lot of wildlife I still think FD is OK. To be fair the auto focus IS better for fast moving subjects but the prices are prohibitive (for me anyway) as I want 300/2.8, 500/4.5 type lenses.

Therefore I am sticking with FD and using gear that I could only dream about 20 years ago.

regards Rob

PS. Actually forget all I just said, move to EOS and sell me your F-1 for $100 :-)

-- Rob Gray (rob@robgray.com), April 05, 1999.

Well, if you want to get rid of all the old junk, just let me know. :)

In our house we have an F-1 (2nd mechanical), A-1 and T90, and LOT of FD lenses. I see no reason to change. The stuff still works well, takes good pictures. Overall it does what I want. And for teh price of a new high end EOS system, I can add to my current system.

-- Terry Carraway (TCarraway@compuserve.com), May 07, 1999.

First, do yourself no harm. I have a pair of T-90s and every once in a while I am tempted to "upgrade" to some mutation of the EOS system. Whenever I am struck by that particular malady I recall some of the hundreds of stories and articles I have read wherein the writer opens their dialog with the admonition to "...turn your camera to manual mode." because you cannot do in autofocus what needs to be done to accomplish your photographic aims. The better example of this is in the realm of macrophotography. The uniquely singular advantage of autofocus is the tracking or "predictive" mode, which literally guesses the future destination of your next photograph. For the dollars involved, I find I can live without that amenity.Good luck with your return to photography and may you rediscover the joy this magnificant hobby once brought to you.

-- Arlen LeRoy (aleroy@snet.net), May 09, 1999.

I want to thank everyone who has offered an opinion. Since I posted my original message, I have bought @ T90's and a number of very good FD lenses. I also have bought just about every accessory I could find for my old F1(except I'm still looking for a speedfinder! ). I'm having a great time shooting with the T90's .These camera's are great. Thank you all for your advice. It has saved me from making an auto focus mistake. Best regards, Tom.

-- Dr.Thomas P. Stewart (drtom@buffnet.net), May 09, 1999.

I'm 34, I cupped my first camera, a Kodak 126, at the age of nine, since then Iv'e owned various cameras, (Nikon F, Nikon 801s, Pentax LX, MX, MZ5) and now I own a Canon F1N AE. For what its worth The Canon F1N AE wins by a mile, the Pentax LX a close second. There are pros and cons in both camps Auto focus v manual, however, nothing beats using a quality modular camera like the canon F1N AE, or indeed the Pentax LX or Nikon F, F2, F3 series. I would keep the Canon F1 and add a few lenses, but then again I like old cameras. The choice is yours my freind. one question however, do you like the F1, does it suite your photography and would your heart ache if you got rid of it (oops that a few questions),

best wishes Mike

-- Mike Wilde (Mike@wilde38.freeserve.co.uk), November 27, 1999.

Mike, thank you for your input.I have kept my F1 and even bought a ton of accessories for it that I could never afford when I first bought it ( I probably won't use half of them, but who knows?). I have also bought a couple of T90's that i just love. I'm glad I kept the F1 ,its always been my favorite. Regards, Tom.

-- Dr.Thomas P. Stewart (drtom@buffnet.net), November 27, 1999.

Hi, I just read this post and felt had to say something. In my time(40 years) I have used a lot of cameras. I started serious photography with a T90 and an F1N,to which I soon added another T90. Then, whilst shooting my asscociateship panel for the royal photographic society I borrowed a Nikon F4 and discovered autofocus. At around the same time I turned pro,and traded in all of the FD stuff for 2 EOS 1 bodies and lenses, and also aqquired a couple of Hasselblads for medium format. They did the job at the time,but for one reason and another,time passed and I retired from professional photography,and due to financial pressure I sold the 'Blads and one of the EOS 1's, and kept one for whatever personal photography I wanted to do. To shorten a long story I now shoot with 2 T90' sand several FD lenses,as well as owning a couple of Nikon F's, a Nikkormat, and an old Canon FTB. The T90's are the best handling 35mm SLR's I have ever used and had the EOS 1 been an EXACT replica of the T90 but with autofocus I may well still have it. So to sum up, I think you have made a wise choice with your T90 and in tandem with your F1 you have fine equipment capable of fabulous results. Happy Shooting!

-- Marc Jefferies (marc.jefferies@btinternet.com), June 09, 2000.

Marc, thank you for your comments and not staying quiet. Its been a long time since my original post and its time to give any one who cares an update : I bought 2 T-90's , a lot of nice FD lenses, a 300TL flash and also kept my F-1 and AE-1. I use the 2 T-90 almost exclusively now and just love them. Last year I shot my family reunion with it and was not surprised to find that the professional photographer was also using a T-90 to set up his shots. I've shot many of my son's hockey games around the Northeast and his High School graduation last weekend, not to mention numerous other outings. I have both T-90's "perched" on tripods pointing at bird feeders in my yard when I'm not using them elsewhere and continue to enjoy shooting birds and other wildlife with them. The advice to go with the T-90 was very good and I couldn't be happier. The T-90 has met and exceeded my expectations for the perfect camera(s). Regards to all, Tom.

-- Dr.Thomas P. Stewart (drtom@buffnet.net), June 10, 2000.

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