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Seeking Canon EF Camera Information


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I would like to collect information in this post about the EF, other than

specifications. Specs are available in the online manuals.(canonfd.com) I think

this would be interesting and would be searchable in the future for anyone

desiring information on the EF. Most search results return EF auto focus




Please contribute facts with sources and your opinions/comments.



Also please provide your serial number, the date code in the film cassette

compartment and the type of focusing screen. You can substitute XX for the last

digits if you don't want to reveal the complete s/n. This would give a date

code to s/n comparison and help approximate the focus screen change.



The EF was released to the market in November 1973. (Canon Museum)



When did production cease? When did you obtain yours if you purchased it new?



Center spot microprism focusing screen. (undated manual) Split-image with

microprism ring around it. (09-75 manual)



Center spot microprism below s/n 330000 and split-image with microprism ring

above s/n 330000.


This is questionable, see my EF s/n and info below.



Can anyone confirm the s/n cutoff?



Do you know of any changes during the production period?



My s/n 323087,date code P1225, (1975, December) and has a split-image with

microprism ring.

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Tim I don't know if I have ever seen any info about when production was stopped on the EF.


As to the screen change point your camera could be the one that lowers this number. As far as I know the 330000 point was an estimate developed from known samples collected on various forums and using eBay auctions. It is also possible unless you know the history of your body the screen was changed at some point.



The only change I have ever heard mentioned is the screen. There may have been minor internal changes as their have been with most Canon FD bodies. (Last I heard 5 different internal versions of the AE-1 had been ID'ed)


My serial number is: 337641 Mar 76

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Hi Tim, I bought my EF LNIB off eBay from a retired news photographer in NJ. He told me

by email he bought the EF new as backup in case his F-1's failed. They never did. In fact,

when I received the body in 2003, it still had a partially exposed roll of the old High Speed

Ectachrome (ASA 160) film in it which the seller said was the first (and only) film ever put

in the camera. He had forgotten it was there. I had Mr Oikawa do his renown CLA and I've

never looked back. Date code: R231 (Feb77), Serial: 400***. My screen is the split-image

w/microprism ring. I have no knowledge about production stats. I remember reading a

Pop Photo article 15-20 years ago that the EF shared the same die cast metal chassis as

the F-1 which should give great reliability/longevity. I do know after using this gem of an

FD body I will never be without one. The shutter speed range is very very useful to a

macro shooter. Enjoy yours!


Don Boyd

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Here's the info on my EFs:


S/N 2209XX O913 (09/1974) Microprism

S/N 2283XX O1114 (11/1974) Microprism

S/N 2828XX P621 (06/1975) Rangefinder+Microprism

S/N 3042XX P621 (06/1975) Rangefinder+Microprism

S/N 3213XX R632 (06/1977) Rangefinder+Microprism


The 330000 estimate for the split-image screen clearly needs to be revised. I suspect that production may have stopped in 1977. With the introduction of the AE-1 in 1976 and other inexpensive electronic cameras, sales of the EF, which were never very high to begin with, probably slowed dramatically.


It's interesting that my newest EF has a later date code than Don's but a much lower serial number. I purchased all of my EFs used, so it's possible that the top plate may have been switched at some point.

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Every time the subject of the EF comes up someone compares it to the F-1. The EF came out in 1974 so the original F-1 is usually the model it is compared to. It is true that both cameras have strong metal bpdies but I've never heard of a camera wearing out because its metal body wasn't strong enough. The EF and F-1 are completely different. The F-1 has a titanium foil horizontally running shutter with a top speed of 1/2000. All speeds work mechanically. It also has the older CdS meter cell. The prism and focusing screen of the F-1 are interchangeable. The F-1 accepts both motors and winders. Automatic exposure only works with the cumbersome Servo EE finder and battery pack. The EF has a vertically running steel bladed shutter with a top speed of 1/1000. If I remembe correctly some of the slower speeds are battery dependent. The EF has very nice Silicon Blue cell metering but if the meter is not turned off when the camera isn't in use the batteries die quickly. The EF has a fixed prism, no interchangeable focusing screens and doesn't accept a winder or motor. I have two F-1 bodies and one EF. I like all of them and I have many other FD mount cameras to keep them company. The EF is very nice but is not as sturdy as the F-1.
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Michael Your forgiven LOL


Richard not to argue but by what measure do you put the EF ahead of the T-90 as an auto exposure camera?


It's surely not superior when it comes to function or ability.


The View finder sucks compared to the laser cut screens used in the T-90 w/it's 8 different screens user changable in a minute. The T90's

0.77x magnification and 94% coverage. The EF's 0.82x magnification, 92% vertical coverage, 93% horizontal coverage. Again nod tot he T90.


The light meter while having a great range of -2 to 18 EV 12-3200ISO does give it the low light nod it's 2EV short on the top end compared to the T-90's 1-20EV 6-6400ISO And I guess we don't need to talk about things like Spot metering of 9 separate points only 2.7 degrees and then being able to average them or being able with a simple push of a button to change from spot to partial, to averaging. Or even the simple fact the batteries for the meter can be sourced in any store in the world (OK just about)


Now the shutter the EF goes from 30 sec to 1/1000th with 1/125th flash sync using it's excellent copal square metal blade shutter. Well the T-90 has a 30 sec to 1/4000th with a 1/250th flash sync. using it's Canon made metal blade vertical traveling shutter.


