Film SLR question


TPF Noob!
Dec 15, 2007
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I have been looking at SLR cameras, I had an old Canon SLR that was bought in Viet Nam, more on that later. I have looked at digital SLRs but have recently been thinking about going back to 35mm. I have a hard time spending the money for a good DSLR when it will be obsolete in a few years and not worth anything like what I would spend on it now. I have a P&S that is still a good camera, it's a Sony DSC F717 that I just got back from Sony after they had to repair it, it had one of those bad sensors in it that they had to repair for free. So a digital camera isn't that important to me. I have been reading that a manual film SLR is the most versatile and will teach you more about taking good photos than almost any other camera.

I had a Canon, the one bought in Viet Nam, but it was dropped in some water in Nam. I believe it was a Canon A-1 if I remember correctly. But I still have several lenses that went with this camera, one is a FL 135 lens that I think it is considered a breech mount lens. I was wondering if I should try to get a Canon that uses that type of lens to be able to use these lenses. I have cleaned them up and they look to be in good condition, they didn't get dropped in the water back when. Is this something I should consider and if so what newer Canon film SLR uses these lenses?

There is a Canon EOS Elan 7 NE on Adorama for $449.00 but I don't know if it will use the lenses I have. The other option is a Nikon FM-10 that sells for $250.00 with a 35-70 F3.5-4.8 zoom lens. The Canon is an auto and the Nikon is pure manual which I wouldn't mind as it would refresh my mind on basic photography. I'm starting to lean towards the Nikon manual for versatility but if I could use the lenses I already have I might go with Canon.

I'm not interested in any Canon verses Nikon battle, it's been done before with no results so please lets not go there. I know they both make excellent cameras and that is not the point in this post. My question is which of these two options would be a better choice for me? Is there any reason to consider the Canon lenses I already have or is that a moot point? The Nikon looks like it would do everything I would want, but how hard would it be to get some more lenses for it? Any input is welcome from film photographers out there. Sorry for the long post, but I thought some history would be relevant here.
I have an old canon ftb, circa 1970 which still works and takes excellent photos. The ftb uses the fd lens mount, I think the fl lens are the pro lenses of the era.
The fd mount was used up until the t90, just before they changed to eos.
The FM seems a bit pricey for what it is, and comes with. Why don't you check out E-bay for another A-1 or AE-1 for cheap.
Canon models EF, AE-1, FX, FP, FTb, FTbn, FT QL, TL, TLb, Pellix, Pellix QL, TX, F-1, AT-1, A-1, AV-1, T50, T70, T80, T90 and T60 use those lenses

I currently own and use the EF and AE-1 models
I've had my Canon AE-1 Program forever... I also Have an AE-1 as well. I got both bodies and a plethora of other stuff on ebay last yeah only prob I've hhad was the shutter squeak out of the old one. The whole package(including lenses and filters was about $220.00I dunno if that's good or not but im happy with them.:thumbup:
I think the fl lens are the pro lenses of the era.
The fd mount was used up until the t90, just before they changed to eos.

No, The FD mount was the successor to the FL mount, the FL breech is compatible with the FD with out modification or adapters, I have also read somewhere that the FL's predecessor (R - mount) is also compatible but until I try it for my self I won't guarantee that.
I would just find another Canon A-1 since it is what you had in Vietnam. They can be had for really good prices, pretty darn reliable, you have lenses for it, and you are familiar with the camera. If you are lucky, you might find one with the high speed motor attached...

I have AE-1 and two A-1s. They still perform like a champ.. albeit quite beat up.

The Canon AE-1 and AE-1P were made in huge quantities. You can pick one up for around $100 - 150 in excellent condition and there are just as many FD lenses out there to add to your arsenal should you want.

I had a AE-1 for many years and it served me very well.
Thanks everyone for the input. I haven't bought anything on Ebay yet, but it looks like I might have to give somebody a try as the prices on a used AE-1 are real inviting. I can always use the one I have for parts if needed and working.

Thanks again for the help, Elapid---<
I would get another Canon A-1. I shoot with one and love it! never had any problems and lenses are not hard to have for cheap
Before trying Ebay, try KEH - They are probably the largest used camera dealer in the US if not the world. Prices are good and the service excellent. One of the best places to deal with when it comes to photo equipment.

The autofocus Canons use a different lens mount than your A1 did. Look for an A1 or AE1.

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