The Cameras

Canon Camera Bodies

It seems to make sense to divide the Collection into camera bodies and then look at the lenses separately. This works for two reasons. Firstly, I have already ended up with more lenses than bodies and this is likely to continue. Secondly, any particular body will function with any number of different lenses. In fact, different body-lens combinations were offered as “kits” by Canon. So there is often no “proper” lens for a given camera.

Throughout this website I shall use the term camera and in most cases will mean the body without the lens. If this is not my meaning I am sure the context will keep my intent straight.

Canon cameras and lenses seem to be divided into groupings or “Series”. Intentional, or not, it is a convenient way to approach the subject. You will see on the right that the Camera Menu is now showing various Series and if you select a Series you will be taken to information on that group and the camera bodies I have that belonging to it. If you go to the Lenses a similar menu will open up for them.

A Word about Camera Descriptions

I am trying to do a write up on each camera I acquire. However, it is not my intention to go into great descriptions of the technical details of the camera. Rather I want to tell you about its history, where it fits into the Canon  lineup, and what it is like to shoot it if I have done so. There are many other sites that will give you all kinds of details but I want to give you a feelng for the camera and its place in its series. Also, I am trying to get you manuals for the cameras where you can revel in all of the technical stuff to your heart’s content.

As for the condition of individual pieces I have I am treating cosmetic/physical condition seperately from operability. So if I say it is “excellent” I mean that is how it appears physically. If I say nothing about whether it actually works then I probably have not tested it. But remember, all of these mechanical devices, which are very delicate in some respects, willl cease to function eventually. To do maintenance work on them to keep them operating is hard on them: screws get stripped, screw drivers damage screw heads, paint gets knocked off.  I would rather have a perfect albeit non-functioning example than a marked example that works.

A word about Dates

Canons first SLR was the Canonflex in 1959 and SLR’s have continued to be offered to the present. The date ranges of the various Series are as follows:

R Series Canonflex(1959) thru Canonflex RM(1962)
Canonet Series Canonet (1961) thru Canonet G-III 19 (1972)
F Series FX (1964) thru New F! (1981)
 EX Series EE (1969) thru EX Auto (1972)
 A Series AE-1 (1976) thru AL-1 (1982)
T Series T50 (1983) thru T60 (1990)
EOS Series EOS-1 (1989) Present

A Note on those Gold “Passed” Stickers

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Canon AE-1 P showing its JCII sticker (image courtesy of Ken Rockwell)

We have all seen them on Japanese cameras and lenses. But what are they? Well, after the war Japanese products had a reputation for being shoddy and of poor quality. To some extent this was racially motived after a particularly difficult war and to some extent based on the truth. After the war materials were in short supply, factories were in ruins, and producing anything was difficult. So much of Japan’s output was not of the highest quality and understandably so.

To counter this perception about their cameras the government and the manufactures in 1954 created the Japan Camera Industry Institute who’s job it was to inspect Japanese cameras and lenses to ensure they were of sufficient quality or they could not be exported. Each piece of equipment had to receive the Institutes sticker before it was sent abroad. This continued as a requirement until 1989. By that time, as Japanese cameras set the standard around the world for quality, it was seen to be an unnecessary requirement.

There are undoubtedly fake stickers out there. However, the real ones say “PASSED” and they have the initials “JCII” on them. Any stickers after 1989 are not official and have been used as a marketing strategy or just for the sake of nostalgia.

A Note about Photographs

Most of the pictures in this discussion of my Collection are of cameras, lenses and accessories in the Collection that I have taken myself. Some images are not the best and for that I apologize. Where I have used outside material I have attempted to give proper credit.

All copies of Manuals and Instruction books are scanned from actual booklets in my possession. I have no rights to the Canon and other trade marks that may be visible and make no claim to them. The photos and scans are placed here for your personal enjoyment and no commercial use may be made of anything you find on this website.

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Canon Logo I am not in any way connected to or supported by Canon. I chose their camera line and have stayed with it. I cannot recall why. But a Nikon camera is fine technology and takes a wonderful picture. So too with Sony and the others. But I have been happy with Canon and so I have begun my collection here. One day I may add other brands to my range of interest but that is for another day.