3 Ways to Use a Canon A 1 35mm Camera

Have you just acquired the canon A 1 35mm camera and you’re finding it difficult to use it? This article will provide an overview of three ways to use a Canon A 1 35mm. 

Whether you want to take stunning portraits, photograph wildlife, or capture nature’s beauty, this camera is capable of helping anyone create beautiful pictures. 

From beginners who are just starting to more experienced photographers looking for creative inspiration, this article will help anyone discover how to set up the Canon A 1 35mm Camera. 

The Canon A-1 is a renowned, significantly influential, and highly advanced manual focus camera from the late 1970s that, like many other 35mm cameras, can be purchased for a very low price and produces excellent results.

If you’re used to fully automatic point-and-shoot digital cameras, you could find using one to be a little intimidating if you’ve bought one.

 You may learn how to set up and use a Canon A 1 35mm camera following the clear instructions that’ll be shown in this article. 

Ways to Use a Canon A 1 35mm Camera

The ways to use a Canon A 1 35mm Camera are split into three categories; First Basic preparation, Taking the photo, and unloading the film. Each of these categories will be duly discussed. 

First Basic Preparation

Follow the steps shown below; 

Adjust Your Lens, Then Turn On The Camera. 

Turn the primary switch from “L” to “A”. While not using the camera, Canon’s documentation advises leaving this set to “L” to save battery life.

Activate The Viewfinder Display.

 On the left of the camera, near the huge ASA dial, is a little lever. To reveal the white dot, turn it counterclockwise. The display in your viewfinder will now be on.

Open Up Your Viewfinder Blind. 

Unusually, the A-1’s viewfinder incorporates a blind to prevent stray light from entering the viewfinder during extended, tripod-mounted shots. Open the blind by clockwise turning the little lever to the left of the viewfinder window if it hasn’t previously been done.

Verify the Battery.

The A-1 is an electrically controlled camera, therefore it won’t operate if the battery is low or dead; the shutter won’t open. 

To test the battery, press the button. Your battery is dead if the light right next to the shutter button doesn’t blink at all. It is low and needs to be replaced if it does not blink very quickly.

Load Your Film

This is a rear-loading SLR, exactly like any other. Open the camera’s rear by pulling up on the film rewind knob.

Put your film inside the film compartment, then move the leader of the film such that the bottom of it is in contact with the film transport sprocket and one of the slots.

Before winding the film on, close the camera’s rear and press the shutter. Continue this procedure until the first frame is indicated by the frame counter.

Set Your Film Speed

A silver unlocking button is located on the side of the film speed dial, which is positioned around the rewind crank. Put this in, and then turn the dial to match your film’s ASA speed rating.

Put “A” on the aperture ring of your lens. This will enable the camera to control the aperture. With this, you are now free to take any photos you desire.

How To Take Photographs with the Canon A-1 33mm camera. 

Your AT Dial’s Cover Should Be Removed.

The dial that controls your shutter speed or aperture is covered by this. It needs to be removed to reveal the dial. Play with the dial a little to acquire a feel for it since this is the camera’s most crucial control.

Decide On An Exposure Mode.

You can choose from the fully-programmed AE shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, and fully manual modes on the A-1.

  • The camera will automatically set the aperture and shutter speed for you when you use programmed AE.
  • Shutter-priority:  You can choose a shutter speed with AE, and the A-1 will choose an aperture after that.
  • Aperture-priority: The A-1 will choose a shutter speed for you when you choose an aperture with AE.

While Looking Via The Viewfinder, Gently Press The Shutter Button Halfway.

On the viewfinder, your shutter speed and aperture will be visible. If one of the readouts for shutter speed or aperture is blinking, you have either chosen a shutter speed that is too fast or slow for the biggest or smallest apertures on your camera. Or on the other hand, you may have chosen an aperture that calls for a shutter speed that is faster or slower than the camera can accommodate. 

Hence, if this is the case, you must choose a different aperture or shutter speed.

Choose A Focus

Two helpful focusing aids are included with the canon A-1 to help you take precise shots. One of them is a split image that splits the image diagonally down the middle into two portions that line up when the image is in focus. 

The split screen’s outer microprism ring serves as the other aid. To use this, turn the focus ring until the picture in the microprism ring is either crisp or until the split image is no longer noticeably split.

Set Exposure Compensation

This A-1 feature compels the camera to either underexpose or overexpose your image by a predetermined amount. This is necessary for challenging, erratic lighting situations.

Unlock the exposure compensation dial by pressing the button, then spin it to the appropriate setting. You can get an underexposed image by rotating this clockwise, and an overexposed one by rotating it counterclockwise.

Click On The Shutter Button. 

The shutter will fire and the viewfinder will momentarily go dark. The film will advance automatically to the following frame if you are using one of the optional power winders; otherwise, you must wind it yourself.

Unloading your film

1. Push the camera’s bottom-mounted rewind release button.

2. To wind the film back into its compartment, pull out the rewind lever on the rewind knob and turn it clockwise. As you wind, the frame indicator will move backwards.

 Maintain your winding until the rewind lever becomes quite stiff before suddenly becoming considerably more easy.

 The latter indicates that your film is no longer attached to the transfer sprocket. If you’d like, wind it in a little bit more.

3. Lift the rewind knob to reveal the camera’s back. The camera’s rear will automatically pop open.

 Take your film out, then have it developed. 


This article has just discussed how anyone can set up a canon A 1 35mm camera. These three ways are straightforward, but you may need some professional knowledge of cameras. 

Do you have any questions? Please if you do, you can email us or simply share your questions in the comments section. 


Is Canon AE-1 Hard To Use?

Not at all. A camera must be simple to operate, enjoyable to shoot with, and produce exceptional results. The Canon AE-1 succeeds in this, for the most part. 

Can I Use a Canon AE-1 Without Battery?

The AE-1 is an electrically controlled camera, therefore it cannot function in the absence of batteries.

Is Canon A1 A Good Camera?

The A-1 was a huge success for Canon and was consistently cited as one of the decade’s most contemporary-looking cameras. The A-1, which is frequently referred to as “Canon’s Finest SLR,” is still very popular among film photography lovers and camera collectors.

Why Is The Canon Ae-1 So Popular?

The features, automatic program exposure, and selection of lenses given at a fairly low price point all contributed to its popularity.

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