Canon: Will you build my new camera


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Jan 3, 2011
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South West New Mexico
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I had a thought. There are thousands of old manual lenses laying around, many of which are great lenses. We can adapt them to our modern cameras, but it is not always an easy operation. So Why not????


Basically, an AE-1 with a digital sensor.

Begin with a native FD mount complete with USM to activate the aperture arm on the lens.

A full size viewer with old fashioned focusing aids. Split image finder with micro-prism.

On the Top a Sutter speed knob with no goofy little icons...just old fashioned numbers.

The light meter will give you an EV number, and then have a good old " + 0 -" display to let you know whether your Shutter/Aperture/ISO combination is correct.

Include a full frame sensor. Because the camera doesn't have to think about focusing, more of it's CPU power/time could be spend on image processing. Ultra fast read write times to the card. No auto focus would make the price offset for the full frame affordable for "the rest of us". dream. Would I be the only one to buy it?
Why not just a digital back for an existing AE-1. Nothing but a sensor assembly, battery, and SD card slot.
I though about the digital back. I guess that would work, but I am so SPOILED, it would have to have the display on it though.

BUT......I guess it would add a bit of authenticity to it if you had to wait till you got home to see the pictures.....hmmm
If this is really something you want to do....switch to Nikon. They pretty much kept the same lens mount when they started offering AF lenses. They put the AF motor in the camera, rather than the lens, so older lenses would still work on the newer cameras...just without the AF.

Canon, of course, switch their whole mount system and pisses off all the people with lots of FD lenses. But the rub is that eventually (in the last 6-7 years) Nikon had to take the AF motor out of the camera to save space, and now they have some cameras that wont AF with some lenses, and some that will.

But ya, I do see the appeal of an EOS FD. But I don't think Canon likes the idea of selling a camera, just so that people can buy lenses from somewhere else...because they don't sell FD lenses anymore.
It all comes down to marketing. Why make/advertise/sell 'old' compatible products when 'the business' requires shiny new <whatever> every year or so? THAT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS.

Making products that would sell, perhaps 1000 copies in it's product lifetime vs something that would sell 10,000,000 copies this year alone...which one makes the money? That's the same reason Ford doesn't make parts for their (very collectable!) Model A's, for example. Not enough market to make a profit. However, some smaller companies make replacement parts for Model A's and do make a profit. Less overhead.
Buy a first gen 5D and then get the adapters from Ed Mika. Done. I've been seeing the original 5D selling for less than a new Rebel and it's still and outstanding camera.
Outside of the supertelephotos there are only a handful of old Canon FD lenses that are both worthwhile and cost effective anyway. You can always get M42 mount lenses. Lots of quality selection that is cost effective and the adapter is only a few bucks. ;)

Or you can get a 50 1.2, and 85 1.2, and the Ed Mika Adapters for less than a used EF 50L. ;)
Well old lens on new body wise, Nikon answers you question.

It's probably more than just marketing. New ways allows better/faster/more reliable performance. Canon may not want to be limited by legacy and opt for new mounting designs.

For me, perhaps a future proof design will be sort of like drive-by-wire.... actually, drive-by-wireless design. There will just be a mechanical mount between the lens and the camera for physical attachment and electric power, but all communications will be done through wireless technology. Heck when wireless power becomes an affordable technology, you won't even need physical contact to drive the motor.
I use quite a few old lenses on my digital EOS bodies, without any difficulty. None of these are FD lenses; I have three M42 mount lenses (including the stellar Jupiter 9 85mm f/2 and Jupiter 37A 135mm f/3.5) and three K-mount lenses.

They have aperture rings instead of aperture controlled by the camera. That's really never been a problem for me.

You can buy proper manual focus focusing screens and fit them into your digital EOS - I've not tried it, but according to the videos of it in on YouTube it's a very quick and straightforward operation.
Or keep the camera body the way it is and buy a lens from Eddie Houston (aka the Lens Doctor) on eBay. He will also convert your old FD mount lenses to EF fit apparently.

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