Canon EX Auto

Jump to: navigation, search

The EX Auto is a 35 mm SLR camera made by Canon in 1972.[1] Its most characteristic feature is a rear lens-group fixed on the camera, to which any of a small selection of front groups can be attached (by a simple screw fitting).

McKeown[2] mistakenly lists the EX Auto as a name variant of the Canon EXEE, and dates it to 1969, the date the EXEE was introduced. It is actually a modest improvement on the EXEE. Like the EXEE, the Auto offers through-the-lens metering and shutter-priority AE, but unlike the previous model, the camera detects the maximum aperture of the different lens front-groups (the EXEE requires manual setting of the maximum aperture to f/1.8 or f/3.5 at the film-speed dial). The shutter speed is set on a dial next to the release button. 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 'Auto' and 'Off' positions. The aperture set is displayed in the viewfinder on a scale with a needle.

Clearly, the fixed rear group must have been something of a constraint of the design of the lenses. The available lens front-groups are:

  • Standard lens: EX 50 mm f/1.8
  • Wide angle: EX 35 mm f/3.5
  • Portrait: EX 95 mm f/3.5
  • Telephoto: EX 125 mm f/3.5

The telephoto lens was introduced for the Auto.

The camera has a focal plane shutter with cloth blinds, travelling horizontally. It offers shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/500 second plus 'B'. X-synchronisation for flash is at 1/60 second; there is a cold shoe and a PC socket. Another new feature (not offered on the EXEE and quite remarkable for its time) was automatic adjustment of the dedicated Speedlite D flashgun for the focus distance.

The meter requires a 1.3V mercury battery. However, the shutter speeds are timed mechanically, so the camera can be used without one (without metering).

Like the EXEE, the Auto has Canon's QL (Quick Load) simplified loading feature.


  1. Canon Camera Museum listing for the EX Auto.
  2. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p181.