Canon T-90
The Canon T-90 was the last model that uses FD-mount prior to the shift to the autofocus EF EOS system. It hardly lasted a year since its inception but what an impact it has created on the design of future SLR. Every inch a classic, despite after more than 15 years, this camera is still hard to replicate even by today's standard. It was also widely acclaimed as one of the true Classic camera of modern times. The T-90 influenced Canon's future designs of cameras as a whole more than any other camera within their line-up. It was a great camera by any standard, featuring some revolutionary innovations as well as practical and very functional human engineering factors in its design. Thus, five years after the Canon flagship model, the Canon New F-1 was launched (1981), the T90 became the bridging model between the first full AF model, the Canon 650, that was brought out by Canon barely a year later in March, 1987 and the older manual focus Canons. The life span of the Canon T-90 was the shortest and can also be considered the last of the true professional FD-based manual focus SLR camera from Canon** but it is also the most sophisticated automatic exposure 35mm SLR that Canon has ever produced. It was first marketed in 1978 before being discontinued in 1982 while the T90 has barely a year to survive due to the market changes to the AF arena where the Minolta Maxxam 7000 was rocking the whole photographic world by storm and Canon has to make the most drastic decision in its camera history by dropping the famed FD breech-lock mount and replaced it with the new EF mount for the new EOS series AF cameras).

** (An FD Canon, the T60 was subcontracted 1990 - but had little relationship to the T series)

The Canon T90's birth was a little untimely and its full potential was never truly realized - one tends to remember the A1 more clearly than the T90 when associating Canon with the multimode automatic cameras, even though the former fares poorly in comparison with the latter in all aspects. This is primarily due to the fact the T90 has never had the longer life cycle that A1 enjoyed.

The Canon T90's appearance is designed by German industrial designer Luigi Colani, and was the third model from the T series, after the T50 in 1983 and the T70 in 1984 (In total, there were five T-series models including the T80, which was an autofocus camera that was launched in 1985. But the T90 has cast more influences to Canon's future designs of cameras as a whole than any other camera within their line-up. It was a great camera by any standard, featuring some revolutionary innovations as well as practical and very functional human engineering factors in its design. Thus, five years after the Canon flagship model, the Canon New F-1 was launched (1981), the T90 became the bridging model between the first full AF model, the Canon 650, that was brought out by Canon barely a year later in March, 1987 and the older manual focus Canons. The life span of the Canon T90 was the shortest and can also be considered the last of 's e r i o u s' FD-based manual focus SLR camera from Canon (The Canon T60 was launched in 1990) - but it is also the most sophisticated automatic exposure 35mm SLR that Canon has ever produced prior to the new EF mounted EOS AF SLR cameras, and was also affectionately nicknamed as the 'Tank" in Japan.



DOWNLOAD T90 USER MANUAL (a .PDF file)





SPEC's of the T90

Type: 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) camera with electronically controlled automatic exposure (AE), focal plane shutter and built in motor drive.
Format: 24 x 36mm;
Usable lenses: Canon FD lenses (full aperture metering and stopped down metering) and non FD lenses (stopped down metering);
Standard Lens: FD 50mm f/1.4
Lens Mount: Canon FD Mount
Viewfinder: Fixed eye level pentaprism. Gives 94% vertical and horizontal coverage of actual picture area, and 0.77X magnification at infinity with a standard 50mm lens.
Dioptric Adjustment: Built-in eyepiece is adjusted to standard -1 diopter (eyepoint: 19.3mm);
Focusing Screen: Standard split image / microprism rangefinder. Seven other types of interchangeable screens are available optionally.
Mirror: Quick return half-mirror with shock and noise absorber.
Viewfinder Information: Displayed at the right and bottom of viewing area.

Bottom area:

A: 7 segment LED digital display
1. Shutter speed flashes (red) - at 4 Hz give out-of-metering-range warning light.
2. Aperture flashes (red) - at 4 Hz give out-of-metering-range warning light.
3. All hyphens (red) - data imprint confirmation; displayed only when special accessories are attached.

B: 7 segment LED character display
1. EEEE EE (red) - error warning; displayed when the lens is set to "A" during stopped down operation.
2 HELP (red) - camera malfunction or operational error warning.

C: 3 segment LED display
1 * (red) - AE Lock indicator in partial area metering and spot area metering.

D: LED mask lighting display

1 M (red) - manual indicator.
2 (green) - flash charge completion indicator.
3 +/- (red) - exposure compensation indicator.

Right hand side:

Dot and 7 segment digital transparent LCD display.

1. (white on blue background) - multi-spots metering indicator, H/S control indicator, and remaining frame display.
2. (White on blue background) FE Lock indicator when the Speedlite 300TL is used with the camera in the FE lock mode.

