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What is your favorite Canon FD body?
Old 02-01-2015   #1
CliveC
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What is your favorite Canon FD body?

Since starting with film a few years back, I've amassed my share of FD cameras and lenses. Starting with an AE-1, I've added the A-1, the T90, and even found a relatively rare T60, made by Cosina.

While the T90 is clearly the most advanced (the multi-spot exposure system is nice), it's also a bit of a tank to shoot. There's something to be said about the relative simplicity of the AE-1 or the featherweight of the T60.

I don't have any experience with the older bodies like the FTb or even the F-1 series. So FD shooters out there: what do you consider to be your favorite FD camera?
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Old 02-01-2015   #2
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I always favored the F1N and the T90 as my set of cameras for my photography for twenty years.
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Old 02-01-2015   #3
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Loved the EF, with the overhanging shutter speed dial.
2nd place, either version of the original F1.
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Old 02-01-2015   #4
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My Ae-1P and not far behind a mint AV-1.
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Old 02-01-2015   #5
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F-1, original.

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Old 02-01-2015   #6
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AE-1 and original F-1
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Old 02-01-2015   #7
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F1-n, original.
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Old 02-01-2015   #8
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New F1, hands down.
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Old 02-01-2015   #9
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Ae1program was my mainstay for 20yrs.Always lusted for A-1 &T90. I bought A T90 and aT70.Isold the Ae1program to a friend for 50 $ with 50 1.8. No sooner than a week later I bought an A-1/50 f2 here on RFF for less .It looked prestine and worked great.The T70 I gave to my brother when he moved out of state.I kept the T90 and donated the A-1 to Chris Crawfords friend Neil Hollander for his young photographers group in Davis, Ca.The A-1 was goings to be a real shelf Queen so better to get it used for teaching the next generation of photographers.
The T-90 will stay as well as the lenses I have for it.
I did buy an FD-EOS-M adapter to try out the FD glass.
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Old 02-01-2015   #10
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I started with the AE1, followed by the A1. Then I got an F1n and F1N, followed by the T90. Lastly, I got the Pellix. I was curious about it. I used the F1n for very long exposures, using the mirror lock up feature on this solid mechanical camera. I used the T90 mainly with the 28-50 macro and with small lenses, while the F1N was used with the 80-200 and with long tele lenses. Incold weather, I used the F1N motor drive as a battery source. I sold the ridiculously heavy motor drive and battery back for the F1n, but it looked like a monster of a camera.
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Old 02-01-2015   #11
David Murphy
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For me it's a tie between the Ftb-QL and the F1 original. The FT QL is high on the list too.
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Old 02-01-2015   #12
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t90 was/is one of my all time favourite cameras!
i loved my original f1...so much better/more comfortable to shoot than the nikon!
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Old 02-01-2015   #13
gb hill
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I have a T-50, T-70, AE-1P, & an AV-1. The AV-1 is a fun camera to shoot. My fav. though has to be my AE-1P.
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Old 02-01-2015   #14
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The T90 - and I like that shutter - sounds like an event has just taken place!

I also use the EF for astro photography because of it's shutter, long timed shutter speeds , and mirror lock up.

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Old 02-01-2015   #15
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I started with a 1964 Canon FX, which was the first one with the FL lens mount. It has a meter that reads through a port on the camera body. I still have it, it works fine.

Recently, I obtained Dave's FTb QL. A really nice camera with true selective area metering. The direct lineage from the FX to the FTb-QL is visible when you put the two cameras side by side.

My family still has an AE-1. However, not having any shutter speeds visible in the finder was annoying to me. The preponderance of plastic was also a turn off at the time.
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I have a weakness for the tag names attached...
Old 02-01-2015   #16
kuzano
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I have a weakness for the tag names attached...

My favorites... the "Black Beauty" the EF... and one point about the camera... two batteries and both circuits protected to reduce voltage from any battery installed to 1.35 volts or the same as the original Mercury battery. No adjustment of the circuits needed. The high speed shutter speeds ran on their own dedicated battery.

Then "The Tank"... Had the EEE errors, and found the problem was dirty magnets in the shutter function.. chronic issue, resulted in bigger magnets in the EOS shutters. Found a fellow in Reno Nv (Carson City actually) who serviced Canons, and cleaned the magnets and would install an external PC socket...$135. Had him do all three of my T90's. Excellent work, fast service nice guy.

