Canon EOS-1N

The Canon EOS 1N used to be Canons flagship Film SLR. And it certainly has the weight and size to back that up. It was current from 1994-2000. By that time film cameras had got pretty sophisticated, Auto film load and rewind, Auto Focus and programme modes. And indeed handling it is pretty much like using a current DSLR, with all the advantages, but with the drawback that it is big and heavy. I decided to buy it, firstly because it was incredibly cheap at just under £200 on ebay and secondly because I often want a film camera that is as fast and responsive as a current digital offering. 

And in terms of shooting with film, it does make life easier. It has nowhere near as many AF points as current cameras It has 5!!) but focusing is fast, accurate and responsive. It has many features that I won't ever use, but it is a delight to use and I won't ever suffer from 'camera envy' carrying this thing around! And again I do sometimes enjoy that. Much as I like using small(er) cameras, usually mirrorless digital, there's nothing like using a 'macho' camera from time to time. And while it's certainly not discreet or unobtrusive, it does usually mean that people don't walk in front of me while I'm taking a picture. And you can't miss that I've taken the shot because it makes an almighty clunk when I press the shutter. So how does it perform?

In terms of image quality, that's more to do with the film I use, processing and scanning options than anything the camera and lenses produce. However, having said that I've got some pretty good results from my EF lenses, usually from ISO 200 colour negative film. I do use the 28-135mm IS zoom a lot and that works well. This was after all a lens designed for film. And as far as I am aware it is still a current Canon lens. It is quite a slow lens, but this is enhanced by Canons superb lens IS, in my opinion still the best out there and capable of the same results that many of the new combined lens / body IS setups in mirrorless cameras produce.

So all in all it's a cameraI I enjoy using, though not all the time, because of the weight. I have just bought a 500N film camera so that I can use my lenses on a lighter body. That cost me an almost unbelievable £15 on ebay.