Makes you feel old

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by alan_swartz, May 25, 2010.

  1. Did you see the Canon news release celebrating the production of the 40-millionth EOS camera? Placed all in a row, that's a serious number of bodies since the T90s and F-1s and cousins. Following the water filter commercial now running in this part of the world, which strings empty polyethylene bottles around the planet, 40 million bodies, at about 2" thickness each, will stretch 1,263 miles. (Lenses and batteries not included.) It sort of puts in perspective the way people look at "FD archaeologists."
    It also makes me think again how much I enjoy the design, build, and performance of our antiques. Twenty-four to 39 years of age, FD "keeps on tickin'," turning out excellent photos for those of us who still enjoy them.
     
  2. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    Alan I do some shooting with a 1951 Canon Model III so that's pushing 60 years and with a CLA a few years back it's working perfect.
     
  3. What I want to know is why I can't pick up another T90 for less than the price of an EOS 620? There must be a collectors premium on the older FD stuff.
     
  4. Mark, I'm beginning to develop an interest in the rangefinder gear. I can appreciate your Canon III.
    I think there is beginning to be a premium on some FD items. "L" lenses, obviously, "Aspherical" breech-mounts even more. Also increasingly on original F-1 gear, thanks to age, historical position, and scarcity of really clean pieces. And T90 because of its significance, even for those who aren't shooting with them. Perhaps the pedestal on which we place them, even in this forum, has contributed to the phenomenon.
    All "relics" seem to go through a worthless phase about 20 years after their time, then some particular items with certain appeal regain value while others languish. Since an EOS 620 is related to, but overshadowed by digital and by sheer gadgetry, it's at the bottom of the curve. It's not unique enough and not enough time has elapsed for it to be collectible as a "first," or to have gained appeal for its very quirks and limitations. Like dead composers and artists, the T90 has an aura because of its accomplishments and short market lifetime.
    I seem to be noticing a rise in asking prices on FL gear, and some Canonflex. There are some pricey FT's out there, and the fast lenses are going out of sight (video being responsible for at least some of that). There's a 100mm Super Canomatic up for auction this week with an outright buy price of $800. Even I tend to see FL cameras as another step back into "interestingly different" equipment, despite the fact that I virtually stopped in the timeline with FD. FL-era stopped-down metering and preset apertures must really seem retro-cool to someone who has never held film before, like I would feel about collodion wet-plate technology!
    I have a friend who passed up a 1967 model muscle car in the late 80s, complete, running, intact, just normal wear--for $700. Restored today, it would bring nearly $70,000. I wonder what FD pieces other than an 85mm f/1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical will appreciate beyond belief?
     
  5. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    If your wanting to get into some of the rangefinder gear some of the lenses can be spendy. Mostly due to demand buy Leica and other LTM mount cameras owners looking for high quality optic's for less then the New VC lenses or M mount Leica optic's
    for bodies IMHO the L-1 and the P are two of the bright stars. The L-1 has a viewfinder that puts any LTM Leica to shame and holds it's own with the early M's
    I have a pretty complete kit myself. Though I am still looking for one more S mount (same as LTM) Canon Body. I had a L-1 and through some stupidity it got away from me. I'd like to replace that one of these days.
    Something most people wouldn't think of but from about 28mm and wider Canon FD mount lenses work quite well when adapted to an LTM mount or M mount body using Adapter B (and a M adapter ring to mount on a Leica M mount body) in zone focus. I use my 24mm f2.0 nFD quite often on my rangefinders. Talk about a nice optic on a rangefinder.
    Granted I'm not using it at f2.0 in dim light for street photography. But to grab a nice scenic it's great.
     
  6. Yeah, it makes me feel older ... sometimes. What makes me feel even older is I really do prefer the machines of the sixties and seventies to the newer technolodgy. I have F-1s, an F-1N, and and EF. Woudln't cross my mind to buy an EOS. I use manual Leicas and Bessas. My digital camera is an Epson RD-1s, which has a real retro feel to it. I use Canon Model 7 and 7s rangefinders as well. My workhorse lens is a Canon 35mm f2 Black screw mount. I feel like I grew up with these machines, learned the craft of photography with them. They are old familiar friends. I never saw how automation could make picture taking effortless. For me, thinking about the craft while stalking the shot was the fun of the process. I go with exposure automation ... sometimes ... most times not. Still use handheld spot and incident meters, even with the digital RD-1s.
    I think the 35mm camera was a mature product by 1980 and pretty much senile by the early nineties. By this I mean that manufacturers were fussing around at the edges of automation features ... "program modes" to do one's thinking for him, and autofocus. I would not use "program mode" if I had it. Digital game the industry a whole new ease on life because it allowed manufacturers to climb a fundamentally different curve ... it wasn't the camera box and lens that really needed improvement ... it became about the medium. Film or digital. And then the medium drove some changes in box and lens design ... some lenses were optimized for digital. Another reason to crank out new product and generate sales.
    For the most part, I think quality improvements a new features are marginal in utility. The machines and lenses are pretty much mature. The success of the picture depends primarily on the quality of your subject and ability to execute your craft when you shoot. 90 per cent of new products won't help you do that unless you know your stuff to begin with.
     
