image by John Gateley (Image rights)
The EF is a 35 mm SLR camera introduced by Canon in 1973. It has a Copal Square focal-plane shutter, with metal blinds running vertically. This has mechanically-timed speeds from 1/2 to 1/1000 second, plus 'B', and electronically-controlled slow speeds from 1 to 30 seconds.
A silicon photocell provides full-aperture, center-weighted averaging TTL metering. The camera has shutter-priority automatic exposure.
The EF uses the FD-mount lenses, although FL lenses will work within their functional limits.
The EF is similar in size and body style to the F-1, introduced in 1971, but lacks an interchangeable focusing screen or viewfinder and has no facility for using a winder or motor drive. It was for many years a fairly high-priced rarity on the used-camera market.
Frequently referred to as the Black Beauty, the EF incorporated many very good and thoughtful features, such as:
- speeds from 1/1000 to 1/2 second even without batteries
- full exposure information in viewfinder
- concentric shutter release & shutter speed dial, the latter overlapping the front edge of the camera, allowing easy change of shutter speed with one finger
- incorporates voltage control circuit, allowing use of modern 1.5V batteries without needing any exposure compensation (it was designed for a 1.3V PX625 mercury cell)
- multiple exposure button
- exposure lock button for use with automatic exposure
- film can be advanced rapidly to first frame without having to release the shutter (3 successive strokes of the wind-on lever)
- depth-of-field preview, stopped-down metering, and mirror lock
- vertical-travelling shutter allows flash sync at 1/125 sec.
- silicon photocell allows metering at low light levels (EV 2 to EV 18)
- PC flash terminal has spring-loaded cover; the terminal is therefore kept covered and clean when not in use, and the cover cannot be lost
One weakness was that, if the power switch was left on, the light meter would continuosly draw battery power, even with the lens cap in place.
- Canon EF English manual (PDF) from Mike Butkus's OrphanCameras.com
- Canon EF page at the Canon Camera Museum
- Manual Camera User's Opinion at Manual Cameras by N. Maekawa
- Mike Grigsby's personal review (archived)