Daniel Owens Photography

Tiffany, The Canon AE-1 Program With Retro For Everyone

CamerasDaniel OwensComment

Black and silver are so in right now. 

Ah, Tiffany. She was my first... 35mm camera that is. Originally introduced in 1981, the AE-1 Program was stylish and performance-enhanced refresh to the original Canon AE-1. The "Program" refers to the technology Canon released that allows the camera to function completely automatically when determining the exposure. For those who aren't exactly technically savvy when it comes to cameras, there are three basic components that go into making a picture; aperture, shutter speed, and ISO/ASA. For most cameras before this point, you had to have a good idea on how to make these three variables play together nicely in order to make a decent picture. Aperture controls how much light you'd like to reach your film, shutter speed determines how long you'd like the light to stay there, and ISO or ASA is the sensitivity to that light. Sound complicated? Well, imagine how the guy who invented the first SLR camera must have felt.

View from the top. From left to right; Red shutter release, shutter speed dial aperture wheel on the lens, and ASA wheel/film rewind at the end. 

Now, thanks to Canon and their newfangled technology, you could literally point and shoot. And believe me, people loved every minute of it. Ken Rockwell to this day still describes the AE-1 Program as the "highpoint in all photography's history." All photographic history people. That's a lot of history. While some may disagree with that statement, the Program was a tremendously popular camera and continues to be a favorite of pros and amateurs today. Remember when we talked about TLR's? Well, the ol' Prog' is an SLRor single lens reflex camera. She focuses a single lens manually through whats called a pentaprism on the top of the camera. This type of camera also shoots film, like the Lubitel 2, but a much smaller format of film called 135 or, as its more commonly known, 35mm. The best part is that 35mm film is still pretty easy to find around town. If you're in the market for a good, clean camera that will keep you warm at night, I would highly suggest you pick one of these lovely cameras up.