Light Metering System: Through-the lens (TTL) full aperture metering for FD lenses, using silicon photocell (SPD). Three selectable metering patterns: Center-weighted average metering, partial area metering, and spot area metering. When using lenses or accessories without FD signal pins, only stopped down metering may be used.
Exposure Modes:

1. Shutter priority AE with selectable Safety Shift function (ON/OFF possible)
2. Aperture priority AE with selectable Safety Shift function (ON/OFF possible)
3. Standard program AE
4. Variable shift program AE (selectable out of 7 programs)
5. Manual
6. Stopped down AE
7. Stopped down (fixed index) metering
8. Flash AE (possible with specified Canon Speedlites)

Meter Coupling Range: EV 0-20 (with ISO 100 film and a 50 mm f1.4 lens)
Film Speed: ISO 6- 6400. (ISO25-5000 is automatically set by 1/3 step according to DX code standard). Also can be set manually.
Exposure Compensation:

a. Exposure compensation index: +/- 2 steps by 1/3 increment.
b. H/S control: +/- 4 steps by 1/2 increment (can only be used during spot metering, and in the FE lock mode with the Speedlite 300TL)

Shutter Vertical travel metal focal plane shutter: All speeds electronically controlled. Front and back curtains controlled by separate quick-return permanent magnets.
Shutter Speeds: 1/4000 - 30 sec. and bulb. (X-sync = 1/250 sec.) Can also be set in 1/2 step.
Self-Timer Electronically controlled, with a delay of either approx. 10 sec. or approx. 2 sec. Indicated by blinking red LED operation confirmation indicator.
Film Loading: Automatic. After the film has been positioned and the back cover closed, the film is automatically advanced to the 1st usable frame and then automatically stopped. (approx. 2 sec.). The frame counter displayed then read "1".
Film Winding: Automatic. A built in coreless motor is used exclusively for film transport. Continuous shooting is possible. Confirmation by the film transport bar marks on the LCD display panel.
Film Winding Mode: Three selectable modes, S (single exposure), H (max. 4.5 fps), and L (max. 2 fps). When operating in H mode, automatically switches to L mode when battery power drops below prescribed voltage to extend shooting capacity.
Film Rewind: Automatic. A built in coreless motor is used exclusively for film rewind. Automatically starts when the end of the film is reached and then automatically stops (approx. 8 ssc. with 24 exp. film). Manual film rewind is also possible by pressing the manual rewind button.
Flash Contact: Coupled directly to the camera by means of the X-sync contact on the accessory shoe. When using the Speedlite 300TL either first shutter curtain synchronization or second shutter curtain synchronization can be set.
Automatic Flash: (When the Speedlite 300TL is used and the camera is set to a program AE mode):

1. A-TTL flash-auto: Using A-TTL program and the near infrared pre-flash of the Speedlite, the correct aperture value is automatically set according to the shooting distance and subject reflectivity. X-sync speed is also automatically set between 1/60 -1/250 sec. upon flash charge completion. TTL control system which meters the light reflected from the film surface. Automatic fill in flash is possible.

2. FE lock TTL flash-auto: The camera's FE lock program automatically sets the aperture. The main flash tube produces pre-flash and the reflection from the subject is measured by TTL spot metering and is entered into memory. X-sync speed is also automatically set between 1/60 -1/250 sec. upon flash - charge completion. Automatic fill flash is possible.

Remote Control: Possible. With three terminal contact for remote control. Remote Switch 60T3 is required.
Multiple Exposure: By pressing both the shooting mode selector and the metering mode selector at the same time. Continuous multiple exposure is possible. Reset clear during shooting and preset up to 9 exposures are also possible. Automatically cleared upon completion of preset exposures.
Eyepiece Shutter Provided.
Exposure Preview Button: All LCD / LED displays can be turned ON or OFF. LCD display to the right of the viewfinder and the display panel can be illuminated by the built in illumination lamp.
LCD Panel: Displays only the information required at the time, e.g. shooting mode, metering mode, film winding mode, shutter speed, aperture, film speed, frame counter (additive type), Self timer operation time, bulb operation time, battery check, etc.
Power Source: .

a. Main power source - four AA-size batteries. Alkaline manganese batteries are standard but carbon-zinc and NiCd batteries may also be used.
b Memory back-up - built in Lithium battery (BR-1225 or CR-1220), batteries life is approx. 5 years

Battery Check: By pressing the battery check button. Three energy levels are shown by the battery check bar marks on the display panel.
Back Cover: Removable. Opened by sliding the latch with safety lock. Command Back 90 and Data Memory Back 90 can be attached.
Dimensions: 1 53.1(W) x 1 21(H) x 69.4 (D)mm (6 1/4" x 4 3/4" x 2 3/4")
Weight: 800g (28 3/16oz) body only.

