Canon T90 question. What maintenance does this camera typically need?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by gerrysiegel, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. I have a reason to wonder and ask. Here is what is on my mind lately for this camera which served me well when it was operational that is. You know people toss around the term CLA a lot, which either means nothing or an overhaul/ complete disassembly. The T90 is electronic so we know that the shutter magnets do fail,giving an EEE error and need "cleaning." So I understand,not my department. How about the internal flat cell battery? If that has not been touched in like 25 years does it automatically need to be replaced, and is that a tough touchy soldering job for a repair shop? How about the LCD. I hear from the grapevine that the LCD never has had to be replaced in non damage use. True? Any foam seals to be routinely looked at? Any lube points needing a touch of 'whale oil', etc? Is there any shutter calibration needed, another thought comes to mind..
    And,if one has already had their T90 in for at minimum the necessary "CLA " treatment,( no new parts to be installed,) another question. For anyone still using /vice collecting on the T90..
    So how much would be an average repair cost for an oldie but goodie do you think? Anybody actually go for a total 'overhaul.' If so, what was done do you recall and what did he/she hit you up? Thanks for any info, much obliged.
  2. Get hold of Steve at , T90s are his specialty. His current rate for a complete overhaul was in the neighborhood of $125 a few years ago. He answers email, but loves to talk on the phone and will answer any question you have.
  3. To elaborate (going from faulty memory here) a complete CLA includes changing seals, cleaning magnets (amongst other things), adjusting shutter speeds as required, cleaning contacts in the command dial, checking the internal battery and changing it if needed, and replacing sticky bumper pads. There may be more, but that's the gist of it.
    There's a story going around about the LCD fading out to nothing after a certain number of years; Canon said it had a life expectancy of something like seven years. Mine are now 25 years old and are in perfect condition. I saw one on ebay once that seemed to be fading, but that's the only one I'm directly aware of. I don't think there are any LCDs left; if you have one that's fading, your only options would be to replace the T90 altogether or get one for parts.
    I think if the camera saw daily professional use (and I don't know of any that did, given that the camera was quickly superseded by EOS) then one could expect the LCD and internal battery would both need replacing every five to seven years.
    Steve's service returns the camera to fully operational condition. Any parts required, above and beyond this, are no doubt extra. At one time his charge included return shipping, but that may have changed.
  4. Thanks Fred, I will be talking to Steve soon about my units. mahalo, gs
  5. Gerry, I just placed a new T90 into service after 25 years in a box. It did take some extra spinning of the electronic selector dial to clean its contacts and now it responds to every click / detent.
    You will enjoy talking with Steve, he digs FD!
  6. Just for the record, for anyone contemplating duffer home repair of the T90 camera, Thomas Tomosy of the Camera Maintenance & Repair books, has a brief section in his first book on the T90. Basically he says "It is not recommended that you attempt to repair this camera." Also, "It is a grave mistake to disturb the factory settings,..." "if the wires break you may not be able to find their way back" , "Fine wires.... they may break". I think that you get the idea.
  7. The T90 was my camera of choice when I was a working photographer shooting motorsports. I hauled two of em around numerous race tracks and never had a single failure of any kind. One was purchased new when the T90 first came out, the other used a few years later. Both these cameras are still here, and both work wonderfully. Never a CLA, clean and tune, or any other work. Both still have the original internal battery and as far as I know those batteries are still working fine, which in itself is amazing. However, that internal battery is only there to retain settings when you change the AA batteries so its possible I just haven't noticed that one or both is bad. The LCDs are as clear and sharp as the day they were made. The point though is that the T90 is a tough SOB deserving of its Japanese nick name Tank. What they need is to be used, if you don't let em sit a long time then those shutter magnets don't tend to be a problem and the switches stay functional. As mentioned before though when they sit the command dial does tend to need some exercise to get back in the game.
    I have a number of other cameras to choose from but the T90s are still my choice when I'm shooting something that just has to be right, like my oldest daughters wedding I shot last year.
  8. My good buddy Tor, the Saab dealer in Lompoc, tells the story of his T90 falling onto a hard tiled bathroom floor and still working perfectly afterwards...
  9. Another vote for just using it, if it's working don't fix it. This is from an earler post I made about two T90s in this forum - I guess they had been lying unused for perhaps 20 years before I got them:
    A week ago I went to see a retiring professional photographer who was selling up most of his gear. Although he had sold all his cameras, he said he had two faulty Canon T90's which I could have for nothing - he thought I might be able to make one good one out of the two! I got them home and put batteries in, but one camera was completely dead. The display came up on the other, but there was only a faint clicking sound when I pressed the shutter. I remembered reading somewhere that these suffer from sticking electromagnets which can sometimes be freed up by a sharp knock with the shutter pressed. Tried knocking it on the table - no luck. I then though, what have I got to lose, and started to knock it on the floor, as hard as I dared without breaking anything (they are built like tanks). After a few hard knocks it whirred into life! Still kept locking up and giving EEE displays but I repeated the treatment, operated it lots of times, and eventually it is now working consistently.
    I now looked at the "dead" camera. The battery terminals were cleaned, when it came alive but it still needed the same treatment as the first camera to get it working. So I've now got two T90's that are working OK (touch wood) and I'm just waiting for the opportunity to put some film through, when I'll try & post the results.
    By the way, anyone wanting to do this on their own cameras does it at their own risk!
  10. I have my two cameras with Steve S. Camera Clinic in Reno and am going to have both fixed, discussed same with him and he is really a T90 enthusiast. Worked for Horizon Electronics in Bay Area when they were top place for Canon repair.
    Someone a young folk, in the family wants a film camera and since I have two 50 mm lenses, I got two usable set ups.
    Steve says that he typically finds the internal memory battery to be still good on all the cameras that come in for repair. No point in keeping two T90s that are non functional so what the heck.
    This climate,warm and humid is a test for anything electronic that sits and sits. I will have to hence schedule a routine dry firing...or better yet, a roll of Provia now and then and who knows I may remember the fun of filumm :)...
  11. I keep thinking I have one or two EOS that need some care, but I can't seem to remember long enough to box 'em up and send 'em out. That's what I get from having too many cameras. Good problem to have, I suppose...

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