If you're looking to learn more about the relationships between apertures and shutter speeds, the Canon FTb will be a great teacher.
Name: Canon FTb QL
Type: 35mm SLR
Lens Specifications: 50mm f/1.8
How much I paid: USD75.00 including shipping (Etsy)
How much you might pay: USD50.00 to 150.00
I have been planning to purchase a vintage SLR for a few months now but never actually saw one that has been proven to work still within my budget. I came across this camera, a Canon FTb, on Etsy while doing my routine surfing (look long and look hard!). While the seller couldn’t vouch that it would definitely work, I took faith in the fact that it belonged to her family (reasonable care) and well, I do consider myself quite lucky when it comes to cameras.
What I like:
I’m no expert but from what I’ve read online, the standard 50mm f/1.8 lens is pretty much everything a casual photographer needs. I love the fact that I can take close-ups (about 40cm).
The Canon FTb is completely mechanical, which means that you can shoot at all apertures and all shutter speeds without batteries. I’ve been taking the opportunity to work without metering and learn more about the relationships between apertures and shutter speeds. After a while, you’ll realize it’s not as difficult as you imagined. I highly recommend it!
Contrary to what I used to assume about SLRs, the Canon FTb has been a breeze to use. There’s really nothing complicated about it.
What I don’t like:
This thing is built like a tank and lugging it around might be too much for some people. Personally, most times I’m grateful for the weight because it makes the camera feel sturdy in your hands.
The shutter is pretty loud, as with many vintage cameras.
Tip: When buying a vintage SLR, it’s quite important to note which lens they come with. You might find a camera for less than usual but then realize it’s because they don’t come with their original lens.
Alternative cameras to consider: Canon AE-1, Nikon EM, Olympus OM-1
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