FD and the Recession

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by douglas_vitello, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Has the current recession/repression made some of you FD fans feel a little better about your choice to stick with a affordable camera system despite some negative comments from folks who were spending a fortune on the latest and greatest from Japan in recent years?Did you see this coming or was it just the love a world class manual focus camera system that kept you hooked?Has this economic downturn hurt your plans to expand your FD collection or has it provided a golden opportunity to pick some items that you thought you could never afford during better times.
  2. I got into the FD system back in the late 70's. They were not so inexpensive then. For me, the recession has nothing to do with it. What has kept me hooked is they are well made and continue to work to make excellent photographs. It's as simple as that. I don't give a fig what other people say or do. Any camera is only important in so much as they facillitate picture making. I simply decided, years ago, that these tools were good and I would focus my energy into making images not fliting and fussing about hardware or being swayed like a sapling with every written opinion or test report. I have a lot of different cameras but the Canon FD pro line is very competent and I've become comfortable with them. They help me accomplish photographic goals that suit this small film format. Economics never really played a role in my decision. Of course, with prices for good Canon glass being at an all time low, I have made some good buys that I only could of imagined years ago.
  3. SCL


    I left the FD system in the early 90s and came back to it just last year. Yes the recession made some of the lenses much more affordable...and the breather helped me appreciate the better FD lenses much more than when I initially disposed of my gear. I was much more selective in my choices when I came back and it made a real difference.
  4. rdm


    the recession makes me wanna sell my 50mm 1.2 lens, but i have no iea what would be a good price for it
  5. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    I bought 90% of my Canon FD stuff between 2000 and 2005 my A-1's cost $200.00 so not cheap. Granted I bought and sold a huge amount of stuff on eBay to be able to build up the 11 bodies and 38 lenses I have. As an investment is SUCKS as bad as the SP-500 does.
    BUT until I can out shoot the gear I see no reason to buy something else. I strive to be able to shoot my nature shots as well as I would see in 1980's Audubon or Nature magazines, My wedding and portrait stuff as well as Bride magazine, etc. So until I reach a point where it is the fault of the lens or the meter or the shutter I see no logical reason to loose my investment and try building something else that is no better at the actual instant of exposure.
    I have a couple of Canon Digitals Advanced Point and shoots I guess they are called that do the crap photo's for my other hobbies and to fill the grand daughters photo albums at the rate of a dozen a week. But for any serious work the FD's are my tool.
  6. Recession has nothing to do with it. Manual focus cameras and film photography are the best solution for me, at least for the way I shoot at this point in my life.
  7. I can echo a lot of the sentiments expressed here too. Like Stephen, I left the FD system (mid 1980´s) and found my way back again 3 years ago. I too rebuilt from scratch, was more selective second time around, but was also able to afford a much wider range of lenses because they are so affordable. Now, I´m happy with what I´ve got, which means I don´t have to stress about my equipment, I can concentrate on my technique, and try and take better photos.
  8. Hi.
    I have the impression that on Ebay, FD gear is cheaper than two years ago, that is, in Europe.
    I just bought myself a Canon T90 for just a hundred Euro's, in absolute mint condition. Two years ago that would have been 200 Euro's.
    For the rest, I'm as much a collector as a photographer, now I have 16 camera's and 51 lenses, of which 8 camera's and 34 lenses are FD.
    I keep on enjoying this system. It makes me able to build a collection which I could have only dreamt of if I had been shooting Nikon or Canon EOS.
    I know very well, that eventually this collection will be worthless, but I don't care. My kids aren't interested in photography, and they 'll probably throw away the stuff when I pass away.
  9. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    Dirk and others I'll leave you with this thought.
    A camera is a tool a tool to create or to capture an instant of light. And just like a 50 year old Spanner/Wrench or screwdriver as long as that tool is in working condition it has value and purpose.
    A camera was never intended to be an investment so I for one have never expected it to preform like one.
  10. FD (as one of the best systems of that vintage) is a cost-effective solution for anyone who already owns the gear, regardless of the general economy, as long as decent quality photofinishing services remain readily available.
    As noted above, condition is important, as CLA carries a cost, too, and, in time, fewer shops will know how to do the repairs.
  11. I've been collecting my FD and FL equipment since 2006, and I got jokes from other people (other FILM shooters, at that!!!) about the antiquity of my gear and how I would love autofocus so much better, blah blah blah. Most of the people making jokes were the equipment nerds - you know their type, the folks who buy the latest & greatest just to be on the cutting edge of technology?
    So I own a nice collection of FD & FL primes now and a couple of bodies, in addition to my digital, film EOS, and rangefinder stuff. I personally don't find myself being relieved that I stuck with FD and kept the good lenses I have now; it's more of an appreciation of a set of tools that I couldn't otherwise afford or get in current autofocus versions. My 500mm f/8 cat lens, for one.
