Which Canon film bodies still work?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by thomas_sullivan, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. And, seeing as there are two major film bodies, I would also include the FD system in this discussion. This post is mainly because the Nikon people posted their Which Nikon film bodies still work....and I though there was some pretty good Nikon info in it.
    But, I don't shoot Nikon, and ain't switching now........so I thought I'd see what the general thinking on this was. The Nikon people that knew what they were talking about didn't talk about necessarily their own camera, but a more across the board discussion. Meaning, yeah, every model has working cams now...but I'm interested in the ones that as a whole model group have passed the longevity test almost all across the board. If that makes no sense, see the Nikon post and Lex's discusion.
    For ref I own the Canon Elan II and the Canon F-1...and am thinking about buying another EOS Canon body in the possible future as I'm not convinced the Elan II is a keeper.
  2. If it makes a difference, I still have my Canon EOS 1.
    Works great, other then a non working hot shoe. I don't use it much but I am holding on to it. I still have a roll of slide I do believe, so I need to use it withing the next few months.
    Oh, and a 35mm Rebel 2000, saving it for my grand kids or use as a prop/toy in children photography.
  3. As was stated more than once in the Nikon discussion, age really doesn't have that much to do with whether a camera still works -- it's more a matter of how well it's been cared for and how heavily it's been used. Of course there are some issues that relate to time, such as whether it is still possible to obtain compatible batteries, and the old selenium-cell meters may no longer work (and may no longer be accurate even if they do work).
    That said, the main issue one encounters with early EOS bodies is that the black foam used as light seals can degenerate into slime, which, if it gets on the shutter, can be a problem. These light seals are easily replaced by a competent camera tech. That aside, I don't think age is a significant issue with EOS cameras given that the EOS system only dates back to about 1986. Provided I could inspect the camera first, or purchase from a reliable source, I would have few worries about buying any Canon SLR going all the way back to 1959.
    I have a Canon Elan from the early '90s that still performs flawlessly.
  4. EOS 3

    Just ran an expired roll of Reala through it. Pictures came out perfect, love the ECF and 45 auto focusing points.

    Odd thing is that after each shot, I kept chimping for the missing histogram, and the "memory card" only held 36 shots!
  5. I love my A2. Was a great camera when it was released, still performs as well as when I got it, actually, it probably performs better due to my better lenses now.
  6. My Elan II which I bought used just to be fair, deteriorated just by sitting in the closet. The Mode switch which controls the frame count, just gave way and I could not fix it. The EOS-3 is a much more rugged camera. If you really want a keeper then go for a an Ae1 or Ae2.
  7. My dad told me I could have his A1 when he dies. Problem is, he's healthy, probably has at least another 40 years in him, and he's a doctor....that being said, I can afford one of my own now. He loved it, still uses it occasionally, and honestly it took great pictures.
    It was his love for that camera that probably got me into photography in the first place, and definitely what got me started on the Canon side.
  8. I'm not really sure what you seem to be asking.
    However my 1987 EOS650 (the one that started it all, with one horizontal AF point) shot some really nice macro's with my late 2009 Canon EF 100/2.8L IS USM Macro.
  9. My old Rebel G still works...
  10. I own and still use my EOS 3... It works perfectly. I didn't switched to digital, yet and I still enjoy my film camera. My whole portfolio (http://www.photo.net/photos/dallalb) is a collection of pictures taken with my Canon EOS 3 camera.
  11. All 12 of mine still work - perhaps your question should be Which ones are the best to buy?. this is the question I will answer, starting with the FD series (note FD lenses will not work on EOS bodies - there are adaptors but since they have a glass element the quality is poor unless you find the real Canon one - the Canon Adaptor is rare, expensive and designed for big Teles - all adaptors add about a 1.26x factor)
    The F1s of which there are three models F1, F1n (identified by the lever on the front - the F1n has a plastic end to the winder) and the New F1 all are great - the F1 is a manual camera (the EE prism makes it Shutter Priority) while the New F1 can be manual, aperture priority or shutter priority depending on the motor / prism used. All three are loverly to hold and built like no modern camera. The best part is they still take great images. The High speed F1s are realy classics but rare and extremely expensive - 14fps!
