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Canon T80

Marketed April 1985

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Canon T80, introduced in April 1985 and discontinued in June 1986, was Canon's first autofocus 35mm single-lens reflex camera. It was part of the T series of FD mount cameras, and is not compatible with Canon's later EOS system and its autofocus EF-mount lenses. Instead, three special lenses, designated AC, were produced for the camera. Other FD-mount lenses could also be used, but without autofocus capabilities.

The autofocus system in the T80 worked in the same manner as the focus assist system built into the earlier AL-1. A linear CCD is used to detect contrast in the focus area. When this area has the maximum contrast, the lens is in focus. This is a similar mechanism to that used in compact digital cameras. When a non-autofocus lens was used, the camera provided focus assistance in exactly the same manner as the AL-1.

The autofocus lenses contained a motor, and electrical contacts in the lens mount connected this motor to the camera's circuits.

Except for its autofocus capability, the T80 was very similar to the earlier T70, with four programmed scene modes in addition to regular Program auto-exposure (AE). These were:

* Deep Focus - the camera chooses a narrow aperture in order to get more depth of field. Useful for landscapes, or other situations when the photographer needs to get everything in reasonable focus. Trades off against a slow shutter speed.
* Shallow Focus - the camera chooses a wide aperture to get a shallow depth of field. Useful for portraiture, to reduce background distractions.
* Stop Action - the camera chooses a fast shutter speed so that movement is stopped. Useful for sports, wildlife, children etc.
* Flowing - the camera chooses a longer shutter speed for deliberate motion or panning blur.
* Program - the camera has more freedom of choice. Tends to prefer reasonably quick shutter speeds for minimal blurring.

Film transport in the T80 was completely automatic, just as in the T70, in both directions. This left the top of the camera very clean, since there was no advance lever or rewind knob. Film loading was automatic; the user only had to align the film leader with an orange mark and close the back, and the camera loaded and advanced the film automatically. Indicators on the top LCD displayed the status of loading, winding and rewinding. The motor, and the camera's other functions including the focussing motor in the lens, were powered by 4 AA batteries housed in the base of the camera.

Three special autofocus AC lenses were produced for the T80. Each lens contained a motor to focus, unlike the body-integral AF system pioneered by Minolta. All are readily identifiable by a boxy area on the upper left (viewed from the camera) containing the motor, and a red ring around the front lens element. The lenses were:

* AC 50mm f/1.8
* AC 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5
* AC 75-200mm f/4.5

All three, like the T80 itself, were only produced for a short time and are rare. They do not work on any other camera.

Canon, unlike Minolta and Nikon, was convinced having the motor in the lens was the correct approach; this line of thinking continued with the new EOS system in 1987 and is still the case today.

Canon Camera Museum

Canon's first autofocus 35mm SLR camera. The AF system uses a linear CCD array for TTL image contrast detection. The picture-taking mode can be selected with the pictographs on the external LCD panel.

For metering and exposure control, TTL multi-program AE and preset aperture AE with centerweighted averaging metering are provided. Lenses for autofocusing with the T80 were called AC lenses. These lenses had the FD mount and signal transmission capability. Three such lenses were available: AC 50mm f/1.8, AC 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5, and AC 75-200mm f/4.5.


Type 35mm focal-plane shutter AF SLR camera with built-in winder and multi-mode AE
Picture Size 24 x 36 mm
Normal Lens FD 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5, others
Lens Mount FD mount (with AC signal transmission capability)
AF System CCD for TTL focus detection with dedicated AC lenses. One Shot AF and continuous AF modes provided. AF locks during continuous shooting. AF detection range at ISO and f/1.8: EV 4 - 18.
Shutter Vertical-travel, focal-plane electronic shutter. With multi-program AE and preset aperture AE: 2, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 sec. For manual: B and 1/60 sec. X-sync at 1/90 sec. (hot shoe). Built-in electronic self-timer (with beeper and LCD to indicate countdown).
Viewfinder Fixed eye-level pentaprism. 0.83x magnification, 92% vertical coverage, 93% horizontal coverage. Laser Matte with cross split prism rangefinder.
Four LEDs and mask illumination. Correct exposure, In program mode: Correct exposure, camera-shake warning, manual, and warnings.
Metering &
Exposure Control
SPC for TTL full-aperture metering (centerweighted averaging) with multi-program AE and TTL preset aperture AE. Picture-taking mode selected with pictograph on external LCD. Exposure compensation range of 1.5 EV. Metering range at ISO 100 and f/1.4: EV 1 - 19. Film speed range from ISO 12 to 1600.
External LCD Program display, pictographs, film speed, film transport, battery check, frame counter, and other indications.
Power Source Four 1.5 V size-AAA batteries
Film Loading &
After aligning film leader at mark, close camera back for auto loading. Auto film advance with built-in motor. Continuous shooting at 0.7 fps.
Film Rewind Power rewind with built-in motor.
Dimensions &
141 x 102 x 55 mm, 555 g
Data from Canon Camera Museum