Speedlite 300TL: Instruction Manual

Type: Energy-saving, automatic electronic flash unit with pre-flash function. TTL metering function measuring light reflected from the film surface, and an automatic flash output control function using spot metering. Exclusive use for the T90 camera. Clip on type with directly coupled contacts.
Guide Number: The above figures are at full charge. i.e. 30 sec. after pilot lamp grows with new alkaline or fully charged Ni Cd batteries.
Flash Coverage Angle: Covers more than the field of view of 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm lenses.
Recycling time: Alkaline manganese batteries: Auto: approx. 0.2 to 13 sec. M Hi: approx. 13 sec. Ni-Cd batteries: Auto: approx. 0.2 to 6 sec. M Hi: approx. 6 sec. (Interval between firing of the flash and relighting of pilot lamp with new alkaline or fully charged Ni-Cd batteries.)
Number of flashes: Alkaline manganese batteries: approx. 100 - 700 times. Ni-Cd batteries: approx. 45 - 300 times. (Counted when flash is fired in 30 sec. intervals with new alkaline or fully charged Ni-Cd batteries.)
Flash duration: Approx. 1/700 - 1/20000 sec
Flash Control System: TTL series control system with pre-flash function. Automatic flash operation in A-TTL and FE-Lock modes.
For Both the A-TTL and FE-L Modes:
Flash exposure Level Control: A maximum of 1.5 BV steps in the A-TTL or FE-L mode when subject luminance is more than BV5 according to the center-weighted average metering system of the T90.
Automatic Shooting Distance Range: (in Zoom head):
at 24mm: 0.5 - 12.5m (1.6 - 41 ft.)
at 35mm: 0.5 - 15m (1.6 - 49 ft.)
at 50mm: 0.5 - 17.5m (1.6 - 57.4 ft.)
at 85mm: 0.5 - 20m (1.6 - 65 ft.)
Film speed setting: Automatically set by the camera
Bounce angle: Upward: 0 - 90° (click stop positions: 0, 60, 75, 90
Left side: 0 -180° click stop positions: 0, 60, 75, 90,120,150,180)
Right side: 0 - 90° click stop positions: 0, 60, 75, 90)
Power Source: Four size - AA (LR6) alkaline - manganese or NICd batteries. SE (Save- Energy) mechanism: Power is automatically turned off after 5 minutes of non-use when the main switch is left on.
Pilot Lamp: Lights when the flash is ready for use and automatically switches to flash photography. Also used as a test button.
Size: 81(W) x 119.4 (H) x 94 (D)mm.(3 3/16 x 4 11/16 x 3 11/16")
Weight: 395g (13 15/16 oz)
Marketed February 1986
Original Price 180,000 yen (w/FD 50mm f/1.4), $1,500.00 US 1986
148,000 (body)
Developed as the top-of-the-line T-series camera, the T90 is a multi-mode SLR with built-in motor drive. The form of the pentaprism hump is a distinct characteristic. Instead of being sharp-edged like on previous cameras, it is rounded with smooth curves. The camera was designed to lessen the picture-taking burden on the user via automation. It aimed for seamless operation to respond to the user's will. A lot of top-notch technology and thought went into the camera.

The camera has three metering systems to suit diverse shooting conditions. Eight autoexposure modes and two manual exposure modes also make the camera highly versatile. Drive operations are divided among three small coreless motors to consume less power. With four size-AA batteries, the built-in motor drive can shoot at a maximum of 4.5 fps. It was truly a top-of-the-line camera.

Type 35mm focal-plane shutter SLR camera with built-in motor drive and multi-mode AE
Normal Lens FD 50mm f/1.4, others
Lens Mount FD mount
Shutter Vertical-travel, focal-plane electronic shutter. With multi-program AE and preset aperture AE: B, 30, 20, 15, 10, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1.5, 1, 0.7, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/15, 1/20, 1/30, 1/45, 1/60, 1/90, 1/125, 1/180, 1/250, 1/350, 1/500, 1/750, 1/1000, 1/1500, 1/2000, 1/3000, 1/4000 sec. X-sync at 1/250 sec. Second-curtain synchronization enabled. Built-in electronic self-timer (with blinking LCD). Shutter speeds settable in whole-or half-stop increments.
Viewfinder Fixed eye-level pentaprism. 0.77x magnification and 94% coverage. Laser Matte with microprism/new split combination rangefinder. Eight interchangeable focusing screens including standard Type E.
Viewfinder
Information AE lock display, shutter speed, aperture, manual, flash ready, exposure compensation, correct exposure, remaining-frame count, exposure scale, multi-spot metering, FE lock, partial metering circle and spot metering circle at center, H/S control, and other indications.
Metering &
Exposure Control Composite SPC for TTL full-aperture metering (centerweighted averaging, partial metering at center, spot metering at center) with shutter speed-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, variable shift program AE (7 modes), manual, TTL preset aperture AE, and aperture-set. AE lock provided. Exposure compensation range of ±2 EV (in 1/3-stop increments). Metering range at ISO 100 and f/1.4: EV 1 - 20. Film speed range from ISO 6 to 6400.
External LCD Picture-taking modes, film-loaded indicator, film transport, exposure compensation, bulb time, multiple exposure setting and count, self-timer countdown, and other indications.
Power Source Four 1.5 V size-AA batteries (Ni-Cd batteries also compatible). Lithium BR-1225 or CR-1220 for memory backup power.
Film Loading &
Advance After aligning film leader at mark, close camera back for auto loading. Continuous shooting at 4.5 fps (H), 2 fps (L), or 1 fps (S).
Film Rewind Auto rewind with built-in motor. Midroll rewind enabled.
Dimensions &
Weight 153 x 121 x 69 mm, 800 g
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