A question for Canon FD users

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Dick R., Jun 9, 2006.

  1. Dick R.

    Dick R. Guest

    Hi all,
    There are probably several folks in this NG who still
    use Canon FD equipment. I got started on the FD system
    waaay back when I purchased a Canon FTb. Since then,
    I've acquired some A1s, AE1s and T90s. The T90s are wonderful
    cameras, but prone to problems, and repair is hard to
    Here is the question:
    If you could only bring 1 Canon FD camera on a trip,
    what would it be?
    (personally, I would bring an A1 without winder or motor
    drive, but with a spare battery for the meter and shutter).

    Just curious,
    Dick R.
    Dick R., Jun 9, 2006
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  2. Dick R.

    B+R Rich Guest

    AE1 P with 20mm 2.8.

    Never used a T-90. My current FD lineup....

    2 AE1 P's
    2 A1's
    20mm 2.8
    50mm 1.8
    135mm 2.0
    100mm 4.0 macro with FD50U tube
    35-105mm 3.5 two touch.
    Also will likely be purchasing FTBn soon and / or F1n if the price
    is right.

    These cameras have served me well along with a few rangefinders of
    which the newest is over 30 years old. I feel no need to *upgrade*.


    B+R Rich, Jun 9, 2006
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  3. None of the above.

    The F1n (the 'middle' version) will work without a battery, is built like a
    brick you-know-what, and has additional features you can use in extreme
    photographic situations (i.e. 1/2000 sec shutter, titanium shutter curtain).

    If you wanna go cheap, a TLb or FTb, or other early fully manual camera
    that's been CLA'd recently.

    You didn't say what type of trip, but I guess any type of trip would place
    special demands on your equipment when you're not in familiar surroundings.

    FWIW, I own an A-1 and 2 F1n's, plus a group of prime glass. I will not
    part with my F1n's. I've had them for almost 30 years (well 28 1/2). I
    like my A-1, but that's the camera I hand to someone who didn't bring theirs
    and wants to take pictures. No one else uses my F1n's. Or my Rollei
    James Philopena, Jun 10, 2006
  4. Dick R.

    Dmac Guest

    My all time favorite (20 years ago) was an A1 with a 28-70 zoom lens.
    Of course I never tried to make prints over 8x12 or used colour film
    either but I have some gorgeous shots I took with this camera.

    Sadly it died from shutter screech in the arid regions of Australia. The
    only fault any of the F series cameras had was the "electro shutter".
    Dust will kill 'em stone dead, real quick.
    Dmac, Jun 10, 2006
  5. Yup, and I'm still buying lenses, dirt cheap, from all the rabid digital
    lemmings out there. ;)
    T90s have the sticky shutter issue (frequent use helps avoid it) but
    seem otherwise bombproof.
    What are your criteria?

    Greg Campbell, Jun 13, 2006
  6. I have the A1, AE1 Program and T70. My choice would be the AE1 Program,
    which just seems simpler and more intuitive than the others, despite the A1
    being considered the "pro" model.
    FD lens of choice, if carrying one, would be the magnificent 35-105 constant
    Other splendid FD lenses among the 10 or so I use are the 24mm f2.8, the
    85mm f1.8 (maybe the sharpest 85mm I own, and the 70-210 f4 zoom. This zoom,
    by the way, is the equal or better than any of numerous, comparable Nikons I
    own and can be picked up very cheaply on eBay.
    An aside: The best FD investment these days, believe it or not, is the FD
    hoods. Their prices are soaring. The hood for the 35-105 zoom has sold for
    more than $40 on eBay, and the hood for the 70-210 zoom may approach half
    the cost of the lens, which can sometimes be had for $70.
    Ken Rosenbaum, Jun 14, 2006
  7. I have the A-1, which is somewhat broken (focus is off, eats lots of battery),
    FTb and T90.