    In addition, aren't FD lens prices going up?? I've been searching fleabay for a FL 50mm f/1.4, and I come across hundreds of FD 50mm f/1.8's, and they are going for prices between US $25 - $45, just for the lens with maybe one cap, maybe both. KEH has prices in a much lower price range... I feel like I must be missing the intrinsic value of this little kit lens if everyone else is paying what I consider "too much" for it.
  12. There is more than one version of the 50/1.8 FL. If it's in good condition it's a fine lens. I have three of the later 50/1.4 FL lenses. Two have the II mark and one doesn't. When I find the earlier six element 50/1.4 FL at a good price and in good condition I may get it. There is a surprising amount of FL equipment floating around in addition to the FD stuff. Most of my Canon equipment is from before this year and from before 2008. There seem to be two groups looking for FD items. The first is made up of older buyers who used to have Canon cameras or who were too young to afford them years ago. The second is made up of much younger people who sense that the film photography experience may not last forever and who want to try it while they can. I'm too old for the second group and I didn't use Canon cameras years ago. I used mostly Konica cameras then. Last week I shot a test roll in a T3N with the 45-100 f/3.5 UC Hexanon. Today I shot a test roll with a T2 and a 55/2.8 Vivitar macro. I am waiting for a 135/2.5 Canon FL lens which was about $15 and a slide copier for the Canon Auto Bellows which was about $6. I don't have an Auto Bellows yet. The 135 will be my seventh f/2.5 FL. It must be the nicest 135 you can get for the money today. Late last year I got a Canon F-1n which needs an overhaul. The shutter fires at all speeds but the meter is off and the flash synch doesn't work. If I didn't also have two working F-1s I would have had it overhauled by now.
    The way I look at it is that I can use digital cameras any time. For now there are still many good films and processing or color films is still available. At the same time some fine camera equipment is selling for very little so there is a lot of fun to be had. When I need to use a digital camera for somethng slow I can use my PowerShot G3 and if I need some extra speed I can borrow my wife's SD1100IS.
  13. Recession has nothing to do with it for me. I just got tired of 100 percent crops, looking for noise in digital, and pixel peeping. I just laid out 550 dollars for a canon 580exII flash, and I got a near mint t90, 300ttl flash, and 3 lenses for 450 dollars canadian, its a gift, and now I have an extra toy to learn with. I am thrilled with the fd system, it forces me to be more patient, and think about my shots. I am pleased with the fd system so far.
  14. The recession doesn't have much to do with my fondness for the FD system. The price for good bodies and glass was already down. Part of my reason for shooting with the FD system is sentimentality. My step-dad let me use his AE-1 in the early 80's while I was in high school and I really enjoyed it. I stepped away from photography for quite a few years, but got back into it about 6 years ago. My step-dad gave me the old AE-1 and it has continued to work perfectly. The FD 80-200L more than holds its own against modern glass and the slower pace of manual focus is nice. Plus, the old center weighted metering is very predictable. It's not like you have to out-think the matrix meter computer and wonder if it notices the bright spot in the upper left corner. I'm not luddite, I own a nice Pentax dSLR and use it when it makes sense. But for pure enjoyment and the arty side of photography, I really like slower pace of film and manual focus.
  15. "A camera was never intended to be an investment so I for one have never expected it to preform like one."
    Or a novelty!!!Words to live by,maybe why it seems from all these replys FD is recession proof.It would appear that FD will live on for a very long time.
  16. Dirk said: :..they'll probably throw away the the stuff when I pass away."
    Could you put me in your will?
  17. This is a tuff question on one hand and an easy one on the other. The FD lenses and bodies that are of the most interest to me (pre AE bodies) continue to decline in price as they have over the last twenty years, and continue to work wonderfully and Yes it is a golden opportunity to get a few pieces have I thought about trying. The economic downturn has most of us trying to save where they can but, because of the economy; because I've been stubborn refusing to invest thousands in delicate new gear, and because I have so much invested already, I've been waiting, and it looks like my wait may finally be over? If the reviews are true, I will be spending a chunk of money very soon. I should have spent money on a Canon branded digital a long time ago -but they left me behind- so it looks like I'm buying a Panasonic Lumix G1 Micro 4/3 DSLR, and I'll finally have what I've want all along. A digital convenience body, my manual backup, and only my FD lenses to haul in the kit- the best of both worlds? -And a great way to go digital and save money at the same time - if, and only if, what I've been reading is true. So, for me, this is a complicated question to answer!
  18. Bravo to Mark W.! Your response was nicely put. I am just getting into FD gear and I have found a few bargains and gems in the aspherical and L line.
    I hope to be accomplished enough not to get my photos published but, enough to say that I captured a moment in time.
