Canon TLb

This camera experience post will be heavily influenced by my rough example. I can’t say I love a camera if the only example I have tried is tough to like. Though recently I met someone with a good example of this one and they loved it so there you go.

I got this camera in a job lot along with another hard-to-like camera, the Nikon FTn. Both were covered in yuck and stuff, were stiff, and barely functioned. Both were part of a stupid purchase that I completely regret. Hopefully, I am now at the tail end of the experience with a lesson learned. I would say this one seemed in worse condition than the Nikon, but this one at least functioned and could take a photo. It didn’t jam at the drop of a hat.

The first issue I had with this camera was the battery compartment. It was completely stuck. I sent it to a friend who managed to prise it off for me. Now I was able to put a battery inside, I could see the light meter reacting to different conditions, but the readings it gave didn’t match with the Lime 2 light meter I had. So I decided to take the battery out, use the light meter exclusively and the camera in manual mode.

Then I found the film counter didn’t work and the wind-on was very stiff. VERY. Also, I read that you could attach regular FD lenses, but for some reason, I couldn’t get any of mine on this example. So I stuck with using the 28mm breech lock Soligor that came with it. Of course, as soon as I finished the test film, the lenses went on without a problem.

The film I decided to load was also a bit rough and ready. I bought a bulk roll of expired Kodak Vision 800t and loaded that. I set the Lime 2 to 50asa and took the set-up to Scarborough. Here are the results.

I found focusing the camera a little tricky as the screen has a dullish micro prism that didn’t really change much and was hard to see. The weight of the camera didn’t make for a comfortable walk either. So all in all, not my favourite camera.

As for the film, I am not sure I will use that again either. If it was black and white, fair enough, but I have to pay for ECN2 film to be developed and the results show obvious damage. Though I do like the soft colours.

And that’s it, this mouldy example is now consigned to the bin to ensure no one else buys it and it doesn’t infect other cameras…minus a few bits such as battery caps.

In other news, I got a replacement Nikon FTn that was missing a couple of bits..such as battery caps which I scavenged from my haunted example. When I first got it, the shutter jammed just like the first one. I managed to get that moving and so far it seems to be working ok. Unfortunately, I only have a Soligor 28mm lens for it, what a coincidence. Here are some shots from that set-up, Kentmere 400 developed in 510-Pyro.

The self-timer works too 🙂

Lesson learned. I have enough working cameras and still at least 10 more to try, so no reason to buy junk cameras any more. Plus with the current cost of living crisis, I simply can’t afford them. It’s the end of an era, finally broken by a Nikon and a Canon job lot.


8 thoughts on “Canon TLb

    1. Peggy says:

      You got great results from yours. This one was too far gone, too much mould. I have an A1 and an AE1 both of which have had a service. So no need to invest further in this one for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. William says:

        Hah!, True, but yeah – this is the classic, the *quintessential* Peggy Resuscitation-From-Dead story arc … for at least one roll or so. And as always, though flecked here-and=there with bits of earth and clay from being dragged out of the grave, the photos are beautiful!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Peggy says:

        Thank you. The more I look at them, the more I like the soft tones. I am thinking of taking some portraits with the film. Maybe with the nikon as I have a 50mm lens coming…true resurrection or resuscitation of the film and camera.


  1. Roger B. says:

    Really enjoyable and moody b&w pix, as usual I should add.
    I buy FTs and sometimes FTbs with that wonderful 50/1.4 mounted, on the Bay, for no more than $50. Put new seals on them, lube the shutter/mirror linkage, make sure the batteries are removed, and inventory them … for that day when the economies of western nations are restored to a semblance of normalcy, and demand rebounds. Faith over fear ….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      I did notice a lot more were for sale over the pond. And cheaper too. They are still fairly cheap here, hence I am not worried about stripping it.


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