How many T90s?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by flatulent1, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. In the Hall of Fame thread Ben Myerson voiced something that had floated through my mind periodically over the last 20 years:
    ...they were only made for around a year in 1986, but some indication of how many were sold is how many are still around twenty five years later.​
    It really is amazing to me how common these are on ebay (and how many of them are still in good shape; in the last six years I picked off three bodies that are in like-new condition, obviously not having seen hard use); do we know just how many were sold?
  2. No idea, but I bought mine retail new in 1992 to go with my F1. I remember holding the EOS-1 and T90 in my hand and liked the EOS-1 better, but then I put a lens on each and thought 'autofocus is not the way for me', especially with those flimsy focus rings. Another family member still uses that T90, and while I have digital bodies now, I still manual focus most of the time.
  3. I can't find any production figures either. It's too bad someone doesn't do this. Or, if they have, somebody please give us a link or reference to it.
    At least part of the reason there are so many around is that they were (are) so incredibly rugged. The Japanese are said to have called it the "tank," and Canon's own booklet shown in their Camera Museum (link), uses that title.
    I am another of those who think that this camera is definitely in contention for the "world's best manual focus camera" - much as I love some of my others. I've done a hagiography for it ( ).
  4. I had a T90 at one time, the lens mount was loose. I was able to tighten it. The stop down devise did not work as intended, again I was able to deal with it. At the time there were several "horror" stories about the dreaded "EE" problem. When I sold it it was working perfectly. I just did not feel comfortable with it's potential for repair problems. My current stable consists of a mechanical mid version of the Canon F-1 called Canon F-1n ca. 1977. I have the ugly original MDU Motor Drive Unit with the grip below the camera and the 10 cell 15 volt over the shoulder corded battery box. My favorite lens is the chrome face 24mm f2.8 that came with my first Canon F-1 ca. 1972............if any one needs a 10 cell insert, repro. unused, e mail me off list for details.
  5. SCL


    Count me in as an owner and avid fan of the T90. After owning and actively using an A1 for 15 years and finally hating it, I swore off Canon cameras. Then, I came across a T90 wearing a 50/3.5 macro and fell in love. It may or may not be the best of the FD mount Canons, but it is a real delight to carry and use...and with the right lenses, is an equal to any of my other film based gear.
  6. I never grew to hate the A-1, but I do like using the T90 much more.
    I'd be hard pressed to say, however, whether I would consider the T90 or the F-1 (original, later, or new) to be the "world's best manual focus camera," since I love them all.
  7. If you want to talk about the best, I think the Contax RTS III should be in the mix, though I've never used one. Damn near traded in my T90 on the spot when the clerk at Kenmore Camera showed me one.
  8. I decided what the heck to send my two non functioning T90 bodies off to Steve in Reno. (I forget where I got his name but I think it was right here on one of the forums.) Those two T90 camera served me well in the 1990s and early 21st. Used with my FD lenses and the 300 T flash, and some of the other goodies I still kept so hated to see them sitting broke.
    So we will see what it costs to have them both fixed up. Cosmetically fine,even though I bought them used at our consignment store, the one that is now out of business.
    One has the LCD working but an error code with any shutter action. (Probably those magnets I read about.) The other was total no activity kaput and I have no idea, but i sent it along.
    I hope the fix up price is affordable, whatever that means, as I will likely do some film shooting for old time's sake.
    I have much of the literature and stuff on the T 90. I used to collect all kinds of Canon literature and T90 had a full load of commentary on its habits and flash capabilities and a big book just on that camera alone.
    As said, had everything but autofocus and Canon's star of the time. A great way to change metering pattern above all previous Canon entries for instance. Very handholdable, bright finder, good layout of buttons. Four common AA batteries.
    Hard to go wrong with that item. Although they likely needed more exercise than I gave them. Like sheep dogs, they need workouts..:).
  9. I have three T90 bodys, only one of which I bought the other two were given to me by friends who had gone digital and had them "stuck in the cupboard for years " one of them had an FD 50mm f1.2L lens attached !. I have no idea how many Canon made, but I do know that at the time that I sold them for a living they were considered so technically advanced,sexy, and desirable by so many customers as soon as they had them demonstrated they couldn't wait to buy them although they knew very little about photography they had never seen a camera like that with such an organic shape because before the T90 they didn't exist, it strikes me perhaps the reason there are still so many about in good condition is that they have only been used as male jewellery.
  10. I think also that many of them got shoved in the closet when AF cameras became available the next year. That's what happened to at least one of mine. I certainly won't discount the 'male jewelry' comment, as I undoubtedly was one of those buyers.
  11. I admire your honesty Fred, as I wrote so many people bought them because they were the buzz product, the i Phone of their day and at the cutting edge of technology and when they found many of their functions too difficult to understand they put them away at the time in a drawer and bought an auto focus compact.
  12. I have three T90 bodys, only one of which I bought the other two were given to me by friends who had gone digital and had them "stuck in the cupboard for years " one of them had an FD 50mm f1.2L lens attached !.
    My gosh!. I wish someone would give me an "L" lens. I also have 3 T-90s, and I paid for each one them. At least two were from KEH and the most recent one was listed as mint, and it was. They don't get as much attention as they deserve, and they are well stored in cases or in the closet. My wife would have a fit if I kept any of my cameras in her "cupboard". :) I think this is a case of our being separated by a common language.