Loved the T90's. Did not go to the EOS.. Had the functions of EOS in a camera that used all my FD lenses.
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Old 02-01-2015   #17
FrankS
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I'm a Nikon 35mm SLR guy, but I have a very small collection of Canon FD gear. My favourites are easily the F1n and EF.
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Favorite FD body
Old 02-01-2015   #18
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Favorite FD body

I've tried the New F-1, the A1 and the EF.

The F-1 was in very good condition with almost no paint loss and had been overhauled recently. I loved the way the finder displayed the metered aperture, the selected aperture and the shutter speed, as well as provided a light if you couldn't see the display. The partial meter screen was a good compromise between spot metering and center weighted. I had gotten used to aperture priority on most of my previous cameras, so I bought the A1. I discovered I could shoot at slower speeds with the A1 and still get good photos. I shoot a lot indoors, so shooting at lower speeds is important to me. So, I sold the F1 in spite of its much better display and overall feel.

I missed the heft and solid feel of the F1, so it was only natural to try the EF. I've only shot a couple of rolls, but like the feel of the beast. The overhanging shutter dial and simple controls are fantastic. However, the lack of lighting to see the display is difficult at times and I suspect the lowest speed for sharp photos won't be as low as the A1.

So, my votes go to the A1, followed by the New F1.
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Old 02-01-2015   #19
Dirk
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Canon AE-1 Program. Nice and light and handles well. The T-90 also has great handling, but that shutter sound makes it somewhat conspicuous in street shooting.
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EF hands down.
Old 02-01-2015   #20
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EF hands down.

When I was a young lad back in England, I bought my brothers FTBN and married it with an AE1, then I bought the A1, at the time the best electrical camera out there. Then because my Father got an EF, I got one used from Fox Talbert in London, it was like new. Loved that EF, shutter was excellent for 30 sce stuff in the dark.
Well sold the AE1 for fifty quid to get a new Hasselblad 500CM in Fox Talberts in 1983, kept all the other gear.
Moved over to the United States in 1990, brought it all. Then in 1995 got a Leica M6 and sold the FTBN, the EF and all of my glass. Got two more Hasselblads and a lot more glass for them.......the my Father died in 2003 and I have a Canon EF again and a lot of good glass with it.
The EF in good care is a serious automatic camera, very well built, not like the plastic crap today.
I also have his Zeiss Super Ikonta 6x 9, he got it in Germany on vacation in 1953, the manager of the store took the first picture with it of my parents, I have every negative it has taken, I have had it recovered and serviced, it is a bloody jewel for BW.........the Hasselblads are jealous.
So EF is my opinion......... my brother, the ass hole JUDAS has two of the F 1 series, in their day they were up against the Nikon F2AS, so they are obviously very very good cameras, built for professional use. The trouble is the Canon glass was just not good enough for me. After owning Hasselblad stuff, nothing is good enough.........
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Old 02-01-2015   #21
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Love it. In a sad way of course.


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Old 02-01-2015   #22
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I only have the A-1 so it's my favorite...
A good friend gave it to me it belonged to her father and he wasn't using it anymore...
It came with a third party zoom lens but was a bit cloudy...I've picked up an Canon 50mm 1.4 and 100mm 3.5 plus a Vivitar 28mm 2.8 and a 75-205mm zoom...

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Old 02-01-2015   #23
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Number one would my A-1. It does so many things. Heck, it's hexa-photo-cybernetic. The ads said so! Number two would be my F-1n. Really like that metering rectangle in the middle of finder screen. FT-bn meters the same way and is lighter to carry if you don't need all that interchangeable stuff for the F-1n. Never had a T-90, but it seems to have gobs of features.
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Old 02-01-2015   #24
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My first Canon SLR is an FT, which I still have. I just like the style of the clamp-on hoods, and the old school way the camera works. I've also got an FTbn, an A-1, and Pellix (purchased for the FL 50/1.4 hanging on it), and have recently added a T70 because it was so cheap. I had a really nice AE-1P, but I had purchased it along with a set of FDn lenses for one of my brothers.

I'm thinking of cutting back to just the T70, and a set of FDn lenses, as it likely won't see a lot of use (I've also got Nikon, Olympus, and Yashica outfits to use, plus a couple sets of rangefinders). I like the fact it uses AA batteries which I can always just pop a fresh pair in right before loading a roll. And the metering system seems to be spot on, so it would make a good birding camera with the 100-300 zoom I just purchased.

I haven't used the A-1 enough to consider it a favorite, though that might change if I don't get another AE-1P. I do like being able to see the finder information in low light situations.