    The other great FD bodies are the EF (essentially similar to the earlier F1s but with a fixed prism and shutter priority) and the T90. The T90 was a classic and has the same functionality as an EOS body (except for AF). The T90 introduced the shape of all modern cameras.
    In the EOS line my favourites are the RT and 1NRS both with the pellicle mirror. the 1NRS was an amazing camera with the fastest shutter respone of any production SLR - 6msec delay - which is 1/10th of the 1DIV. The other good bodies are the 1V (the best film Canon) the 3 and the 1N.
  12. I have three Canons, all mechanical, batteries merely power the meter and are readily *available. Canon P LTM with 50 f2.8; Canon TX with 50 f1.8; Canon F-1n with 50 f1.4 plus other lenses for these cameras. I am and continue as a Leica and Nikon user for many years but FD equipment has become very affordable and I admire the optics and build quality.
    *hearing aid zinc oxide to replace mercury button cells with DIY sleeve
  13. Philip....that's kinda what I was after. I guess if I was to explain what I got from the Nikon post, was that all cameras can fail and all cameras can keep working, and yes, the user's handling has something to do with it.....but, certain models had defects from the onset. Hence they have terrible repair and recall histories thru out the entire models existence. While other models have nary a spec of repair problems. I'm looking for the latter. It seems the EOS 3 falls into that category along with the 1 series.
  14. The T90 has the well known "EEEE" error which is caused by failing / dirty shutter magnets. Increasinly difficult to fix due to lack of parts, but avoidable if you exercise the shutter magnets regularly. The LCD also has some leakage problems, which cannot be fixed at all.
    The Canon A series has the shutter squeal issue, easily fixed by a CLA.
  15. When the black foam in my 35 year old Canon AT-1 started to deteriorate, and I couldn't find any local facilities to repair and replace, I knew that my AE-1, A-1 & F-1 would soon follow. So that ended my use of the Canon FD system in the mid 90's.
    My first EOS (damn Canon for changing the mount) was the Elan 7e, purchased new and still have it. Although a great camera, they are not worth much these days. So, I'll just keep it and pass it on to one of my children when and if they show a genuine interest in photography.
    Shortly after I had purchased the 7e, I acquired a "like new" EOS3. I'll keep that one till my days are done, or the 50D, whichever comes first!
    So I guess my answer would be; to compliment the F-1, and whatever digital you may have. My vote would be for the Canon EOS3.
  16. I just picked up a roll of film from development and will be scanning this evening. Shot it with my Canon AE1 and 135mm ssc 2.5 lens I love the camera. Its a great compact, combination for shooting portraits I have only had it since two years but the whole package costed under sfr 200 you can't beat that for value for money. Looks and works like new. I got it as I love that focal length for portraits and did not want to fork out for the modern EF version. I also have a 35mm ssc 2.0 for it. Its a great walk about camera with the 35mm lens.
  17. Thomas - the 3 is a great camera - it has eye control a feature you either like or hate (it can be turned off). If you wear glasses to shoot I expect you will not like it - personally I regret Canon never continued to develop it. The 3 is essentially a 1 series in disguise but be aware it has a very loud shutter.
  18. My EOS 500N (Rebel G) and EOS 33 (Elan 7) are still working (500N isn't used any more).
    The silent operation of the 33 is still a joy for wild animal photography, despite the problem to get the right films.
  19. I bought a New F-1 as new 1987. Still pleasure to use, one of my best camera investments. Just noted that second hand Eos-1 cameras go cheaper than New F-1's. Eos 1V is still more expensive than NF-1?
  20. I currently use an EOS 630, EOS 5 (European A2E), EOS Elan 7N, and EOS Elan 7NE. I'm not sure about the Rebel series, but as for the EOS professional and semi-professional bodies, my experience is that they just work. Period. Unless you trash them.
    I did a ton of professional work with the EOS 630 during the 1990's. That thing is a beast. I'd swear you could use it to hammer nails.
    Are there issues with particular bodies? Yes, as there can be with any camera make, but my experience with EOS bodies has been overwhelmingly positive. This is a good place to poke around if you want to know about a particular body: http://eosdoc.com/manuals/
    Site navigation could be better, but there is a lot of good information.
