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Using the Canon EOS Elan/EOS 100 - an unofficial manual. DonationsCopyright © 2000 NK Guy

Here is an unofficial user’s manual on this camera - particularly its less obvious features. I’ve also written up an general review of the Canon Elan, for those interested. Note that this manual applies to both the EOS Elan (North American name) and the EOS 100 (name used elsewhere).

Table of Contents.

Total Beginner Guide to the EOS Elan/EOS 100.

To start, here’s a total beginner’s guide to the camera.

  1. Turn the camera off, if it was on, by turning the left-hand dial (looking from the back of the camera) to the red square marked L for “lock.”

  2. Make sure the camera has a working battery installed. The battery cover is on the bottom, and the battery goes into the camera terminal-end (metal contacts) first.

  3. Open the camera back. The release catch to the camera back is on the left side of the camera when viewed from the back.

  4. Take a fresh roll of 35mm film and slot it into the space on the left. The exposed bit of film should protrude out to the right and the plastic cylindrical end should be at the bottom.

  5. Pull the film tongue out as far as the orange mark on the right side of the camera. Be extremely careful not to poke the fragile shutter with your finger. (the shutter is the black rectangle with the sort of Venetian-blind panels in the middle of the camera)

  6. Close the camera back. The camera will whir and wind for a few seconds or so.

  7. (film icon)When the camera has finished winding, the film icon and the number 1 will be displayed on the top screen, meaning everything’s ready to go. If the flashing circle icon appears on the panel on the top then the film did not load correctly and you’ll probably have to open the camera back and line up the film with the orange mark.

  8. (full auto icon)Turn the left-hand dial to the green rectangle. This is the beginner mode. Always press and hold the centre button on this dial before moving the dial out of lock position.

  9. Make sure the AF/MF switch on the lens is set to AF, for autofocus. Remove the lens cap if necessary.

  10. Look in the viewfinder and push the shutter release button halfway down. Whatever is in the very centre of the viewfinder should snap into focus.

  11. If a green dot in the viewfinder blinks it means your subject is not in focus. Try focusing again. You may need to find an object with reasonably high contrast to focus on.

  12. If you’re using the EOS Elan and the lightning bolt icon blinks in the viewfinder it means there isn’t enough light, so push the small round lightning bolt-marked button on the top of the camera to pop up the flash. If you’re using the EOS EOS 100 then the flash will pop up automatically if it’s needed.

  13. Push the shutter release button all the way to take the picture.

  14. Have fun!

More in-depth information.

The rest of this page contains more detailed information on how to use this camera. Note that this document is not meant to be a general-purpose photography manual. I’m going to assume you know the basics of how cameras work and what standard terms (aperture priority, etc.) mean.

If you want to learn more about this sort of beginner information please consult my Canon EOS Beginner FAQ, which is full of frequently asked questions that photography novices actually ask. And don’t forget that I have a complete online photographic dictionary available as well which can provide you with definitions of most of if not all the common technical terms you’ll find in this document.

Loading and unloading film.

The EOS Elan/100 uses standard 35mm film (sometimes referred to as 135 film). Any 35mm film canister will work in this camera. Colour, black and white, slide, print, 24 shots per roll, 36 shots per roll... whatever you like. The only limitation involves certain types of infrared film.

Naturally other film formats, such as APS, 110, Polaroid instant, medium format, etc., cannot be used with this camera, just as you can’t play an LP in a CD player.

Loading film.

Unloading film.

Shutter release button.

The button under your right index finger when you hold the camera is, of course, the shutter release. Pushing it halfway will turn metering on and also start autofocus if your lens isn’t set to M or MF mode. The round in-focus dot lights up in the viewfinder when automatic focus is achieved or, in manual focus mode, when the camera thinks you’re focussed correctly. (note: the in-focus dot will not illuminate if you’re using a lens that doesn’t contain EOS-compatible electronics - see stop-down metering, below.)

Pushing the button all the way will take the photo. (unless the subject isn’t in focus and the lens is set to AF, in which case the camera will refuse) The best way to do this is to hold the camera firmly, put your forefinger lightly on the button and then squeeze down. Don’t jab your finger down on the button as doing so tends to result in camera shake, which can cause blurry pictures.

Installing/removing a lens.

All EOS cameras support interchangeable lenses of the Canon EF (“electro-focus”) lens mount type. Any Canon EF lens can be used with any EOS camera - there are almost no incompatibility issues, and those that exist are minor ones that don’t affect newer cameras like the Rebel 2000.

Most third party (ie: not built by Canon) lenses that are designed to support the EF lens mount system will also work, though occasional electronic incompatibilities can arise. Such third-party lenses are usually marked “Canon EOS compatible” or “Canon autofocus compatible.” Lenses designed for other camera systems, such as Nikon, Pentax, Minolta, etc., are not compatible with EOS cameras, though older manual-focus lenses can sometimes be adapted to EOS cameras through the use of special metal rings - see the section on manual lenses below. Old Canon manual-focus FD lenses are also incompatible with EOS cameras.

EF lens mounts are of the bayonet style. That is, you insert the lens into the camera mount and rotate it just a partial turn to lock it in place.

Installing EF mount lenses.

Find the red dot on the lens barrel. Align it to the red dot on the top of the camera body lens mount. Insert the lens squarely into the camera’s lens mount and then rotate the lens to the right (clockwise) until it clicks into place. Once the lens is properly mounted you will not be able to turn it again, though a tiny bit of play (wiggle room) is normal.

Removing EF mount lenses.

When you look at the camera from the front you will notice a large pushbutton to the right side of the lens mount. Press this button and rotate the lens to the left (counter-clockwise) while keeping the button held down. When the lens has rotated as far as it can go and the red dot on the lens barrel is aligned with the top of the camera you can pull the lens off the camera body.

