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Canon Prima AS-1
France Version française
Photos by EC text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Eric Carlhan. Last update 2020-08-17 par Sylvain Halgand.

Manufactured or assembled in Japan from 1994 to 2005.
Index of rarity in France: Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 10550

See the complete technical specifications
Chronology of cameras Canon 

Traduction de Manuel M

While issuing this small camera, to the false-look of Nikonos, Canon came to confront itself with Minolta Weathermatic, Konica Mermaid and Nikon Awaf, all brought by a market now on deprived of the Baroudeur of Fuji.

The use of this compact is easily, because it is entirely automatic. The Autofocus system is controlled by three infra-red beams out of 415 steps. The exposure is automatic. It decides only recourse to the flash, as soon as the couple luminosity/sensiblity imposes a speed lower than the 1/30 of second.

The use under water does not allow the use of the autofocus system, because the red (of the infra-red) is absorbed by water. There is thus an automatic commutation in fixfocus from 1 to 3 meters. Of 45 cm with 1 meter, it is necessary to maintain the selector in fronting, to do in macro mode.

This camera is given like waterproof up to 5 meters of depth. It is also floating, which makes it possible to find it even if you let it drop.

The loading of film is automatic with advance with the first exposure. Advances and rewinding are also automatic.
Price: 1650 francs in 1994.

Here a presentation of optics by the team of Phot' Argus, in April 1994.

Optics consists of a convergent triplet of a focal distance of 32 mm opening with f/3,5. The shutter (being used at the same time as diaphragm) is located behind, separated from the darkroom by a blade with parallel faces supposed to protect it from the foreign items (water or sand) being able to destroy it. A meniscus with parallel faces followed of a blade with parallel faces, are in first analysis charged to protect them with the front one. But it is not their only role; indeed, plunged in water the face before meniscus (of a radius of curvature equal to 0.37 m) becomes a convergent diopter of a focal distance purpose of 1.5 M. It’s a little as if a convergent add-on lens were placed in front of the lens. The lens becomes short-sighted then: an subject placed in water to 1.5 m of the camera is seen by the optical triplet as being ad infinitum, and its image will be focused on the focal level image of the lens. This situation providentially comes to compensate the default of the auto-focus system since this last does not see anything in water (infra-reds being absorbed) the mechanics which it is supposed to order at rests i.e. is then regulated for the infinite one. In this configuration, and taking into account the depth of field with f/8, any subject located in water between 1 and 3 m will be sharp. In atmospheric photography, the two faces of the meniscus being parallel, this last thus does not modify of anything the vergency of the system.
The second blade serves as double glazing to avoid the formation of mist on the inner face of the front meniscus, at the time of the transition of a hot and wet atmosphere (a swimming pool for example) to cold. We tried out it, that worked well for the camera.
 

Canon Prima AS-1