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Canon AE-1 and other dinosaurs

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by caimi, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    A current poll over at DPReview.com - "How old are you? - got me thinking. The majority of those answering the poll are aged 50-59. The second largest group of responders are aged 60-69.

    It reminded me of my very first "serious" camera: the Canon AE-1. It was a wildly popular camera and I bet a lot of those responders aged 50-70 remember owning one. It got us started on this long path to u-43.

    But it troubles me to see that the curve among those answering this poll is clearly comprised of people over 50. When I consider this and I also consider the decline of camera use in favor of cellular phone/cameras, I wonder if it is possible that not only is u-43 in financial trouble but the whole enthusiast camera hobby. When we 50+ camera users "move over", will people taking pictures with their telephones be all that is left?

    Or is it only u-43 users that are older?

    Or is it only DPReview.com readers?

    Or, well, what the hell does this user poll tell us?
     
  2. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Not when there was the OM-2 around! With its TTL flash, off-the-film metering and 30 minute exposure time. None of this shutter priority, breech-lock bayonet business!
     
  3. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Well I'm also in that age group - 53. I would say that there are lots of film SLRs from that generation that stomp all over the Canon AE-1 and which had comparable Auto Exposure features.

    I'd d take any of these: Minolta XD-5 or XD-11, Olympus OM-2n, Nikon FE or FE2, Konica Autoreflex T4 (rare, hard to find in good shape) Canon A-1, MUCH superior to the AE-1.
     
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    hmm... the a1's and ae1's were great camera's for what 35mm was back then. I always liked my grandfathers mamiya 1000 dtl. Simple to use, great set of lenses...
     
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Actually, those Canon's have an achilles heel: Their shutters lose their lubricant and destroy themselves over time. Shortly before they die, they begin to make a wheezing sound known as the A-series squeak. The A-1 seems a bit less susceptible to it than the AE-1s and the others in that series, but all of the A-series can exhibit that problem.
     
  6. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    I guess it's because, at the time, increased demand of the AE-1, and similarly the Pentax ME super and the OM-10, required increased production numbers, leading to all sorts quality issues.
     
  7. ejackso1

    ejackso1 Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 26, 2012
    :43: aside, you don't have to worry about cameras in general dying off in favor of phones.

    I'm 22 years old, and I know a LOT of people my age with DSLRs. When I first started getting into photography a few years ago, I bought a Canon DSLR myself- the 60D. I went that route because the very vast majority of the people I knew who did photography were Canon DSLR users. Some for portrait work, some using long zoom lenses to shoot sports, etc, etc. So that was what prompted me to go with a DSLR.

    I've been moving further and further away from it (my Canon 60D) though. About a year ago I spend a few months playing around with film after I found my Mother's old Nikon FG-20 still working perfectly (even the meter!), which kind of blew my mind. I had a ton of fun with that camera, but being an unemployed student I couldn't keep paying for film and development.

    That's kind of what sparked my move to :43:. The Nikon FG-20 with it's 50mm lens was a lot smaller and easier to carry around than my Canon 60D, which I thought was ridiculous. I have friends with smaller Canon Rebel DSLRs, and they're still more bulky than that old Nikon. As far as technology has come, there has to be a good digital camera that will be more compact than an SLR from the 1980's! Thus I started looking into more compact options and ended up finding :43: and getting a Panasonic GF1.
     
  8. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    35mm was primarily a hobbyist camera back then. Similar to the m43 and aps c camera of today. Sure some people could use them effectively for sports, wildlife, or whatever , but 35mm was inferior to the larger formats. Not really meant to be used for decades on end without care. Look at the churn we go through now with digital bodies. Frankly I have 2 AE1's that still operate just fine, for the 3 rolls I may put through them in a year. A little CLA once a decade, and they run fine. People just need to take care of their stuff. Worst thing that happened.. mirror foam started to break down in the late 90's when I was still using it heavily, it was like a $30 fix.

    ...I should really look at my EF film bodies... Now that I think of it. Haven't opened that can of worms in 4 years.
     
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    It certainly explains why they're so cranky at DPR.

    Steve (55 but mischievous)
     
  10. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Yeah, those Nikon and Canon F-series cameras were really not built to take serious pro use.

    I defy you to find ANY camera in ANY system in any format EVER, that is more durable than a Nikon F. It's the most over-built for purpose camera in the history of photography.
     
  11. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    By the time the AE-1 was released, the breech-lock lens mount was long gone, replaced by Canon's FD bayonet (which was backwardly compatible).

    But I must be even older. My first "serious" camera came long before the AE-1 or any other AE camera. It was a Miranda Sensorex, was was excellent in almost every respect but reliability. It was replaced pretty quickly with a Canon FTb.

    Man, when I think of how many different cameras I've owned.... I may have to sit down and try to list them all, some day.
     
  12. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Seriously? Guess you've never heard of the Nikon F? Or Canon F1? Or any of a dozen other extremely high quality, extremely durable 35mm camera used every day by professionals in just about every form of photography.

    By the time the AE1 was released, MF was close to dead, used for little other than studio shooting, and some on location fashion work.
     
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Well, I'm only 49 - but I still maintain a 30inch waist thanks to being in the military...:biggrin:

    But anyways, I do remember this commercial.....:tongue:

    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3duiNzIoos]Canon AE-1 Camera Commercial 1979 - YouTube[/ame]
     
  14. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    It tells us that in developed countries the economic power is in the hands of older people who can afford to spend money on their hobbies.

    On post-Soviet photographic forums it's exactly the opposite: the vast majority of posters are aged 20-30 with the second largest group being aged 30-40. Because older people there are broke and can barely make a living.
     
  15. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    I'm going to suppose here (I don't know for sure), but I'll bet an age poll would also show that people over 50 are probably more likely to listen to recorded music on an actual piece of stereo audio equipment, and not stream Pandora through their phone on a docking station.
    I'd like to see an age poll for people who subscribe to hard-copy newspaper delivery.
    What age group is going to lead the parlor/board game enthusiast poll?
     
  16. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    It would be depressing to think of the one's I wish I hadn't sold.
     
  17. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I saw some interesting ILCs age demographics for Japan a while back. I was shocked how little penetration there was for ILCs in the under 30s compared to the over 45s. (Still both my children have high end p+s - RX100 and X10 - and given how good they are they are not missing that much.)

    Infotrends which does market research in the US recently said that the average age of a full time male professional photographer is 50 while for a full time female pro it is 41.
     
  18. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I 've had burritos bigger than that :redface:

    The age average is not surprising. Younger folks spend their time and money on other stuff. Putting the kids through college is a real economic watershed for many in the US. It also explains the average age on Harley forums :tongue:
     
  19. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    668
    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Mike
     
  20. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    I've always wondered about the greying of Harley riders. But they would look pretty silly doing handstands on the freeway on a rice rocket.