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AE-1 vs AE-1 PROGRAM

David Lyga , Jul 16, 2007; 05:59 p.m.

I once read on a responsible forum (maybe this one) that the AE-1 was more reliable and less prone to die than the more complex AE-1 PROGRAM. True? I bought a cheap AE-1 PROGRAM and when I press the shutter lightly the viewfinder exposure information reads properly, but when the shutter button is further pressed, instead of taking the exposure, the viewfinder leds just turn off and the camera dies. $10 is not much to lose, especially now that I have a 'parts' camera, but comments might interesting to glean from. Thanks.

Responses

Joe Nash , Jul 16, 2007; 08:56 p.m.

Send it to www.garryscamera.com and he will do a great job for around 50 bucks. So then you will just have 60 invested. If it is not fixable, he will tell you so. He has done a AE-1p and A-1 for me, and no complaints.

Mark Wahlster , Jul 16, 2007; 11:11 p.m.

I have owned many AE-1's (bought my first one a couple months after they came out in 1976 And a BUNCH of AE-1P's I currently have two of both.

The AE-1 is inherently weaker then the Program in it's use of a Tungsten cable and some pulleys to transfer shutter speed info to the meter. The AE-1P has a brighter screen an interchangeable screen (mess the AE-1 screen up and you have to tear the whole camera apart to replace it. With the Program pop the bad screen out pop a new screen in. They use the same shutter.

Off hand except for the easy to change shutter speed dial (which many people don't like) I can't think of a single advantage the AE-1 has over the AE-1P. The electronics in the P are more advanced (the AE-1 had to the best of my knowledge no less then 4 upgrades in this area as newer systems were developed.

Not sure what you expected from a $10.00 camera that sold for over $200.00 body only when new 25+ years ago.

What would you expect from a $200.00 1982 Chevy Celebrity that had never been serviced.

richard oleson , Jul 16, 2007; 11:28 p.m.

I agree with Mark; where there are differences, the AE1P wins.

chris thomson , Jul 17, 2007; 12:01 p.m.

Just wondering if you put a fresh battery in it.

Peter Galuszewski , Jul 17, 2007; 01:08 p.m.

The nomenclature is actually quite misleading - the AE1 "P" is more closely related to the A1 than it is to the AE1. It wold have been more apt to call it A1jr in humble opinion. Still, I really don`t think you will lose much in the way of reliability if any compared to the AE1. Both good cameras, but if I was to spend my money, I would buy an AE1P - and I actually own the regular AE1.

James Lai , Jul 17, 2007; 03:07 p.m.

What Chris said, try a new battery.

Jeffrey E , Jul 20, 2007; 03:07 p.m.

All of the above, but I think I may know where your question came from.

The AE-1 did not have any plastic in it, all the gears and so on were metal such as brass and steel. When they made the AE-1P, some of the innards were made of plastic or some other manmade material. (This is according to Tomassay (sp) the repair guru). In theory then the AE-1 is a more sturdy camera. But that's theory only. I have one of each and both are as rock solid as one could wish. I understand that teh A-1 and the older F series were more brick like, but they were higher end cameras.

Mark Wahlster , Jul 20, 2007; 03:41 p.m.

Tomassay (sp) the repair guru Is full of crap

I have an early AE-1 sitting right here in my hands mostly taken a part trying to fix that dang tungsten cable that broke. And Just in the top section of the camera I see two nylon gears a black plastic gear in the shutter spd assembly.In the bottom of the two models I see one gear and some lever all appear to be made on metal certainly all connected with winding.

Remember the AE-1P should actually be designed stouter due to it being designed to work with the MA motor drive at 4-4.5fps while the AE-1 was only designed to handle the single frame advance Winder A.

Plain and simple the AE-1P is a better more advanced camera then the AE-1. I say this after 30 years inexperience with them.

Jeffrey E , Jul 24, 2007; 12:50 p.m.

Well there you have it. Proof that one shouldn't believer everything one reads, and contrary to what I thought, the AE1-P is the better camera. I'm not surprised I guess, I've always liked it better: the removable focus screen and the lit-up meter has been a boon for me.

Happily neither of my AE cameras have given me a lick of trouble. I'm particularly happy given that I don't have the skill to do any repair. Mark, I admire you trying to fix the cable good luck with it.

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