EOS 300X / Rebel T2 or EOS 30 / Elan 7 with old manual lenses. Any experience?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by christos_theofilogiannakos, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Hi!
    I have been searching for a motorized modern film camera body to use with my M42 and Zuiko OM lenses. Main requirements are high top shutter speed (1/4000 if possible) and spot metering ("centered" is Canon's term for it I think). The reason for all this is that none of my M42 or OM bodies have these capabilities and due to sunny weather down here, shooting wide open requires fast shutter speeds.
    The obvious choice for the M42s would be a Pentax body (focus confirmation, easily adapted mount, working metering) but the most obvious choices (MZ-3 and MZ-S) are either too expensive/rare or have serious dependability issues. I wouldn't like anything older than these models. Also the OMs cannot be used.
    So the next obvious choice was the EOS mount which can acommodate both. Based on specifications/cost I have narrowed my list to either a Canon EOS 300X / Rebel T2 or a Canon EOS 30 / Elan 7, the latter being more attractive due to construction, more advanced features, etc.
    Now, I've heard complaints about mount compatibility issues with some of the M42 lenses hitting the mirror of EOS bodies when focused to infinity, I have found a website with a detailed list of those lenses causing problems, thankfully the OMs are OK in this respect.
    My main concern is the metering issues I have heard about with some EOS bodies and the problems caused by the various adaptors. I was wondering if any of you have any experience using M42/OM manual lenses on these specific cameras and what issues have you encountered, other than the mount compatibilities. For example, do these chipped focus-confirmation adapters make any difference or cause any troubles compared with the simple ones?
    I hope I'm not being too specific, but most of the other EOS bodies I've looked into, are either too old or too expensive for me.
  2. With all of the compatibility and other issues incurred with using older lenses on bodies they weren't designed for I'd forgo this approach. If you really need to use those lenses you'll find that the appropriate film camera bodies, OM, Canon, Pentax or whatever, are dirt cheap.
    A few minutes spent on the KEH web site should yield anything you'd ever need.
  3. The Elan 7 will do everything you need with both OM and M42 lenses. I like it's very light weight, feature set and value. It has a somewhat nicer build quality than the Rebels. Use center weighted or spot metering and you will be fine. Of course, it's always ready to accept AF lenses when you are ready to move up.
    Another good camera to adapt those lenses is the Canon T90. It has the FD mount and is heavier but is a tough, solid shooter with an EOS-like ergonomic feel. No good AF upgrade path, however, should you decide to go that way in the future.
  4. @Joseph. I don't know of any OM or M42 bodies that offer 1/4000 shutter speed. I think 1/2000 is the maximum with those bodies. I already have an OM2 and OM30 plus more than 10 M42 bodies (Spotmatics, Fujicas, Yashicas, Chinon and Prakticas. They all top at 1/1000 and lack spot metering. There was a late OM body made by Cosina (OM 2000?) that featured spot metering but it's relatively rare and with 1/1000 top speed. KEH just won't do it for me, as I am living in Greece and their postage rates are sky-high. Of course I may just end up using a ND filter with a 100 ASA film, but since both these specific bodies are relatively modern (and usually lightly used) and widely available at low prices, I thought they might be worth a try.
    @Louis: Most T90s I've come across on the european eBay sites look heavily used as it is an older model. Spec-wise it fits the bill, I agree with you. Most Rebel T2s and Elan 7s are in very good condition, I guess people quickly changed to digital after they bought them, I my self foolishly got rid of a near-mint Nikon F(N)65 for a D90 just to find that digital just isn't my game. Thankfully, even if I had kept it, it wouldn't suit my purpose anyway. I've heard about inconsistent metering with non-linear (hence unpredictable) responses on the Elan 7 with old manual lenses, hence the original question. Do you have any personal experience? I may just go ahead and buy one just to check for my self, and of course there is always the possibility of using a hand-held meter, but to get such a nice camera just for the 1/4000 speed is a bit silly. If it's no good I may just sell it and go the ND filter / 100 ASA way...
  5. Do you have any personal experience?​
    Well yes, that's why I responded. I'm especially fond of my M42 SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 and Olympus OM 35mm f/2 lenses. Stay clear of multi-segment evaluative metering and you'll be OK. Use the center weighted metering mode (sorry, no spot meter on the 7). I use the adapters that are non-focus confirming with good results. Like any film camera metering system, run a test roll, make exposure brackets of average subjects and take notes. Look at the negs or slides and adjust the film iso rating if needed.
    In the USA, a clean Elan 7 (not the E or N versions) will run about $30-40. Very reasonable amount to experiment with. Good luck.
  6. Christos,
    I can see why KEH isn't convenient for you. Are you familiar with the Olympus OM-4T. I had one a long time ago and I think the shutter went to 1/4000th. Not positive though. It did have an incredible metering system, in spot mode you could make up to 8 discrete readings and it would average them. At one time I had the Zuiko 24mm and 35mm shift lenses adapted to my EOS system so I know that's also possible.
    The Elan 7 really sounds like it would fit the bill, if you can find a good one. Pros, if they used them at all, usually used them as a back up body so they tend to be lightly used as opposed to the T-90s. FYI the T-90 has some issues that are very well know. One is that around 1/30th of a second the shutter is not well damped and it's impossible to get a sharp image. I seem to remember that there are three of four shutter speeds that were unusable due to this problem. Even a heavy tripod wouldn't help. The T-90 also lacks mirror lock up, which may or may not be an issue for you.
    Your metering dilema could be solved by the use of a good hand-held spot meter.
    Hope this helps. I'm sure someone will come up with a really stellar solution for you soon.
  7. @Joseph: The OM4 stops at 1/2000 and it's at least three times the cost of an EOS 33, at least in the european eBay sites. Additionally what about my M42 lenses? Surely I can't use them with the OM4. The T90 is too old and probably without much juice left and it's not cheaper than the EOS 33/ Elan 7.
    @Louis: In the Elan spec sheet it says:

    (1) Evaluative metering (linked to all focusing points)
    (2) Partial metering (approx. 10% of viewfinder area at center)
    (3) Centerweighted averaging metering

    Isn't No2 some short of "spot" metering?
  8. Yes, sort of, which is why I initially confused it. It's "strongly center-weighted"
    One is that around 1/30th of a second the shutter is not well damped and it's impossible to get a sharp image.​
    Joseph, I'm not sure where you got this tidbit of mis-information but as one who has 2-T90's and have used them for decades, I can assure you this is not true. Personally, I think it's a better, more robust platform for using non-Canon lenses. The only reason I decided to use the EOS 7 was it's lighter weight. Comparing the two is comparing a professional SLR with an enthusiast-level camera. That's why a clean T90, although older, costs considerably more.
  9. I don't use a Canon film body, but have a 7D and 10D (and used to have an Rebel XT). I use M42 OM and Nikon mount lenses all the time. My favorites are GAF 55mm f1.4 (Tomioka), Nikkor-O 35mm f1.4, Olympus 21mm f3.5 and 35mm f2.0, Vivitar 90mm f2.5 macro (Tokina), and Lester Dine 105mm f2.8. I use the AF confirmation adapters. I do find that I have to do a -1 exposure compensation. But those are great lenses that produce fantastic results.
  10. @Dennis: I think that cropped-sensor DSLRs have more space due to smaller mirrors, so mount incompatibilities are not common (no hitting of mirrors when focused to infinity). A canon DSLR is the only way to go if you're shooting digital with old lenses. Pentax DSLRs are better suited for M42 lenses but not for other mount types.
  11. OM4 (not Ti) has spot metering and 1/2000, and costs a lot less than the Ti. Lots of them, like the one I have, have the newer circuit so they are just as good as a Ti for a fraction of the cost. Got mine from an apug classified for US$100
  12. I didn't know that non-Ti OM4s existed. Still, what good is it for my 10+ M42 lenses? EOS 33 / Elan 7 bodies go for less than 40-50 USD on european eBay sites, so it's the only way to go I think.

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