The Canon T-60 - A Quick Reference Guide

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Sometimes simple tools are best. They just feel better. And they put you directly in touch with what you are doing. That's the philosophy behind Canon's T60 - the last of Canon's T-series cameras. Huh? Wasn't the T90 the last of this series? Yes and No. The Canon T-90 made its debut in 1986 and the first two EOS models, the EOS 650 and semi-pro Canon EOS 620 were introduced in 1987. The T-90 had the honour of being Canon's most advanced manual focus 35mm SLR camera, and also the last in the non-AF line-up but the T-60 was actually only being introduced after Canon has the EOS replacing the FD-mount SLRs after 1986/7. Funny huh ?

NEW: The canon T60 Instruction Manual has been uploaded.

However, there was a vacuum in the market between the last batch of manual focus and emerging AF models, the need to fill this gap, mainly for people in the third world picking up an SLR for the first time or photography students who want to learn the basic fundamentals of photography using a simple, non-AF model. Thus, was born the Canon T60. You may not be able to find much information about this camera on the Internet or any publication about Canon cameras because this was the way Canon had wanted it to be anyway for two not-so-revolutionary reasons:

First, the T60, although bearing the Canon name, was not made by the Japanese camera giant. It was contracted out to
Cosina to manufacture the model for Canon (Rumour circulating that the Nikon FM-10 and FE-10 and even the Olympus OM2000 were also being made by them). Canon's main plant for making 35mm SLR cameras was fully utilized for the EOS models which were fast gaining popularity in the world market. The concept of the T60 was, of course, designed by Canon. Second, the reliability of the camera was poor, an embarrassing fact for Canon, which has built its reputation for the reliabilities of all its A-series, T-series and F-series models. This was due to the suspiciously un-uniform quality control in contract-manufacturer's camera plant. However, this is also depending on one's luck, while most users were reported to be not entirely satisfied with the camera, there were also those who had no complaints or reliability problems.

Due to these two reasons, the Canon T60 was available only to certain export markets rather than internationally, which is why you don't get to read or hear much about this "final" model in Canon's FD-type, manual focus line-up. The T60 was a manual single-lens reflex camera with an Aperture-priority AE program to help you with metering the light, using Center-weighted Average metering. The T60 was so remarkably compact and lightweight, that you'll feel comfortable taking it wherever you go. What's more, the T60, being a T-series model, features the standard Canon FD lens mount. That means you can use the entire selections of superior Canon FD lenses, from super wide-angle fisheyes to powerful telephotos that make far away places seem right next door. Canon had promoted the T60 when it was introduced in 1991 by selling it in a kit form, usually with the FD 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 or the FD 28-55mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom lens, depending on which market it was made available at a special price.

Whatever, for those who has a tight waist belt - Canon T60 can be a brilliant way to get started with quality photography, provided you can forget that the FD system is not compatible with the current EOS system. For system accessories, you can get from the used market rather from Canon. Support ? Could be a problem for now, anyway, the T-60 was made during the early part of the '90, that was almost a decade ago.

The T60 is a basic, manual camera. That means fundamental operations - focusing, film loading, film speed setting, film winding, rewinding and so forth - are done
manually. A built-in center-weighted average light metering system helps you decide on the correct exposure. And since it's a through-the-lens system, the light meter measures exactly what you'll be shooting, so there's little chance for error. However, you have to live with the short path for growth in the system because Canon has turn their focus to EF mount autofocus cameras and lenses. Basic picture-taking operations such as aperture values, shutter speeds, metering, and focus can all be explored.

There are choices of two exposure control modes
You can go with fully manual operation. Or you can rely on the aperture-priority AE mode. Use manual when you want to select a specific shutter speed, or use the AE system for more responsive photography.

Aperture-priority AE mode Automatic operation is a Canon specialties And the new T60 is no exception. There's an AE (Auto Exposure) mode built in so you can just shoot confidently. In the aperture-priority AE mode, you decide the appropriate aperture, and the shutter speed is set automatically by the camera. Fully electronically controlled speeds range from a generous 8 seconds (
Only in AE mode) to a moderate higher speed limit at 1/1000 seconds.

