Canon EOS-1 First Impressions


Hi everyone, Azriel Knight here and welcome to another episode of Days of Knight, and before I get started I just have one quick little announcement. Two quick little announcements, actually. First, if you haven't seen it, I did an in-depth history on the Nishika N8000. It involves phone call scams, pyramid schemes, fake parts, definitely check that out. And then the second announcement is, uh, something I added to my Discord, actually at the advice of my Patrons, and that was two new channels, one for kind of a film of the month, and the other is sort of a theme of the month, so my Patrons on the discord are shooting a specific film for each month, and they're sharing the results, and they're discussing techniques and developing, and then for a theme of the month, this month's theme is, "Unique Perspective", and however you want to interpret that, that's how they're going to try and present their photos. There are no prizes or anything, just bragging if you get a lot of praise, but, if you join my Patreon at one dollar then you get access to the Discord, and then you'll get access to be able to converse with other Patrons on this film of the month, theme of the month, uh, channel type business.

Today's episode is a very special one and I know I say that every time but this time for serious, uh, today's about the Canon EOS 1 and my first impressions, the EOS 1 was the top of the line model between 1989 and 1994 for the Canon EOS system. It was meant to directly compete with the Nikon F4 and I'm kind of curious to see how it goes. Now I bought mine on eBay and I've already found one issue with it, uh, and that's the viewfinder, the display in the viewfinder is not working properly, so I'm going to try and not let that interfere with my first impressions because obviously, or at least I hope obviously, your Canon EOS 1 will work better. I'll be paying more attention to how it feels in the hand, how the controls feel, switching--switching stuff around, and all that sort of stuff. Uh, but with all that being said, let's get started.

[Intro music]

So here she is, the Canon EOS 1. I bought it with a lens, the 28-105, it looks like 3.5-4.5 II USM, and you know the camera does look to be in really good condition, other than of course the viewfinder. And the thing that I immediately notice is that there is no dial on the top here. You hold down the mode button like a shift key and then dial in whichever uh preset you want, whether it be aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, et cetera. And on the back here, it's a bit more familiar, you've got your back dial, and you can turn that on and off with this switch here, and then you've got your on off mode here, and your film rewind there. I'm shooting in the evening so I'll likely be on shutter priority just to make sure that, you know, I got a nice clean shot. Today I'm going to be shooting with Ultrafine Extreme black-and-white 100, and, uh, I don't know if you've ever heard of this film, it's not a well known film, at least not as well known as Kodak or Ilford, but it's--it's a great film. I've got some really fantastic results from it surprisingly, it's a budget film, so there's that too, and this is only a 24 exposure roll, so I'll definitely have to be more conservative. I'm also going to be possibly shooting with my trusty Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8, this is probably one of my most favorite lenses of all time. I really love wide-angle distortion, and this does a fantastic job in creating larger than life results. I love the way it makes the composition wrap around you when you're close to images, and hopefully it'll offer a "UnIqUe PeRsPeCtIvE". So far I have not loaded this thing with film so if something's gonna go wrong, it's going to happen [sigh] now.

[camera whirrs]

Well, so far so good, it looks like it loaded properly, I cannot wait to take advantage of the weather, it is plus 10 Celsius right now, and it hasn't been like that since the fall. I am really looking forward to getting some fresh air, and yeah, let's get on out there!



[Squirting of Hand Sanitizer]

[Ruffling of Glorious Beard]

That was by far the best outing I've had this year so far. [Laughs] Uh, now I normally park near Chinatown just because I'm familiar with the parking and how long it's, uh, you know, how long I'm allowed to park, and it gives me easy access to downtown, and my plan was to walk downtown, and around downtown. And I, I kind of caught this like patch of sunlight, and I just started basking in it for the moment, I'm like, oh my god, "fresh" sunlight, I haven't had sunlight on my body in what feels months. And I turn around, and I notice that one of my favorite bridges in town, uh, is closed, it says road closed. So immediately I'm like, I am going to shoot the entire roll under this bridge because I've been waiting to get "unIQUe pERspeCtivEz XD" on it for the longest time. So that's what I did and, man, I wish I brought more than one roll with me! And also I was so enrapt in the bridge I barely even though of the camera. I mean I guess that gives some perspective on what the camera is like because if it was being difficult with me, then I'd be able to, you know, I'd be able to tell, it would've interfered with my time. Uh, but I shot on shutter priority the entire time, and you know, it would blink when it would tell me that it's going to be underexposed. And I would dial down until it would stop blinking, and I would continue shooting. There was one time when I shot anyway; I'm actually surprised it let me shoot anyway. Some cameras will, and some cameras won't, this camera let me so there's probably going to be an--an underexposed shot or two, but holy--that was so much fun, and again my only regret is this is the day that I only brought with me a 24 roll. Now I'm really glad though, that I brought with me black-and-white, because I don't think this would've worked out with color whatsoever, and this is definitely a black-and-white scene. I haven't been this excited to develop a roll of film in months, since A Fortknight. I am so stoked, because I feel like there are going to be some serious gems on there. Now that is provided that the camera works because this is a first impressions, and if you're new to the channel, you may not know that in first impressions it's usually the first time that I've shot the camera. [Disconcerted laugh]. So that would be the stinky part if there were light leaks or something like that, um, or some other issue with maybe the lens, I started out with my 16-35 to get those nice wide angle shots and then I moved on to that 28-105, so if the lens is the issue then it won't be for the first roll, except for the first couple of frames my lens was set to manual and that probably means it's going to be out of focus, unless for some lucky reason I was working with the proper distance. Yeah, it's uh, getting on to be rush hour now, so I'm going to hurry on home. I've got dark room dishes to do before I can develop the film, at least I think I do, unless I use the double tank, in which case I can just go ahead, and I might just do that because I am super stoked, but yeah I probably have some darkroom dishes to do before I can get started on this. But the next time you see me, I will be finishing up my development.

