Canon F-1

Canon F-1 described the professional small format SLR camera from Canon in the 1970s and 1980s. She had no predecessor, the first model was followed by the complete re-design New F-1 and it was replaced 1 of the Canon EOS. With the F-1 and the Canon FD bayonet came out.

  • 2.1 period
  • 2.2 conception
  • 2.3 housing
  • 2.4 viewfinder
  • 2.5 exposure
  • 2.6 shims
  • 2.7 closure
  • 2.8 backplane
  • 2.9 film transport
  • 2:10 Power
  • 2:11 autoflash
  • 2:12 remote release
  • 2:13 Special models


Period and classification

The F-1 appeared after five years of development in March 1970. Was the first professional SLR camera from Canon. From such a camera system was expected at that time in addition to a stable construction of a motorized film transport, a shutter speed of 1/2000 s, an interchangeable viewfinder and a long film magazine as an accessory. All these properties met for the F-1. This should especially be a competitor to Nikon F. Canon was the F -1 still not too much to penetrate the professional market, but hold with an increasingly more perfect service and some technically superior features, including telephoto lenses with lenses of calcium fluoride and UD glass to reduce chromatic aberration, ever walk. Until the appearance of the Nikon F2 in 1971 it was the most advanced professional camera.


The F- 1 had in common with the later published a somewhat wider EF aluminum housing as the other representatives of the F- series, to which it belonged. Imposed by the Canon Pellix combined high and low self-timer lever there was to it. The F-1 was only available in black.



The adjusting of F-1 could be remove after removing the viewfinder. It gave the following discs, where the type A part of the standard specification.

  • Type A: micro prism ring
  • Type B: split-image rangefinder
  • Type C: ground glass screen
  • Type D: Grid pane
  • Type E: microprism ring with split-image rangefinder
  • Type E: double -image rangefinder
  • Type F: microprism grid for fast lenses
  • Type G: microprism grid for low-light lenses
  • Type I: double crosshairs


To measure the camera via a partially transparent mirror led about 12 % from the center to the photo sensors so that this rectangular measuring area seemed slightly darker on the focusing screen in the viewfinder. Such a selective measurement, there were at Nikon not know she was a common reason, if the choice fell on Canon. The measurement proceeded with a Metered, in which, as usual, had to be made ​​to coincide on the screen two pointers in the event of the default or sports viewfinder.


The F-1 had a horizontal running metal focal plane shutter with 1/ 2000 s as a maximum shutter and 1/60 s as the shortest flash sync speed.

Rear wall

The rear wall of the F-1 had exchange against a full-length film or a magazine back for Dateneinbelichtungen:

Film transport

At each F-1 after removing the bottom plate, a motorized film transport could be connected. This was unusual, as with other manufacturers still often have special versions for the motorized film transport existed, such as the Minolta XM or the Asahi Pentax K2.

Power supply

Like all other cameras in the F- series also worked the F-1 with the old 1.35 V Battery Type PX 625 you needed them a cell. The modern cell type 635 with 1.5 V is not suitable. Like the other cameras in the F- series also needed the F-1 its battery exclusively for metering and viewfinder display; everything else worked without power supply.


Because of the interchangeable viewfinder had the F-1 by default no accessory shoe. One could postpone a hot shoe on the Rückspulkurbelsockel:


In September 1976, there was a slight revision of the F -1, which could be seen on the plastic cap on the film advance lever. The main changes: The transport lever needed now only 139 ° instead of 180 °, which in turn allowed a rest position at 30 ° instead of 15 ° so far. The film speed could now be set to ISO3200/33 °. There was a holder for the type of film on the back wall and a rubber border for images in the viewfinder. Standard focusing was now the type E. The modified version is also known as F- 1N.