Viewfinder & information display Since the T60 is a through-the-lens SLR, you see exactly what you're taking. Focusing is easy, it uses a non-interchangeable split microprism focusing screen. The information display has a system of LED exposure level indicators.

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When you're shooting in aperture-priority AE mode, exposure is determined automatically. In manual mode, correct exposure is determined by manually adjusting the shutter speed or aperture to match the exposure level indicated by the LED.

Self Timer It's easy to put yourself in the picture by using the handy self-timer. There's a 10 second delay with a blinking LED to let you know it's working.

Fully manual operation

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In the manual mode, you decide the shutter speed and aperture setting yourself£ You can match the shutter speed to the speed of the action. Or control depth of field by selecting the appropriate aperture. It's the best way to learn the fundamentals of photography. And the built-in light meter helps make sure your exposures are correct.

The shutter speed dial is on top of the camera body. Shutter speeds range from 1 second to a so-so 1/1000 second (By modern standard). There's also a bulb setting for making very long time-lapse exposures. The aperture rings are mounted on the lenses, and aperture values vary slightly according to the lens being used.

Shutter speeds & aperture values Learning about photography means understanding the relationship between shutter speeds and aperture values. It's actually quite simple. You need a fast shutter speed if your subject is moving quickly. For nonmoving subjects, shooting at about 1/60 second is fine. On the other hand, you need a smaller aperture for greater depth of field. Depth of field just means how much of the photograph - from background to foreground - is sharply in focus. At f/22, for example, just about everything should be clear. At f/3.5, only the subject on which you have focused will be sharp. Balancing shutter speed against aperture value is the key. For the same amount of light, the faster the shutter speed you choose, the larger your aperture must be. Once you get used to thinking this way, you'll be involved in doing real photography.
More info available.

Metered manual operation The Canon T60 makes sure you always know what you are doing. There's an information display inside the viewfinder that helps you select the correct aperture/shutter combination. You just match LEDs and you're ready to shoot. There's even a special overexposure warning to alert you of over-exposure.

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Sourcing used Canon FD lenses with the T-60

One of the pleasures of good photography is learning how to use different lenses. Certain situations are best handled with telephoto lenses; others might require a wide-angle lens. Within those groups are further refinements.

And each photographer has his or her favorite lenses that just "feel right." You can take advantage of the enormous number of used l top-quality Canon FD lenses that fit the T60's standard FD mount. There are numerous used Canon FD lenses in the secondary market (Warning: the T-60 cannot accept the current autofocus EOS EF lenses, you have to specify that you are looking for manual focus FD mount lenses).

The complete Canon FD lens system

FD 20-35mmf/3.5L
FD 35-70mmf/3.5-4.5
FD 75-200mmf/4.5
FD 80-200mmf/4L


FD 15mmf/2.8

Super Wide Angle

FD 14mmf/2.8L
FD 17mmf/4
FD 20mmf/2.8
Wide Angle

FD 24mmf/1.4L
FD 24mmf/2
FD 28mmf/2
FD 28mmf/2.8
FD 35mmf/2


FD 50mmf/1.2L
FD 50mmf/1.4
FD 50mmf/1.8


Macro FD 50mmf/3.5
Macro FD l00mmf/4
Macro FD 200mmf/4

FD 85mmf/1.2L
FD l00mm/2
FD 135mmf/2
FD 200mmf/1.8L
FD 200mmf/2.8
FD 300mmf/2.8L
FD 300mmf/4L

Super Telephoto

FD 400mmf/2.8L
FD 500mmf/4.5L
FD 880mmf/5.6L

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* More information will be available when the FD/FL Lenses resource sites are up.

NEW: The canon T60 Instruction Manual has been uploaded.

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Highly suggestive useful external links/resources created by Mr.Christian Rollinger:

Essentials: - Canon T60 Instruction Manual | Determine Years of Made of your Canon
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