Canon SLR of Yore

I know one of my primary reasons for choosing Canon as my first SLR was because it was the first camera brand I learned of when I was little and all of our cameras were from them ^^;. Besides a PnS, I also knew my dad has a SLR which I’ve seen from time to time when I was a kid (~15 years ago) but it’s only now that I’ve finally took a closer look at it.

So this is the Canon EOS Elan IIE, a FILM(!) SLR. Putting my XSi next to it and you can see the resemblances… it’s almost like father and son! Or ancestor of some sort at least. I googled to find out more about it, and apparently this camera came out like 15 years ago and was the first in a lot of things (namely electronics) but I won’t get into that.

From the way it looks, I’m sure this Elan IIe probably costed at least a grand. Despite my first time holding it, it only took me like a few minutes to familiarize myself with the controls; Canon kept the controls and dials fairly similar over the years it seems.

I have no idea when my dad bought this camera since it was something I thought that had “always been there”. Truth be told, I hated this camera back then because it was so stinkin’ heavy ^^;. Now I actually appreciate it a bit more but I’m too afraid to take photos with it… feels unsettling that I can’t just delete photos I don’t like and I would be wasting film if I just shot randomly ^^;.

Even though this lens came out 15+ years ago, it still works on my XSi! It’s a EF USM 28-105 mm zoom lens. Yay… I’ have a Suddenly Acquired Lens! xD

It’s around the same size as the 18-55 mm lens when retracted but it’s also a bit heavier due to the usm (motor inside). Also no image stabilization! (I don’t think IS existed back then…)

Haro wants to test out the lens… too bad its hands couldn’t reach…

Comparison Test shots with the “new” lens (Left). Fully retracted at 28 mm vs. XSi’s stock 18 mm. Please don’t look at the floor… really messy >_>. Both taken across the room at the same spot.

Maximum zoom at 105 mm vs. 85 mm. That extra distance would’ve been very helpful during Anime Expo…

So yea… pretty sweet lens… I don’t think I’ll be using it for my review photoshoots but it should come handy for outdoor events and the likes (if I ever decide to take my XSi outside again instead of my GF1…).

Have you ever used a film SLR or own one? How does it feel compared to a dSLR nowadays?

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29 thoughts on “Canon SLR of Yore

  1. I used to shoot only film. My g/f still does and I use it too when I have the time. It puts so much more emotion and feel into the colors. I absolutely love film and if it was fast that was the only way I’d shoot… But hey, digital photo’s are just quicker to work with ;)

    BTW: Taking a fixed lens can be a real blessing, I love the 50mm f/1.8 on my Nikon FE!!!

    1. Now that you mentioned it… I don’t think I’ve seen a film photo in years… ^^;.

      prime lens are great! Love the 20 mm pancake on my GF1 :D

  2. Lol, my first SLR was a Nikon FM2. One of those manual ones with a film crank. My second, which I used in tandem with it later on was a F90. I miss the nikkor 105mm f/2.8 macro lens that I got together with the F90 (bought with hard earned vacation time work at that!).

    Still, if you asked me to load a roll of film into the FM2 now, I’d probably fail… hahaha it’s been that long!

  3. to tell you the truth today was my first day and chance to use a DSLR for Cosplay Mania X.. and I loved it…

    from what I learned from friends who used the film types, yes they were bulky and heavy, and very expensive (film wise especially for their projects) and cleaning those lens were very expensive too, would cost you about $120 for just cleaning them, but they were great for learning the basics of it, as when you switch to the DSLR one everything was a breeze

    1. Film isn’t cheap, and i find that in most cases those who started out using film based cameras pay more attention to composition etc as cropping photos at the printing stage is a lot harder than photoshop! And mistakes back then hurt your wallet!

    2. I likened shooting with film slr to driving an old stickshift sports car… both requires a certain level of finesse from the user to pull out the potential and leaving not much room for mistakes…

      Not exactly a nice analogy.. but it’s hard for me to explain heh

      1. well believe it or not I understand what you’re pointing (being a racing enthusiast) DSLR’s gave us luxury of erasing the mistakes we made on our shots, where as film types aims us to be precise and sure on what we are shooting

  4. i can’t tell the difference between the two in the comparison test T__T

    i don’t have an eye for these things lol

  5. Your room seems so…plain and large compared to mine. I mean I have a comp., giant desk, display shelf, bed, and two nightstands in my room…plus a giant sliding closet that takes up 30% of the room with a bookshelf inside.

    Not to mention ur walls seem so…white…I mean I have a whiteboard and at least 5 posters plastered everywhere…and some of my artworks in frames hanging on the wall as well…shoot, even though ur room is bigger, mine is more cramped and complicated. D:

  6. Ahh….. By the way everyone, I want to buy a new camera during the holidays, and am thinking about a Lumix GF2, can anyone give an opinion about it?

  7. I have two SLRs at the moment — a Nikon and Pentax. I still use both plus a bunch of other (toy) film cameras because I’m a fan of those. :) I don’t own a dSLR, but I have a digital p&s. The thrill of whether or not the results of film shots would be good or not is what makes me still use film cameras.

    I hope kids today would try to learn to use these things. So they’d take photography seriously even if only a little bit.

  8. Hey Z,

    love your blog, especially your reviews! i hope school is going well. quick question: in the pictures that you took of your room (i assume) where did you get those glass display book shelves from? i would like to get one myself! thanks in advance :)

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