Canon EOS 620

I completely missed out on Canon’s camera and lens innovations in the mid to late 1980s. I was not involved at all in photography then and I was not until the late 1990s that I re-engaged with photography and then it was with Nikon. In 2006 I bought a Canon 5D and have more or less stuck with the brand ever since. In the last two years, I have become increasingly involved in 35mm film photography, having kept hold of my Nikon LS-4000 scanner that I bought in 2001.

Canon EOS 620 35mm SLR film camera with EF 50mm STM Lens and original box
Canon EOS 620 35mm SLR film camera with EF 50mm STM Lens and original box

Although my digital gear is Canon, my film kit is anything but Canon. Contax, Yashica and Pentax mainly. I still have the first 35mm SLR that I bought in January 1979 – a Yashica FX-1 and its immediate successor – a Pentax ME. Recently, out of curiosity; I began to get interested in Canon’s EOS film cameras. I was attracted to the idea of matching my 21st century IS L zoom lenses to 20th century film bodies – which have very impressive specifications.

Canon EOS 620 35mm SLR film camera with EF 50mm STM Lens
Canon EOS 620 35mm SLR film camera with EF 50mm STM Lens

My impression of Canon EOS film SLRs could be summed-up as; Cheap, Plastic, Noisy, Disposable. All of the examples I saw on Ebay were old, worn-out, dirty and shiny. They did not look at all appealing (I recently bought an EOS 30 which was home to lice in the mirror box).

Last week I paid a visit to the web site of the retailer; FFordes in Scotland. They had a number of old EOS cameras, which they were describing as New Old Stock. I though that this worth a try. So I bought a “New” Canon EOS 620 for £59. This was the second of the new EOS models released in May 1987.

Rear opened door of Canon EOS 620 35mm SLR film camera
Rear opened door of Canon EOS 620 35mm SLR film camera

It arrived last Saturday morning. The listing didn’t mention a box – but what arrived was straight from a time machine. It was in its box, with all the original packaging, the strap was in its unopened, plastic bag; the camera itself was nicely wrapped in its own bag. Quite literally new and unused and unopened – untouched for the last twenty-nine years. It even smells like new!

Thing is, if it had been worn and old and shiny I would probably have dismissed it. But because it is “new”, I feel like investing some effort in discovering what the camera can offer. I’ve put my 24-70 f/4 IS on it and it works perfectly – a great combo. Sure, it makes a noise that is very much 1980s but it is not obtrusive. The AF, even though there is only one point – is seriously fast – as fast as my 1DS II.

Yes, it feels a bit plasticky compared to my Contax RX and Pentax MX. But then, this is a thirty-year-old camera that perfectly complements my modern Canon lenses. I wonder if Canon imagined that scenario back in 1987?

Rear view of the Canon EOS 620 35mm SLR film camera
Rear view of the Canon EOS 620 35mm SLR film camera

One thought on “Canon EOS 620

  • October 11, 2017 at 11:17 pm
    Permalink

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual effort to create a good
    article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot
    and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

    Reply

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