Canon EF camera

The Canon EF it was the first Canon camera system with built-in fully automatic exposure control. This was designed as auto iris. The camera belonged to the F- series and had a port for lenses with FD bayonet. She appeared in November 1973 and remained until the appearance of the Canon A-1 in the program, but had been with the idea of the Canon AE-1 hardly any significance.

  • 2.1 housing
  • 2.2 viewfinder
  • 2.3 film transport
  • 2.4 metering
  • 2.6 operability at low temperatures
  • 2.7 Multi-Shot
  • 2.8 closure
  • 2.9 Power supply
  • 2:10 CAT autoflash
  • 2.11 compared to the A- series cameras
  • 2:12 lenses



The Canon EF appeared as the last camera in the F series. New to her was the built-in auto iris. Such an automatic could indeed previously already received in the models EX and F-1, with the EX with its set of lenses but it was not a system camera and the F-1 required for a very large viewfinder of any accessory or attached to it, also quite large battery pack in the form of the conqueror.

This auto iris enabled the 1971 published FD lenses, which allowed for an aperture transmission from the camera to the lens.


Due to the technically complex automatic, but also of the metal closure, the Canon EF was quite expensive and therefore only sold in small numbers. It cost with the normal lens Canon FD 50 mm f / 1.8 1,200 DM This could change only with the following A- series Canon, which got along due to advanced electronics with fewer parts and only a cloth closure had.

Comparison with other brands

Cameras with full automatic exposure had Konica Auto-Reflex starting with the already since 1965 in the program, it was also even a shutter priority, but still mechanically controlled. An electronic control there in 1971 at the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic EX 1972 followed by Nikon and Minolta EL XM. All three cameras were time machines. The first shade machine with electronic control ensured then 1973 EF dar. Moreover brought this camera has no new features, but it was clearly designed and easy to use.



The Canon EF based on the aluminum housing of the Canon F- 1, in which the bayonet socket on the bottom was slanted for ergonomic reasons. It was possible to begin no motorized film advance.


The prism viewfinder could not be replaced, which is, however, expected even in professional cameras as opposed to F-1. The ground glass was also built in, it originally consisted of a focusing screen with a microprism collar, on later models from a focusing screen with microprism collar and sectional image rangefinder.

Film transport

With a single movement of the elevator was stretched and transported the film. The lift lever moved it to 120 °.

For newly loaded film, it was not necessary to press after each movement of the lift the shutter button to get to the first frame. Repeated pressing of the elevator was enough to block.


In contrast to F-1 exposure meter with a silicon cell happened. Such a cell also worked free of inertia in darker conditions, the measuring range of the Canon EF ranged at ISO 25/15 ° 30 sec at f / 1,4 to 1/ 1000 sec at f 8 These could be at shutter exposure times up to 30 s set. In order to measure the very weak current of a silicon cell, the EF had a MOS amplifier IC.

The aperture was displayed with a pointer displayed in the viewfinder and transferred to the lens using the aperture simulator. The set exposure time could be also read on a scale at the bottom of the image in the viewfinder.

The film speed is set to a one arranged around the rewind crank wheel that had a release button and from ISO 12/12 ° to ISO 3200/36 ° handed.

The exposure time could be selected. From pre-selected shutter speed and film speed, the shutter was determined. When triggering the shutter, the automatic diaphragm was closed automatically by the camera to the determined value. The largest possible aperture of the camera was still using a nub of each FD lens notified and shifted according to the Under / over-exposure warning in the viewfinder.

The dial for the shutter speed was running extra large and towered over the front of the camera body also; it could be easily rotated with right forefinger.

Operability at low temperatures

The camera should (-4 ° F) to -20 ° C retain their ability to function.


By pressing a button, the film transport could be separated from the elevator. We also find the frame counter is stopped.


Just as with the F-1 there was a metal type, but vertically instead of horizontally expired and therefore a flash sync speed of 1/ 125 sec enabled. However, the fastest shutter speed was in contrast to the F-1 only at 1/ 1000 s It was the type Copal Square.

The closure in the working range of 1/2 second to 1/ 1000 sec, and then mechanically came out without a battery, the longer time to 30 s and "B" realized an electronic control. She made it a red LED flash on the housing at the top.

Power supply

Like all cameras in the F-Series also used the EF battery type PX 625, from which they took two pieces, for which there were two separate battery compartments in the floor plate. As the electronics had a voltage regulator, but it was not dependent on the exact 1.35V such a mercury battery and also worked flawlessly with a 1.5 V coin cell. A main switch, the lever could easily be folded with the thumb, the exposure activated the right rear of the enclosure lid. In addition to the switch of the lettering After using, turn the camera off was appropriate, because the more complex electronics needed more power than the simple exposure meter of the Canon FTb.

CAT autoflash

The Canon EF worked with the CAT autoflash, which required the Speedlight Canon Speedlight 133 D and the right lens along with flash coupler. The camera also underlined the importance the appropriate aperture automatically. For this, the Flash Unit Coupler transferred the set distance from the lens to the flash unit. The flash unit informed the camera with the shutter two additional contacts in the hot shoe. For the CAT - Flash Auto, the camera had to be turned on.

Compared to the A - series cameras

Since the Canon AE-1 was also a aperture machine, they replaced the EF from practical. She was superior to the more modern auto flash and the connection for a motorized film transport so that the EF notwithstanding some details could not keep up. So the adjustable exposure time ranged with the AE -1 only to 2 s and was not displayed in the viewfinder. Both exist only on the Canon A- 1, EF eventually replaced. The 1/125 sec flash sync speed, it was not her but again.


The selection ranged from 15 mm frame-filling fisheye to 300mm telephoto for AE photography. In addition, there was a 7.5 mm round imaging fisheye and a 1200 mm telephoto. On request, a 2000 mm or 5200 mm telescope lens could be delivered.