  13. James, in most peoples perception these days since everything is digital, "old film cameras" are like carriage lamps, or buggy whips, an anachronism that only have a nostalgic value and don't think they have much use, and my friends seemed quite amused that I would want them to actually use.
  14. and when they found many of their functions too difficult to understand they put them away at the time in a drawer​
    Fortunately I wasn't one of this crowd. I bought books on photography, studied the user manual and Performance Book, took classes at the university in photographic technique and darkroom, etc. I mastered that camera and used it exclusively for the next six years, until I finally broke down and went AF by buying the EOS Elan. I got to know it very well.
  15. You must be one of the exceptions Fred I was speaking in general many customers in my store brought them back after a few months and part exchanged them for zoom lens compacts. I also remember the first two Canon 300TL dedicated flashguns we sold customers brought back after they had caught fire and were burned out melted blobs of plastic due to some electrical fault that the original ones had in electronic design.
  16. Fortunately I wasn't one of this crowd.​
    Me too. I have a pair and still use them often. I had to wait to buy mine used since they were out of my price range when new. Best metering of any SLR. And, for some unknown reason, the best focus I could get with any manual focus camera. It is a handful and the motor noise is quite annoying. Always wanted MLU on it too, but otherwise I never experienced a single problem with mine. Last year, while shooting at the zoo in the rain, one of mine got totally drenched. It never dropped a frame and is still bopping along fine.
  17. Wow. I had a 1N out in a light drizzle a month ago and it didn't fare well at all. But a few weeks in a bag of dry rice and it seems to be back to normal. (Crossing fingers, toes, and any other set of appendages I can twist without bringing tears to my eyes...)
  18. Louis - Canon used to say that the reason the T90 had no mirror lock was that the mirror shock and vibration was so small it wasn't necessary. I honestly believe (although at the time it came out I thought it was more akin to a transistor radio than a camera) in view of the of the state of camera design and technology at the time it came out in 1986 it was a masterpiece of industrial design and engineering.
  19. One of the things that I think about the T90 sometimes that really irks me is the Minolta auto focus SLR that killed it after only about a year was a much inferior camera in every way especially the exposure systems except for the novelty of auto focus, I often think that cameras are designed not by engineers but by advertising agency copywriters because they tell the manufacturers what features will sell and that's what they make, because a company can manufacture the best camera the World has ever seen, but if it doesn't sell it's no good.
  20. I think Canon's own design teams killed the T90. While one team was putting out the ultimate FD camera, another team was putting the finishing touches on their new AF system. There might even have been some heated discussion about whether or not the T90 should be released at all, given they were about to dump FD altogether, very shortly.
  21. I hadn't thought of that Fred,on reflection you're probably right, but Minolta bet them to the punch with the first A/F SLR. I wonder if A/F hadn't been invented what FD SLR s would be like today.
  22. That's certainly true. I was mulling over the purchase of my first camera, an A-1 or an X-700 when the Maxxum 7000 became available. Bought the maxxum. Within a few months I was heartily sick of the damned toggle buttons and sold the kit back to the camera shop. Within a short time I was shown a T90... SOLD. Almost a year later came the stunning news of the discontinuation of the FD series followed immediately by the introduction of the first EOS.
    I'm guessing the FD series would look very much like the EOS series without the AF. It was the T90 that nudged them in that direction, after all.
  23. The T90 IMO was seminal in the future of camera design it's influence can still be seen in just about every SLR today from every manufacturer whether film or digital ,and how many film enthusiasts are still using Minolta Maxxum 7000 cameras today ?
  24. As of today, I'm a first-time T90 owner.
    And, it can be said, almost reluctantly so- just how many fronts do you want to be battling in these camera wars?
    This particular body was never used- not a scratch, speck, or smudge anywhere on it 'til an hour ago. I'd never even SEEN a '90 in person much less held one, so in every sense it's a "new camera" to me!
    My first impression? Its overall compactness and balance.
    Time to go play with this 25 year old virgin!
    (and no EEEE so far)
  25. Count me as another T90 owner. I particularly favour the arrangement of the buttons, easily controlled with a couple of fingers. Three frames a second is still fast in my book, add in the widely available lenses, and none of the current models compares, in my estimation. I don't need autofocus, either, maybe if I shot basketball games, but I don't.
  26. Hi. I too have a much lived and still used T90. It is my second body as the first had a shutter servo prob which I had repaired but didn't last. I also bought mine off ebay and it's in fab nick.
    I do also use digi cameras and have the Eos 7D but still trot out with my T90 as I have a selection of excellent Canon FD lenses including a superb 24mm.
  27. I have two T90 bodies and a collection of lens. I love the camara. Unfortunately, I have taken a little hiatus for the past 6 months as I am having problems getting a good processor. Be that as it may, I got both of my camera bodies on eBay and they are in excellent shape. For the record, you can still get focusing screens on eBay. Just be sure the screen comes with the insert tool. Here's what I've done with my T90's
    Love the camera - I think it's the world's best manual focus camera. The multiple spot metering system can't be beat.
    PS:I tried to upload a pic but being a newbie couldn't
  28. On further reflection Fred I think you're right .

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