How to Use the Canon Power Winder A
The Canon Power Winder A is a very simple, very easy to use 2 FPS motor drive for Canon’s manual focus A-series cameras. If you’ve acquired or inherited one, these simple instructions will tell you how to fit and use one with your camera.
Push the catch on the battery pack upwards.
Unclip the battery pack. There’s a small catch right next to the power switch. Push it away from the power switch.
Slide the battery pack off the winder.
Slide off the battery pack. It slides towards the power switch.
Fit four AA batteries.
Fit four AA batteries. Lift the hinged silver cover away first, then fit four batteries in the battery compartment. Press the silver cover back into place.
- Refit your battery back to the winder. This is almost exactly the opposite of removing it; it’ll click right into place.
Use a coin (or a large screwdriver) to remove the winder coupler from the camera.
Remove the winder coupler cover from the camera. This is a small, silver cover on the base of the camera (on the right hand side, if you’re looking at the camera the right way up from the back). Use a coin or a large screwdriver to unscrew it.
The power winder has a compartment to store your winder coupler cover.
Store the winder coupler cover in the power winder. There’s a holder for it on the top of the winder so you don’t lose it. Slide it in as illustrated.
Line up the winder with the camera body.
Line up the winder with the base of the camera. Make sure the tripod socket on the camera and the screw on the winder, the electrical contacts, and the winder couplers are aligned. Gently push the winder onto the base of the camera.
Tighten up the fastening screw in the direction indicated. Don’t over-tighten.
Tighten the fastening screw. The fastening screw is the large, silver knob on the front of the camera. Turn it in the direction illustrated. It only needs to be as tight as your finger can do it; don’t bother using any tools to get it tighter.
- Load a film if you haven’t already, and then put the winder’s power switch to “On”. If the camera is not already wound on, the winder will advance the camera to the next frame.
When your film is finished, a red LED will illuminate on the winder.
Shoot your way through the film. According to Canon’s own literature, the winder will not advance the film to the next frame until you remove your finger from the shutter. Oddly, in practice (on the A-1 and AE-1 at least), it works continuously. Try it on your camera and see what happens.
When you reach the end of your film, the winder will audibly refuse to advance the film any further, and a red LED will illuminate on the winder. The good news for cheapskates is that you can milk as many frames as possible out of a film this way, because it’ll keep going until the film cannot be advanced any further, and (unlike with manual winding) you can’t wind it too far.
The rewind release button on the Power Winder A.
Turn off the winder and rewind the film. Fortunately, the Power Winder A provides a rewind release button. Push it, then rewind your film as normal.
Keep the winder turned off when you’re not using it.
Keep the winder turned off when you’re not using it. Even when not in use, it drains battery power.
- Don’t use this winder unless you really have to, or unless you’re exceptionally lazy. It adds an extra 300 grams (more than half a pound) to your setup. Keep your gear nice and light!
Things You’ll Need
- The Power Winder A and a compatible camera. It should work with all the electronic A-series models, including the AE-1 (and AE-1 Program), A-1 (used here), and the original F-1 as well.
- Four AA batteries. One reputable site warns against using Ni-Cd batteries, so don’t do that. Our example used Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries, which work fine.