  21. T90 along with the 28mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 and 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 FD lenses.
  22. I second the T90... phenomenal camera that's built like a fortress. I still have mine that, along with an old 300mm f/4, I run a roll thru every so often.
  23. EOS 3. Still operational, still impressive, still a brick. Currently loaded with Portra 160 VC. :)
  24. Photo school I went to still uses AE1's to check out to students. They have at least 20 or 30 of them and they all still work after constant student use. I think generally these older cameras whether Nikon, Canon, Minolta or Pentax still work just fine especially with periodic CLA, replacing foam etc. Some of them are still being used a lot and parts are available for them. But when something does break, often the cost of repair is greater than just finding another used one in working order. So often the question is do you feel enough attachement to a camera to pay more than replacement cost to get if fixed.
  25. I bought mint EOS3 and 1NRS. after trying, I like both and decide to keep them. between EOS 3 and 1NRS, I prefer later.
  26. my canon EF fd mount 35mm camera works just fine... it's been more than 30 years.
  27. I count my pre-digital Rebel, which I bought new, as a reliable backup if needed and my Elan7e, which I bought mint-like-new, as a go-to any time. My Canon 10D, bought new 7 years ago, ain't shabby either.
  28. My Canon VT works just fine, but I don't use it that much. Never was an RF guy.
  29. All of my Canon film bodies still function, and very well indeed:
    *Canon P rangefinder (with working selenium meter)
    *Canonflex, original 1959 (with working selenium meter)
    *Canonflex RM (w/ working selenium meter)
    *Canon F-1
    *Canon F-1n (several) (with working Motor Drive MF, Servo EE and Booster T Finders, etc)
    *Canon New F-1
    *Canon A2E (given away recently)
    *Canon EOS-3
    *Canon EOS 1V
    Of all these, only one mechanical problem exists- the '59 Canonflex self-timer doesn't work. All of 'em have taken pictures in the last few months. I love each and every one!
  30. My A1 still churns out great pictures, just not as often as it used too. I've shot a few rolls in the last 12 months.
  31. F-1, FTb, FTbn.AE-1,AT-1,A-1 and of course the EF.
    for EOS, there's the Elan 7E.
    All are keepers.
  32. Dunno about any EOS models - I skipped over to the Nikonista camp by that era - but my favorite Canon was the FTbn. I miss some of its features compared with the Nikon FM2N, such as the cleverly designed multi-function lever for DOF, etc., and true mirror lockup on demand rather than the FM2N's self-timer-only mirror lockup.
    Also enjoyed the T70, used a pair of 'em for years. Great for that era but not sure they'd be good values today, the auto-winders tended to wear out. Never was a fan of the AE-1 but the A1 was terrific, a lot of value and features.
    Looking at used price trends the past year (KEH and elsewhere), the mid-level to high-end EOS 35mm bodies appear to be a better value than the comparable Nikon 35mm AF bodies. Lots of very affordable Canons with good features.
  33. What sort of a baiting question is this? :(
    All of my Canon film bodies 'work' perfectly. 2x T-90, 1x A-1, and a T-80 (Autofocus! :) )
    I also have several 50's~70's era large format lenses that all 'work' perfectly too. Wow, what a shock!
    2x 80's Bronica SQ-A* bodies.
    1x 70's(?) Mamiya TLR.
    Yep, they 'work' great too. I shoot ALL these cameras at least a few times a year, and run many dozen rolls through the T90s and Bronica annually.
    Feh! :p
  34. I have a new, complete boxed EOS Ti that I bought from a dealer that had it as overstock. I put a roll of print film through it, and the prints were in some ways better than equivalent test prints from my 10 MP digital EOS. I also picked up a new 28-135 EF USM lens that was broken out of a D50 kit. It's great on the film body, too. I just wish we had good one hour C-41 or E-6 processing here in our county. My eleven years in digital have spoiled me for seeing my work more spontaneously. I gave my darkroom away to a community college student, in 2003. But this little re-visit with a nice film outfit was sweet for an afternoon. I just wonder if I'll use it much.