  19. interesting to look at these responses...I count 5 different respondees who, like myself, have only got (back) into the system in the last 3 years. So despite digital, film and processing limitations, AF etc etc, FD still seems to be attracting and inspiring quite a few new users. So in that sense it´s not a dead system, but very much alive!
  20. I pulled my dad's TX out of the closet almost a year ago and have added to the kit with a couple AE1s and other lenses (along with a digital kit that I am over 20K exposures on, in 6 months), and am now on the hunt for the fast glass I came to be interested in once I realized how much I like shooting in the near-dark. Just bought ~30 rolls of assorted print film for cheap, and now have the drive to get back into shooting film for many reasons and the tools to do so.
  21. Happy St Pat's Day everyone.
    My first Canon was a FT-QL purchased in vietnam in 1967 with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens for $64 brand new. I now have various numbers of the FTb, F-1, and T90. I didn't buy them as investments bur as fine cameras and lenses. I don't have any "L" lenses but according to the KEH catalog I received today, they continue to be pricey. All of my Canons especially the T90s are a joy to use.
  22. Late last year I started to go back to shooting more film and grow my FD kit. Since then I have bought a bunch of bodies and lenses for peanuts including a 70-210 for £5 from a charity shop and an 85-300 S.S.C. for £26 on eBay!
    So as a long time FD user who sold a load of gear to go digital a few years back I'd say that the recession been good for me, in FD terms. I have been able to buy some stuff back and some new kit, all at prices that I’d never have dreamed possible a couple of years ago.
  23. Like others, I was an FD shooter before being dazzled by the EF film line, when I sold my FD gear. After moving on to EOS digital cameras and feeling I was really on the leading edge, I realized I was really on the bleeding edge, as the megapixel and features race went on and left me in the dust. Do I really need video and live-view and those heavy zoom lenses that make me look like a photojournalist wannabe instead of someone who really just wants to blend in? So like others, I returned to FD in the last few years, but with a more discerning eye to what I acquired. I'm actually thinking of selling all my EF gear, both film and digital, and just shooting film. I guess maybe the recession does enter into it--I'll buy film and mailers with the proceeds of what I sell, rather than having out-of-pocket expenses. (I shoot Pentax 67 in addition to Canon FD.) I'll keep a digital point and shoot for the travel and family grab shots.
  24. I dont know about the recession but I think the digital move has really allowed canon FD prices to drop since they do not adapt well to the latest cameras.
    I love the fact that there is a good supply of top-notch FD lenses available.
  25. I was an FD shooter in the 80s to early 90s before I switched to EOS. A few years ago I began gathering up the FD kit I'd always wanted, and now that I seem to have everything on my list I find there's a bunch of stuff I should probably unload; most of my A series bodies, and some EOS gear, perhaps.
    The recession is making me think, though. I have lots of film on hand, but if I lose my job I won't be able to afford processing, and even chemicals to process my own costs money. This is where I will likely fall back on digital, and as good a reason as any for keeping my 5D. It ain't film, but it's something.
  26. I've been into the FD line since high school when my dad listened to my suggestion and got his A1. Between then and now I've been shooting nothing but FD and had my system built up long before the current recession.
    I have though been using the low cost of used film gear to allow me to put together the medium format system I've been wanting. I'm now the happy owner of a rather complete collection of RB67 gear which cost less than what one lens would have cost in the not too distant past. I did though also recently get a Nikon F4S and a couple of lenses, just because they were so cheap. Now though after putting a few rolls though it I have come to the conclusion that its not something I want and its going back up for sale. Its not a bad camera, but its heavy and I find the meter is easier to fool than the meters in my T90s. I like the FD system and more importantly I'm used to the FD system. My T90s feel like an extension of my body, my A1 and F1 are almost as natural to use and they all take wonderful pictures.
  27. I do not like autofocus, so why bother paying for it? Also, I enjoy manual modes (AT-1 rocks).
  28. I switched to EF then digital in the last 10 years, before going back to FD when I started up my darkroom again. I now use my digital body pretty much as a replacement for a polaroid back on my FD gear, using a $30 adaptor off eBay (I use a lot of flashes set on manual, with improvised soft boxes and reflectors). But I had a good reason for keeping my FD stuff around, I have the 800mm 5.6 L lens and there's no way I could afford to replace that with a newer EF lens.
    On the plus side, when I'm going for impossible shots, I can use the 800mm with a 2x 'A' teleconverter and a digital body with no noticeable drop in quality for shots posted on the web. That works out to the equivalent of a 2667mm lens which I can use at the faster speeds of the digital EOS bodies. Since most nature shots are taken within a working distance of 40' or so (if you want anything good), I just take out the glass in the EOS-FD adaptor and sacrifice focus to infinity (with a net gain of 10' or so in close focussing). Since the 800mm focusses a little past infinity, I get a pretty good working range.

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