Canon F-1n - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Canon F-1n


Canon Camera Co.


Image of Canon F-1n

f1.4, 50 mm Canon FD SSC, fully automatic iris diaphragm (FAD) to f16. Depth-of-field scale. Breech lock, FD, mount. Serial no. 1361882 .

Focal-plane, speeds 1 - 1/2000, B. Delayed action. X, M flash synchronisation.

Metal body.

36, 24 x 36 mm exposures on 35 mm film held in cassette.

Helical to 0.45 metre.

Reflex viewing through taking lens. Interchangeable roof pentaprism finder. Split-image rangefinder and microprism on focusing screen, shutter speed visible in finder. Instant-return mirror.
Auto-stop on film advance. Film advance lever sets the shutter. Film advance and shutter inter-linked for double and blank exposure prevention.
Coupled CdS through-the-lens (TTL) metering, match needle type, metering at full aperture. ASA 25 - 3200. Switch on camera to select stop-down metering mode, the meter needle in the viewfinder is then aligned to a fixed point.
Mirror lock. Depth-of-field preview facility. Exposure counter. Shutter release lock. Removable back. Removable base plate. Removable focusing screen.

Serial Number:
535910 .


  • f2.8, 24 mm Canon FD SSC, iris diaphragm to f16. Focus to 0.3 metre. Lens cap, rear cap. Serial no. 97141.
  • f3.5, 28 mm Canon FD SC, iris diaphragm to f16. Focus to 0.4 metre. Marked 'O' for automatic iris setting. Rear cap. Serial no. 109420.
  • f2, 35 mm Canon FD SC, iris diaphragm to f16. Focus to 0.3 metre. White face model, marked 'O' for automatic iris setting. Lens cap, rear cap. Serial no. 34087.
  • f2.8, 100 mm Canon FD SSC, iris diaphragm to f22. Focus to 1 metre. Lens cap, rear cap. Serial no. 99988.
  • f2.5, 135 mm Canon FD SSC, iris diaphragm to f22. Focus to 1.5 metre. Built-in lens hood. Lens cap, rear cap. Serial no. 104763.
  • f4, 200 mm Canon FD SSC, iris diaphragm to f22. Focus to 2.5 metre. Built-in lens hood. Lens cap, rear cap. Serial no. 233872.
  • f5.6, 300 mm Canon FD SSC, iris diaphragm to f22. Focus to 3 metre. Built-in lens hood. Lens cap, rear cap. Serial no. 19540.
  • f5.6, 100-200 mm Canon FD SSC, iris diaphragm to f22. Focus to 2.5 metre. Built-in lens hood. Lens cap, rear cap. No depth-of-field scale. Serial no. 203926.
  • Lens Mount Converter P. To attach 42 mm screw-thread lenses. Early blue and white box.
  • Servo EE Finder. Power cord (12v 2E). Pentaprism dust cover. Case.
  • Booster T Finder. Power cord (6v 2b). Pentaprism dust cover. Case.
  • Speed Finder. Pentaprism dust cover. Case.
  • Finder Illuminator F.
  • Focusing Screens - C, F, G, H. Instructions. All in boxes.
  • Eyepiece Magnifier. This screws over the pentaprism eyepiece, the magnifier can flip up for normal viewing. For the Servo EE finder and Booster T finder, where the flip-up magnifier would foul the finder housing, the magnifier can be separated and fitted to a ring that pushes over the finder eyepiece. Instructions. Box.
  • Angle Finder B. This screws over the pentaprism eyepiece and gives a lateraly correct view. With a push-on adapter for other cameras.
  • Eyecup R.
  • Flash Coupler F. Instructions.
  • Power Winder F. Instructions. Box.
  • Motor Drive Unit with Battery Connector MD and Battery Case.
  • Film chamber 250. Instructions.
  • Data Back F. Instructions, case, courtesy labels (alternative labels to stick over the controls). Box.
  • Camera Holder F4.
  • Extension Tube Set M. Comprises 5, 10 and two 20 mm tubes. Instructions, box. Additional M20 Extension Tube. Instructions. Box.
  • Bellows FL. Instructions for bellows and Slide Duplicator.
  • Slide Duplicator 55. Attachment Ring 55 for Duplicator. Attachment Ring 52 for Duplicator. The slide duplicator attaches to the bellows FL. The attachment rings screw onto the lens and are clamped to the duplicator.
  • Macrophoto Coupler FL 55. Macro Hood. Instructions. Box.
  • Manual Diaphragm Adapter. This is used to lock the diaphragm of later, non-silver mount, lenses to manual.
  • Photo Micro Unit F. Instructions. Box.
  • Speedlite 133D A2 Set. Comprises: Flash Unit, Flash-Auto ring. Instructions. Box.
  • Lens hoods: BS 55, BT 55.
  • Lens cap, rear lens cap for 50 mm lens. Cable release. Instruction book. Ever-ready case.