  35. @ Greg.....no bait. It's impossible for one person to be able to follow all the models of roughly 60 yrs of a camera manufacturers line, so I just was curious as to what people who have or had have cameras or knowledge of inherent defects in models had as food for thought.
    You mention medium format cams....I too own a Mamiya C220, Mamiya 645 manual, Mamiya 7 and all of them work great. And actually most of my film shooting these days is done in Medium Format. Not to mention that with an adaptor my 645 lenses work on my EOS (both film and digital) cameras.
    And yes, all my cameras still work.
    Just trying to get my film cameras in order for the future. I think I have the Medium Format stuff where I want it....was starting to doubt my choice in the EOS film arena. Altho the Elan II still works great and I still use it on occasion.....am definitely considering the EOS 3 at this time for it's near "1" features. And maybe also the Elan 7n for the quieter shutter.
    Thanks to all who responded...it was greatly appreciated.
  36. I have a 630 that works perfectly... not trendy, but at $20 I'd say one of the best buys at the moment.
  37. Well, I am still shooting quite often with my A2's and my Elan. I have a Rebel G and 2000 someplace that I never use, but I am sure they would be fully functional if I wanted to. For the record, my A2 and my Elan have been thru hell and back, I have not been gentle with either of them, and I still have no issues with them. (I have two A2's and 2 A2E's). I happen to like how quiet they are. They are no way as spendy as the EOS 3, but still give you a great selection of functions/features.
  38. All Canon FD cameras work, if they are serviced occasionally by a professional, I always consider this in the price when buying them.
  39. I've got a 1V that still works. I don't use it any more so I'm thinking about selling it. Great camera.
  40. The same as Nikon, Pentax, Minolta, and other brands, you cannot say which model still works. It depends on the particular camera. I have seen EOS-1V (newest and top model) that is broken. There is no such thing as longevity test. My Canonflex can be considered as an oldest Canon SLR which is still working like new, but I wouldn't say Canonflex is the greatest of Canon SLR in longevity. In my opinion, the F1 was best in built quality, and yet I have seen so many broken F1. In fact one of my New F1 was sold to me for $25 because the gentleman who owned it broke it after using it for only a couple of years (he bought it new). Well, I fixed it and it is working like new now
    There are many factors that effect the condition of these old cameras besides model (and its age). It is just wrong to tell someone "Just get a Canon XXXX, it will work fine". If you want to buy a working Canon film camera, it's so easy and safe to check out the EX (and better rated) bodies from KEH, Adorama, or Cameta. They work not because of which model they are but only because those stores already checked them and we can trust these stores. It's also useless to try to make some statitics data about these bodies. I will try to mention below some of these factors that damage a camera;
    The T90 is told to die if not being used for a long time. This same reason causes queaky noise in AE-1, A1 and similar models. The F1 is broken because of dropping and heavy use (same with EOS-1). The AE-1 and A1 are often found broken because of forced action when battery died. The EOS Rebel are found broken because of their lens mount, wheel, and buttons are not well built and the beginners dont know how to handle them nicely.
    If you want to get a body in good shape, dont try to bargain too much for great deals
  41. They all work if they are not broken. My favorites in the FD world are the New F1 and the T90 (the T90 is bullet proof, and doesn't die without use). My favorites in the EOS world are most all of them, although I prefer models newer than the EOS3. The 3 is a great camera for it's time, but aside from it's technical shortcomings related to it's age, it may well be the loudest EOS ever built. I dumped mine awhile back (found it a new home), and replaced it with a newer tech, much cheaper, but lower class Elan 7e, which happens to be a better camera all around anyway, except if you plan to shower with it. There is also a fully functional EOS 1 in the pic below, and it is a fine camera, but it is similar to the 3 in vintage (old), and if you really want the king of all film cameras, you should go for the EOS 1V HS, which is not in the pic below because it was in a drawer at work, and was not here at home when I took the shot.
    No matter though, as the answer to your question is that most any Canon film camera will rock your world within it's new performance envelope, no matter how old it is today. Also, they are all so cheap today that the real problem is which one, two, or three should you select from all of the various models that still work perfectly fine.
