i have a canon ae-1 with a sears 80-200 zoom lens 1:4.0 and i use it mostly for sports pix of my kids. i have used 400 and 800 speed film and i get very grainy pictures. and suggestions? i am a novice, so keep it simple please.
Grainy photos will be caused by high speed film (the 800) and underexposure will aggravate the situation. The Sears lens is not a high end lens and as such is probabbly a bit slow (small maximum aperture, like f-5.6-f-8) depending on the zoom magnification you choose. The new high speed films are quite good, so I'm going to guess on underexposure. Try setting your camera to a lower ASA with the dial. I'd start with ASA 320 with the 400 and see what happens. You might need to go as low as ASA 200 to trick the camera into a better exposure, but start with the 320. I'll stay away from light metering as it gets pretty involved, but I will mention that if the scene is bright, the subject matter ( your kids) will be underexposed with the in camera meter.