This was the top-of-the-range single-lens reflex from Canon designed to compete with the Nikon. First produced in 1971, a second version was introduced in 1976, usually called the F-1n. This has minor improvements over the 1971 version - film speed setting to 3200, film memo holder on the camera back, plastic tip to film advance lever. In 1981 a new and quite different camera was introduced called the New F-1. The F-1 is a system camera with a large range of accessories.

Some Accessories

Servo EE Finder
Provides automatic, shutter priority, metering. The Server EE unit replaces the standard pentaprism, a linkage arm connects between the finder and the aperture lever in the camera throat which in turn couples to the aperture signal lever of the FD lenses (see diagram below); the finder passes the correct aperture setting to use by moving the aperture lever. The Servo EE finder has two CdS photocells situated either side of the eyepiece providing a centre-weighted full-screen measurement. The view-finder shows the shutter speed selected and a needle moving over an aperture scale.

The Servo EE is most suited to unmanned operation in conjunction with a motor drive, an eyepiece shutter is used when in this mode.

The unit is operated by a main switch and a lever switch: with the main switch at 'off' a reading can be taken by depressing the lever, the aperture to be used is fixed when the lever is released; moving the main switch to the L position depresses the lever and continuous reading and setting of the aperture takes place; with the main switch set to M the EE circuit is disconnected and the aperture can be set manually (for instance a reading could be taken by depressing the lever switch, adjusted due to external factors, and the aperture set manually). The M setting is also used when attaching the Servo EE arm to the camera. The maximum aperture of the lens has to be set on the meter. The Serve EE is powered by an external battery pack.

Booster T Finder
Provides meter readings down to 60 seconds and utilises a built-in mechanism to time the exposure. The meter range for 100 ASA is EV -3.5 (f1.2 at 15 sec.) to EV 10 (f22 at 1/2 sec.). The Booster T finder has two CdS photocells situated either side of the eyepiece providing full-screen measurement.

The unit has two shutter speed scales, orange, for exposures of 60 - 3 seconds and white for speeds of 1 - 1/60 second. The Booster T meter is in operation for speeds on the orange scale only, the unit switches to the camera's own meter when speeds on the white scale are selected. Readings by the Booster T meter are taken in stopped-down mode, a window on the top of the unit displays the meter needle. An eyepiece shutter is fitted and this has to be set to closed while taking a reading to prevent light entering through the eye-piece. When higher speeds are selected from the white scale, and the meter in the camera is used, normal open-aperture metering is used with the meter needle and pointer visible in the view-finder. An external power source was recommended at low temperatures.

Speed Finder
This can be used as an eye-level or waist-level finder, the important feature of the finder is that the eye point is 60 mm from the eyepiece making it ideal for use when wearing glasses or goggles or tracking movement.

Finder Illuminator F
This is a small battery-powered lamp that fits over the finder illumination window to facilitate reading viewfinder information in low light.

Flash Coupler F
Provides a 'hot shoe' flash fitting. It fits underneath the rewind knob and over the eye-piece of the standard pentaprism

Motor Drive Unit
This has settings for single-shot (motorised film transport) and continuous shooting at speeds of 3 or 2 frames per second or one exposure every 1, 2, 5, 10 or 60 seconds. Power is supplied by the Battery Case and Battery Connector MD. Remote operation was provided by the Remote Switch MD.

Power Winder F
This is a motorised winder for single exposures or continuous exposures at 2 frames per second. There are two release buttons for vertical or horizontal operation.

Film chamber 250
This is an accessory back holding light-tight cassettes for 250 exposures. It is for use in conjunction with a motor drive unit. With two cassettes.

Data Back F
This is a data imprinting device that replaces the standard camera back. The data, typically day, month and year, is set on three dials and printed optically by a lamp. The printing is either automatic, on releasing the shutter, or manually controlled.