  7. I see no evidence in the quality of the actual pictures that people produce with all the technology now in cameras to confirm that it is a great boon to photographers,however it is a great boon to camera manufacturers and advertising agencys having to reinvent the wheel every twelve months trying to sell more of their products in an over saturated market to the general public who think that the automation will be a crutch for their lack of photographic knowledge. Good photographers have always been able to take good pictures and the greatest photographers largely worked with very basic equipment.
     
  8. Ben - are you talking about technology in general or just exposure automation? Reason I say this is because although I'm a film fan, and still have several film bodies, I do think there are aspects of technology and digital technology which make it easier to capture certain shots. For example, in low light situations or sports photography, AF is very helpful. The flexibility of ISO choice with a digital body is also hugely helpful. However, your point on exposure automation is well taken - without understanding how your camera meter works, exposure automation doesn't necessarily help you produce a better picture.
    I'm focussing on only in-camera technolgy here, but I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on digital post-processing.
     
  9. ben for sports and wildlife use a modern DSLR and fast AF lens combination are hard to beat. I shot some ski racing using my old set up of a "new F1" and an FD300 F2.8 lens jsut for fun in the winter. compared to my 1DIIN or 7D set up with a EF300 the new combo wins hands down. Similarly shooting indoor ice hockey is a dream with an F2.8 70-200 zoom or 300 prime and a camera that is good at ISO1600 or even 3200. For landscape shots and portraits the technology does not add much (although I do like the T90 multi spot metering and wish my 5DII and 7D had this feature - only my EOS 1 bodies have it!).
    Image quality wise even at low ISO the 5DII beats film by quite a margin. I find that my 645 scans are about the same quality and resolution as my 5DII Raw files. I still find that my Fuji GX680 (6x8) scans beat the 5DII but this is a lot of effort and you have 500-600 MB files. I still love shooting film and I never seem to match Velvia colours when I shoot in digital. I scan with a Nikon 9000 or 5000 so it is not a scanner issue.
     
  10. I should add to my previous comment that I love the tactile feel and build quality of the old FD bodies and lenses I own. The New F1 with the speedfinder prism, the winder, a partial metering screen and an 85 F1.2 is still a set up I love to use for portraits and the like.
     
  11. Ben Myerson , May 27, 2010; 05:09 a.m.
    I see no evidence in the quality of the actual pictures that people produce with all the technology now in cameras to confirm that it is a great boon to photographers,however it is a great boon to camera manufacturers and advertising agencys having to reinvent the wheel every twelve months trying to sell more of their products in an over saturated market to the general public who think that the automation will be a crutch for their lack of photographic knowledge. Good photographers have always been able to take good pictures and the greatest photographers largely worked with very basic equipment.
    [Thank you for saying it so well:]
     
  12. Kyam - I'm writing about letting the camera be responsible for the creative process, with auto focus, 3D matrix metering , face recognition etc.and do the thinking for you the human operators brain becomes virtually redundant in the process and it bears about as much relation to Art as painting by numbers does, all the camera manufacturers need to do in the next generation of cameras is find a suitable vehicle to attach the camera to and it can go out and shoot on it's own .
     
  13. Kyam _ I'm writing about technology in photography in general, they have known how to make good cameras and lenses for a long time, but unfortunately the majority of the people who buy cameras are not photographers the volume the manufacturers need to sell them in wouldn't be viable if they had to rely on them, generally the majority of consumers who buy cameras don't know or care anything about the technical side of the craft about exposure, depth of field, hyperfocal distance, contrast ratios, flash guide numbers, the inverse square law, and if the cameras electronics can't do it they are lost because they have no understanding of the basic principals of photography.
     

Share This Page

1111