Complete newbie w/ a Canon FTb (circa 1973)

Discussion in 'Welcomes and Introductions' started by katherine83, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. katherine83

    katherine83 TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,

    I just purchased a Canon FTb and am starting to discover how complex the world of photography is! I've just loaded my first roll of film and plan on playing around with the camera to see what the developed roll looks like.

    I don't have too high of expectations right now as I've just been told that the foam (is this the technical term?) inside the camera has pretty much disintegrated and that the film may not turn out at all. Oh well, like I said, I will use up this one roll and see what happens.

    One question though... has anyone "re-foamed" an old camera? Is it worth the money spent to do this? Thoughts?

    Katherine

    P.S. I feel very fortunate that Vancouver has some lovely sunny weather this weekend so I can go out and experiment with my new toy. :)
     
  2. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    There are a number of places in cameras of that vintage where foam is used. The foam tends to breakdown with age. The most critical is the foam used to seal the back. Some top of the line pro cameras (Nikon F, F2, F3 & Canon F-1 series) use this foam only as a dust seal, using metal tongue and groove arrangements for a light seal. Most, like your FT-b, use it for both dust and light seals. The hinge end is the biggest problem.

    The other visible place where foam is often used is the bumper that the front tip of the mirror contacts when it lifts. This won't generally affect pictures, but it can leave marks on the mirror and in extreme cases cause the mirror to stick in the up position.

    Refoaming the camera back is generally a very easy task. For most people it can be a DIY chore. Care needs to be taken to avoid allowing any of the old foam to fall into the camera.

    FT-b's, when in good condition, are excellent MF cameras. Hope you enjoy yours. BTW, there are two versions. The first is the "Canon FT-b QL" which has a large chrome DOF preview lever with a leather insert. The second version is the "Canon FT-bn" which was still a "QL" (Quick Load) model but Canon no longer made as much noise about it. The "n" model has a more compact DOF preview lever and a switch cover over the PC sync socket that turns the hot shoe off when a PC cord is inserted.

    Flashes of the day had a 300+ volt trigger circuit. When you connect a PC cord to the original FT-b, and most cameras of the day, the 300+ volts is present on the hot shoe. Brushing a finger or, worse, your nose across the hot shoe could be a shocking experience. This is why many manufacturers started shipping cameras with hot shoe covers. Slowly, most developed some form of switch; most of which were small switches in the shoe itself to turn on the shoe when a flash was mounted, often paired with a PC terminal cover in case an old high voltage hot shoe flash was used.
     
  3. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    If you do a google search, there are many reputable repairmen that can totally rebuild your camera. Problem is, are the parts available. Canon A1's and AE-1's are a dime a dozen on ebay, in mint condition. You might want to consider one, because there are a lot of new old stock parts available for them. If you PM me, I can give you the name of a reputable dealer in Cincy. You send them a camera, and if they can fix it they will, and if not, you're just out the postage/shipping. Anyway, good luck and have fun. I think you'll find it addicting...Oh..and BTW some camera's do cost more to repair than they are worth...just a warning. A reputable dealer will let you know this and get your o.k. for the work before they perform any....just something to keep in mind.

    J.:mrgreen:

    Katherine

    P.S. I feel very fortunate that Vancouver has some lovely sunny weather this weekend so I can go out and experiment with my new toy. :)[/QUOTE]
     
  4. katherine83

    katherine83 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Dwig! You've made me feel a bit better about the situation... I thought there'd be no hope for my "dinosaur" as one employee at a local camera store called it. :)

    Thanks for the advice... first I think I'll exhaust my options in Vancouver as far as camera repair goes and if nothing pans out I'll PM you for details on the Cincy (Cincinnati?) guy. :D

    I'm already through half my roll! I'm so excited to see how the pics turn out...
     
  5. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    Yep, Cincinnati. Didn't notice that you were from Vancouver...Never been there, but there should at least be a couple of good reputable repairmen, in a city that size. Wouldn't hurt to let one look at it. Maybe just do general maintenance, lube, etc...might save you some heartache later.
    Hope this was at least somewhat helpful.

    J.:mrgreen:
     
  6. katherine83

    katherine83 TPF Noob!

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    Well, Jbylake, I've never been to Cincinnati but if you ever get a chance to visit Vancouver I'm sure you'll find lots of beautiful things here to photograph. :)
     
  7. ArmoredPersonel48698

    ArmoredPersonel48698 TPF Noob!

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    OMG!!! Don't even mention an A1. I LOVE THE A1. Even though I've pretty much grown up in the digital era, I love the A1. My dad owns like a 3000 dollar, if not more, set for his A1. I used to run around everywhere with that damn thing. God I miss those days.
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I once re"Foamed" a Canon AE-1 with black felt from walmart because at the time I needed the camera opperational and could not afford to wait for the replacement foam....it worked so well I forgot it was thare untill I replaced the camera two days ago.



    There is nothing to worry about here either, the only places the foam can go to is into the film housing and mirror box. the film compartment can be blown out with compressed air, the mirror box can be a bit of a pain but stil no real threat to the inner workings of the body.

    The FTb's are 35mm not medium format.
     
  9. katherine83

    katherine83 TPF Noob!

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    Hmm, that's an interesting idea. I might try that out as the foam at the hinge of the back cover is essentially gone. But would this work for the more "internal" parts of the camera (i.e. the area where the lens attaches to the body... not sure of the technical term)?
     
  10. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There should not be any foam on the male end of the mount, there is a small bit just inside the mirror box to pad the mirror and reduce mirror smack as well as prevent the mirror from....hyper extending (For lack of a better phrase)....I hate to admit it but my EF has been with out that for years :pale:

    I personally do not think it would work for the mirror pad, I would not try it as the mirror pad is almost a eigth inch thick and the felt is maybe a third to a quarter that.
     
  11. 5DManiac

    5DManiac TPF Noob!

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    You are too awesome for starting with film! I can't wait to see your pics! Be sure to share them!!!
     
  12. katherine83

    katherine83 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, last thing I'd want to do is start messing around with the internal bits before I know what I'm doing! ;)

    Lol, thanks! You won't have to wait long... I'm taking in my first roll of film today to be developed. Fingers crossed that at least *some* of them turned out. :D
     

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