James's Camera Collection: Canon EOS Elan IIe

Canon EOS Elan IIe Japan Other Canon Cameras 35mm cameras
Canon EOS Elan 2e camera
Camera type: Single Lens Reflex (SLR)
Lens Mount: Canon EF (autofocus)
AKA: EOS 55 (Asia), EOS 50/50e (Europe)
Film type: 35mm
Approx. dates of manufacture: 1995 - 2000
Battery: one 6v 2CR5 battery
Approx. original price: $450
Approx. street value: Low

Another thrift shop acquision. One good thing about everyone going digital is that people are dumping their old film bodies. If you aren't interested in paying for the (often crappy) lens, you can get some great bargains. The high-end bodies like the EOS 1s hold some value, but the middling- and low-end stuff is worth relatively little now.

In the early 90s, Canon USA decided to start naming some of the camera lines: the top cameras still had numbers but the low-end became the Rebel series, and the middle tier became Elans.

click for larger adThis one is an e version, which means it had ECF: eye-controlled focusing. On autofocus cameras you either have to tell the camera what to focus on (usually with an aiming sight) or the camera has to guess. With ECF, the camera looked at your eye position and tried to figure out what you are looking at, and focuses on that.

I always wanted to try it, but this is the first camera I've owned with the feature. It's controversial: people tended to love it or hate it. It was successful enough that Canon used it on several different models, but never on any of their DSLRs.

There's also a QD variant (Quartz Date), which simply means that it can flash the date onto the exposure.

Mine has a broken door latch, which appears to be common on this model (and many like it). Repair instructions are here, though I haven't personally done it yet.

For more information: Canon Camera Museum

Popular Photography magazine camera test: February 1996

Camera manual: Orphan Cameras.com

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