Canon Ftb : LUSENET : Canon FD : One Thread

As a novice with a used Canon Ftb and no instruction manual, I'd like to understand how the exposure meter needle (right side of view finder) works in conjunction with the ring. The ring and needle are moved independently as I took some initial pictures mainly with the needle in its middle range of travel. Now only the needle moves as I adjust the aperture. The ring just sits in a lower right postion of the view finder ( I think it might not be working). What is normal operation of the needle and ring?

-- Tom Koman (, February 09, 2000


I don't have my instruction book or camera here, so this is all from memory. The ring moves as you adjust either the shutter speed or the aperture (I forget which one, but I think it is the shutter speed). The needle moves according to the light, and also the other control (the one that doesn't move the ring).

The idea is to move the ring to a usable point in the range, then move the needle to line up in the ring.

If the needle stops moving you have probably run the battery down. I am not sure what happens if you go into stopped down metering mode. I will have to check this evening when I am home.

BTW the proper battery for the FTb is a 625 mercury cell, which is no longer available in the US. You can use the Wein zinc air cell or various adapters to use other cells. If you use an alkaline cell, the meter will read incorrectly, but as the cell is used, the amount and direction of it being off will change.

-- Terry Carraway (, February 09, 2000.

I'd agree with the above answer, in case you don't know the meter reading is taken only from the central area of the frame (the dark rectangle). the instructions are on line at the following

-- Mark Dyson (, February 10, 2000.


In FTb the ring moves with the aperture control (ring on the lens) and the needle moves with the shutter speed, ISO value (film speed) and light intensity.

This is if you have a FD lens!! Check from your lens labels if you have one.

If the ring stays down you may have had the stop-down lever activated when you attached the lens. The other possibility is that you don't have a FD-series lens but maybe a FL-lens.

If the needle doesn't move when you have set ISO 100, shutter speed 1/30 and you point at a lamp then the battery is propably dead (or power is OFF). There is a bettery check (marked 'c') position in the power switch, just push it towards the camera back, beyond the power Off position (set ISO 100 and 1/1000 shutter speed first). If the needle points at the battery check mark in the viewfinder right lower side (small mark close to the lower right corner) then the battery is ok.

If you are using an older FL- or R-lens then propably (I haven't used any) the ring stays down and you have to measure with aperture stopped down. In this case you have to adjust the needle so that it touches the battery check mark in the viewfinder (not 100% sure about this). Either change the shutter speed or lens aperture, both will move the needle in this mode.

regards VP

-- vp (, February 10, 2000.

Oh yes...more...

If you are using a FD lens you should adjust the needle and ring so that they overlap. Exposure is correct when the needle is in the middle of the ring. The ring height is 1 stop, so propably you won't notice the difference even if the needle is not in the middle of the ring as long as the needle "touches" the ring. I think it is not even allowed/ment to use the intermediate values of the shutter speed selector.

Note that even if the batteries are dead or if the power is switched off the needle will go up if you adjust too long shutter speed (around 1/4 at ISO 100). When this happens a red circular label should pop-up in the viewfinder telling you are out of the meter range.

Also since the camera uses a Cds-sensor the needle moves quite slowly in low light.

regards Vesa-Pekka

-- vp (, February 10, 2000.

The FTb manual is online at:

-- Barry Lewis (, April 05, 2000.

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