EOS 5/A2E lens suggestions

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by david_waugh|3, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. I've been looking for a 35mm 'system' to complement a bit of old MF. It's been a VERY long while since I have used Canon but I remember some very happy times with an EOS 5 about 10 years ago. From what I remember, they were really nice to handle, fairly light, with a pretty good viewfinder... also mine actually survived a very long fall into a rocky ravine... long story, but sometimes plastic can be pretty tough huh! :)
    Anyway, any thoughts on the EOS5 would be appreciated as it's been a while. I am also going to initially get a 50mm and have no idea on what are the 'best buys' for a standard on a film body. Any recommendations appreciated. For what it's worth, I'll be using TMAX 400 and Portra 400 almost exclusively.
    Thanks for any advice.
  2. The original 28-105 f3.5-f5.6 was the lens sold almost as a kit lens with the EOS5 in the early 90s. Yes, there are issues with this lens compared with others - principally distortion and lack of speed - but it's not too big or too heavy, it's robust enough, and it would be absolutely in keeping with the camera. The slightly later 24-85 would be an alternative.
    Of course, if it's uncompromising performance you want in a zoom lens package then there's no getting away from the 24-70 f2.8, but there's the cost & weight. I suppose, though, that if you had an eye on an eventual full-frame DSLR then an 'f4 set' would be the answer, and would work very well on the EOS5: 17-40, 24-105, 70-210. But oh, the cost - especially when compared with what you might pay for the EOS5! - I see Ffordes have a couple for £50.
  3. Well then relive those happy times with an EF 28-105 3.5-4.5 USM. It was the kit lens for the EOS 5/A2/A2E. It's discontinued but you can probably still find new old stock if you dig around the net. The EF 28-105 3.5-4.5 USM II replaced it during the late 90s: same optics but a metal main barrel and beefier drive train.
    The best budget 50 is the EF 50 2.5 Compact Macro: tack sharp from F2.5, metal mount, smooth MF ring and the highly recessed front element makes the barrel into sort of a natural hood. I've shot with one since 1992 (my EOS 5 days!) and it never let me down.
  4. Puppy is right w/regard to the max aperture of the 28-105: it was indeed f3.5-f4.5 and not f3.5-f5.6 as I said in my earlier post.
    I'm not sure about Puppy's other comment regarding the later version. I still have my original lens (bought in 1994) and it feel very solid indeed. In the late 90s or thereabouts I bought an EOS 33V kit, which included a later version of the 28-205 (still f3.5-4.5), which looked a bit different but felt the same. Checking the Canon Museum entry I see that the weight of the two versions is the same (375 gms); this suggests to me that the differences between them are cosmetic, and a different USM drive.
  5. I had a five and loved it at the time, but there are better models to move on to, given the very low price of film EOS cameras these days it makes no sense, to me at least, to buy a better model.
    Principle failings of the five:
    ECF only works horizontally, not vertically.
    There is do depth of feild preview button (although the eye control can activate it, only in landscape mode though, and a custom function lets you use the AE lock button to stop down)
    There are only five AF points.
    The build quality isn't terrific, particularly with the potential for the command dial to pop off.
    The flash system is A-TTL, which is, I believe what fred flintstone used.
    I would recommend a 30e or 33e if eye control is a must, you will lose the 1/8000th top shutter, but you will gain a few more AF points, covering a wider area, you will be able to use ECF in portrait mode, and you will be able to use the E-TTL flash system.
    Apart from anything else, a 5 could be 17 years old. A more recent camera is likely to have less wear and tear.
    Re, lenses, yes the 2.5 macro is a fine lens, just the AF is horrifically slow, and the effective max aperture varies as you focus.
    I would try to find a mk1 50, or get a 35mm f2. For zooms, the 28-70 f3.5-4.5 mkII is a contemporaneous goodie. Cheap too.
  6. I think the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM is a very nice choice for a film camera. The 28-105 is another equally good alternative if you prefer trading off the wide angle for a bit more zoom. I've had the former together with the 50mm f/1.8 and I was very happy with the combination.
  7. Thanks for the info - much appreciated. I think I'd prefer a straight 50 prime just for weight and speed, but will look into the 28-105 mention (that was what I used originally and did like it - I remember thinking it was pretty solid for a 'non-L' lens). I see the EOS3 prices are pretty good too, but I have heard reports about how noisy they are and obviously weight a bit more than the 5... still, would that be the way to go perhaps?
  8. David, I never had a 5 - I was using a 10 followed by a 100 during the 90s - but in January 2000 I bought a new 3. To be honest it was more camera than I needed and more than I could really cope with; I was never as happy with it as I was with the smaller, simpler models and eventually I sold it. So my recommendation would be to buy the camera that feels best in your hands, not necessarily the one with the best specifications. Stunning images can be produced with *any* EOS camera. The 50mm f1.8 is a good, lightweight lens with good quality, but my favourite prime was always the 35mm f2.
