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Rebel Against The Sensors

Change must always be gradual. If you have been waking up every morning and eating cornflakes for as long as you have been alive, I can't change that to a whiskey session with apples all of a sudden. It has to be gradual and slow. So if you've been shooting digital, then moving back one step at a time is the best way to move towards your final aim, with Canon Rebel X

Ok, so you already have a DSLR and now because you have suddenly had this revelation that digital is for losers, you want to get a film camera. But then how do you explain this enlightenment to your financier (parents / girlfriend / wife / mafia loan shark / or just for your own conciseness)?. Don’t worry my friend, there is always hope.

So here is how the story goes. Once upon a time there was a little boy (me!!) who was so excited about getting a camera. Everyone advised him and he too read a lot about dslr’s and finally got himself one. After two weeks he realized that he didn’t like digital pixels too much and wanted to make lovely film pictures. But then how would he justify spending money on a brand new camera? How would he do that?

This was my predicament. But then I found a solution. One of the good things about Canon* (see note) has been that ever since they started working with the EOS (Electro-Optical System) line of lenses, they have not changed their mount design. So they have been constant since the 1987 since they started, to today.

So what about all of the gibberish of EOS and stuff? Too technical? Not really, what it means is that the 1980’s canon cameras can use your latest shiny DSLR lenses, so you don’t have to sell your kidney for a new kit. All you need is a film body.

This is where the Canon Rebel X comes in. Its a Canon film camera which was released in about 1993. Its light, plastic body is easy to handle and won’t break your neck if you carry it for a longer time period. It supports all EOS EF** lenses (meaning Electronic Focus Lenses, red dot which are used by most of Canon DSLR’s). Its rugged, takes shocks easily (I’ve dropped mine twice) and has a beautiful Center Weighted Metering. Runs on 2 CR123 batteries and has a nice clear LED display.

Now for the insider information :

Pros:

  • Cheap!! I got mine for 30$. On KEH, you can find it for the same cost. Do check.
  • Rugged! Mine’s strap broke open and it slammed the ground. I broke my 50mm lens but the camera was intact, no issues with it.
  • The metering is quite reliable, so don’t worry about the exposures. I’ve trusted it for most crucial times and its performed perfectly.
  • Light, amazingly light. You can carry it around for the whole day and never feel its weight.
  • Takes all EOS EF lenses, so you don’t have to get any new lenses for this fellow, just use what you already have.
  • Nice big viewfinder, so so big.

Cons:

  • The battery meter will never tell you that you’re on your last remaining drop of power, it will just suddenly turn off. So always carry a spare set.
  • This camera suffers from the famous “Sticky Shutter” problem. Let me explain. If you’re staying in a hot and stuffy climate (like me in India) then the padding near the shutter curtain, made of foam, melts and sticks to the shutter. This issue leads to your shutter not responding at times. Could be one frame in 36 exposures, could be all. So it will remain closed when you click. To resolve this, you will need to clean it with alcoholic fluid (my friend used lighter cleaning fluid on his) and it works perfectly (mine hasn’t been affected at all)
  • The body could be considered a bit flimsy by some who are used to Pro Grade film cameras. But then they wouldn’t get this camera now would they.
  • LED display on the camera doesn’t have a backlight, so you’d have to get eyes like a owl or just use some other light (cellphone, streetlight, etc) to read it. This is only if you have sworn never to look in the viewfinder, cause its all there inside nice and lit in green.
  • No flash. There is a hotshoe but nothing built in. If you want a flash, get a Canon 500.

Techie Stuff : Bah, google it man, its all there. But if you must know, 1/2000 is max shutter speed.

*So if you don’t own a Canon DSLR, you for sure will own one of the below. Now this strategy is the same with Nikon F lenses, autofocus SLR systems from Olympus Corporation, Pentax, Sony/Minolta, and Panasonic/Leica. So you’ll need to find film camera bodies for the same company.

**Would not support EF-S lenses. These are lenses made for smaller sensors, usually come with low end DSLR’s like the Canon 1000D/450D etc.

written by abhoan

2 comments

  1. slumbrnghok

    slumbrnghok

    A rock solid review. I do a lot of shooting on my EOS300 and I think you've hit the nail on the head. You can pick up a EOS300 body on eBay for less than £20 and, as you say, all the Canon lenses fit. Fingers crossed more DSLR-users give film a go... it's WAY more exciting! Thanks for sharing.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. ledscreenz

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    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish.