Canon FD recommendation

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Alan W, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    A question for the Canon Brigade.i've got some Canon fl/fd lenses that I love to use-35mm f2,55mm f1.2 but I'm running out of luck with meters on the AE1 and the AE1 program-both of them are way off.I've got an A1 with a slow mirror.I had a t90 that developed the EE shutter problem.I still have,and use an FT-but that meter is unreliable too.Here's the question-Did Canon make a camera that lasts?How good/reliable is the F1?I'm looking for something with a decent meter that doesn't take exotic,rare batteries-one that some Canon users here could swear by and not swear at:sad:Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Are you sure the AE1 meter really is wrong? Metered manual on that camera is decidedly peculiar and can look like a misbehaving meter. As far as I know, it's unusual for those meters to get out of whack without actually being dead.

    -NT
     
  3. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    The only way to get "sunny 16" yesterday-in full sun- for 400 speed film,on the meter was to set the iso to 50.Then it showed 1/500 sec @f16!I changed the battery and still the same thing.
     
  4. blockend

    blockend Member

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    There's a guy who fixes Canons cheaply, but he's in the UK. Meters are something I've never had trouble with on a Canon. I have most models but my recommendation would be an AT-1, full manual metering with readily available batteries.
     
  5. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Subscriber

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    Ken Oikawa, is a very reputable technician... although the only way of contact is to call and leave a message... he fixed the slow mirror rise on a pristine f-1N (sticky from no use! and replaced all the seals)... and yeah, the feeling of an f-1 over an a-1 (my previous and much loved first film camera) is quite considerable... but whether it's better, as they say, whatever it gets you to photograph is best...

    a quick search should bring his name up, but i'll look for the receipt he included, for a phone number as i don't have it on hand.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Any camera requires service occasionally just as part of normal maintenance, but I bought my New F-1 new sometime around 1982, and it's been running well ever since. I used to send it for a regular CLA every few years when it was my only camera, but as I've been using other formats more, I haven't had it serviced in maybe 15 years, and it's been fine when I've needed it.
     
  7. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    Thanks for the suggestions,everyone.Like a lot of people here I really don't need another camera,but you know how it is.I suppose I could sell the lenses to people who shoot flowers with adapters for their DSLR's.
     
  8. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    I have been thru the same experience than you - meters, squeak and EEE error with several Canon FD bodies - and I think that these bodies don't get old well. That is why I decided to get rid of this equipment. But I cannot offer any commentaries on the F-1 because I have never used this one.

    Another reason why this system got on my nerves are the batteries required to work with the bodies. They are expensive in comparison with other systems. If Canon would have designed a Canon FD body strictly mechanical - as Nikon and Pentax did - I would have stayed with it.
     
  9. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    If you are happy with the FT, I suggest you sue a hand-held meter for the best exposures.

    The Canon T70 is an underrated body. It takes AA batteries, has a nice bright screen, and no shutter squeak problems.
    The drive-train can get gummed up, though, so first thing to do if you get one is to run a roll of film all the way to the end. (If the drive is gummed up, it will think the roll is ended prematurely and rewind)

    Also look for a canon EF.

    Regarding the A-series.. i believe you can use a stack of LR44 button cells for the battery. They are cheap, you can get a pack of 8 from the dollar tree store for well a dollar.

    The FT, FTb, F1, and F1n are pretty much the top of the line as far as canon goes.
     
  10. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    How odd! Just yesterday I recieved a pair of FD bodies and remarked inwardly how well the AE-1 Program and T-70 work despite their being 25-30 years old. I have a good number of FD bodies and they've all been CLA'd so I know they work and work well. I don't have any fear using them. It may be you just have a bad run of luck with them. The T-90 is indeed a piece of junk though; a tech told me even brand new these beasts displayed the EE error.

    Shot yesterday with an AE-1 Program...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    If you don't need interchangeable focusing screens then an FTbN should be fine. They are all old so get it serviced and you should be able to get plenty of use out of it. It has 12 degree metering. You point the center (shaded area) to a mid tone and then recompose and shoot. The meter is accurate and it's easy to know what you are metering off of.
     
