The Canon EOS Elan (EOS 100) is more than 30 years old now. This one was given to me by a buddy who gave up film for digital and left this great 1990s marvel to get all sticky in a box in his closet or something.
I protested. “I’ll give you a roll or two of film, develop it for you, keep it and use it!” He just shook his head. “I’m a Nikon shooter! I don’t even have any lenses for it!” He wasn’t having it. He threw in a couple of rolls of long-expired T-Max and some Ilford Multigrade filters and sent me on my way.
That was July 2018, I think, and I only recently found a lens to borrow and give it a shot.
The Elan came to me all sticky, in that way that so many 1990s faux-leather covered cameras are now. Something in the plastic breaks down and turns gummy. It’s easy to clean off with rubbing alcohol, which is exactly what I did with the Elan. It’s all clean and comfortable, now.
Back in October, Samie (my darling, adorable wife’s youngest son) bought himself a Canon 650D kit, and it came with the EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 iii. It was December before I figured out it would mount on the Elan.
Coincidentally, it was December when I decided to attempt to rid myself of all these cameras that I never shoot or don’t otherwise need, and put the Elan on that list. I started to stick it on my For Sale page, but figured I should shoot it first, and so here we are.
The EOS Elan is an all auto, prosumer marvel, with a mode dial and everything. I didn’t test any of its shooting modes, but AV and TV autoexposure modes work fine, so I assume the others do too.
It took me awhile to figure out that you have to load film when the camera is off. It kept refusing to wind on in any of the shooting modes. But then, suddenly, I angrily turned the camera off, and *poof* it wound on. Good times.
The exposure compensation dial on the back also threw me for a loop. I had to RTFM to figure out that you have to set the exposure with half-press first, then spin the dial. As one would hope/expect from a prosumer camera, it remembers your exposure compensation setting even after powering off (though it might forget if you change modes… I didn’t check that: I’m not used to such a fancy camera).
Really, the EOS Elan is by far the most advanced film camera I’ve ever shot. My D7000 is more similar to the EOS Elan than any of my too many film cameras. And it’s comfortable enough to shoot and handles well.
I had a trouble finding the shutter button a few times, and the too many options put me off a bit. Oh, and it also dropped a couple of frames near the end of the roll. I have no idea why. Maybe I left the lens cap on or something.
Now I’ve been wanting an autofocus slr for awhile now. I bought an n8008 a year or so ago, but it’s given me almost nothing but trouble—it regularly fails to identify frame numbers and winds through the whole roll, complaining about not having film in it the whole time—and its focus motor is noisy and slow. To say it’s has been a disappointment is an understatement. I probably should’ve bought a “surface sticky” N90 or F4, and may one day, once I get over the n8008.
But this is a review of the Canon EOS Elan, not a complaint about a slightly older Nikon.
The Canon EOS Elan (EOS 100) is a fine camera. It works flawlessly, even with the cheap, soft, “slow focusing,”* 75-300 f/4-5.6 iii.
Overall, I give the EOS Elan a solid 4 stars. It’s a well built, prosumer, technological marvel, with almost everything of the best digital cameras today, but it shoots film…
If I wasn’t such a die hard Nikon shooter, I’d buy a couple of EF lenses and keep it. Alas. If you want this one, it’s on my Sale page for about what you’d pay on eBay, and this one has been shot and works, and if you’re local, I’ll throw in 3 batteries.
And just to prove that it works, here are some random shots from the roll of Pro Image 100 I put through it in the first week of January 2019.
*The Elan focused super fast with the crappy lens, way faster than the n8008, even with much faster lenses mounted on it.