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Nick's Classic Corner - No. 18 - Canon T80

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by Benchista, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    So, the Canon T80 - one of the most infamous cameras of all time. It was a commercial failure - for good reasons; it's not a very good camera in many ways.
    The camera is programme-only, albeit with extra programmes to allow increased DOF, reduced DOF, fast shutter speeds for action and slow shutter speeds for motion blur of water etc.

    The camera is FD mount, but 3 AF lenses were specifically designed for it - the AC series of 50mm f1.8, 35-70mm f3.5-4.5, and 75-200mm f4.5. Other FD lenses could be used, but obviously will not AF. Equally, the AC lenses can be mounted on other FD bodies, but as there is no aperture ring on the lenses, they can only be successfully be used on cameras with body control of aperture. The 35-70 looks a bit like a slimmed down version of Canon's earlier FD 35-70 f4 AF - it has a bulge for the motor, and a lever to zoom. There are additional gold contacts that mate with the camera body for communication. Other controls on the lens are a focus limiter switch, which in theory selects "macro" mode, but it seems to work throughout the focus range, and a focus mode switch for one shot, servo and manual focus.
    The camera is basic - everything is automatic from film loading, wind-on and rewind, the programme-only exposure modes. Choosing mode involves pressing the Mode button on the left of the topplate and moving the sliding switch on the right until the mode you require show on the topplate LCD. Film speed is adjusted by an ISO button with the slidey switch. Pressing both buttons together activate. The other button on the top left is a battery check. The only other control on the right is the shutter button. There's a backlight button on the side of the mirror box, in Canon's traditional position. There's also a socket for Canon's remoter release T3.
    There's a grip on the front and a thumb rest on the back that make it easy to hold. Also on the back (which can be replaced for the Command Back 80, which is a databack with timer and intervalometer) is a memo holder for the end of the film carton, the on/off/self timer switch, and a mid-roll rewind button.
    The base can be removed to fit 4 AAA batteries.

    The viewfinder shows very little info - in the centre of the screen is a circle with cross hairs - this is the AF target.
    A green P to the right indicates Programme mode - it flashes quickly if there will be over- or under-exposure, or slowly if camera shake is likely. There's a red damond which shows if the selected mode can't give the correct result. There's an M for when a non-AC lens is used and the aperture ring is not set in A, or a flash is set in manual mode. And there's a flash ready light. And that's it. No information at all as to selected settings.

    In use, AF is very slow under less than ideal conditions. The camera is slow an unresponsive in many ways. It's not a camera I enjoy using, nor would I reccomend it to anyone - but it is a very important camera in many ways, as Canon stuck by their guns in terms of in-lens motors for the EOS series, which turned out to be exactly the right move in the long run. Additionally, Canon were determined not to repeat the disaster that was the T80, which perhaps spurred them on all the more.
  2. PentaxManiac

    PentaxManiac Well-Known Member

    I must be some kind of masochist: I'd read all the above comments, but still sourced one going very cheap on Ebay, with the 50mm AF lens, and got it. In a very strange way, I'm quite looking forward to it's estimated delivery on Monday or Tuesday.

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