Canon T-70


I am in the happy situation to have nice collection of lenses for the Canon-FD cameras. These include a f1.4 50mm, a f2.8 135mm, a f2.8 24mm, a f8 500mm mirror lens as well as a so-so zoom lens.

As the 1980s came in newer technologies became available and my dad got himself the Canon T-70 camera. It was the first SLR Canon made without any mechanical lever for forwarding or reversing the film. Look mom, all electric. That seemed quite exciting at the time.

Otherwise the camera is close to what the EF can do. Its disadvantages are that it won't let you stop down to evaluate the depth of field and it doesn't alllow multiple exposures of the same frame. Its advantages are more sophisticated light metering with the ability to do both average and spot metering.

As an extra gimmick, my dad got the ‘Data Back 70’ for the camera. It replaces the original back door and adds extra controls as well as the ability to impose the current date on each photo you take. We have plenty of photos from the 1980s with their date imprinted on them because of that which isn't exactly pretty but can be quite useful.These days I quite like the extra control the data back gives me for long and timed exposures which it can control within a 24 hour time frame. A further amazing fact is that the data back's battery is still working after 25 years.

While the camera's plastic case is still looking quite good after plenty of travel around the world, the plastic did show a weakness in a critical spot: The little hook which holds the battery copartment shut was essentially held in place by some molten plastic. And that broke after about 20 years. As the camera absolutely needs battery power to operate, the battery case needs to be taped shut. And because of the camera's construction doing that is a bit tricky as the springs inside the battery case push the batteries out quite forcefully making most kinds of sticky tape expand a little after some days, thus causing a loss of contact.

I am still using the camera regularly but because of this problem which usually leaves me with a powerless camera in the least convenient situations, it's not as much fun as it used to be.