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Light-meter Canon AV-1

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Val B, May 14, 2017.

  1. Val B

    Val B Member


    I just bought my first film camera and it is a Canon AV-1. I was taking some pictures last weekend but noticed that whenever I wanted to take a picture my light-meter would mark the 1000 shutter speed or basically almost touch the overexposure index. The roll I am using is the Fuji Superia 200. I tried changing the F stops but it didn't really seem to help. Do you guys know if there is something wrong with my light-meter or if it's just something I am doing wrong? I am not done with the roll yet so I do not know if the pictures will turn out to be overexposed.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Set the shutter speed to its shortest (1000) and the aperture to the smallest (f/16). Now with the camera switched on and pointed at something low lit indoors the metering needle should show maximum under exposure. If it doesn't there's something wrong with the meter.
  3. Val B

    Val B Member

    Hello Rog,

    Thanks for the reply. I am not sure how to change the shutter speed in this camera. It is an aperture priority camera and I think it changes the shutter speed by itself.[​IMG]
  4. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Well just try moving the aperture control through its range. Does the needle ever move from the highest position? I assume the camera is working?
  5. Val B

    Val B Member

    I focused on a bright spot and changed the aperture but the needle still said overexposed. However, when pointing to a darker area, the needle is no longer in the overexposed mark.
  6. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I am afraid we need rather more information before we can be of any help for example

    What sort of scene were you shooting outdoor / indoor etc.
    What were the lighting conditions? Deep shade / cloudy / sunny etc.
    I think that the AV1 does not pick up the film speed from the cassette but needs it set manually on a dial. That is certainly true on my (very similar) AE1 If that is the case what speed is set?
    The lens will have an aperture control ring, it has no manual option We will need the actual value set on the ring to make any sensible comments

    If you could give us that info we will start commenting sensibly but I am afraid that more questions may be needed
  7. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Another Roger got in whilst I was composing my answer - I will shut up unless specifically asked.
  8. Val B

    Val B Member

    Yes sorry,

    So I tried with an outdoor scene, it is sunny although the sunset will begin in about an hour so not the most sunny it could be. The second time when it was more dark it was inside my room where the natural light is not too much. It is bright enough to see everything in the room but there are shades too. The current film speed is of 200 which I manually set. I changed the aperture from a 2.8 to a 16 and the light meter still marked over exposed in both cases when shooting outside (bright sunlight) and when inside my room (less light and more shadows) I also changed between aperture from 2.8 to 16 but the needle stayed the same for both apertures, although it changed and was no longer over exposed. It seems that natural light or well, it seems that shen shooting outdoors in a sunny day it marks overexposed.

    I am sorry if I don't say everything needed, I am very new to photography and I am still learning...but thanks for the help!

    Does this information help Roger (M)?

    Thanks again!
  9. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Back later,
    dinner is ready.

    Carry on RogerMac :)
  10. Val B

    Val B Member

    Buen provecho Rog!
  11. Val B

    Val B Member

    Is the information above ok or is there anything else I could say?
  12. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Here is a manual http://www.canonfd.org/manuals/av-1.pdf. If the needle is always at the top it could be that the battery test button is sticking. Your photo shows film speed set at 400 not 200.
  13. Val B

    Val B Member

    Thanks Pete,

    I have the manual but thanks. It's not that it's stuck because it does change when the setting is darker or brighter. However when changing aperture in specific scenario, for example my room (shadows), if I change aperture it stays the same. When I am outside for example it tells me it is over exposed but when changing aperture the light meter doesn't change. I know that image says that the light speed is 400. However, that was not my camera and I was just using it to explain the functions the camera has.

    But thanks for the help
  14. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Sounds as if something is wrong then. Indoors it should read low. This time of year 1/1000 @ F8 in sunshine @ISO 200 is possible so it would need F16 to move down to 1/250.
  15. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    First is that picture of the camera (above) yours or a publicity shot? If yours it's a good shot but it does not seem to match your description as it appears to be set to to ASA 400 and f8. Anyway I suggest you make sure the ASA dial is at 200 and the F number at 16 and the check the camera against the "sunny sixteen rule" which states :

    "On a sunny day with ISO 200 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/250.
    • On a sunny day with ISO 400 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/400 or 1/500."
    For more info google "sunny sixteen"

    If on a sunny day the indicated speed is about 1/200 secs you can fiddle around with a wider aperture and check the the speed doubles with each extra stop of aperture. If that's OK put a test roll through it and examine the output..
    If its still all over the place check that you have the correct battery. Have you got a manual? If so check what is needed and if not google "Canon AV1 manual" My AE1 uses silver oxide ones which are still available. If you can find the correct battery the "small battery company" will probably be able to supply/

    Must go now as my wife has lost a necklace - small intrinsic value but high sentimental value and we are turning the house over without luck so far

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