Canon EF (film camera) and my most expensive photograph

canon ef camera portrait and a blue shadow

Canon EF camera portrait and a blue shadowCanon EF camera portrait and a blue shadow

From 2014 I’ve used a Canon EF camera to shoot 135mm film. I discovered some days ago that it has a little defect therefore I cannot use it again. So I thought I could give some thoughts about this camera, more considering that there is no much data and when you search for this model instead the search end with Canon EF lenses.

Introduction

This camera was produced, according to Wikipedia, between 1973 to 1978 for the Canon FD mount that uses lenses with manual focus, I’m not in a hurry and that’s fine with my style, even more those lenses are cheaper because they aren’t compatible with modern Canon Cameras that use EF mount lenses. Its most notorious characteristic to me is that it has a shutter priority design, so you can set the mounted lens in automatic, then you set the shutter and the camera chooses the aperture. Actually I just shot in manual, choosing the shutter speed and the aperture.

It’s not a simple camera as you can see:

canon ef camera repair a

anatomy lesson

One thing in what it’s better than the most of cameras of its age is that the shutter speed goes to thirty seconds, wow!, usually the cameras of those times gave you from one to four seconds as minimum shutter speed so if you want a SLR camera with classic dials and design but not limited to have to use another tool, a light meter, then it’s your camera. The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000.

It’s everything you would need as mirror lock up, self timer, depth of field preview, or multiple exposures, to develop your creativity and nothing unnecessary. The only thing I’d love to have would be an interchangeable viewfinder because for my way to shooting I use much waist level style but that was reserved to the higher end model Canon F-1. This camera was thought for old people that would appreciate the simplicity of this machine, simplicity that goes in a pure design.

Design

canon-ef-camera_16487299826_o

black beauty

This camera is also known as the black beauty. And it has a gorgeous design. Pure metal with strong and proportioned lines. The plastic cameras although not so elegant are easier to clean. Said that there is a great defect I chose to correct: it has a plastic covering with a faux texture of leather. As a designer I don’t like that my designs lie. If you do something with plastic then give it a nice texture of plastic; if you put a leather texture then use real leather. Hence I bought a thin layer of leather and repaired it until it was according to my desire. Also I painted the white letters to avoid reflections when using graduated filters and also to don’t draw the attention upon me. I’m not a collector, nor a photographer, so I took utilitarian decisions. This was the body before:

canon ef repair b

 

And this is the body now:

canon ef camera yellow a

canon ef camera yellow b

canon ef camera yellow c

canon ef camera yellow d

 

 

 

It feels nice in the hand, and although it’s not a little camera it’s not so huge as the cameras with autofocus of later years.

The design is so clean that in the top of the body the shutter button, the shutter speed dial and the winding lever are integrated in one component; so you can shot very quickly. Actually I found it quicker than, for example, the Fujifilm X-E1 that although uses design clues of mechanical cameras the operation is slower, and harder to rotate the shutter dial and move your finger to press the shutter. In this old machine the shutter is an extension of your finger.

canon ef camera top

See the shutter dial, the designers put it in an ergonomic way so to rotate it you just pass your finger; something so simple but so quick as to use a modern dial because you can leave your eye in the viewfinder without need to divert your attention to check the dial. The flash shoe cover can be used to cover the viewfinder when long exposures.

The viewfinder in the first models had a microprism filter as a focusing aid, it’s a bit uncomfortable so I got another with a split screen. I shot it but it’s not so clear as I’d like it:

canon ef camera viewfinder

Canon EF viewfinder with split screen. Data of shutter and lens aperture.

Taking photographs

canon EF camera sky

It would be a pleasure to shot it.

The best results I got it with tripod, a simple and standard shutter release cable and a three bubble level. The photograph took in that moment with the camera is this:

two clouds talk

Two clouds talk

Sadly there is a problem that I couldn’t repair nor identify; quite probably only the slow velocities of the shutter were working. So I got several ghostly photos, usually the long exposures are right. This is the kind of photos I get:

memory of an old building

memories

Some good ones are these:

inquisitive whiteness

Inquisitive whiteness

yellow end of the world

yellow end of the world

neogothic echoes

neogotic echoes

follow my steps

follow my steps

As you can see the fire went perfect:

Photo15_22Av1-XL

doubts

My most expensive photograph

Days ago I travelled to a lagoon so I took my digital camera and the Canon EF with a 50mm and 135mm lens. I walked a lot and in the end the weight of the two cameras were slowing me. But I finished a Portra 160 roll of film because the beautiful landscapes, so I was anxious to see the results: there were just one sucessful photograph, the rest where just overexposed till being just white…

This photograph is the survivor:

sad norse funeral

sad Norse funeral

So… How much that photograph costs?

  • Eighty dollars to repair the camera.
  • Fifty dollars in batteries to replace the old PX625.
  • Thirty dollars in rolls.
  • Fifty dollars in lab processing.

Then the total would be two hundred and ten dollars. So I decided to buy a cheap but more modern lightweight and compact camera, in Peru is harder to get technical service and to the places I need or want to go I can’t take so much weight. But if you are in other place and have access to a well working unit then it’s a highly recommended camera.

It’s a black beauty.

Magic morning in another planet

magic morning in another planet

Do you remember the last eclipse in 2014 year? well, yes or no this photograph is from that eclipse. The Moon looks quite unusual, more like a giant planet.

The photo is not very big because I cropped a lot; even with the most of the optical zoom I couldn’t get more closer, but that’s ok, it’s better to have a photograph to remember something lived than nothing at all.

Moon Valley – La Paz

paradise found

Paradise found.

This is a changing landscape, every rain modify it bit by bit sculpting new shapes in clay. It’s in the South of the Bolivian capital and its name according to Wikipedia was given by the famous Neil Armstrong who, always quoting Wikipedia, in one visit said that that topography was similar to the Moon surface. If that’s true, and everything is possible, surely he was referring to the topography of the imaginary Moon in the old tales when our satellite was populated with its own creatures.

I went some day to La Paz and as an app in my cell phone alert me of moonrise in broad day I thought it would be nice to be in Moon Valley.

summoning of the moon

Summoning of the Moon

yellow gift

yellow gift

I took public transport but what I didn’t know is that it was closed! LOL. So these pictures are from the street :S, anyway the place is quite beautiful so I got, even outside, great views.

don't pass lilliputs mountains

Don’t pass: Lilliput’s mountains

There are some similarities with towers of gothic cathedrals, what is not weird because Gothic style has great influence of shapes found in nature.

high point of view

high point of view

red blood

red cubic blood

fissure

fissure

Moon Valley is in the sector of Mallasa in La Paz city. The altitude is 3299 m.a.s.l. (10 823 feet of altitude) for you it could be cold but to me it’s hot. The cost of entry is two bucks if I’m not wrong, I went before once (but I hadn’t camera) so I remember, this time I had a camera (but I went too late XD) You felt a bit like a Gulliver in Lilliput.

flying to other realm

Flying to other realm

green pray

green pray

green hair

Green hair

 

Epilogue

quiet afternoon

quiet afternoon

See the photograph above these lines. This is the route towards Moon Valley, as you can see there are similar structures in the hills, perhaps at least twenty times taller than the ones in Moon Valley. One wonders if wouldn’t be better to walk to those hills (don’t do it if you don’t know the place) instead to go to a little place. IMHO “Moon Park” would be a more adequate name. But it’s nice to visit indeed.

However, I got to go to Moon Valley when there was Moon in the sky so that’s definitively a win in my book ;-)

clay poem for a white moon

clay poem for a white moon