drab pictures

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I have a A1 and have always poor quality pictures when set on automatic settings. They are dull, blue sky are washed out. I have taken the camera back to Cannon on several occasions but they say the camera is mechanically okay.

I get brighter outdoor pictures on a simple disposable.

Any suggestions?

-- Armin Sachse (arminmsachse@aol.com), April 13, 2000


Armin, I've been taking fabulous pictures with an A-1 for nearly 20 years. Let's approach your situation systematically. Is the lens aperture ring set on "A". Canon lenses can be locked on this setting, some aftermarket lenses don't. Have you correctly set the Film speed? Double check both of the above. A fresh battery never hurts! You say Canon has checked out the camera. Did you send the lens with it? Get back to basics. Shoot a roll of slide film. This will rule out a problem in developing. Use the 50mm lens and remove the filter if there is one on the lens. Make sure the lens is not cruddy! (clean it gently with a soft brush). Take pictures on a bright overcast day. You should get some excellent slides back from the developer. Have you always had trouble with this camera? If not when did it start. Do you get good pictures when you set the camera manually? There are a lot of features on the A-1. I sometimes go back and re-read the instruction book. If you're still getting bad pictures take it to a different repair shop for evaluation. The guy giving the second opinion may see something that someone else didn't. The A-1 is a rugged, reliable camera. Mine has never failed to deliver excellent pictures in 18 years of use, frequently with the motor drive. It's only been to the shop once in that time for a routine clean and lube. Good Luck.

-- Bill Salati (wsalati@powwowmail.com), April 13, 2000.

Your problem has the classic symptoms of lousy developing. Take a roll of test film to a professional lab (not the "discount" places). Sure, you'll pay more, but I bet the results will be much improved. A good pro lab will examine and color-correct each negative. The high school kid at the local drug store usually sets the machine on "auto" and lets'er rip.

-- Roger Carmichael (pedlnote@netunlimited.net), May 29, 2000.

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