Given a Canon 35mm - FT with a FL 55mm 1:1.2 lens - rare/desirable/clunker ?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by nick mulder, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I sent a cyanotype off to my older bother in the UK recently and he liked it so much he sent our ol' grandfathers camera down to me ...

    I usually shoot Medium, large or 16mm format film - so 35mm cameras are a bit of a mystery...

    its a Canon FT QL - which seems pretty plain (similar in functionality to a Spotmatic) but it did come attached to a bulky fast lens - a FL 55mm 1:1.2


    Is this a desirable camera ?

    I naturally am very pleased with it, as it has been used also by my father throughout the years so it has that kind of sentimental value you cant buy - I hope to use it for more candid street photography where its lower profile will help - ... also looking forward to to the lower DOF as I usually shoot wides in the larger formats I cant be so selective as I could with the 1.2

    just interested in finding outs its worth to others ... :smile:
     
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    "What it's worth" is always a hard question to answer for any piece of equipment, but family equipment is generally worth more if you keep it in your family.

    Having said that, the lens you have is both very desirable and very expensive. The body, not so much, but matched to the lens you have a great street/indoor shooter.

    Canon did make a meter booster for the camera that would allow you to meter down to EV -3.5...good luck finding one now. With that combination, the Canon was pretty much an unbeatable dim-light shooter.

    The "QL" designation means that the camera has Canon's "quick load" film loading. It was quite an innovation for its time...it allows you to load the film much more easily than other cameras of the same vintage. Today every camera has a version of this feature, but having it on a camera of this vintage is a nice thing.

    Reall, the body is a nice, simple body with a few good features. Treated well it should last you a very long time. But the lens you have is extremely desirable...it's one of the faster lenses that's been made for an SLR over the years. You should be able to do some great low-light work with it, or shoot hand-held much closer to dusk than many photographers can with their standard lenses.

    Unless you have some pressing need for the money, I'd recommend hanging on to the kit. It's not often that something like this drops into your lap, and selling it now will probably leave you wishing you'd kept it, and unable to find the pieces to replace it. (The lens is obviously very rare...if it was common it would also be cheap.)

    Congratulations on getting your hands on such a nice camera. I hope you enjoy using it.

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  3. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Canon FTs used to be very good cameras.
    I've never been a Canon fan but Ibelieve there's still plenty of those working.

    Look at it as your gramps camera, from a working-collectible stand point :wink:
    If it works even better!
     
  4. photomc

    photomc Member

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    IIRC, the FT was the much like the Canon FTb, which was a great workhorse of a camera. The 1.2 lens if like other Canon glass of that sort, should be outstanding. To get a bit more info on the camera look at the Canon Museum
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    The FT was stopped-down TTL metering. The FTb was full aperture metering. Both used a semi-silvered central rectangle that was 12% of the frame to pass light to the meter. I used FTb's for six years and loved them. A solid and reliable camera. The later FTb, sometimes designated with an N, had exposure setting info in the finder, in addition to the match needle meter.

    Lee
     
  6. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I am definitely keeping it - even if it was clunker and/or I could of sold it for mega-bucks the thought didn't cross my mind - but its nice to know others opinions from a gear/techy perspective

    I'm chuffed my grandfather was interested in photography enough to purchase a non-standard lens like that - it also came with a 135mm and a small flash - the 135 I dont expect to see much usage, but the flash is a much better fit for my Holga than the Metz currently glued to it

    well! - cheers for the info :smile: happy shooting to all
     
  7. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    The 135 is a heck of a versatile lens!
    I just love the one I have for my Spotmatic.

    Great for portraits, even for nature and macro!
     
  8. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Play with the 135mm a bit, you might change your mind. That's a great portrait lens for 35mm's .
     
  9. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I'm happy to hear that you're keeping it. My father gave me his Zeiss-Ikon Contessa, and although I have little use for it I cannot imagine selling it. When you consider that a family member went out and bought a top quality piece of equipment, it makes it harder to part with, and a greater joy to use.

    Enjoy your camera, and think of your grandfather sometime when you're using it. And definately try out the 135mm lens...you might find a new way of looking at things.

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  10. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Oki, i'm convinced

    the 135mm and I have a hot-date some time next week :smile:

    I'm so used to wides and only starting to really appreciate even the 180mm on my 6x7

    (135 is ~270 in 6x7)
     
  11. zpuskas

    zpuskas Member

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    The FT QL is a fine camera. I still have mine that I bought new in 1971. Never had it CLA'd. Meter is still right on. Unfortunately it didn't have a nice f1.2 lens, just the standard 1.8.
     
  12. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I found some great photos in the gallery of some children in India - they were handheld longer exposures with the lens wide open - very nice... eg:http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=10076&si=india

    I've bought some Ilford Pan F which I'll rate at 25 asa and put either a red filter or 3stop ND in front of the lens and see if I can get the same effect ...

    would be interesting to see the same thing but with grain, need a heap load of ND to get that effect - would have to use a sports finder or rangefinder cam tho

    I like the fast lens so much I've recently bought the fastest (and standard package lens) for the RZ, a 110mm 2.8 (for 6x7) - arriving next week ... *grin*