The Canon F-1 is a 35 mm single-lens reflex camera produced by Canon of Japan from March 1971 until the end of 1981.
The “New F-1,” the Refined Version of the Flagship 35mm SLR Camera “F-1″ and production started in 1980.
Canon publicly announced its promise “not to change the basic specifications and functions of the F-1 for 10 years,” and the “F-1,” remained Canon’s flagship 35mm SLR camera throughout 1970s but by the end of the decade it was time for an update.
With the trend to automated cameras with multiple functions based on the computer technology, it was good time for Canon to set to remodeling. During the decade after the introduction of the “F-1,” Canon gathered feedback from professional photographers and other “F-1″ users. There were a tremendous variety of comments, wishes, and applications that the designers could have never imagined. In order to produce a new model representative of the next-generation cameras, this valuable input was given due consideration and combined with the advanced technologies in various fields such as precision optics, precision mechanics, electrical and, electronic engineering and physical optics. The “New F-1,” next-generation high-quality flagship 35mm SLR camera was unveiled in September 1981.
The basic philosophy or concept behind the development of the “New F-1″ was, as in the case of the “F-1,” putting an utmost emphasis on safety and reliability accented by high quality and precision. Following the “F-1″ system, “New F-1″ had even more advanced functions: Selectable AE modes from shutter speed-priority and aperture-priority, depending on the requirements and a hybrid shutter combining both electronic and mechanical mechanism to enable camera operation even without battery power.
The external design was also based on the “F-1″ and kept the dignity as a top-of-the-line camera with state-of-the-art features. It had a palm grip for right-hand holding comfort, which was highly touted on the “A” series cameras. Thus several refinements were introduced in the “New F-1″ to improve the portability and shooting speed. Due consideration was given to the shapes and locations of operational parts such as the shutter dial, shutter button and film advance lever.
These remained similar to those of “F-1″ so that the “F-1″ user could operate the “New F-1″ with a sense of familiarity. Although compatibility with accessories for the “F-1″ was sacrificed due to the necessity to incorporate the latest functions, significant upgrades were made such as five interchangeable viewfinders, 32 focusing screens, a five-frames–per-second motor drive, and a film chamber enabling continuous shooting of 100 frames.