The Canon New F-1 is is an expandable system camera. By expandable I mean 5 types of viewfinders, 32 different focusing screens within 13 different types to go with 3 different metering patterns, 2 motorized film advance units, and a couple of interchangeable backs. That surely gives the Nikon F3 system a run for its money, which had also just been released a year before in 1980.
*Video Review is at the bottom of this page
There are three renditions of the Canon F-1. First was the F-1 in 1971. Next, in 1976 with minor changes, the Canon F-1n. Then finally, the Canon New F-1 in 1981. It is also known as the F-1N. This version is electronically controlled unlike its previous versions. It came at a time when photographers were starting to enjoy the more automated luxuries of the electronic technology that was rapidly becoming available.
The Canon New F-1 gave them that automation, as well as a reliable and durable brass build that weighs 1.75 pounds without a lens. It is unlike any SLR I have seen, especially with the beautiful matte black finish.
While still a mechanical camera, Canon allowed the photographer to expand as much or as little as they wanted to make it as electronic as they wanted. It’s a manual-exposure camera that’s capable of TTL full-aperture metering and stopped-down metering with the eye-level FN meter head. Aperture-priority AE is available by attaching the optional AE Finder FN. Also, shutter-priority mode is optionally available when using either AE Motor Drive FN or AE Power Winder FN.
Features of the Canon New F-1
With a Focal Plane Shutter and metal curtains, the Canon New F-1 sports a hybrid shutter that has electronic shutter speeds from 8 seconds to 1/60th and mechanical shutter speeds from 1/125 to 1/2000th. Bulb and X for using an electronic flash (1/90 sec.) are also mechanically controlled. Aperture priority is also available on the shutter speed dial which is electronically controlled with all speeds included.
The back of the camera has a dial that allows you to select three different ways to control the meter. Normal allows you to access the meter while gently pressing the shutter release. Hold allows the meter to stay on for 16 seconds, and Light illuminates the meter for low lighting situations.
There is also a self timer with adjustable beep and delay, a compensation dial, and a battery check button to test the Alkaline 4LR44 Battery.
Please take a moment to sign up for my articles in your inbox!
One of the best things about the New F-1 and its predecessors is the FD mount. That means this camera can mount a large variety of lenses made by Canon and several other affordable brands such as Soligor and Vivitar.
My Experience and Photos with the Canon New F-1
I’ve owned my Canon New F-1 for several years now and from the moment I received it in the mail, I have been impressed by it. The quality of the build is impressive and the sound of the shutter is unlike any other.
The ergonomics of the camera are great because the battery compartment works as a grip which helps with the solid weight of the camera.
I’ve found the meter to be very accurate and easy to use. Anytime I am testing out a new film or need a reliable camera for something important, I grab the F-1.
The Canon New F-1 will be a long time favorite in my collection for years to come. It’s reliable and easy to use. The tactile qualities of it make it very enjoyable to hold. I would highly recommend this camera. Let me know in the comments if you have one or are thinking of purchasing one.
If you have found this article or any of my articles helpful, please consider supporting my work by following any of the links below such as purchasing a zine. I hope you’ll subscribe to get my articles in your email so that you don’t miss any posts. Either way, thank you so much for reading.
Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.
Get Your Own Canon New F1 from eBay
These are affiliate links to KEH Camera, Ebay, and Amazon. Simply purchasing through these links, you’re supporting my work with no additional cost to your purchase. It’s greatly appreciated.