    (My personal all-time favourite EOS camera is a 600 that I've still got. I just loved that original EOS body shape and functionality, and the 600 shows a useful improvement in AF over the original pair, the 650/620. Yes it's limited in all sorts of areas, but in many ways I'm still more comfortable with the 600 than with any other camera I've ever had. I still use it, with the 28-105. I used to have other lenses including a 50mm f1.8, 35mm f2 and a 24-85, but just over two years ago these were all stolen from my house. By chance the 600 + 28-105 were with someone else that weekend.)
  9. I still have a EOS 5 that I let a friend borrow and she loves it. I also have an EOS 3 that is wonderfuil. I never have had any problems with my 5 and have a 28-105mm lens.
    An EOS 30D serves as my digital camera.
    I will probably give my 5 to someone if I ever buy a lens to use on it. No desire to get rid of any of my present lens.
  10. I used and loved the EOS 5 for some time, but I was recently able to get and EOS 3 for $85 and couldn't pass that up. If I were looking to buy something like a 5 now, I would strongly consider the Elan 7, basically an updated EOS 5. The EOS 3's are not generally found as cheap as I was able to get it, but they are great cameras. I carried mine around NYC for a week without feeling there was too much weight to be had.
    Also I have been using the 24-85 for several months and feel that it's a pretty decent lens. Comparing it to the 28-105. I think there's more value to be had for the 24-28 range than you get from 85-105. JR
  11. I had an A2 up until last year when I finally sold it. It was my first 'serious' camera and my introduction to the EOS system in 1994. I always thought that it was ahead of its time but in the last few years of owning it I didn't use it at all. AF was still very good but the mirror blackout time seemed quite long in comparison to later cameras and later cameras had more AF points and more sensitivity in lower light. It's still a very good camera and I've even thought about getting another for old time's sake, but I'm afraid it would just sit in a camera bag again. If you're looking for another film camera I'd suggest an Elan 7 or 7N. We won an excellent condition Elan 7 on ebay for $53! My gf had one about 6 or 7 years ago and sold it but wanted a film body to compliment her 30D, so she got this one. It's amazingly quiet and has the same AF that was in the 10D, which is a very decent AF system, more advanced than the A2/A2E/5 AF, and it shoots at 4fps, also respectable. If your funds will allow, the EOS 3 is a phenomenal camera, even if it's noisy. The AF system is what all 1-series AF systems have descended from and it's very impressive indeed. The "3" is also very customizable and after using it for awhile you understand why so many pros used it. Most definitely worth considering.
  12. Apart from anything else, a 5 could be 17 years old. A more recent camera is likely to have less wear and tear.​
    The 1992 EOS 5/A2E/A2 was one of Canon longest running models. The last one came off the assembly line in 2002. It continued to sell well into the 21st century so there are lots of them less than a decade old. I really preferred the A2 over my ELan 7E: larger size was more comfy to hold, larger and brighter VF and the near IR AF assist made it a low light dream. It was just looking at a photo I took of my last sample (ebay product shoot), and man it really looks plastic. Whatever, plastic seems to take impact better than metal (absorts & flexes rather than ding and transmit) as I dropped it many times.
    As for the command problem, 1998-2000 production batches are said to have an improved dial. My 1992 A2 never suffered the problem. My second one needed the replacement twice!
    My old EOS A2 review:
  13. I've got a EOS 5 too. For those who are not familiar with this lovely old EOS camera, it's the non-US version of what was called the A2e in the US. It's got a different viewfinder display for manual focus mode than on the A2e because of some kind of patent dispute. It is a really nice camera although one can argue about the actual utility of the eye-controlled focus.
    My dial is still ok too (knock on wood).
    I'd definitely say get the 50mm f/1.8. Historical accuracy would perhaps suggest the Model I, but I don't think the collector police would catch you on this one.
  14. David, I'm with those who say you should pick up a later EOS film body, such as the 3, 7E or 7N, or even the 1V. Since these bodies can be had for so little these days, it would be a shame to settle for a 5. I personally require spot metering, so the Elans are out for me. As far as the functional differences between the 3 and 1V go, the 3 has a very good eye control focusing system, and the 1V's viewfinder has 100% coverage; otherwise, they are pretty much equivalent. I tend to use my 1V more than my 3 just because it has a better "feel."
  15. I bought a new A2E in 1995 and now my grown son has it. The 28-105 lens was good overall despite it's weaknesses. I shot a few hundred rolls of film with consistent results. Its a very good camera, and survived my son's harsh handling through high school and college, but it still works today. I agree though, there are better EOS cameras that are equally cheap today. But you can't go wrong if you find any of them in fine condition.
