The Canon FTb was introduced by Canon in March 1971. It is a mid-range mechanical 35mm SLR designed to use the FD-fitting lenses from the Canon F-1 range. In fact it is very similar to Canon FT, with the revision that it has the Canon FD mount allowing it to use FD lenses with open-aperture metering, as well as older FL lenses in stopdown mode.
The QL badge on the front denotes Canon's Quick Load system; the film is placed across the takeup-spool and the back closed; the film is automatically wound around the spool when the advance lever is operated.
The pentaprism viewfinder has a fresnel matte focus screen with a microprism focus aid. The FTb has open-aperture TTL metering covering an area of 12% in the center of the frame, with a match-needle display in the viewfinder. Metering is powered by a PX625 1.35v mercury battery - now unobtainable, but alternatives are available. Meter film speed range runs from 25 to 2000 ISO. Metering can be done with Canon FL lenses using the stop-down function on the camera.
The self-timer control also acts as a stop-down lever and mirror-up function. The stop-down lever returns to its original position when released, but can be locked. The mirror-up function can only be used when the stop-down lever is locked.
The horizontal cloth focal plane shutter has speeds of 1s to 1/1000s and B. The shutter is fully mechanical, working without a battery.
The second version of the FTb, released in 1973 and sometimes called the FTbn, has an F-1 style stop-down lever and displays the selected shutter speed in the viewfinder on a transparent rotating disc. Other cosmetic changes include a plastic tip to the film advance lever, a slightly different shutter speed dial and a permanent cover to the flash connection.
image by Maestr0_0 (Image rights)
|Canon FTbn QL|
image by AWCam (Image rights)
- Canon FTb page at the Canon Camera Museum
- Manual Camera User's Opinion
- Canon FTb Camera Manual (PDF) : Photo-Manuals.com
- Lionel's Canon FTb QL overview at 35mm-compact.com (in French)