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February 17, 2013
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Canon AT-1 random question.

:iconproject-firefly:
Project-Firefly Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Recently purchased a Canon AT-1 from Ebay, it was bundled with a few other things in one posting.

I'm wondering why this camera seems to be harder to come across on Ebay than others like the AE-1 or the A-1? Compared to those two models, is this a good enough camera or one that's not worth looking at?
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:iconcantsing:
CantSing Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I think the AT-1's aren't as common because they weren't as popular and didn't get imported as much. The AV and AE models were much more consumer friendly, so the AT just wasn't in that much demand.
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:iconfallisphoto:
The AT-1s also had a well-earned reputation for breaking down. Most of the ones that did somehow manage to survive got junked and stripped for parts.
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:iconfallisphoto:
It was Canon's purely manual SLR. Ordinarily, this would not be a drawback. Nikon's FM2 and Pentax's Spotmatics and K100s are purely manual and are still in some demand; unfortunately, the AT-1 wasn't built to the same standard as the AE-1 and A-1 and had a bad reputation for breaking down. Canon didn't sell many of them, because of their reputation for unreliability and many of the ones they did sell broke down and were discarded; that's why there are not as many surviving examples of them as there are of the much more reliable AE-1s and A-1s (initial numbers and attrition).
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:iconproject-firefly:
Project-Firefly Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Ah right thanks for that info :) Hmm, if there's not many around I may just hold on to it instead of trying to sell it on.

Incidentally would you have any knowledge on the RC (one of which was called the Q-pic) range. The cameras they brought out in the late 80's early 90's that took video stills and saved them onto floppy disk? I've only ever seen two of these on Ebay, one of the higher end SLR types and the RC-250.
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:iconfallisphoto:
Missed the part about you holding onto it, apparently due to rarity. If you are thinking it is going to become a valuable collector's item, well, I kind of doubt it. It's a matter of supply and demand. Even though there are not that many of them, the demand is pretty low (mostly because of their poor reputation for reliability) and so supply exceeds demand by a good bit. If you are looking for something as an investment, you need to be looking at things that have a reputation for excellence and that people are still using. If they use them, they wear out and become more scarce; this drives up the value. Speed Graphics would be a good example.
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:iconproject-firefly:
Project-Firefly Feb 21, 2013  Student General Artist
Ahaa, no that's not why i'm holding onto it but thank you for the advice :) Myself and my then girlfriend looked into buying and selling vintage/old/sought after/whatever cameras a few years back but never really got into it apart from the odd one or two. Sometimes it worked out favourably, other times? Well, lets just say I didn't cut down on my over-time at work haha!
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:iconfallisphoto:
If you want to make any money on old cameras, pretty much the only way to make any real money is by restoring them and repairing them. Even then, you have to know which cameras to buy and which to pass up. There are only a handfull of SLRs that are worth doing this with; most of the ones in demand are rangefinders and antiques. Then you have to know which ones to restore, because sometimes a full restoration will decrease the value. It takes some study.
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:iconproject-firefly:
Project-Firefly Feb 22, 2013  Student General Artist
That is something I have noticed in the past that a full restoration, not just camera's, will decrease the value.

I do enjoy shooting film so now I tend to buy things to use rather than sell on. The main reason I bid on the AT/AE-1 bundle was because they came with a flash, 4 lenses, a 2x teleconverter, powerwinder and a couple of other things which I can get the use out of....for 52 I think I've done not too bad this time but in future I be sure to do more homework before committing to anything.
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:iconfallisphoto:
"That is something I have noticed in the past that a full restoration, not just camera's, will decrease the value."

Not always. I generally start with cameras that are in pretty bad shape and that either don't work at all or that don't quite work right. For example, this Kodak Retina [link] was missing leather, the shutter would take almost four seconds to trip when it was set for 1 second (when it would trip at all), it was filthy, there was fungus on the lens, and I was able to pick it up for about $10. This is the same camera: [link] It is now worth about $150, has new leather, new paint, has been cleaned, relubed, and adjusted, the 1 second shutter speed is exactly 1 second and the other shutter speeds are dead on. Everything has been polished and shined (when appropriate) and it is immaculate. It probably looks and works better now than it did when it was new.

Of course a mint Retina would be worth more, but the one in my example didn't start off as anything close to mint and the value increased due to the restoration.

"I do enjoy shooting film so now I tend to buy things to use rather than sell on."

I do both. I have a personal collection, I fix them for resale, and people send me their cameras to work on. I am very good at it. About 5 years ago, I did about 15 classic restorations for a museum. I can do them up pretty much any way a customer wants them though, and they don't always want it done classically. [link] [link]

"The main reason I bid on the AT/AE-1 bundle was because they came with a flash, 4 lenses, a 2x teleconverter, powerwinder and a couple of other things which I can get the use out of....for 52 I think I've done not too bad this time but in future I be sure to do more homework before committing to anything."

That's a pretty good deal, especially with four lenses, but I would have preferred an A-1 to the AT-1. If it was me, that's the next camera I'd be looking for. I'd probably assemble cased kits for each of them. I'd get something like this: [link]
and put a camera, a motor drive, a flash, a generic slave, some filters, a couple of lenses, a spare battery and a hood in it and sell each kit for around $250 - $300. Everything but the case, battery, lens hoods and slaves would be used/restored, would cost very little but effort and I would still be giving my customers quite a lot of bang for their bucks, especially considering that anything else like this that they buy is almost certainly going to need new seals and a $100 to $150 CLA (clean, lube and adjust) before they can use it. These you could just take out of the cases and start using, guaranteed.
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:iconeyeballman:
I have no experience with the Canon, but I did use a Sony Mavica - which worked using direct video frame-grab onto 1.4Mb floppy. Yes, I'm old...

What did you want to know?
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