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Author Topic: Older Canon cameras  (Read 5485 times)

charlesa

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Older Canon cameras
« on: January 17, 2013, 01:40:49 AM »
Anyone have experience with vintage Canon camera bodies from the late seventies early eighties era? Have a person trying to sell me a Canon A-1, Canon EX Auto and Canon T-50, all with respective lenses and in working condition film cameras, although he says some have fungus! Is their total worth worth the 200 euro asking price for all three of them seeing they will need cleaning?

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Older Canon cameras
« on: January 17, 2013, 01:40:49 AM »

LDS

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 03:23:14 AM »
Canon A-1 was the top-of-the-line "prosumer" camera in the early '80s, one of the firsts  with both Tv/Av and programmed mode, and digital display in the viewfinder (LEDs, not LCDs...). The T-50 was instead an attempt to make a very entry-level camera, a sort of compact-SLR hybrid, it has only the programmed mode although it can mount any FD lens, and was the first Canon SLR with an embedded film winder (A-1 has a 2fps "winder" and a 5fps "motor" as accessories only) .  The EX is an older model (60s-70s, AFAIK) IIRC it can't take FL/FD lenses but needs its own ones. Of course they can't mount EF lenses.
You can find a lot of information here: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/SLRs/index.htm
Are they worth 200 euro? Depends on the overall conditions, what lenses come with them, and where fungus are and what damage they did, and if you plan to use them, how much restoring will cost. You can check sites like keh.com or ebay to see what are the actual prices for such items.

Mr Bean

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 04:41:55 AM »
Ah, the Canon A-1 (with motor drive). My trusty old work horse from 1980 until 5 years ago. The only thing that played up late in her life was the max stop potentiometer (or something similar named). It's the little pin at the bottom of the mirror box that rests against a pin on the lens. It informs the camera what the max f stop of the lens is. It started to give erratic readings of the f stop. For example, if I put a lens that had a max f stop of 2.8, it might show f4 (when the camera was in Av mode). If I took the lens off, then back on, it would usually correct itself. I took it in to be looked at, but, alas, unlikely to be repaired :(

Anyway, enough of the reminiscing. Something to check at least.
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 04:59:48 AM »
1. Fungus.

Don't buy any camera with fungus.  It's progressive and transfers easy.  It'll eventually kill the gear you buy, and any other gear you have.  Just don't do it.  There's plenty of clean used gear around.

2. FD mount.  Beyond obselete.  May I ask, do you have any current DSLR system?  What is it you want from a film body?  Do you want the joy of using certain film types, do you want the feeling of using a manual camera?
If it's purely for film buy something that is compatable with a DSLR system, this means Canon EOS (excluding IR film), this means Nikon F, Pentax K, or Minolta Dynax / Maxxum.   It's a canon forum, so I would say buy Canon EOS.  All the Canon EOS cameras can support manual exposure, and most EF lenses support manual focus.  Something like an EOS 3 will also let you swap out the focus screen for better use with MF (micro or split prism) and these are cheap just now, apart from being the 2nd best film canons ever made.

If you have a current DSLR system, stick to that.  No point having two sets of lenses.
If you don't have a current DSLR system and want that manual feeling then look at a Nikon FM2 instead, cheapish just now and very solid.  Lovely to use, and the lenses will work on Nikon DSLRs (well the higher spec models at least) if you decide to commit fully to digital in the future Nikon glass will retain some value, FD probably won't, except the collectable esoteric high end stuff.

I can see the point of folk with expensive FD L glass adapting it, I can't see the point of somebody willingly buying into the FD system in this day and age.

3. The actual models you are choosing.  Nope.  A1, great camera, but the shutter is prone to the 'canon cough' and failure.  T50 - piece of crap, made by cosina and ghastly in every way.  If you absolutely must have an FD camera -and I don't think you should- then the T90 is the one to go for.  Plenty clean ones around.

4. The price. No way Jose.  Even in mint condition the sellers having a giraffe. For most film cameras it really is a buyers market.  This gear has a known serious fault.  He should have bother giving it away.

So, key points-

DONT DO IT
IF YOU WANT TO USE FILM BUY FILM EOS (or whatever works with your DSLR system) -unless shooting IR
IF YOU WANT THAT MANUAL FEELING BUY NIKON (or Pentax K)

« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 05:56:07 AM by paul13walnut5 »

nickorando

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 05:54:57 AM »
2. FD mount.  Beyond obselete. 

Although there are cheap converters now available to mount FD lenses on the EOS M. I know, I've got one, and as long as you're happy with manual focus, it's not a bad option - the FD 100mm f2.8 is great on the M, as it's suitably compact and optically pretty decent.

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If you don't have a current DSLR system and want that manual feeling then look at a Nikon FM2 instead, cheapish just now and very solid.  Lovely to use

I absolutely loathed and detested my FM2, one of the nastiest film cameras I've ever used. Quite apart from the irrational Nikon direction of mounting and focusing, it just felt horrid. Incidentally, I loved the FE.