Special models

  • F-1 High Speed ​​: 1972 was followed by a special model of the F- 1 with a high-speed motor drive and a semi-transparent, fixed mirror, the image sequences allowed up to 9 frames per second.
  • F -1 U.S. NAVY: with engraving on the standard prism viewfinder and on the back above the serial number
  • F-1 Montreal 1976: Standard F-1 with the Olympic symbol
  • ODF -1n: Standard F -1n as "OD" ( olive drab ) with a completely olive green reinforcement ( 1978)
  • F -1n Lake Placid 1980: Standard F -1n with Olympic symbol
  • FR: was a modified ophthalmic purposes F -1n with the three different Polaroid Backs Canon CR - PC, CR -PC1 and CR -PB and special Chimney finder including ground glass.
  • F- 1 Post: was a modified F-1 registration camera with a fixed 35mm 3.5 lens Alos and special Alos mono flash to take a picture of meter readings.
  • F-1 :: Police was a modified version of flash devices Radar of type " Multanova 5F " and " Distanova " of the approximately 600 pieces in the FRG and again about 600 units have been delivered worldwide. This version had a flash sync of 1/250 sec, a 12 volt long-distance connection and a special data back for imprinting for speed, time and date. Built by the company "Uster " Switzerland later Multanova.

New F-1

Period of time

In September 1981, a new version of the F-1, the designated Canon in the first brochures for distinction with New F-1 appeared. The cover was unchanged but only the lettering F-1, the accessory mostly the letters FN behalf.


The New F-1 appeared a little dated for 1981. So there was a fully automatic exposure only with attached accessories, while standard existed only a Metered. In addition, the viewfinder did without a digital display of measured values ​​and still had conventional hand instruments. But all this corresponded to the wishes of professional photographers, at which Canon oriented.

The development objective was to build a highly reliable and solid camera, they then existed with 1565 parts also from 217 parts more than the first F-1. An efficient production so do not stand in the foreground, especially in the best of times, only 3000 copies per month were built by the F-1.


The New F-1 was a complete redesign with its own accessories, and there was no longer the combined high and low self-timer lever. The Fade to control depth of field as happened with the Canon A- series with a slider in the camera viewing direction to the right of the bayonet socket. The case was specially designed for sturdiness and also had therefore a metal cap, during this part of the A - series was already made ​​of plastic. The camera was particularly sealed, the sealed ball bearing and coated with the conductive traces of the electronics of an insulating plastic film. A matte black finish avoiding reflections.


At this time, an interchangeable viewfinder belonged to the feature of a professional camera, the New F- 1 had again such.


The type of metering could with the shim between the spot (code S), selective (code P) and medium -weighted average metering (Code A) be changed, the selective measurement included as of the previous F-1 used 12 %, spot metering 3% the scene. All discs there was selective and integral measurement, types B, C, E, I, J and K for spot metering. The measuring system was located together with its silicon sensor in the camera body, so that, unlike the first F-1 now also Lichtschachtsucher allowed an exposure. To this end, the focusing of different layers was built up so that she could radiate the light required for the metering side to the rear. There it took the sensor then.

The type of automatic exposure depended on the scheduled accessories. Shutter priority demanded that either the Power Winder FN or AE the AE motor drive FN was recognized because there was the power for the aperture simulator in their enclosures. This seemed very unusual, but it was meaningless in practice, since the camera was hardly used without drive. With the automatic position of the aperture ring of the second pointer disappeared into the aperture scale and the camera worked with auto iris.

The time automatic asked for the automatic finder FN, he showed a time scale at the bottom. As a result, it was in the F-1 New with automatic viewfinder and motorized film transport to a multi - namely, aperture and time machines, which also did not facilitate the Metered Manual. Basically, however, the automatic timer worked well with the other hunters, then the photographer but the shutter speed selected by the exposure could read anywhere. The automatic mode was switched to the position of '' A'' of Verschlusszeitenrads. In the viewfinder, then disappeared the aperture scale and the time scale appeared. For lenses without transfer of the aperture value to the camera control worked as a working aperture - priority auto.

The film sensitivity ranged from ISO 6/9 ° to ISO 6400/39 °, at ISO 100/21 °, the meter of 4 s at f / 1,4 was to 1/ 2000 sec at f/22 coupled.


As known from its predecessor, the shim by removing the viewfinder could be removed from the housing. The laser focusing screens had a produced by a laser structure, which turned out evenly than in the conventional ground glass, and thus produced a brighter viewfinder image. For the super bright versions this was in special measures. The viewfinder discs had a two letter code. The first letter of the specific measurement method (A = average, S = spot metering, P = Partial metering ), the second letter, the design of the focusing screen. All discs there was selective and integral measurement, types B, C, E, I, J and K for spot metering.

