This Old Camera: Gifted free ninety nine Canon FTb

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This one was a surprise. A good one.

Friend, co-worker and fellow photographer gave me a box of many things and this Canon FTb, 2 lenses, some flashes and other items I have yet to fully inventory were within. Huzzah! In the words of Ice Cube “It Was A Good Day”.


Took out old decrepit battery, cleaned the contacts, and loaded a good battery and all seems to work as expected. Currently making my way through roll 1 since obtaining it.

Notes and photos of the camera after the jump.

Notes so far:

  • Weighs like a small Buick. Have not put it on a scale, but I am fairly certain it has the most heft of any of my 35mm cameras. Seems to approach if not match my smaller medium format cameras. Not a complaint. Merely an observation.
  • Related to the previous bullet everything is metal. Even the film rewind is metal as well as other components that are usually plastic. Though a high level amateur model it’s bridge girder construction feels decidedly pro level sturdy to me.
  • Interestingly it has a switch each to turn on the metering (as well as checking the battery) and a separate shutter lock which is a nice touch. 

  • Has an FD bayonet mount that reminds me of the mount on my Mamiya RZ67.
  • Has an easy film load “QL” or quick load system. You still have to wind it once loaded, but instead of having to insert the leading edge of the film in to the take up spool you simply pull the film along far enough to be engaged by a second mini door or flap. That flap opens when you fully open the camera back and closes down on the film as you are closing the film back. Will no better once the roll is done, but on first load it seemed to work as billed. When I finish the roll I will include sample photos or video.
  • Two needle meter system is very much laid out like the one in my recent Minolta srT-MCii. After long having film SLRs and medium format film cameras with LED metering indicators I have acquired 3 needle match metering indicator cameras (Nikon FE, Minolta sRT-MCii, and this one). I have used them before, but not back to back with LEDs and I must say that I prefer the needles.
  • Takes an old battery style (mine came with extras) that can still be found on the internets and camera stores.
  • Build and layout. Other than a battery compartment high on the left side of the body (with a nice knurled outer ring so you do not need a coin), instead of the bottom like I am used to, the layout is pretty standard issue.20170330_224334

More shots of the camera below. I will report back with a scanner files blog post after I finish the first roll. Until then happy shooting.




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