I’m really only comfortable shooting 35mm film with manual exposure. It’s just the way I learned, it gives me the most creative control, and it actually feels faster and more natural to me.
But I recently picked up a ridiculously cheap old Canon A-1 and invested a little time and love to cure it of a sticky mirror and the notorious “Canon cough.” As a result, I now have a brand new sentimental attachment to a classic camera that’s one of Canon’s first SLRs to feature aperture priority and shutter priority exposure.
So I’ve taken this turn of events as a challenge to try shooting a few rolls on this camera with automatic exposure. It’s still weird for me! Still takes me longer than shooting with manual exposure on an old Canon FTb! But I like the feel of the A-1, I’m intrigued by the possibility of getting comfortable enough with this that it actually speeds up some of my shooting, and I like some of the results, like the image above of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at dusk.
Canon A-1, Canon nFD 28mm f2.8, Kodak Tri-X 400 (expired in 2020), developed with Arista Premium Liquid Film Developer.