Saturday, March 20, 2010

Some thoughts on the Canon EOS (film) SLRs

I've been a pretty dedicated Nikon user for the past 10 years, ever since I got serious about photography. Canon, pffft.... Well, I am sure Canon users said the same about Nikon. However, when it comes down to images, you can't tell what camera was used to take the photo. So, really, aside from the idiosyncrasies of any particular camera system, it comes down to personal preferences, and whether or not a system provides the flexibility one needs. In favor of Nikon, the lens mount has changed little in 50 years, as has been reiterated many times. Canon, on the other hand, departed from the breech-lock FD-mount and went to a new AF lens mount that basically made anyone buy all new lenses, or search for an adapter. The good news, is that the Canon EF-mount has a lot of adapters available for other systems. Not so for Nikon. Nikon lenses don't seem to have the two-tier system that Canon has. Canon's cheap lenses do feel cheap. Their L-series lenses are pro-level and command a higher price, as well. So, the two stalwarts of the SLR wars each offer something for somebody. I won't discuss the DSLRs as I have not used one of Canon's models.

Canon EOS Elan II
However, lately, I have added a couple of Canon EOS film cameras to my "collection." I previously blogged about my inexpensive Canon Rebel-G. Well, a little while ago I bought a Canon EOS Elan II body on ebay for $10.52 + shipping. That camera has turned out to be a real gem, as I like its ergonomics, control layout, and the viewfinder is nice and bright. Obviously the mid-level camera in the EOS film lineup, and a significant upgrade from the Rebel series. It also works with a Nikon adapter, so I will try out some Nikkor lenses on it.

A little note on the the Rebel-G. I bought a 50mm 1.8 lens for it, and the combo must be one of the most lightweight SLRs out there. I did some shots with it last weekend, and it was a lot of fun to use.

Red Cedar River

and with the 24-50mm Sigma lens:

In the end, the Canon Rebel SLRs are perfectly capable of providing excellent results. You really can't go wrong with Nikon or Canon, and the digital deluge is causing excellent film cameras to be sold at a fraction of their original cost. Black and white film has never been better, and these cameras are certainly a lot lighter and a breeze to shoot with.


Saranna said...

I've been reading so much good about the Rebel(especially on blogs) I've been thinking of getting one myself. I mainly use old Minoltas, some of which are a little unstable, so a well-performing SLR would be a nice addition.

Unknown said...

$10.52 for an eos elan? That's a deal! :) Look forward to seeing some more shots from this cameras!

mfophotos said...

One of the problems with older SLRs is that many of the classic models are now approaching 40+ years. In addition, there are a lot of 1960s-70s era cameras that need 1.3v batteries to operate the meter properly. SLRs made in the 1980s, as many of the Canon A-series, the Nikon FA, FE2 models, and the F3, are likely to be a better choice if you are looking for manual-focus, metal-bodied cameras. With the Canon Rebel, there are some compromises because it's an entry-level SLR, but it is on a par with the Nikon N80.

John said...

$10.52?! Total bargain for those photos.

Saranna said...

Thanks for the tips, Mark! The battery-issue I've been able to work around, even though it is a bit of a pain.

Tiffany said...

Yeah, I have the Rebel XS. I like it, but I'm not crazy about it. I've been tempted to buy the Elan, but I really want the EOS 1v or 1n...My dream is to get Canon's F1 or at least a camera that can operate without a battery. My Rebel XS eats batteries, and they are not cheap. It upsets me because I don't use any of the automated features. I shoot manually, with a m42 mount lens and adapter. The automatic film winding is nice at times, but I find that this feature wastes up to 3 exposures on the roll.

Glad I read your review, as I now have GAS for another SLR body:-)