High End Manufacturer Re-Releases a Film Camera Classic… And I Buy A New Old Stock Canon T80.

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What can I say? I like weird cameras.

Started with a test run of an old beauty of a mechanically flawed camera I just wrote about. As discussion of the former camera was wrapping up I looked down and noticed a camera in the display case I had been trying to ignore.

I was already on board for buying this camera. Why? Easy.

  • Had previously fallen for its predecessor, the Canon T70. An odd choice that I actually liked. But it lost out to other MF SLRs in my great gear clear a while ago. As much as I liked it I had another MF SLR I liked more.
  • It is a maligned camera. Many reviews disparage this camera for technical and aesthetic shortcomings. They may be right, but right up there with weird cameras, I have a weakness for supposedly awful cameras also.
  • It is a one and done and only on sale for one year from 1985 to 1986. Canon’s early attempt at AF with their FD mount before transitioning to the EF AF mount. This AC mount had exactly three variants. Two zooms and a 50mm f/1.8 prime.
  • This camera came with the 50mm f/1.8 lens. And for that extra bit of weirdness, it comes with a hump. Weird. And I like it.
Canon T80
  • Being released in 1985 it has cheesy 80s styling… that I really like actually. Not conventionally good looking but I do find it attractive nonetheless. A personal taste thing.
  • Lastly and most importantly for me, it is new old stock. I LOVE old new stock. Prior examples are awful cameras that I adore (Exhibit A and Exhibit B). If I follow the story in this case it was purchased by my camera shop of choice from another camera shop and it went unsold. Even has the original pressure plate plastic cover.
Canon T80

All original packaging, manuals, and accessories, even including an unopened kneck strap.

Canon T80
Canon T80
Canon T80
Canon T80
Canon T80

I am calling it. This one is a keeper. There are downsides as described. But there are also workarounds.

  • Subpar AF.
    • For starters of course it does.
      • I have very low expectations for a company’s first attempts at AF.
      • I will take it over no AF.
    • Struggles with horizontal lines.
      • It loves vertical lines however. Outlined in the manual (I actually read it.) I have worked around it on this first roll by either:
        • Turning the camera 90 degrees to focus and then back to capture the image.
        • Switching the camera to manual focus.
Canon T80
  • Subpar aesthetics.
    • A matter of personal taste. I like it. I liked the T70’s styling and I think the T80 pulls off the plastic fantastic 1980s look even better.
    • Sure it is plastic, but I would not call any part, switch, or button that feels the least bit fragile,
Canon T80
  • Lack of control.
    • Very true.
      • There is not an aperture or shutter speed dial to be found anywhere.
    • But you get modes that actually work for me. I tend to shoot in aperture priority mode most often and there are modes to approximate this. Occasionally I like to shoot at faster shutter speeds and there is a mode for that. On top of that there are some other interesting modes as well.
      • Program.
        • SLR as point and shoot.
      • Deep.
        • Aperture closed down a bit for multiple people or landscape shots.
      • Shallow.
        • The closest mode to where I usually shoot. Aperture priority wide open. This mode leans towards a shallower depth of field.
        • There is one advantage. Where I occasionally forget to close the aperture down in brighter conditions this would be accounted for here.
      • Stop Action
        • Shutter priority where the camera attempts to freeze a scene.
        • Again there is an advantage. The camera should accommodate an absent minded episode by lowering the shutter speed if need be.
      • Flowing.
        • Meant for panning.
        • It is the one mode that allows you to adjust the shutter speed.

One feature I would not use admittedly.

  • Servo or AF-C.
    • Let us not ask too much of this camera.

And guess what? I have not even finished the first roll with this camera. For all I know this camera could be a bust like my first T70.

But absent that I expect I will get on just fine with this camera just like other favorite film oddballs of mine. Here is the rest of the crew.

Konica AiBORG

Konig AiBORG

Zenit E and Zenit km


There are a few contestants from the weird digital corner also.

So assuming it is actually able to create images we are good to go.

Updates to come shortly.


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