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September 4, 2013 / Gregory Williams

A Closer Look at the AE-1

A day or two after my sister in law sent me this camera I had it loaded with film and sitting on my desk at work.

A fellow engineer stopped by my cubical and upon noticing the camera said something like, “In 1979 I had a Canon AE! My dad loved it. So I got him one and he used that camera, probably until it stopped working.”

It’s funny how much something like a camera can mean to people. They really light up, and this wasn’t the first time I’d gotten a reaction from a camera on my desk.

The girl has her dad’s Pentax after all, and the teenager has my old Canon. My friend back in Chicago has fond memories of his grandmother’s Rollei, and on it goes.

I don’t remember the AE-1 from my childhood. I was three in 1979, and my old man was a 110 kind of guy besides.

That said, with just a few exposures left on the second test roll, I can see why it was so popular in its day, and is popular now among film enthusiasts.

The location of the battery compartment surprised me since I’m mostly familiar with older Canon SLRs.

A for Auto, L for Lock, and S for Self Timer.

The AE-1 is compatible with an auto-winder.


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