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Canon AE-1 Program SLR

Canon AE-1 Program

My first SLR camera was a Canon AE-1 Program from my parents, purchased in 1981. Over the years, my passion for photography grew and declined, as with any other pasttime. There were times when I would not use the camera for many months, and then I would start taking photographs again.

When I finally re-discovered photography in the 90s, I figured my camera was hopelessly out-of-date. I considered buying a new camera, but I kept asking myself: Why? Why should I buy a new camera when my old, proven AE-1 Program would still do fantastic images? Sure, the new cameras had all this fancy autofocus stuff, but that was not a valid reason for me. I started to look around the used equipment market and found that used lenses for the Canon manual focus system where (a) cheaper and (b) of high quality. My decision was easy: Forget the new stuff, and gradually extend the existing system with used lenses.
  Back row: 35-105 mm, 70-210 mm, 300 mm, 500 mm. Front row: 17 mm, 28 mm, 50 mm, 135 mm.
In case you are wondering where to get bodies, lenses and manuals, here are some pointers: You will get fantastic lenses and bodies in your local "used photo equipment store". If they are overly expensive or do not have the stuff you want, I suggest to go to eBay. I was hesitant at first, thinking "um, used photo equipment from an auction from a complete stranger?". I was surprised to discover that the stuff I acquired through eBay is usually very good, especially if the seller has some positive recommendations. At eBay, you will also find used manuals for your AE-1 Program. But these are usually not cheap! So if you want to save some money, please visit Christian Rollinger's excellent Canon PhotoPage, to see his Canon AE-1 Program manual which conveniently comes both in HTML and PDF.

Anyway, today I am the (proud) owner of two bodies and eight lenses: 35-105 mm, 70-210 mm, 300 mm, 500 mm, 17 mm, 28 mm, 50 mm, 135 mm, 20 mm, 24 mm


Reference photos made with a Canon AE-1 Program

The following photo sets have been done using this Canon equipment:


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