    The FTb was manufactured sometime in the 70's, is still working, and as far
    as I know, the meter battery (which is not required for taking photos) is
    also from the 70's and still working. It is a very nice camera to use, and
    quite unlikely to break now, it's endured for more than 30 years, so I guess
    it will endure a while longer.
    Manual exposure is easier with the FTb than with the T90, which is my
    favourite for autoexposure and flash photography.
    How would you compare image sharpness to the FDn 50/1.4 S.S.C. or the 35-70mm/4?
    I haven't been exactly thrilled with the 24mm/2.8 for landscapes,
    images often appear a little bit too soft for my tastes. On the other
    hand, it is certainly worth the money I paid for it.

    But regardless, the FDn 50mm/1.4 S.S.C. and FDn 24mm/2.8 are the
    lenses I use the most, as those are the focal lengths I need the
    most. If there was a high-quality 24-50mm zoom lens for Canon FD that
    would produce nearly the same quality results as the 24mm and 50mm
    primes, I'd use that almost exclusively, and use the fixed 50mm only
    for situations that require a very large aperture.

    On rarer occasions I use the Zenitar 16mm fish-eye and the 135/2.5 S.C
    and 200/4 S.S.C lenses. The Zenitar is pretty nice if you accept
    the fisheyedness. The 135/2.5 S.C. is nice for some rare indoor sports
    shots that I take, and the 200/4 S.S.C is pretty small and light for it's
    focal length and useful for outdoors sports/events. Nothing spectacular,
    but it cost 37EUR on ebay with a skylight filter and the results are
    Toni Nikkanen, Jun 14, 2006
  8. Dick R.

    Go-dot Guest

    If you could only bring 1 Canon FD camera on a trip,
    what would it be?

    My original issue Canon F-1. Solid, dependable, works without a
    battery, great metering system.

    Go-dot, Jun 16, 2006
  9. Dick R.

    Dick R. Guest

    Hey John,
    If I only had purchased an F1 ... sigh.
    I still have my FTb, and sometimes I think of going
    back to it just for fun. The match needle metering
    was very intuitive for me ... no buttons to push.
    True that the F series cameras didn't need a battery
    to operate the shutter, but as I recall they still
    needed a mercury button cell to operate the meter.
    Regardless, the F series cameras were great to take
    camping - you could (almost) pound tent stakes with
    them. :)

    Dick R.
    Dick R., Jun 16, 2006
  10. That's true, and supposedly the mercury cells are no longer
    available. However, I don't concern myself with such little
    troubles, as the cell in my FTb that's been there since the 70's
    (or so people tell; I was born in 1976 :) is still working...

    I know there are shops selling equivalent batteries now anyway.
    Toni Nikkanen, Jun 16, 2006
  11. Dick R.

    Go-dot Guest


    The F-1 is even more substantial (and heavy) than the FTb. I still
    own 2 FTb's (one is a black FTbn) and the F-1. I bought all new back
    in the early 1970s. I prefer the F-1 as the viewfinder is, in my
    opinion, a simpler, more "pure" view than the FTb. Of all my film
    cameras, these three will no doubt be functional 40 years or more from
    today, which is more than I can say for the more plastic/electronic
    cameras that followed. I really like the feel and sound of these
    cameras, though I only shoot B&W in them, and only for artistic
    pleasure. I use zinc-air cells in them, which provide a constant 1.4
    volts as opposed to the mercury cell's 1.35 volts. That difference is
    not significant. Alkaline batteries don't provide the necessary
    constant voltage, and silver oxide batteries, at 1/5 volts are too
    high (but some people use them aby adjusting the ASA dial.)

    I'd love to have a digital back for the F-1, but that will never
    happen. I mostly shoot digital now - the freedom from the darkroom is
    truly liberating, and modern autofocus etc. allows me to focus on the
    image and nearly ignore the technical side of things.

    Still, I REALLY like my F-1.

    Go-dot, Jun 17, 2006
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