Flash OH please the 133D system compared to the 300TL????


Now the one thing the EF has all over the T90 is MLU will in stock form. Since the T-90 can be modified to have this feature.


And lets talk motor drive/winder OK EF NO T-90 pretty advanced with 3 modes and simple AA batteries and only 4 of them! to power the Beast.


True the EF will work from 1/2 to 1/100th as a purely mechanical camera and you can't even get the film out of your T-90 when the batteries are dead.




Size and Weight EF 147 x 96 x 48 mm, 760 g Smaller


Size and Weight T-90 153 x 121 x 69 mm, 800 g Larger easier to hold with it's ergonomic shape and only 40g heavier that's like 1.4 onces for those of you who never smoked POT LOL.


I own both I enjoy both and I know the T-90 and no EF is any T-90 when it comes to ability. And I buy my cameras for their ability to take photo's.

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SN 381619, with split-image, date code Q1031


SN 385282, with split-image, date code Q1031


I have a number of F-1s (and I'm specifically referring to the earlier F-1/F-1n, not the F-1N, or "New F-1"), and I don't find any difference in "sturdiness" between the F-1s and EF.


Things I do like about the EF over the base F-1/F-1n (and since they are from the same era, I think it is fair to discuss comparisons between them) is the aperture displayed in the viewfinder, but I do wish it displayed the aperture that the lense is set to even when not in A mode. I also like the overhanging shutter speed dial, making it easier to change shutter speeds.


One thing I don't like about the EF is it doesn't tell you in the viewfinder when the lense isn't in "A" mode. I like the rubber eyering of the F-1 better than I like the large rubber eyecup (same as the A-1).


I think the EF is a great camera, that few seem to know about, and this thread is a great idea. The service manual is available on the Internet, it contains schematics and *some* repair info. It's not as good as the other repair manuals for other Canon cameras, but it's something. Also, the instruction manual is available as well.


Best Regards,



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This thread is creating good serial number info.


So far, lowest s/n with split-image and microprism ring is Gordon's 2828XX P621 (06/1975) also Gordon has the newest EF with a date code of R632 (06/1977). . This may indicate the switch to split-image/microprism ring occured sooner than previously estimated (330000) and the EF was manufactured at least until June 1977.


WE NEED MORE DATA, Please contribute your s/n, date code and purchase date if you bought it new.

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Another thread for creating good serial number info. I have 2 EFs, #s 319421 (P1125/Nov.1975) and 337277 (Q528/May 1976.) Both appear to have the same focusing screen. Always wondered what everone was talking about. Unless one of mine was changed out; Although both were bought used there is no reason to think so tho.
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I have two EF's: First #211033 with date code O 1213. Second #386002 with date code Q1131. The older one is microprism, while the newer is rangefinder/microprism. Another curious thing I just noticed is on the older one the hot shoe is all chrome with the usual Canon 2 contacts on the right rear, while te newer version has a hot shoe with chrome sides but a black base. Does anybody else have this, or perhaps the older one is missing a black insert. Both were bought used.
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All of my EFs have the same black base hot shoe. Bob, does your all chrome shoe match the one on the FTb? Maybe the original one was replaced at some point.


I have several versions of the "Canon 35mm Single Lens Reflex Cameras" brochure. The 01/1975 edition shows a microprism focusing screen for the EF, while the one dated 01/1976 shows the rangefinder/microprism screen. June 1975 and serial numbers beginning around 282000 seems to be a reasonable estimate.

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I own two EFs: One from April 74 with date code O406 and s/n 113563 (microprism), the other from April 76, date code Q427, s/n 349949 (split image / microprism).


I do like the self timer on the EF a lot. I used A-1s, F-1s, F-1Ns and T90s. All these bodies meter, stop down the lens (unless you stopped it down manually before releasing) and flip up the mirror at the end of the delay interval. This causes vibrations. EFs have "mirror prefire" like some modern EOS bodies. They meter, stop down and flip up the mirror when you press the release button. Vibrations can die out before the shutter fires.

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I want to call attention to Michael's website EF page from his post Jan. 26. It is really nice with great photos of a fine EF, maybe some of this information will be worthy of addition or update to his EF page.


My EF hotshoe has a black bottom (where the contacts are) and chrome sides just like my black FTbn.


Keep that data coming, Please contribute your s/n, date code and purchase date if you bought it new.

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Gordon and Tim...I'm pretty sure the 'chrome' hot shoe on my EF isn't a generic replacement, but rather that the black bottom of the Canon shoe is a plastic insert which is missing on mine. A closer look shows what looks like the remains of a dab of cement which held the black insert. The space for the flash to slide in is a bit larger than any other Canon's I have (A1, FTbn, T90) and as a result the flash doesn't lock as securely as it should. Incidentally, they all have a black bottom. Oh well, another good reason NOT to use a hot shoe mounted flash
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Update on serial number data.


The lowest s/n is Ralf Guetz,. .s/n 113563,April 74, microprism.


The highest s/n is Henry Clark,. .s/n 4216xx, split microprism. Henry, please post your date code when you finish the roll. You mention 1973 in your post but your EF should be the newest one here, newer than 02-1977.


Newest with microprism, Dave Sims, s/n 2785xx,Apr-75.


Oldest with split microprism, Gordon Yee, s/n 2828xx,Jun-75.

This is the current dividing point of focus screens.


Mark, I'm sure you have split microprism but your post does not mention it. Please confirm.

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