The Canon FTb is a real classic SLR camera. It was originally released March 1971 and quickly became a favorite for advanced amateur photographers – and not without a reason.
image from Wikipedia.
This camera is extremely durable, and because of the fame in the past you’ll often find these cameras, fully working, and a variety of matching lenses for a couple of bucks at flea markets.
I got mine for free. When the mom of one of my friends heard that I was into analogue photography, she offered me her FTb, which faithfully served her for more than twenty years. I was really excited about my new camera and as I shot my first roll i fell in love. The heavy all-metal body body (which weights more than 1 kg), the match-needle metering and the manual focusing are all very intuitive, and combined with the manual shutter speeds and aperture setting you’ll really be able to take full control of your photo. Furthermore the wide variety of compatible lenses will allow you to use this camera in almost every situation. The only downside is its size and weight – it isn’t exactly the best cam to keep in a purse, neither the easiest to sneak into a ‘No photography’ zone.
Everything is manual on this camera. It only needs a battery for the light meter in the viewfinder. It offers shutter times from 1/1000 to 1 second and bulb setting, manual focus and the aperture sizes are determined by the lens you use.
If you ever stumble on one of these, I urge you to give it a chance – it won’t fail you.
Tip: You can still take hipshots even though this camera has manual focus. Just choose a small aperture size (e.g. f/22) and set the focus to infinity – now you’re set up to go undercover.