The Canon EOS 630, a film SLR, is the predecessor to Canon’s current line of digital EOS cameras. Since inheriting the camera from my father, I’ve been won over by the multitude of easy-to-use functions it possesses (such as the ability to do multiple exposures), as well as the greater amount of control and precision it offers.
When initially starting out, I very much enjoyed taking photographs with ‘toy’ cameras such as the Fisheye* and Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim. However, the simplistic build of these cameras sometimes restricted the conditions I could use them under. Furthermore, their fixed shutter speed and lack of different options meant that although I was often able to get a few good shots per roll, many others came out under or overexposed. As a student with a limited budget, I was thus on the lookout for a camera with more ‘bang for buck’; one that would give me greater control and a higher yield of correctly exposed photographs.
Enter the Canon EOS 630, an old camera that used to belong to my father. After unearthing it out of his dry box and searching for its manual online, I found that it had an EF lens mount, which meant that I would be able to use my 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens (which had previously been attached to my DSLR). Not knowing what to expect (because the camera had not been in use for so long), I bought the 2CR5 lithium battery that the camera required to function and decided to give it a shot.
Although my first few rolls did not turn out as expected, this was due to a problem with the camera called sticky-shutter assembly. Thankfully, the problem was repairable. After fixing my camera, I decided to shoot a few more rolls, and promptly fell in love with the results!
The camera feels sturdy in my hand and is very easy to operate – after loading the film, simply close the lid and set the dial on the left hand side to ‘A’, and the camera will automatically read the ISO speed from the film canister! There are a few different modes that the camera can operate under: Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Program mode and Manual Mode. On normal days (especially outdoors), I set the camera to Program mode, which means that the camera will automatically decide the right combination of aperture and shutter speed to use. When I’m indoors, however, I normally use Aperture priority mode, setting the aperture to f/1.8 (as low as it will go), so that I can get a fairly fast shutter speed to prevent my images from coming out blurry. With the aperture wide open, the camera produces soft, dreamy images that I absolutely love.
I am now completely addicted to this camera, and have shot more than 30 rolls with it to date. Every type of 35mm film imaginable has been through it– negatives, slide film, black and white film, you name it! – and all have yielded extremely impressive results.
Here are some results from:
1. color negative film
2. slide film
A feature worth taking note of is the fact that the camera can do multiple exposures easily: just press the ‘Mode’ and ‘ME’ buttons on the top left corner simultaneously and select the number of exposures you want per frame!
Overall, what I love most about the camera is the security it offers me – I know, with certainty, that each roll I have shot is going to yield pictures that will turn out just as I imagined them to be. I no longer feel like I am wasting my money bringing a roll of film to the lab, because I know I will not be getting back dark, underexposed shots. Don’t get me wrong – I still love my little Lomographic cameras dearly, but for a student on a tight budget, this camera proves to be the more economical option.
Although no longer in production, the EOS 630 can easily be found on Ebay today for a relatively cheap price, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an easy-to-use camera to document their everyday adventures. For those looking for more information, the manual for the EOS 630 can be downloaded here.
Happy shooting! (:
* Fisheye No. 2 has a 170-degree wide angle view and stunning barrel distortion. Now with a hotshoe and multiple and long exposure capabilities, the world’s greatest compact Fisheye camera is now more amazing than you ever thought possible! Available in “different colours and special designs”:http://shop.lomography.com/cameras/fisheye-cameras.