Why FD rather than an EOS film camera?

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by tomspielman, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. It was Christmas of 2008. My wife bought me a EOS XS (aka 1000D) with the 18-55 II zoom. I hadn't done much of anything photography related for several years. In fact about four years before, I sold off a lot of pieces that I felt I would never use again. Funny thing happened, though. Holding an SLR in my hands again started waking up long dormant urges. I had kept a small EOS outfit (Elan IIe, and a few lenses) for the wife, and a Nikon F2 outfit just to have something from the old days. I dragged the Nikon out of storage, dusted everything off, and for the first time in years, bought some film and loaded it up. About this same time, I discovered I could buy a cheap adapter that would allow me to mount Nikon lenses on my EOS DSLR, so of course I bough one. That was what started it all. Before I scarcely knew it, I had bought several Nikon mount lenses so I could use them on my EOS. And of course, I'd get to use them on my F2.

    I was shocked at how cheap everything was. I could scarcely believe my eyes. So I started going a little nuts and this is when I started buying camera bodies, like FTbs for $10-20, A-1s and FEs for $40, and old Canon F-1s and Nikon F2s for $100-150, I even bought a nice Bronica ETRSi outfit (body, prism finder, 75mm lens, and three backs) for $129. It was an auction and there was just no bidding interest. I've since also put together a nice Pentax 67 outfit -- a camera I've always wanted but was never able to afford. Until recently.

    All of the FD gear I own now, I bought during this buying frenzy that lasted for a few years. Several pieces were items that I couldn't easily afford back before the prices fell through the floor. Like a New F-1 with Motor Drive FN. Or an 85mm f/1.2 SSC Aspherical, or a 55mm f/1.2 SSC -- two of 'em, at one point, in fact. I now own three EFs and three minty FD 50mm f/1.4 SSC lenses. Why? Folks practically gave me the EFs and the 50s came with outfits I bought and I've just never gotten around to selling them on eBay. Besides, I kinda like being able to mount all those 50s on some of my clean FD cameras.

    Nowadays, because of a resurgent interest in film technology, and because a lot of digital users are using the old vintage lenses on their new cameras, prices for the old gear isn't as cheap as it was back in 2009, but you can still find really good deals if you're patient. I've gotten a lot more choosy, just because there isn't really much of anything I still need or want -- except for huge L lenses, which even if in FD mount are still quite expensive, albeit nowhere near their new EF counterparts.
  2. Mine is a similar story. I've always had a mild interest in photography but could never justify the expense of an SLR when I was younger. About 18 months ago someone on "NextDoor" was giving away a T50 and some lenses. The latch on the battery door was broken and two old corroding batteries were lodged inside.

    I love fixing old stuff and my dormant interest in SLRs was awakened so I picked it up. A little cleaning, a little duct tape, and I had a working SLR. A T50 is as basic of an SLR as you can get, - program mode only so of course I had to get something better. Since then I've had a T70, two AE-1P's, another T50, two Rebels, a Canonet (Rangefinder), an Elan and an Elan IIe. And those are just the Canons. I've also bought two Yashica TLRs and three Olympus OM cameras.

    It wasn't always the cameras I was interested in, they were maybe attached to a lens I wanted or in one case, a tripod. And all along I was getting rid of cameras was well as buying them, just not as quickly. Over that time I've learned what I like and realized that this taking up too much of my time and too much space in my house. Even though a certain camera may appeal to me because it's ridiculously cheap, I've mostly gotten to the point where I can pass them up.

    While I've not quite given up acquiring cameras completely, I think I'm finally selling them faster than I'm buying them. By the end of the year, hopefully all that will remain are the few cameras and lenses that I will actually use.

    Looking back my behavior seems a little glutenous, but money wise I've probably come out ahead even after purchasing film and chemicals. It's still possible to get film cameras for almost nothing if you're patient. Still lots of good equipment sitting unused in closets everywhere that people just want to get rid of.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  3. I use both..T90 fun, surprised sometimes hope smart it is. My 1v is not plastic...one could pound tent stakes with it...
  4. Yeah, the 1v . . . that's the only EOS film camera that I really want. One of these days . . .
  5. I have over a dozen older film cameras, oldest a 1932 Kodak Recomar. I had a T-50 and a T-70 that both quit on me at some point, both just electronically died. I still have many manual Canon's AL-AT, two AE-1's, and an F-1 with a plethora of FD lenses in a case. They are all in a display case in my shop except the F1, when I do use film it's always the F1, in my opinion probably the best camera that Canon ever made as well as most other manufactures. I started this fiasco in 1947 in high school photo class, I worked my entire summer vacation to buy my first 35mm, A Perfex w/Wollensack 3.5 F. then a Navy photog in Korea. There is just something about the F1 that takes me back to the time when I was sent on assignment I was EXPECTED to get the "shot", no burning up the air with multiple images like now. I now use 3 D series Nikons and a Fuji S2 but they just don't compare FEEL WISE to the F1. I still use the F1 on occasion especially with a planned trip, I learned to use "hearing aid" batteries in it. also use some of my better FD lenses on my Mirrorless camera with an adapter.
    OH, I also never owned or used an EOS camera, I switched to Nikon when they came out and obsoleted my FL and FD lenses.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  6. Bill, I've traveled down the same paths as you, and I also agree that the original F-1 is just simply the best. Now, the New F-1 is a cracking good camera, but if I have to choose, I'll always go with the original. There's just something about it. And the FTb -- I owned an FTb for about a year before I bought my first F-1. Before I bought that old FTb, I didn't know butkus about photography. But I learned photography on that FTb. So when I finally got an F-1, I was ready for it. Hit the ground running, so to speak. And I never looked back. I bought my mirrorless camera so I could use my Canon FD lenses on a digital. But you know, when it's time for me to get some serious photography done, I don't take a digital out with me, I take a film camera. If it's 35mm I'm shooting, then it's usually my old F-1. Just cuz I like it so much, I understand how it works, and I'm comfortable with it. I also switched to Nikon after Canon changed mounts, but it took me a couple years to do it. Funny thing, though, I could never get the Canon stuff out of my head, so I started buying back into FD gear. These days, my largest collection of cameras and lenses is Canon FD. Nikon comes in second. Then Tamron -- so all my other SLRs will have good lenses to shoot with :cool:

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