Manual Focus SLR's
Instruction Booklets for Manual Focus SLR’s
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the EOS cameras. I have for years now done most of my photography, well all of it actually, with EOS digital cameras. And I have no desire to go back to developing my own film or setting up a dark room. I can be far more expressive with a digital workflow. However, my heart lies with the manual focus range finder and SLR cameras. For the most part, they are not plastic, they are not all black, and they feel wonderful in the hand.
It’s funny but when I was shooting for recreation my first love was the old muzzle loaders. I was a black powder shooter. And I always felt that it was because there was a real connection with the process. You made the bullets, you poured the powder into the barrel, you seated the bullet, you primed the weapon, and when you fired it the whole process was real because you were involved in every step.
I think it is the same with the manual focus SLR and the range finder Canon’s. Nothing is done for you. The machine does not focus for you, it does not set the aperture or the shutter speed, it does not stabilize the image. You do every step yourself and when you record the image on film it somehow seems more real and immediate. But, on the other hand, maybe I am raving mad.
I especially like the cameras before light meters were mounted in them. Somehow they were magic. And the Canon cameras of this era were solid, sleek, and they felt like a precision piece of equipment, which they were. Take the top or bottom cover off of one and you will see they are built like a Swiss watch. The world has passed these cameras by but so long as there are collectors who prize them, they will not be forgotten.
After the Rangefinders but before the F Series there was the “Flex” Camera – the Canonflex. This was Canon’s entry into the SLR market and it was an interesting camera, to be sure! The Manuals for these cameras are very old now and most have been destroyed. They are hard to find, even on the Internet. Look at E-bay: very few. Here is what we have been able to find:
Canon F Series Instruction Manuals 1964-81
The Canon FX – the first of the F Series
(this is a poor copy – looking for a better one!)
Canon TL Manual
Publication IE 1008L
The Canon TX was marketed by Bell & Howel as the FD35 but it is the identical camera manufactured by Canon
Publication IE 1009B
The Manual for the Bell & Howell FX
Manual for the FTb
Pub. 5381S (1971 version)
Manual for FTb-n
The Manual for the TLb
Publication IE 1002H
Canon EX Series Instruction Manuals 1969-72
The Bell & Howell Auto 35/Reflex is a rebranded Canon EX EE. It was made by Canon and marketed in North America under licence. The lenses on this camera were branded Canon lenses.
Canon A Series Instruction Manuals 1976-82
Canon T Series Instruction Manuals 1983-90
I have no connection with Canon, or any other camera company, and receive no remuneration nor benefit for these pages. They are for my own use and possibly your enjoyment!. The comments are mine and I take full responsibility for them. If anyone feels I have stepped on their copyright toes, please let me know and I will endeavour to make it right. And thank you to all who have contributed material to the internet that I have used. You have made this possible.