From this period FD lenses were fitted with a breech lock (recognisable by the bright ring at the rear of the lens), later FD lenses (intr. 1979) used a compatible bayonet fitting. Early lenses have a chrome rim to accept bayonet fitting accessories (sometimes known as 'white face'), later this was blackened. On the diaphragm ring the automatic (Servo EE) setting was shown as O or, on slightly later models, A, lenses with an O do not have an AE lock button.

Bellows FL
These comprise a front and rear standard that move independently along a bar. On the underside of the bar is a movable tripod attachment. The standards and tripod attachment move by rack and pinion and can be locked in place. The bellows provide extensions between 34.5 and 142.5 mm. A removable scale showing magnification and extension can be fitted between the front and rear standards. The automatic diaphragm of FD lenses operate with the bellows; two rods run along the top of the bar, a trigger on the side of the front standard turns the rods to the set position, an arm in the throat of the rear standard is moved by the diaphragm release lever in the camera which turns the rods to the released position, this moves a corresponding arm in the front standard which connects to the lens.

Macrophoto Coupler FL
This is a reversing ring, allowing the lens to be mounted on the camera and other accessories in reverse, combined with a variable extension tube. The total extension provided is dependent on the lens in use, the helicoid movement in the coupler is 13 mm. A lens hood is included in the set, this serves to protect the lens and to free the aperture setting of the lens.

Photo Micro Unit F
  • Outer Hood Barrel, attaches to the camera lens-mount and to the Inner Barrel.
  • Inner Barrel, clamps to the microscope and holds the eyepiece or Shade Barrel.
  • Shade Barrel, replaces the microscope eyepiece if that is not to be used.
  • Clamp Ring, fixes the draw tube of the microscope at the correct height (not always required).
The unit pre-dates the F-1. It attaches cameras such as the Canon FT QL, Pellix QL, Pellix, FX, FP and F-1, to a microscope having a standard 25 mm outer diameter eyepiece tube. It can be used in two modes - with or without the microscope eyepiece.

Canon Auto Tuning (CAT)
CAT is the name given to Canon's semi-automatic flash setting system, the meter needle in the viewfinder is positioned dependent on the charge in the flashgun's capacitor and the focusing distance set on the lens, the user then alters the diaphragm to align the pointer in the view-finder with the meter needle in the normal way. A ring (Flash-Auto Ring A or B) fits to the front of the lens and is connected by a cable to the flash unit. The Flash-Auto Ring connects to a notch in the filter bayonet and to a stud on the barrel, these move relative to each other as the lens is focused. Only a few lenses were able to be used - f1.4 50 mm, f1.8 50 mm, f2 35 mm and f3.5 35 mm. Only the Speedlight 133D could be used.

Operating Points

Metering in the camera
The focusing screen incorporates a beam splitter in the condenser to deflect light to the meter cell which is at the back of the camera in a position optically equivalent to the film plane. The light is taken from a 12 x 8 mm rectangle in the centre of the screen which is seen as a darkened area in the view-finder. This gives a narrow-angle type of metering, as the focusing screen usually includes a microprism or similar in the centre of the screen and the condenser with beam splitter lies above the screen itself, there is probably a slight centre-weighting over the metering area. The meter sensitivity and coupling range for 100 ASA is EV 2.5 (f1.2 at 1/4 sec.) to EV 18 (f11 at 1/2000 sec.).

Stop-down Metering
Non-FD lenses can be used with the F-1 but the exposure meter would need to be switched to stop-down mode. To set this on the camera the small lever below the delayed-action lever is turned to the position marked L and the delayed-action lever is moved clockwise until it locks. Stopped-down metering is also necessary when manual accessories such as bellows and tubes are used, in this case an FD lens will also need to be switched to manual.

Depth-of-field Preview
Slight movement of the delayed-action lever clockwise provides a depth-of-field preview.

Mirror Lock
This is set on the camera by moving the small lever below the delayed-action lever to the position marked L, moving the delayed-action lever clockwise without locking it and then moving the lower lever to the position M.

Manual Diaphragm Mode
Lenses can be switched to manual when they are used with non-automatic tubes or bellows, to do this the Automatic Aperture Lever is pushed anti-clockwise until it locks.

The image, far right, shows a Canon FD mount. Full Aperture Signal Pin - indicates the lens's maximum aperture. Aperture Signal Lever - indicates to the camera the value set on the aperture scale. Automatic Aperture Lever - sets the aperture to the pre-set value. AE Switch Pin - Indicates whether the lens is set to Automatic. Positioning Pin - Aligns the lens to the camera body.

References & Notes:
Crawley, Canon F-1.

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