Camera Competition? Canon A1 vs. Nikon F3

featured, Film


First off, i’d like to state that this is in no way a competition on which camera is better 😉

Just the one that i think fits best for me.

The Canon A1 was the first film camera i ever really used and took seriously

It’s a treasured companion and i’ve taken some great shots with it in the past.

Exchange Place - Jersey City Waterfront

Exchange Place – Jersey City Waterfront


I’ve learned to really love this camera and all of it’s functions.

Here is a brief synopsis on it (taken from Wikipedia):

The Canon A-1 is an advanced level single-lens reflex (SLR) 35 mm film camera for use with interchangeable lenses. It was manufactured by Canon Camera K. K. (today Canon Incorporated) in Japan from April 1978 to 1985. It employs a horizontal cloth-curtain focal-plane shutter with a speed range of 30 to 1/1000 second plus bulb and flash synchronization speed of 1/60 second. It has dimensions of 92 millimetres (3.6 in) height, 141 millimetres (5.6 in) width, 48 millimetres (1.9 in) depth and 620 grams (22 oz) weight. Unlike most SLRs of the time, it was available in only one color; all black. The introductory US list price for the body plus Canon FD 50 mm f/1.4 SSC lens was $625. While the list price was $625, the camera was generally sold with a 30–40% discount (roughly $375 to $435).

The A-1 is a historically significant camera. It was the first SLR to offer an electronically controlled programmed autoexposure mode. Instead of the photographer picking a shutter speed to freeze or blur motion and choosing a lens aperture f-stop to control depth of field (focus), the A-1 has a microprocessor programmed to automatically select a compromise exposure based on light meter input. Virtually all cameras today have at least one program mode.

Earlier this year, through Craigslist, i found a husband and wife who were getting rid of some equipment the husband’s late father used to shoot with.

It was a Nikon F3 with a number of lenses (50mm, 28mm, 500mm, 70-200mm focal lengths) for a great price!

Here is a brief synopsis (from Wikipedia):

The Nikon F3 was Nikon’s third professional single-lens reflex camera body, preceded by the F and F2. Introduced in 1980, it had manual and semi-automatic exposure control whereby the camera would select the correct shutter speed (aperture priority automation). The Nikon F3 series cameras had the most model variations of any Nikon F camera. It was also the first of numerous Nikon F-series cameras to be styled by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, and to include a red stripe on the handgrip – a feature that would later become (with variants of stripes and various other shapes) a signature feature of many Nikon cameras.

Of course being the camera maniac that i am, i jumped all over it and that same day was able to pick it up and test out in different parts of NYC

I’ve also got to admit that i am a fan of John Free and all of his work and youtube vids. One of the things i noticed while watching him on the streets is that he also uses the Nikon F3

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I loved the Nikon F3 right way

As a matter of fact, i was going to Atlanta on a road trip soon after i purchased and that was the first camera came to mind to bring with me.

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So lately, i’ve been thinking….

If i took them both out, 2 color rolls each (ISO 200), which of them would i favor more? 🙂

I’ve got them both locked and loaded right now and am just itching to get out and shoot.

Stay tuned for an updated post with results from both!


2 thoughts on “Camera Competition? Canon A1 vs. Nikon F3

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