It gave the following focusing screens:

Where is:

  • A: microprism collar
  • B: new -image rangefinder
  • C: Laser - ground glass screen
  • D: Laser - Matte with full grid division
  • E: new -image rangefinder and microprism collar
  • Q: microprism collar for a fast lens ( f / 1.2 to f / 2,8 ) with shorter focal lengths
  • G: microprism for low-light lenses ( f / 3.5 to f / 5.6 ), especially for zoom lenses
  • H: Laser -matte with horizontal and vertical measurement scales, especially for enlarging and Macro Photography
  • I: Laser - disc with double crosshairs
  • J: super bright laser matte screen for short focal length lenses (50 mm to 200 mm)
  • K: super bright laser matte screen for long focal length lenses ( 300 mm )
  • L: Cross - sectional image indicator
  • M: Laser - matte screen formats for A / B ( marks in the corners for Publishing )

In the two most prevalent seekers, the prism viewfinder FN and FN automatic viewfinder, the focusing screen AE was fitted as standard.


The New F- 1 had a horizontally running focal plane shutter with 1/ 2000 s as the shortest shutter speed. The particularly thin titanium alloy his curtain made ​​it possible to run it in 7.5 ms by the picture window and thus a flash sync speed of 1/ 90 s All short times up to and including 1/90 s plus B ran completely mechanically from and worked so without battery is inserted. As a result, the trigger still had a mechanical connection to the closure, which had already been placed with the Canon A- series. With battery but the trigger worked electromagnetically, without he had a long way and he went a little heavier. The self-timer worked like from the A- series known electronically with 10 s delay and was launched with a further position the trigger lock. He gave beeps from 2 s with increased frequency. The New F-1 had no mirror lockup.

Rear wall

The back wall was as usual replace by a long- movie magazine or a rear part for superimposing data.

Film transport

Power supply

F- 1 using the same 6- volt battery such as the A series cameras; also there was the battery in the camera viewing direction right of the lens and enough capacity for about 20,000 trips. The exposure was, as is known from the A- series, turned on by pushing the viewfinder. Featured is the rotary switch on the rear left cover on '' Hold '', then it remained switched on for 16 s after release; in the position '' Light '' the viewfinder display was also illuminated.


The autoflash disappointed because it still did not work with TTL metering. This resulted only in 1986 with the Canon T90, even though there was this since 1975 at the Olympus OM -2, and since 1980 at the Nikon F3. F- 1 New worked with the same system as the A- series. There were consequently two additional contacts in the hot shoe, which transferred the set on the flash unit on the camera aperture. Although the investigators were removable, they owned with the exception of the waist level viewfinder magnifier and all have a hot shoe.

Remote Shutter Release

Special models

  • New F- 1 high speed, a high-speed camera, the occasion of the Olympic Games came out in Los Angeles in 1984. The camera has a fixed pellicle mirror, as he was known by the Canon Pellix, reaching frame rates up to 14 / s It had the motor drive control H (14 / s ), M ( 10 / s ), L ( 5 / s) and S (1 / s).
  • New F-1 50 years 1983 A Canon camera with golden F -1 and Canon logo that used to exist with standard and automatic viewfinder.
  • New F-1 1984 Los Angeles A camera with golden Canon logo, golden F -1 characters and Olympic symbol and the serial number " LAXXXX ". They existed with standard and automatic viewfinder.
  • New F -1 U.S. Navy A camera with the slogan " U.S. Navy " right on the front. They existed with the standard viewfinder.
  • New F-1 P: Dedicated camera version for Japanese press photographers, no lift lever, with Standard Motor Drive.
  • New F- 1 Post: Special recorders camera with fixed ALOS 3,5 / 35 mm lens, built for the Swiss Post to photograph the contents of telephone counts, with special mono flash IV of the Swiss company " ALOS "
  • F -Rb: was a modified ophthalmic purposes NEW F-1 with special Power Winder FN CR3 or CR4 -FN. For them, there was the Lichtschachtsucher FN and FN - 6X Magnification Finder as well as two special focusing screens.
  • New F-1 Electro- Optic Camera the world's first DSLR (1987 ), built by Kodak

Canon New F-1 viewfinder with automatic FN and 50 mm 1.4 FD left

Canon New F-1 with screwed- release button with Canon logo ( very rare! )