No Auto Power Off on Film SLRs?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by mike_sowsun, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. I recently bought a Canon EOS 7NE and was surprised to find that there is no option for Auto Power Off, or any kind of "Sleep Mode".

    Is auto power off only available on DSLRs? Were there any Film SLRs that had auto power off?
  2. SCL


    None of my film SLR bodies did/do.
  3. Most "electronic" cameras I've used have a sleep mode of sorts-half pressing the shutter will turn on the meter/active the other displays but only leave them on for a certain amount of time(often 8 or 16 seconds).

    I've had many cameras where there was no actual on-off switch-all the "off" position did was keep the meter from coming on and the shutter from releasing if the button was pushed. All of the A-series and T-series Canons are like that, and a lot of my early electronic Nikons work the same way. I almost never touch the power switch on my F4s(which I use a lot), for example.
    Dave Luttmann likes this.
  4. My F5 has an on/off switch.
  5. All the Canon EOS film cameras have an "OFF" switch and they are all very similar in form and function to EOS DSLRs, which of course also have an OFF switch. I got in the habit of never turning off my DSLRs and would just let them "Sleep". So now when using my EOS 7NE it made me wonder if there was any sleep mode for it.

    I have left it in on now for about a week, using the BP-300 battery pack and some NiMH AA batteries, and the battery ICON still shows full. I guess there is not much current draw from just the top LCD display.
  6. Typically, a "modern" film SLR will keep at least some portion of the top LCD active all the time regardless of the position of the power switch. If nothing else, when the camera is loaded the film counter is typically active all the time.

    I'll also mention the fact that my T90, which the first EOS cameras copied very heavily in terms of UI, doesn't even label the switch On/Off. It's labeled "A" and "L", just like on most of my other 80s Canon cameras. "L", I understand, is for "lock."
  7. Most of my EOS film SLRs (650, 630, RT, A2, 1000FN ) , have L for lock, but my EOS 7NE does have an "OFF" position.
  8. I had a look at some online user manuals and it seems that starting in the year 2000 with the EOS-1V, Elan 7, 300V, and 3000N, etc, Canon changed the main switch from "L" to "OFF".
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  9. L was off.

    Why? Ask your mother.
  10. The F2 and a few other film Nikon's use the leverwind as the on-off switch. When the leverwind is clicked out to its standoff position, the metering is on. When you park the leverwind the camera is off. Brilliantly simple and almost foolproof.

    On other cameras there's always a non-user adjustable timeout..... when the batteries die the camera automatically shuts down.

    This could take quite a long time. My old F801s is still going strong on only the third set of AA cells I remember fitting, and I bought it around 1990!
  11. It's unfortunate that Nikon messed up this almost fool proof system with the EL/EL2.

    One can turn these on and off with the advance lever, but there's also a switch in a collar around the shutter release. It can be used to turn the camera on without messing with the advance lever, but unfortunately if one forgets and leaves it on the camera will drain the PX-28 battery in a day or so.

    I like that the FM2, FE2, FM10, and I would presume the FM3a, also have a time-out on the meter being on, and will only stay on for I think 8 seconds.

    IIRC, the K1000(or perhaps I'm thinking of the Spotmatic, or both) don't have an on/off switch short of the lens cap...
  12. AJG


    The K 1000 lens cap is the meter switch; Spotmatics had switches that stopped down the diaphragm and turned on the meter.
  13. Unless you are a left eye viewer, in which case, it pokes your eye out!
    Richard Williams likes this.
  14. SCL


    This discussion has really strayed from the OP's question of auto-power off, especially as it related to film-based SLRs.
  15. The (in)famous Ken Rockwell has an interesting page on batteries and the Nikon F100:

    According to his measurements, the F100 draws only a tiny current (41.5 microamps) when the camera is on but the meter has timed out and switched itself off (which takes 4-16 seconds, depending on a custom setting). Switching the camera off doesn't reduce the current drawn, since the camera needs to keep the exposure counter running (the count or an empty indicator is always displayed on the LCD, even when the camera is off). Switching the meter on raises the current to 250 milliamps. I'd be surprised if other late model SLRs don't have similar arrangements. I also imagine most digital cameras continue to use a little power even when switched off (e.g. to keep clocks running).
  16. The Yashica FX-D has a neat little switch on the front of the body sitting nicely under your right index finger that powered the meter on for 16 seconds, normally enough. I think the Contax RTS 2 and 139 had a similar arrangement. On the FXD, there is a rortating collar around this button that acts as an exposure lock, that sadly stays on after activating and drains the batteries. I quite like an exposure lock, saves a lot of messing about with ISO dials.
  17. My Minolta Autometer IIIf has no On-Off switch. They didn't add it until the IV model. So what happens, is that although it "shuts off" electronically, it still draws a very small amount of current which kills the battery after a while. So I always pull out the battery when I'm not using it.
  18. For that all modern cameras film SLR and DSLR included draw a small amount of current when turned off.
  19. I'm too lazy to take the battery out-mine usually has either a piece of film box or a piece of 120 film band stuffed under one of the terminals.
  20. I donโ€™t see why you need an on/off switch. Surely just an on switch would suffice

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