Its most characteristic feature is a rear lens-group (three elements in two groups) fixed on the camera and incorporating the helical focusing mechanism, to which any of a small selection of front groups can be attached by a simple screw fitting.
The EXEE offers through-the-lens metering and shutter-priority AE. It has a focal plane shutter with cloth blinds, travelling horizontally. It offers shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/500 second plus 'B', and has a delayed-action (self-timer) lever on the front of the body. X-synchronisation for flash is at 1/60 second; there is a cold shoe, and a PC socket next to the left-hand strap lug.
The aperture is set not on the lens, but on a dial around the rewind crank, between f/1.8 and f/16; there are also 'EE' (i.e. auto-exposure) and 'Off' positions. The aperture set is displayed in the viewfinder on a scale with a needle.
The available lens front-groups are:
- Standard lens: EX50mm f/1.8
- Wide angle: EX35mm f/3.5 (price ¥8000
- Portrait: EX95mm f/3.5 (price ¥11000)
- Telephoto: EX125mm f/3.5 (price ¥18900)
The 125 mm lens was not available until 1972. The fixed rear group must have been something of a constraint of the design of the lenses, but made the accessory lenses cheap relative to lenses incorporating a rear group and focus mechanism in each. For comparison, the Canon Camera Museum gives a price of ¥19500 for the FD35mm f/3.5 (i.e. the old FD mount), introduced in 1973 and ¥27000 for the FD100mm f/2.8, introduced in 1971. The cost of the telephoto lens was more comparable to a complete lens; the FD135mm f/3.5 cost ¥19900 in 1970.
For metering, it is necessary to set the maximum aperture of the lens front-group being used. This is made possible by having two marks on the film speed dial, one for f/1.8 (i.e. standard lens) and one for f/3.5 (any other lens).
The CdS meter reads between EV 4.75 and EV 17 . It requires a 1.3V mercury battery or modern substitute. However, the shutter speeds are timed mechanically, so the camera functions without a battery (without metering).
The EXEE has Canon's QL (Quick Load) simplified loading feature, whereby the film leader is simply pulled across the film compartment to a mark, and the back closed, and the uptake mechanism then captures the leader when the advance is wound.
Also sold in the US as the Bell & Howell Auto 35/Reflex
- Canon EX EE Instruction manual at Orphan Cameras
- Canon EX EE QL page at Camera Portraits
- Canon ExEE QL at Sylvain Halgand's www.collection-appareils.fr (in French)