  12. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    Check out the TX, it's a stripped down FTB (less to go wrong) and has match needle metering which is the only thing the battery powers.
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    All Canon FD cameras are good. The F-1 is great. Sound like yours need some CLA, after that you will love them!

    Jeff
     
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  15. Noah B

    Noah B Member

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    Over the summer I shot with a TX, then moved up to the FTB. I love it because it feels like a tank and the needle metering is really nice to have. If you don't want it you can just pop out the battery and go all manual. The 50mm f/1.4 lens is terrific and incredibly sharp. I think you also get 94% or 96% viewfinder coverage which is nice, it's like viewing a big screen movie.
     
  16. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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    I am happy with my canon EF. Uses px13 batteries, but voltage regulated so alkalines work great. The meter view makes it act like it is program shift instead of shutter priority because both shutter and aperture are visible. slow times are electronic, so no escapements!
     
  17. Charles Wass

    Charles Wass Subscriber

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    The F1, F1n, FTb, TLb and TX were all fully mechanical apart of course from the meters. The EF was similarly fully mechanical apart from the speeds 0.5 to 30 seconds.

    I used various Canon SLRs regularly from 1972 to 2003 with only one fault, a metering failure with an F1 when it was twelve years old.
     
  18. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Nobody loves the T90 these days... that's so sad. Y'all can send them to me. I have a bunch of makes and models, but the T90 is still my primary camera.
     
  19. blockend

    blockend Member

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    The T-90 is responsible for a number of horrors, not least being the template for almost every subsequent SLR, including digital ones! However I'd argue that a 'piece of junk' it is not. It can be prone to sticky shutter magnets, mainly due to lack of use, which are easily fixed with a CLA. The T-90 gained a reputation among Japanese photojournalists for being unbreakable and it's certainly one of the most solid cameras I've owned, including Nikon's F and F2. Like other LCD carrying electronic cameras of the 80s and 90s, the clock is ticking on some components as there are no spares available, but that will be true of your brand new professional DSLRs in another 27 years, and probably a lot sooner.
     
  20. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Member

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    +1 for the T90. Yes, I get a few Es every now and then, but it just pull the battery compartment out half an inch, then push it back in, and we are good to go. Hasn't happened for a good while. It's a camera that likes to be used. The metering is excellent, mostly.
     
  21. tokam

    tokam Subscriber

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    You guys appear to be very unlucky with your T90 experiences. I bought mine new in 1987 and gave it plenty of use for 5 yrs. It was the last new Canon I bought as I couldn't warm to the EOS series.

    It has been serviced once by Canon Australia in 1999 and hasn't had a great deal of use since. These days I am going backwards chronologically with an EF and an F1N which get the most use. No sign of problems when I occasionally load up the T90.

    My A-1 and AE-1, both bought new and in excellent cond are both exhibiting an overexposure issue with their meters. The A-1 is one stop over and the AE-1 is two stops over. Seems a cover over the metering cell goes cloudy with time and throws out the metering. Merely adjusting the meter will only be a stopgap fix. I'm just going to keep an eye on mine and adjust the ISO on the camera to suit.
     
  22. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Rob, it doesn't even take that to reset the camera. Just press the battery check button behind the palm door. I hear the lock on the battery tray is breakable.
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have a T90 and like it a lot, I have never had any problems with it, but I wouldn't like to rely on it to earn my living with it if my professional reputation depended on it, I would rather rely on my New F1 AEs. which aren't prone to the same issues.
     
  24. momus

    momus Member

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    I like the F1 and AT-1 cameras. I've also had a lot of AE-1's w/ slow meters and slow shutters. Great lenses, but the cameras don't hold up like the Nikons.
     
  25. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    The error kills any flash shots. Trust me. Usually when you get the error and aren't using flash the picture actually is recorded. Not so with flash. To me that makes the T-90 a useless hunk of junk. I gave my only T-90 away.
     
  26. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    F1 and F1n are very good cameras but still expensive to acquire, compared to the average second-hand film cameras on the market. Considering the FTb, TLb and TX, they need mercury batteries to work with them, unless you use a separate lightmeter or the F16 rule.
    For having used several systems, I just realized Canon FD isn't my style, although the FD lenses are just fantastic and very much affordable nowadays.