Canon T90

A friend has recently started passing on film cameras to me. Unfortunately, the cameras have usually been given to her from a variety of sources, mainly people who don’t use them any more. Every one of them seems to have an issue, she definitely keeps me busy. I am grateful for all the cameras despite this…though a clean Leica would make a nice change. Anyway, this T90 was no different. She said it just stopped working and if I could fix it, I could have it.

Looking at it, the issue was a strange one. The LCD was on, but none of the buttons were responding and the shutter did not fire.

The LCD was “stuck” on this display.

With the LCD being stuck, I figured a corresponding button might be stuck too….yeap.

To be fair the button should not be that oily, I went for an easy fix first, it didn’t budge.

The only way to loosen the button would be to take the top off 😦 The only way to take the top off would be to take the front off 😦 😦

I couldn’t find any videos to follow, but did find a comment thread here. That said there were two screws on the front plate, under the mount and one above the mount. Then there were two on the side near the door lock. After that the front comes off quite easily. Then to remove the top cover there were two screws on the back, one under the right strap and finally one under the mirror lock up lever. At last, you should have this view…

The rubber cover over the buttons was why the quick oil method didn’t work. Looking at the underside of the top cover, you can see the button that was stuck…was still stuck and I had to push it out.

Once I pushed that out, I slightly sanded the hole and the button until it moved smoothly. Then it was just a matter of putting it all back together. Once that was done…

Yahooo!! I fixed the T90 and now it is mine. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an FD lens and my friend only gave me a couple of large zooms. So I decided to invest in a for-parts 50mm. The listing said the only issue was a crack on the outer aperture ring so I thought I would take the risk. It turned out to be perfectly fine, the ring didn’t slip and stayed in place.

So here is my T90 with a Canon 50mm lens.

It was released in 1986 and was called “The Tank” in Japan. It takes four 1.5AA batteries which is very convenient, but take care as I have seen a few for sale with broken or missing battery holders. There is a great review at this site that gives you all the details of why this camera is amazing, but is a risky investment if you intend to buy one these days.

I loaded mine up with my last roll of Fuji Acros II and took it on a photowalk with my friend. Unfortunately, the chemicals I had been using had become exhausted. I hate how it just happens and you don’t know until you ruin a film. Here are a few shots from that disappointing roll.

Of course I had to try another film…with different chemicals. This time I tried Rodinal, which has a long shelf life, and stand processing. I also tried a new to me film, Orwo N74 which I got in a mystery package from Northern Film Lab. Every film I got was one I haven’t tried before.

As you can see there is a light leak somewhere, so if I use the camera again I will tape it. The tower in the photos is Victoria Tower in Almondbury. I wanted to take interesting photos, but ones I could repeat if the chemicals or film didn’t work. But they did.

I liked the camera, it wasn’t my favourite. It was heavy, but I have other heavy cameras. The worse thing was the noise, the slap combined with the motor was so loud. It is not a stealthy camera. I also couldn’t find the exposure lock. Do you know where it is?

Anyway, as I now had the fancy camera that worked with a leak, I decided to get the fancy flash to go with it.

Looking up how to use it, I came across this video. It explains the difference between the Canon AE1 and T90 flashes and bodies quite well.

I haven’t used the combination yet, but hope too soon. This camera is lot like the Minolta 7000i, Nikon F90X, and the Contax RTS III….in weight. Out of all of those I prefer the Nikon which I also got a flash for.

UPDATE: I found this great post about the T90 and it said:

“You can lock the exposure by pressing down the shutter release button halfway, but you can only do this with partial area metering or spot metering. You can’t lock the exposure when using centre-weighted average metering. When the exposure is locked you will see an asterisk on the LED display in the viewfinder.”

…which is probably why I didn’t find it as I used centre-weighted metering for those rolls of film. Good to know though.

10 thoughts on “Canon T90

    1. Peggy says:

      I did get that message too, but I pressed the battery check button and it magically went away. So for now it is working.


    1. Peggy says:

      Ooh I read it. I think I would try glue like you mentioned, but glue on a hinge is very tricky as it still needs to move. I think I might pass on that.


  1. John DeBoever says:

    I like the look of the film. Rodinal is such a nice developer. I used to have a T70 and I thought the FD glass was nice. I didn’t particularly care for the camera and I sold it. It was to fiddley and I now prefer my Nikon F2 which was CLA’D by Sover Wong. I just donated Azreil Knight a Rollei Prego 140 for his new point and shoot series. Hopefully he will do a video on it.


    1. Peggy says:

      I tried another from the T series and loved it. It was so sharp. Combined with fuji industrial it gave beautiful results. I sold my F2 to get a new lens for my d750, I regret it but I have so many camera.


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