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June 1, 2013 / Gregory Williams

Camera Results: Canon TX and TLb

Canon TX with 50mm f1.8 FD LensThe Canon TX, and the TLb that came just before it are toned down export market versions of higher end Canons of the day, but that is the same information you can can get on any old website, as well as the fact these cameras debuted in 1975, and 1974 respectively.

What I have not been able to discern is when Canon stopped producing these models?  If you have an idea please comment.

I’ve used a Canon TX for years, and have owned a total of four. One I gave to my daughter as a learning platform, one I keep for parts, one for use, and one for backup. The TLb is another one of those cameras that just happened to arrive at my door with the purchase of a lot sale, and is the exact same camera as the TX without a hot shoe.

Both take sharp clear pictures.

These cameras aren’t very pretty, but they are sturdy, using the same body as the more feature rich FTb and compatible with FD and FL lenses which are widely available from online auction sites, yard sales, and thrift shops.

Of course, most mechanical devices that are over thirty years in age will require a little refurbishment to perform well. The repairs that were needed on each one of the Canon TLb with 50mm FD lensCanons I own were new seals, and reattachment of the exposure counter window. This little plastic window is glued to the underside of the top of the camera body at two points and it seems that just like the synthetic seals, the glue degrades with age. When this happens the window becomes loose and shifts, often causing the counter to stick when the rear door is opened rather than resetting correctly. Pushing the window back into place corrects the issue until the next roll is finished, so is actually sort of workable.

An ambitious person can also use this repair opportunity to clean the components of the viewfinder.

Even with problems caused by age, these cameras are great performers with an accurate metering system and as already stated, a wide range of affordable lens options.

A fair market price for a minty TX body should be no more than $70 US, a little less for a TLb. Beware a seller who wants more than than that for the body only unless that body is in mint condition. Visually imperfect, but very useful examples can be had for much less. Remember these models lack shutter speeds higher than 1/500 or a self timer, and that more advanced name brand SLRs can be had at or near the minty price.


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