When I was a kid I remember both my Dad and Step-Dad using their cool, fully automatic film SLR cameras. I loved being able to get my little-kid hands on them (whenever I was allowed to touch them) and look through the eye piece, moving the lens and aperture ring around to fuzz-out then re-focus the world. During one recent pre-retirement purge of his house, my step-dad’s Canon AT-1 kit became mine! I was super-stoked. His kit included the camera body and wicked-cool retro yellow, orange and white camera strap, a Quantaray 28-80mm lens, Tamron telephoto lens, Vivtar 70-210mm macro lens (which must weigh 15 pounds), a Power Winder that attaches to the bottom of the camera and advances the film automatically, plus an assortment of UV & polarizing filters. Pretty effin’ cool.
The day after I brought it home (sometime in January) I took it for a spin. I couldn’t find the battery compartment (this being the first piece of Canon equipment I’ve ever owned, I wasn’t sure where to look) so I started shooting away with the battery that had been in the chamber since sometime when Ronald Reagan was president. It worked for four frames before it died. Here are a couple of those shots that I got at my friend Tracy’s art studio.
I was pretty elated when I got them back. The light was perfect–just as it appeared in her house. These were shot on Kodak Elite Chrome slide film iso 200. All that time spent playing with a light meter proved to be very helpful.
It took me almost three months to replace the battery but last week on a nice, warm, early spring afternoon I brought it along on a family hike in Cape Henlopen State Park. The results were equally as nice.
Some of the lighting conditions were a little challenging. In the above picture of the rusty bunker door I had to set the shutter speed pretty slow and open up the aperture to get enough light for the slide film. Even still, it had to be lightened just a tad when I scanned it.
Because I was using a longer lens it was a little tough to keep the shot completely in focus, as you can see in these next few pictures.
I don’t think these are terribly out of focus besides, as one who works with toy cameras I enjoy a little fuzziness.
I’ve always wanted to get a shot like this of the road. I got it by just pointing the camera down at the road—didn’t have to bend down or anything.
I’m also proud of these two shots. They’re reflections of reeds in a puddle in the woods.
I can’t wait to develop more film! Right now it’s loaded with some hand-made Revolog film and has the kit lens attached. Hopefully I’ll get those shots developed this week. What a great gift it was to get this camera. After collecting dust for so many years it’s great to get it back in action.