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AV-1 AV1 Test Review
get it used here
This is a basic and sturdy manual focus, aperture priority only version of the AE-1 introduced on or before 1980.
It has no manual mode. It has Aperture priority, Bulb and 1/60 speeds only.
You get exposure compensation by setting different ASA values.
Automatic speeds range from 1/1000 to 2 seconds. You can't cheat like you can on the Nikon FE; 2 seconds is the longest you get regardless of how dark it gets in auto mode. Of course Bulb works if you know the correct exposure time.
It uses a 6V A544 battery, the same as the Mamiya 7. Buy this battery at Home Depot for $2.23, not your camera store for $10.
The meter is heavily center weighted and very, very accurate if you know how to use an averaging meter. The only problem is good shooters are constanly using exposure lock, which the AV-1 lacks. You have to compensate your exposure with the ASA dial.
It doesn't make the minute long automated time exposures like the Nikons of this era do, it stops at two seconds just as the specs say.
I'd skip this since it lacks an exposure lock or any way to make manual exposure corrections, save for the +1.5 stop backlight button and tweaking film speed setting.
If you shoot print film it works great.
I've made great images with this camera on the one roll of film I've run through it; it just takes a little more effort to compensate the meter for each shot.
It was a gift to me from a very beautiful and intelligent woman whose neighbor forgot to give it to the Salvation Army, so I couldn't resist.
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