    Here is the picture of some of my Canon gear made for a different thread, but it does cover several decades of Canon tech, and all of them work as new to this day. I have older Canon gear, and some of the latest Canon gear as well, but upgrades are never about the previous model going belly up. Great lenses last forever, but the best camera bodies only last until the next release. There is always a better body coming soon. The question is, do you really need it? The only reason that the Canon film line halted it's progression with the EOS 1V is because the Canon film line simply ended after the 1V was introduced. It is funny though, that if you discount AF, and digital sensors, the ancient T90 is still a bleeding edge technology wonder to this very day......
    This basic series has my vote for the top super cheap and awesome EOS mount film body that can use modern accessories like ETTL strobes. It's quiet, has better AF, and faster eye control than the oldies like the EOS3. Did I mention that it's cheaper and lighter as well?
    If you like "old school" Canon manual focus FD cameras, there are many to choose from, and here are my favorites. Of the three though, the T90 is just plain awesome. Maybe awesome is a bit reserved... Incredible might be a better word....
    What can I say, it's only 24 years old, and still going strong....
    Time lapse photography, programmed functions, date and time still current to this very day? No problem, the T90 does it all...
    Of course, if you prefer a silent 35 mm film rangefinder with Leica quality 40 mm f/1.7 fixed glass, and Rock of Gibraltar reliability, the nearly 40 year old Canon G-III QL still works beautifully, and remains so popular that a good used copy costs more today than I paid for my first new version back in the early 1970's. Here are the two that I currently own. The one on the bottom is the one I bought new. My first Kodachrome slides of the Colorado Rockies were shot with that camera way back then, and they still leave me breathless today. Kodachrome is (sadly) gone now, but the ancient G III QL is still ready to deliver images that need no excuses with the best film currently on the market.
    If you thought choosing a Canon film camera to play with would be as simple as asking "what still works", think again..... You might have an easier time figuring out who will be the Prime Minister of the UK in 2047 :).
  42. I'll just add another general statement to further affirm what has mostly been the direction of comment.
    I started some years ago to accumulate older, historical models of EOS cameras. I ended up getting some of the later models of FD cameras as well because of their "precursor" status in terms of operation and design.
    Most of these I have paid less than US$50 for so far, with a few up to a $100. So far all that I have bought have been in good operating condition on receipt. None has had serious problems with foam, squeaks, or anything else. I've cleaned the dust off of them, dropped batteries into them, loaded film, and off you go in every case. Even my Canonet 28 light seals were OK.
    Experiences may vary, of course, but old cameras seem to hold up pretty well. Actually, much older (and more mechanical) DDR cameras (my real love) almost always work after 50 or 60 years of sitting around somewhere.
  43. I have a lot of Canon cameras and have owned and used a lot of FD and EOS bodies. The only one that ever had a serious problem was my first A2; I wore out the shutter after 8 years of near-constant use and toying around with. Jim summed it all up pretty well though so I'll only add that the A2 is really a fantastic camera still, even 18 years after it was released. My absolute favorite Canons are my F-1 (original), my 1vHS, and my 7D, but I'm also really enjoying my "new" EOS 650 and T90.
  44. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    My 1951 Canon Model III rangfinder still works great
    My 1957 Canon L-1 rangefinder still works wonderfully
    My 1964 Canon Demi S
    My 1966 Canon Demi EE17
    My 1971 Canon FTb
    My 1972 Canon Canonet GIII QL-17's
    My 1973 Canon EF
    My 1976 Canon AE-1
    My 1979 Canon A-1
    My 1981 Canon AE1p's
    My 1982 Canon New F-1's
    My 1986 Canon T-90's
    All work wonderfully. I do need to have my T-90's CLA'ed but that is normal servicing.
    Oh and my some 48 Canon lenses all work perfectly.
  45. What is your question? This is weird and I know my answer is super late. But again, WHAT IS your question? ALL EOS film bodies work well. Your question? (There is a beginners forum FYI)
    ((Since this IS the EOS forum I restrict my '''answer''' to just that. I couldn't care less about Canon cameras pre-EOS. LOLz))

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