  16. You guys are great - thanks for all that! I've been spying some prices and even the 1V might be affordable! Who'd of thought... gee I just love digital ;-) I might even end up with a 1v and a 5! Will take the advice on the 50 1.8 for starters and if I do go for a second body will also look for the 35 f2 or perhaps the 'kit' lens zoom for the 5. Thanks everyone for the great advice. Puppy Face: enjoyed your A2 review - thanks.
  17. May favorite camera to date has been the EOS Elan (also known as the EOS 100). It's combination of great size/weight and near silent operation was just perfect. It was just the right size for me, the EOS-1v was too big, but my life changed and Digital was upon us before I really was able to give it much of a chance, not to mention I had got it with the power booster (the 1V-HS) so it was literally a monster. The view finder was heaven though, so although I hope in the next 6 months my new DLSR becomes my favorite camera, one day I'll revisit the 1V without the power booster. Need to get a good scanner for the thousands of negs I have already before I make any more of those.
    I think the Elan and the EOS-5 are maybe a little too old to find a really good one, and I think the body size of the Elan 7 is too small (but confirm this, my memory is not as good as it once was). So I'd look for an EOS-3 or 1V, many of those are probably in almost new condition and are great cameras.
    Good luck, it was nice to remember my earlier days.
  18. David, if you can swing the 1v, you will be most impressed with it. I think it's the greatest camera Canon has made and it has been my favorite camera of all time, although my 7D is closing in fast on the "favorite Canon" position. If there is any way possible to get the 1v, by all means do so! It's legendary and after using it a few times, you'll understand why.
  19. David,
    the 28-105mm is a great lens and doesn't obstruct the built in flash, I used it for approx. 2-3yrs. Then the arrival of the 28-135mm IS was released & did it rock, wow.
    I took it on vacation in europe (no flash allowed in some places) and I was blessed, shooting at 1/15 no flash at 135mm it really proved its place on this body with the vertical grip VG-10. I also carried a 50mm f/1.4
  20. I've been making occasional use of an A2 since about two years ago and I really like it. Something about the shutter release and the ergonomics appeal to me, as well as the relatively quiet operation. I was lucky to get one where the mirror bumper foam hadn't melted yet, so it had clean shutter blades. The top command dial did break on me, though, so now I have to be careful to not nudge the thing lest my modes get changed without my wanting them changed...
    Seeing as the camera is kind of quiet, I would suggest pairing it with a quiet lens -- a USM lens. Perhaps a 50/1.4, if the budget allows, or a 35/1.4L...
    Also, I have to concur with Tom Burke's words on the EOS 600. I have a 650, a 620, and a 630 and I have to say they are still one of the best-looking and nicest to hold SLR designs I have tried. Unfortunately for mine, the 650 and the 630 are starting to exhibit foam-melt... Also, they are rather LOUD in operation... Someday, I would like to actually find an affordable RT in good shape, as I figure they have to be at least a little bit quieter. As it stands, though, RTs go for rather allot if they work properly...
  21. An earlier Canon zoom capable of excellent results was the EF 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 USM. I shot the '91 USGP at Laguna Seca with it, on an EOS 10S with Kodachrome 64. The all-plastic tactile feel of lens and body was ever so slightly dismaying to this former Canon F-1 user but the results were most satisfactory.
    There's an old A2E in the closet also, but it's rubberized outer sections have become very sticky and nasty to the touch- probably the result of racetrack food residue acting over time!
    Anyway, a shot with the 100-300 from '91, Australia's Wayne Gardner shortly before his bad crash and medivac helo ride to SJMC.
  22. Puppy Face [​IMG] , Nov 28, 2009; 12:30 p.m.
    Apart from anything else, a 5 could be 17 years old. A more recent camera is likely to have less wear and tear.
    The 1992 EOS 5/A2E/A2 was one of Canon longest running models. The last one came off the assembly line in 2002.​
    Hi Puppy face. Your point is? Okay a 5/A2 could be as recent as 7 years old, but it could as easily be 17 years old.
    I recall a website that allowed you to work out the age of your EF lenses, I wonder if a similar facility exists to check the manufacture date of the body.
    In summary and in addition to my previous point, I had a 5, loved my 5 at the time. Just because they are now as cheap as chips, doesn't mean there aren't better build, better specified cameras for the same money.
    For what its worth, I was shooting with my 3 last night. A very very different experience to using the 5. I also have a 300x for portability, and I would still use that in preference to the 5. Again, thats not to say that the 5 was or is a bad camera, just that in the intervening period, things have moved on.
  23. Some ideas for standard zooms. Roughly in order of increasing cost. Canon 28-135 IS (loads of used ones on the market because they bundle them with crop cameras for some strange reason, check your local craigslist); Tamron 28-75/2.8; Sigma 24-70/2.8; Canon 24-105/4 IS; Canon 24-70/2.8
    Both Canon and Sigma make a 50/1.4. Have a google - there's tons of info comparing these two.

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