Thanks everyone. Sorry about mis-sizing the photo. You're correct Peter...the actually model number is II-F. It still works flawlessly, which is testamony to the way things in general were built in days gone by. Paul
Ok Coanonnites let's all vote for the best canon FD mount ever made. I know the F1 and variants were some of the toughest cameras ever made. I have one bought new in '73 and there is no telling the times the shutter has been actuated and never to the shop I know the A1, very dear to my heart, was probably the most innovative of it's time The AE1P put SLR ease in the hands of the masses But my vote goes to the one called "the tank" The Canon T90 No other manual focus camera packed so many features into such a rugged and dependable camera. It was way ahead of it time and it inspired the EOS 1 series of cameras. But even the great EOS 1's have never had the features and especially the metering system of the T90. The spot meter and the H/S feature alone are worth the price. Being able to spot meter and store different readings then average them out or to set E/C was a God send. It is the only metering I have ever trusted 100% t blew away the competition with auto film indexing, DX coding and a motor drive built in. The competition had nothing to offer in it's class. unfortuneatly the era of manual focus was in it's death throws by then.. Here is my favorite of the three I own
Let's hear what your choice is and why.
I think you are right about the T-90. It's my next purchase.
I may have told this story already and if I have, please bear with me.
The owner of the camera store "Coke's Camera" in Macon, GA, once told me about a Canon Rep holding a seminar at their store one day. Afterward, they began drinking some rather strong beverages and about the time the Rep was three sheets in the wind, a fellow came in asking about an accessory for his Nikon F.
A discussion followed with the customer defending his Nikon against the Canon F-1. Clearly agitated, the Rep grabbed an F-1 and holding it by the open back, slammed it against the wall.... to the horror of the store owner as it was HIS camera!! "Will your Nikon take that?" he roared. Then he slammed it again! Not only did the F-1 take the punishment but it worked just fine afterward. The customer, almost speechless, left. A week or so later he returned and bought a rather complete Canon F-1 system.
True story according to the store owner.
Last Edit: Mar 16, 2007 15:41:28 GMT -5 by doubs43
The "EP' designation on the Canon, I believe indicated it was sold through the U.S. military "PX" stores. I had a Canon IV back in the '60s and recently an S2--about the same as the IV w500 sec shutter instead of 1/000. One of the Most prized Canons is the Canon V (or "P") the last RF before the Canon 7. Compact and very light with a titanium shutter. Had one I sold at a garage sale about 20 years ago for $10!
The best made Canon FD mount SLR I've seen was the Pellix. It reminds me of the Leica M3 in terms of build-quality -- simply exceptional.
All the Canon F series (except the F1 which had a slightly modified chassis) were built on the same chassis design, and to the same build quality.
That's the FX, FP, TL, TX and Pellix, plus all their variants with b and n and QL. Canon introduced that chassis in 1964 to replace the original Canon SLR, the R series, because the R series method of auto stop-down wouldn't have been suitable for later developments with TTL metering.
So the same basic chassis design was used from 1964 right through to 1976 (the EOS was launched in 1977). What's more, any Canon FL or FD SLR lens (but not the original R series) will fit and work on any F series camera, including the F1, and will also fit and work on the A series and T series. No adaptors, no modifications, no sodding about. Just fit 'N go.
For my money that's pretty sound forward planning. The F Series were heavy chassis with complicated machining, and could have been expensive chassis to make (like a Leicaflex) except that very clever production engineering and expensive high precision automated machine tools kept the price down - provided sufficient could be sold to amortise the machine costs. And with a basic life from 1964 to 1976 with many interchangeable parts more than sufficient were sold, and kept the market price very competitive.
I've got an example of most of the F Series, except the Pellix, and they're all very similar to use. Get used to one, and you're immediately at home with any of the others. Not surprising really, as they're all brothers - or sisters if you regard cameras, like ships, as female.
Moral for any maker of cameras for professionals and top amateurs: if you've got a sound basic design, stay with it. Don't worry about chasing around being a 'first' with the latest NEW! NEW! NEW! feature. Leave that to the makers of cameras for amateurs, and make changes only when you have sound, tested, new features, or you're forced to change because, for example, when introducing something like auto focusing. Who cares whether or not you were the first? That's forgotten before the ink's dry on the adverts. Just make sure yours ranks with the best. The quality is remembered long after everything else is forgotten.
And who's followed this path? Well, there's Canon, and Nikon, and Leica, and Rollei and ... to some extent Zeiss Ikon before the war, but their post-war dvelopment was knocked sideways by first the flattening of Dresden, then the Russians, then the partition of Germany in 1948-49 and a 'new' Zeiss Ikon in the west and, finally, the formation under a communism regime of VEBs. By the time the Truehand had finished dismantling the VEBs (with, it's strongly suspected, a fair amount of backhanders) it was too late. The lead had passed to Canon and Nikon in Japan.
But through it all, who has survived? Well, there's Canon ... and Nikon ... and Leica ... and Zeiss Ikon even though they don't make cameras in Dresden now. Sadly, not Franke and Heidecke's Rollei, because their bedrock basically 1928 design just became too outdated. And there's not a lot you can do with electronics to update a TLR.
So, to get back (at last) to the original question: What was the 'best' Canon FD mount camera ever made? Much as I like the T-Series, the answer is the F Series, of course. Take your pick which one.
Peter, your logic and advice to camera makers to evolve a sound basic design is as solid as a rock. If there's anything I dislike about your post, it's that it makes me want to go buy some Canon F-series cameras and I DON"T NEED another camera/lens system!!
My experience with Canons is extremely limited. I only have one, a nice FTbn that I bought in a thrift store, with a destroyed (n)ever-ready case, 2x converter, a Canon flash (that doesn't look like it was ever mounted on the camera) and gadget bag. To my amazement, after I located and turned on the meter switch, the dang thing WORKED! A roll of film later, I had some of the sharpest and best exposed (with the on-board meter!) shots that I have taken. Total $ invested? $12.50!!! A professional CLA and new light seals are in the works, Roy
Post by daveinpasadena on Jul 8, 2007 17:48:52 GMT -5
Peter I have owned most if not all of the FL and FD mount Canon manual bodies, and while they are of course all quite similar, it's been my experience that the Pellix stands somewhat apart. It just has a finish that is especially fine. If I could line them all up next to each other perhaps I could give you a more scientific explanation. One thing I do remember is particular care on machined surfaces -- e.g. that some of the metal parts had sort of a superfine bead blast that gave handling surfaces a satin-like feel that was distinct. Machined surfaces not for handling had a particularly smooth finish free of tool marks and perhaps brightly chrome plated. Maybe someone can back me up on this!
When I talked about the same basic chassis I wasn't including the top plate which, of course, varied slightly with different models, nor the exterior controls. I was talking more about the inside chassis, the cast and machined metal 'framework' if you like, that carries the shutter, the gearing and and the mirror box.
As I said, I haven't got a Pellix. I looked at a couple some years ago but was put off by the less bright view in the viewfinder and the fact that the fixed pellicle 'mirror' knocked nearly a stop off the lens speed. I don't remember that the exterior finish was any smoother than my FP or FX, but it was some years ago. The satin chrome finish on those is very smooth, if anything slightly better, in my opinion, than that on the AV1 and AE1. It seems to mark less.
Without putting the Pellix next to the others I can't really comment, and you may well be right. I will probably get a Pellix some time to complete my F-Series line up, and I'll certainly be interested to compare them. Anyone else got any comments?