Quote
3. The actual models you are choosing.  Nope.  A1, great camera, but the shutter is prone to the 'canon cough' and failure.

In some cases, but it's easily fixed in most cases, and the A1 is a truly wonderful camera to use.

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T50 - piece of crap

Absolutely.


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[ made by cosina

No, that was the T60.

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and ghastly in every way. 

Absolutely.

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If you absolutely must have an FD camera -and I don't think you should- then the T90 is the one to go for.  Plenty clean ones around.

T90s are much less reliable and more prone to failure than A1s. Great cameras, but the A1 makes a lot more sense.

Quote
4. The price. No way Jose.  Even in mint condition the sellers having a giraffe. For most film cameras it really is a buyers market.  This gear has a known serious fault.

Yup, way overpriced. Even in good condition, that's nearly twice the going rate IMHO - any item with fungus is close to valueless,  although UV light will deactivate fungus, and small amounts can be cleaned (serious fungus can etch the glass) - not worth it with cheap items, though.


Quote
IF YOU WANT THAT MANUAL FEELING BUY NIKON (or Pentax K)

Well that's one point of view, but not one I would completely agree with. I prefer most A series bodies to any Nikon, if only for the mounting and focusing direction issues, with the A1 being an absolute classic and one of the most enjoyable cameras I've ever used.

paul13walnut5

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 06:13:22 AM »

Although there are cheap converters now available to mount FD lenses on the EOS M. I know, I've got one, and as long as you're happy with manual focus, it's not a bad option - the FD 100mm f2.8 is great on the M, as it's suitably compact and optically pretty decent.

Cheap converter.  Cheap optics.  Why bother?  And the user hasn't specified which glass is part of the package.
Does he even have an M?

Quote
I absolutely loathed and detested my FM2, one of the nastiest film cameras I've ever used. Quite apart from the irrational Nikon direction of mounting and focusing, it just felt horrid. Incidentally, I loved the FE.

And yet one of Nikons best selling cameras, through the three main FM incarnations. I actually prefered the FA, rounder, nicer controls.  But the FM2 has a better shutter, and is a more recent camera than the FA, which was has difficult to fix electronics.  I personally loath and detest the awful FD mount, especially the breech lock versions.  And I felt any Canon between the F-1 and the 1v has felt cheap next to equivalent Nikons. And I am a canon guy through and through.

Quote
In some cases, but it's easily fixed in most cases

Yeah, but why buy something that you're probably going to have to get fixed?  The shutter had this problem on 9 out of 10 A1s Av1's and AE1s that I saw in my camera shop days.

Quote
Quote
[ made by cosina

No, that was the T60.

My bad.
Quote
Quote
IF YOU WANT THAT MANUAL FEELING BUY NIKON (or Pentax K)

Well that's one point of view, but not one I would completely agree with. I prefer most A series bodies to any Nikon, if only for the mounting and focusing direction issues, with the A1 being an absolute classic and one of the most enjoyable cameras I've ever used.

It's great this marketplace of ideas.  Yours is also one point of view.  As I'm sure that anybody can read had already worked out.  But thanks.

On reflection, you are right.  The OP should go ahead and buy a bunch of mediocre FD gear that isn't collectable, that requires the use of coke bottle glass adaptors, instead of similar gear which is more compatable and will retain some value.

zim

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 08:38:10 AM »
Wouldn't touch any of that with a barge pole, and I'm still using an F1n

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 08:38:10 AM »

charlesa

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 01:38:12 PM »
So general consensus seems to be ... steer well clear! Although that A1 looks lovely, but with fungus in the picture, that is a no go. Would love to use them at some point, but was looking more at collecting vintage bodies rather than use. What would anyone suggest as a vintage camera, whatever make, which has value as a collectible?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 01:51:01 PM »
What would anyone suggest as a vintage camera, whatever make, which has value as a collectible?

The one Ansel Adams used.   ;)  Seriously, at least judging by the number of people who think they can charge an exhorbitant premium by tagging some camera gear as 'vintage' on Craiglist or eBay, and have to keep listing them week after week, I'd say don't waste your time collecting old cameras for anything other than sentimental value.
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Don Haines

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 04:04:47 PM »
What would anyone suggest as a vintage camera, whatever make, which has value as a collectible?

There are some stunning 4x5 cameras out there is used land....personally, I think that bellows on the camera are cool... but that's just me.....
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pwp

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 04:40:03 PM »
If you have the slightest interest in collectables, pass on this lot. They're common, overpriced and sound like rubbish.
If you have the slightest interest in using a film camera, pass on this lot. Get a good EOS 1V or 1n film body that will take your current glass.

Useless hardware of any description takes up space in your home or studio, and in a subtle way, takes up space in your head. In my work I have been fortunate to photograph very senior artists in their homes and studios. A common thread in the homes of these artists was the beautifully refined simplicity in the way they lived and the way their homes were set up. Nothing surplus, but just about everything that was there was either top shelf design, plain beautiful or practical and useful.