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Old 02-01-2015   #25
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F1N - liked it so much I've owned as many as five of them at a time. I still have two.
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Old 02-02-2015   #26
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1) Canon T90
2) Canon F1, original
3) Canon FTb-ql
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Old 02-02-2015   #27
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I love my F-1. The next best to that is my New F-1. I have them both with the 50mm 1.4, FD and FDn and from these two the FD (breechlock) is my favorite.
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Old 02-02-2015   #28
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Love the whole FD system, but the EF is my favorite body.

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Old 02-02-2015   #29
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...has to be an even draw between the EF and the F-1n (really depends on how I want to shoot) with the Ftb-n close behind.

p.s. I really do love shooting the EF with that overhanging shutter speed dial, that's why I enjoy the M-5.
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Old 02-02-2015   #30
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For me the F-1 original. I had a Tokyo Olympics special, which cost around $350.00 brand new. I parted with it a couple of years ago with some regret.
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Old 02-02-2015   #31
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F-1 amateur's version FtBn in black was my favorite at daylight, A-1 in the dark because of the integrated digital readout on shutter speed and aperture.
Would like to get these informations to my Leica-M models, to which I switched instead of Canon-EOS.
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Old 02-02-2015   #32
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Emotionally the F-1 (second version - the only I had since the early eighties), practically the New F-1 AE.
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Old 02-02-2015   #33
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I got that big lens above for cheap, so I had to find a body for it. The FTb turned out to be a fun camera to use.

An example from the above combo (at f/2)



... just for fun:
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Old 02-02-2015   #34
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Got to be the Canon F1n, the later model. Used these with motor drives until the EOS-1 came along. Best sorted out SLR i've used.
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Old 02-02-2015   #35
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I moved from AE-1P to A-1 to F-1N (latest).

The A-1 is a very usable and lightweight machine, but robustness of build is definitely prosumer, rather than pro.

The F-1N is a tank -- I think I could literally pound nails with it, and it never failed me. Now I have 3 of them, with a bunch of accessories, but they haven't tasted film in several years, since I started shooting digital for all small-format needs. I guess it's time to let them go.....

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Old 02-02-2015   #36
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Since others are giving their FD timelines, I'll add mine. I bought a T70 new in 1986 and used it for years, unfortunately without really appreciating what I was doing, photographically, that is, I used it as a snapshot machine. I'd have probably been better off with an AE-1P or an A1, but young me was fascinated but the looks of the T70 with its autowinder. Skip forward many years and I decided to get back to basics and bought an A1 which made me slow down a bit, and stop the spray and pray methods of my youth. Eventually I found an F1N for a good price and fell in love, leading me to be hard pressed to turn up a good priced F1. I think I'd like the EF if I ever used one, after all, it's basically a lightweight F1. I found a broken EF year ago, but haven't gotten around to having it repaired, and I probably never will at this point, time, money and other shooting opportunities being what they are.
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Old 02-02-2015   #37
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I liked the modular system of the F1N. Using the MD gives me shutter priority, while using an AE finder (which I never bought) could give me aperture priority. A less documented feature of the F1N is the fact that setting the camera to A with the regular finder results in AE without the camera showing the settings. Changing the screens give me three types of exposure types (average, partial spot, spot). I wanted a spot meter for easier metering of low ISO transparency film. Nikon did not have any cameras with spot meters then.
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Old 02-02-2015   #38
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Has to be my EF with the split image screen... same build as the F1, but just seemed to handle better.
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Old 02-02-2015   #39
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My favorite is easily the T90. I regard it as one of the best film SLRs ever. It was the most technologically advanced of the FD series and the design inspiration of the entire EOS lineup. I love the versatility and handling of the T90, along with its outstanding 300TL flash.

While I appreciate the versatility and ruggedness of both F1 models, their design concepts are laughably inept. Whenever you see a pro 35mm SLR with only a hopelessly awkward 3.5 fps motor that requires baseplate removal before attaching the motor (1st model F1) or an improved model that connects motor batteries with the camera via an outside of the camera connecting cord, you know the design team didn't quite know what they were doing.

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Old 02-02-2015   #40
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The T90 was the best SLR ever made, in my opinion. Portraits taken with the help of the flash 300TL were incredibly easy to perfect, and it had some very advanced options too.
Is till have two T90 and two F1N cameras set aside for the time when I will return to film photography. The metering system in the T90 was 'too advanced", and when the EOS-1 came out, it was a downscaled (but AF) version of the T90. I skipped all AF cameras, and I depended on the manual focus ones instead. I never really bonded with the (old) F1n. I used it only for very long exposures, such as 30 minutes long, with its mirror lock-up feature. It also is great for self defense in case of a burglary!
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