1970's Canon

Canon EF

Canon EF
Release Year1973
Release Price~50,000 yen ($460)
Lens MountFD Mount

The Canon EF is a 35 mm SLR camera introduced by Canon in 1973. It has a Copal Square focal-plane shutter, with metal blinds running vertically which has mechanically-timed speeds from 1/2 to 1/1000 second, plus ‘B’, and electronically-controlled slow speeds from 1 to 30 seconds.

A silicon photocell provides full-aperture, center-weighted averaging TTL metering and it also has shutter-priority automatic exposure.

The Canon EF uses the FD-mount lenses, although FL lenses will work within their functional limits.

The Canon EF is similar in size and body style to the Canon F-1, which was introduced in 1971, but lacks an interchangeable focusing screen or viewfinder and has no facility for using a winder or motor drive. It was for many years a fairly high-priced rarity on the used-camera market.


Frequently referred to as the Black Beauty, the Canon EF incorporated many very good and thoughtful features, such as:

  • speeds from 1/1000 to 1/2 second even without batteries.
  • full exposure information in viewfinder.
  • concentric shutter release ; shutter speed dial, the latter overlapping the front edge of the camera, allowing easy change of shutter speed with one finger.
  • incorporates voltage control circuit, allowing use of modern 1.5V batteries without needing any exposure compensation (it was designed for a 1.3V PX625 mercury cell).
  • multiple exposure button.
  • exposure lock button for use with automatic exposure.
  • film can be advanced rapidly to first frame without having to release the shutter (3 successive strokes of the wind-on lever).
  • depth-of-field preview, stopped-down metering, and mirror lock.
  • vertical-travelling shutter allows flash sync at 1/125 sec.
  • silicon photocell allows metering at low light levels (EV 2 to EV 18).
  • PC flash terminal has spring-loaded cover; the terminal is therefore kept covered and clean when not in use, and the cover cannot be lost.
  • One weakness was that, if the power switch was left on, the light meter would continuously draw battery power, even with the lens cap in place.
1970's Canon

Canon Ex Auto

Canon Ex Auto
Release Year1972
Release Price39,000 yen (~$350)
Lens MountEX Mount

The EX Auto is a 35 mm SLR camera made by Canon in 1972. Its most characteristic feature is a rear lens-group fixed on the camera, to which any of a small selection of front groups can be attached (by a simple screw fitting).

The available lens front-groups are:

  • Standard lens: EX 50 mm f/1.8
  • Wide angle: EX 35 mm f/3.5
  • Portrait: EX 95 mm f/3.5
  • Telephoto: EX 125 mm f/3.5

The lens focusing ring was also coupled to autoflash metering. With the dedicated Speedlite D mounted on the hot shoe and the EX 50mm f/1.8 lens attached to the camera, the CAT System automatically obtained the correct flash exposure for the subject distance. Taking pictures at night became as easy as taking pictures during the day.