Someone very successful once told me, "don't look around you for inspiration, look above you..." Like the artists I met.

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Mr Bean

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 05:02:02 PM »
If you have the slightest interest in collectibles, pass on this lot. They're common, overpriced and sound like rubbish.
If you have the slightest interest in using a film camera, pass on this lot. Get a good EOS 1V or 1n film body that will take your current glass.
+1.   As much as I loved my A-1, they're a dime a dozen.
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nickorando

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 05:51:27 PM »

Although there are cheap converters now available to mount FD lenses on the EOS M. I know, I've got one, and as long as you're happy with manual focus, it's not a bad option - the FD 100mm f2.8 is great on the M, as it's suitably compact and optically pretty decent.

Cheap converter.  Cheap optics.  Why bother?  And the user hasn't specified which glass is part of the package.
Does he even have an M?

The point I'm making is a general one, that the M makes FD lenses significantly less obsolete than they were before (as do many other compact system cameras that also have FD adaptors). Why? Because the back focus is shorter than the FD mount, so they don't actually need optics - they're simply a tube with mounts at each end, so the only key point is to make the tube the right length. No optical loss, and FD mount lenses are incredibly cheap for the quality - so that's why bother.

Quote
Quote
I absolutely loathed and detested my FM2, one of the nastiest film cameras I've ever used. Quite apart from the irrational Nikon direction of mounting and focusing, it just felt horrid. Incidentally, I loved the FE.

And yet one of Nikons best selling cameras, through the three main FM incarnations. I actually prefered the FA, rounder, nicer controls.  But the FM2 has a better shutter, and is a more recent camera than the FA, which was has difficult to fix electronics.  I personally loath and detest the awful FD mount, especially the breech lock versions.  And I felt any Canon between the F-1 and the 1v has felt cheap next to equivalent Nikons. And I am a canon guy through and through.

Whereas I would say that every* Nikon in that period felt agricultural and nasty compared to all the Canon equivalents - not got many Nikons left, just the F2A and F90X, but i still have one of each F1 model, and I can't honestly see how anyone could honestly say they feel cheaper than the F2 - throw the Photomic prism into the mix, and the Canons are significantly more robust IMHO.

* I certainly grant that the EOS 5 is much cheaper feeling than the F90X, although the EOS is much more usable.

Quote
Quote
In some cases, but it's easily fixed in most cases

Yeah, but why buy something that you're probably going to have to get fixed?  The shutter had this problem on 9 out of 10 A1s Av1's and AE1s that I saw in my camera shop days.

Well none of my A series (I've at least one of each) has the cough - one of my A1s did, but I fixed it myself, it's not hard. Still, I agree that it makes no sense to by an infected one despite that - I only bought it for the lens and motordrive with it, to be honest.

Quote
Quote
[ made by cosina

No, that was the T60.

My bad.
Quote
Quote
IF YOU WANT THAT MANUAL FEELING BUY NIKON (or Pentax K)

Well that's one point of view, but not one I would completely agree with. I prefer most A series bodies to any Nikon, if only for the mounting and focusing direction issues, with the A1 being an absolute classic and one of the most enjoyable cameras I've ever used.

It's great this marketplace of ideas.  Yours is also one point of view.  As I'm sure that anybody can read had already worked out.  But thanks.[/quote]

Yes, it is - and no less valid than yours, and in at least one area, that of FD to EF-M mount converters, better informed.

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On reflection, you are right.  The OP should go ahead and buy a bunch of mediocre FD gear that isn't collectable, that requires the use of coke bottle glass adaptors, instead of similar gear which is more compatable and will retain some value.

Now you're just being silly as well as wrong on the adaptor front. I certainly wouldn't recommend this particular deal, nor a T50 to anyone but a completist collector - it's an appalling camera, and the EX EE isn't exactly that exciting, but an A1 gives such a different experience to any EOS it's well worth a try - as someone else has says, they're certainly cheap enough.

In terms of using film,I personally can't be bothered with a film EOS any more - yes, they're convenient and excellent, but I would rather use digital. My use of film these days is for the experience of using older cameras. A good A1 is incredibly smooth, sounds good and is capable of great results, and doesn't cost the sort of silly money a Nikon FM2 does (comparatively) - that's the flip side of retained value.

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 05:51:27 PM »

trid1977

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 06:22:54 PM »
I've still got my T90 and and F1-N. My son now uses them for school.

paul13walnut5

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 09:39:00 PM »
@nickorado
Quote
in at least one area, that of FD to EF-M mount converters, better informed.


Clever boy.

Did you notice how most of my original reply was asking the OP what their objectives were, what they were using already etc?

The only person talking about the ef-m mount is you, but hey thats cool, get it out there.

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Re: Older Canon cameras
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 09:39:00 PM »