Alright folks.

[Water pouring]

[Tank shaking]

It's the moment of truth.

As always, wish me luck.

[Tank opening]


Yeah. I had nothing to worry about.

I think this is gonna be a really great roll guys, I--I can't wait for these to dry, and you don't have to though, here are today's highlights, and my contact sheet.


Well folks, I hope you enjoyed those. My personal opinion is that these are easily the best photos I've taken all year, and possibly among the best shots I've taken since a Fortknight of film last October. Um, and you know it's not easy to go somewhere and find a single subject and waste a whole roll of film on it, and then get so many highlights, so I'm pretty proud of myself. A lot of the time I end up walking around looking for an angle, looking for some interesting subject, and it's tough. And you--you can get frustrated when you're walking around and you're not finding anything, so when you come across something, and--and you know you're just going to be able to, to--to fill the whole roll with this one subject, um, it's, it's a--it's a fantastic find, I--I love bridges, and I also happen to think that what makes a really great photo is access. Some people have access to incredible places, some people have access to incredible people, and having access to something that normally people don't have access to, at least with these kind of angles, it's a treat. It's a special treat and I hope that, I hope that I took advantage enough, um, that I got it out of my system. Uh, if you remember when I was doing a Fortknight of Film, I was trying to find like good shots of this bridge or whatever, and it took a while. I mean it's November, January, February, March, it was five months, took five months for me to finally get the opportunity to get the angles that I really wanted to get the shots that I really wanted. And, yeah, no regrets. I don't think that I could've gotten better shots with one of my main cameras, it uh, you know, I had a good lens at 28-105, that's good range, and then I had my 16-35 that's about all I need. I’m definitely going to be using one of these shots for my next Patreon mail out. Now let's talk about the camera a little bit. The first thing that I want to point out is that one of my shots had a bit of light leakage on it, and it's not a light leakage from the seals, it's actually from the next image over. You can see here that the high exposure in part of the image, it bled into the previous image. So I don't know if that's an issue with the camera or just what happens sometimes, and be sure to let me know in the comments. But it wasn't the greatest thing to find out, because I really like that shot. As far as the handling goes, it feels like--like a Canon, like any other Canon between 1987 and you know, 2010 probably. Uh, but it's beefier. Like the Canon line it hasn't really changed a lot and I say this every time, because it applies every time. The only thing I don't like about the EOS 1 is that it's not a dial on top, it's a shift mode, uh, type deal. As I mentioned before I was in shutter priority, but what I didn't mention is that I used evaluative metering, and it did a fantastic job, um, considering the contrast in light between the outside and underneath bridge, it, you know, it gave more sort of the best of both worlds. I had enough highlights to recover the outside, and I had enough shadow detail to--to bring those up without losing, you know, a lot of detail in there. I was, uh, I--I don't know how well it would handle color film in the same situation, I might want to use a different metering mode, but, you know, overall, I didn't miss out on my exposure. I also mentioned that the EOS 1 gave me a warning, that I was going to be under exposed, and I couldn't even tell you what shot it was, so it couldn't have been that underexposed or it just worked out for the sake of the shot, but it does give you a warning, it'll blink, the aperture will blink, and shutter priority if you're not going to have a proper exposure, and it'll let you shoot anyway, so you should watch out for that. But, yeah, I was so enthralled in that bridge that I didn't really get a chance to think about the camera at the time, and you know out of all the camera companies I'm most familiar with Canon. I shot with a 5D Mark I, I've shot with the Canon 50D, uh, I shot with the Canon 5D Mark II, a Rebel XSi, you know, all those digital SLRs, and you know, it's very similar, and then I've also had an EOS 3, an EOS 5, and a Rebel 2000, and uh, an Elan 2E, as well as the original Elan, so I've really got my bases covered when it comes to Canon, and this one's no different, you're going to notice that it's heavier, you’re going to notice that the advanced drive sounds kind of old, I find that the later models, you know, they're quieter, and you can see that they're still sort of figuring out, you know, their style as far as the top uh, placement of the buttons as I mention, you know the dial, but I'm going to give you a much more in-depth review of this camera in the near future. I plan on doing a full review on my, uh, much requested segment This Old Camera, I've been gathering up, uh, resources and materials I've got ads, I've got reviews, and definitely keep an eye out for that.

That's all for now, I hope you enjoyed this episode, if you did perhaps you'll consider joining me on Patreon. On my Patreon as you saw today I have a Discord, it's incredibly active. You also get things like your name in the credits, early access, free prints, and more. You could also follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and until next time, stay classic.

Transcript By Gabe Waldman