Store the lens carefully. You should have both a front lens cap and a rear lens cap - such caps ship with all new lenses. Be careful not to scratch or fingerprint either the glass of the lens or the gold-coloured metal contacts on the bottom of the lens. Placing the lens contacts-down is thus not recommended. The camera should also have shipped with a plastic body cap to protect the camera when the lens is not in place. If you bought the camera and/or lens used you can buy both lens caps and body caps from any camera dealer.

Manual focussing.

There is usually a switch on the lens barrel marked AF/MF - or AF/M on older lenses. Turn this switch to MF or M and the camera will be in manual focus mode. Then you turn the focussing ring on the lens to focus manually. Note that if your lens is a Canon EOS lens with full-time manual focussing (FTM) then you can adjust focus manually at any time that the autofocus motor isn’t actually working.

A handful of very old inexpensive EOS lenses lack this switch since they don’t support manual focussing. If that’s the case (such lenses are usually marked with the letter A, such as the EF 35-70mm f 3.5-4.5 A) you’re out of luck and can only use autofocus, I’m afraid. And a small number of specialized and expensive Canon EOS lenses (the MP-E 65mm macro and the three tilt-shift lenses) support manual-focus only and do not contain autofocus motors.

Main dial.

The small dial on the grip, under your right index finger and next to the shutter release button, is the main input dial. It’s used for adjusting various camera settings.

Quick control (rear) dial.

The Elan/100 was the first non-pro EOS camera to have this extremely useful feature, originally introduced with the EOS 1. It’s a thumb-operated dial on the back of the camera that lets you adjust exposure compensation and other settings. And it’s only active if the rear switch is in the 1 position and not the 0 position. The switch presumably is there to prevent you bumping the dial accidentally when you don’t want to, but I’ve never found that to be a problem. I just leave the dial enabled all the time.

Command (mode) dial.

The primary control knob on the camera, located on the left side of the top deck, (looking from the back) and marked with a variety of letters and icons.

It has a locking mechanism - you must always push the centre button down before turning it from the L position. If you don’t do this and force the dial then you risk breaking it. It’s probably going to break anyway, since it’s badly designed and these dials always end up breaking, but no need to hasten its demise.

Lock mode (L).

The red L mode basically means “off” in Canon parlance. In this position the camera is locked and won’t respond to any other controls.

Technically even in L the camera is still powered on in low-power mode as long as there’s a working battery installed. You can tell this is the case because the top-deck LCD will display the film count whenever there’s film in the camera, and if you press any button when the camera is in Lock mode you’ll hear the faint sound of a relay clicking coming from deep inside the camera.

The battery drain seems minimal, however, so I wouldn’t bother taking the battery out of the camera unless you plan on storing it for months. If you care about specifics, have a look at section 8.1.3 of the old EOS FAQ: “What are the ‘hard numbers’ on battery use?”

“Image zone” (PIC) modes.

Clockwise from the centre lock position are the six PIC (image zone or PIC - programmed image control) modes, each identified by a small icon. These are various beginner modes that have different shooting assumptions built-in. Newer EOS manuals refer to these as “basic” modes.

Note that these modes override most of the camera’s other buttons. By using these modes you’re telling the camera, “I either don’t know or don’t care about the technical aspects of the camera’s operation - do it all for me!”

Note also that the PIC modes aren’t designed to work properly with external flash units. The only common PIC mode missing from this camera is “night” mode, which you can approximate by shooting in Av mode with flash turned on.

Full auto. (green rectangle) This is the simplest point and grin mode, for people who want to take snapshots without having to learn anything about the operation of the camera. Turn your camera to this mode and snap away! Full auto switches automatically between one-shot AF (these terms are explained below) and AI servo modes, depending on whether the camera senses subject motion or not. It also uses single-frame wind with evaluative metering and is similar to Program AE mode, but you can’t adjust any settings.

Portrait mode. For taking head and shoulders photos of people - even men. One-shot AF, continuous wind, evaluative metering. Attempts to set the lens aperture as wide as reasonable in order to blur the background and set the foreground figure off from the ground. If you have a zoom lens try to set it to a long focal length (eg: if you have a 28-90 shoot at 90mm) to maximize the blur. Also, longer focal lengths tend to be used for more flattering portrait shots.

Landscape mode. For taking photos of landscapes. One-shot AF, single frame wind, evaluative metering. Attempts to set the aperture as small as reasonable for wide depth of field. The built-in flash will not fire in this mode.

Close-up/macro mode. For taking close-up photos of things. Requires a lens capable of closeup photography to be truly useful. (ie: just putting your camera into this mode doesn’t somehow alter the abilities of whatever lens you have attached to the camera) One-shot AF, single frame wind, partial metering.

Sports mode. For fast-moving subjects. AI servo AF, continuous wind, evaluative metering. Attempts to keep the shutter speed as high as reasonable. I believe the built-in flash will not fire in this mode.

Barcode mode. This mode is used for the Elan/100’s barcode option. It’s detailed in the barcode reader section further down this page.

Winding, focussing and metering modes and how to set them.

The camera has a number of winding, focussing and metering modes mentioned above. Here’s what they mean and how to adjust them.

“Creative zone” modes.

The five “creative zone” modes are P, Tv, Av, M and DEP. (presumably you aren’t creative if you use the image zone modes) These highly creative modes afford varying degrees of control over your camera’s settings, unlike the PIC (icon) modes, which are meant for rank beginners.

Program AE (auto-exposure) mode (P).

Turn the command dial to P. The camera will automatically select shutter and aperture settings according to its built-in basic program. It will also use your selected metering mode - evaluative, partial or centre-weighted averaging.

Unlike the green mode you can adjust the exposure compensation by turning the rear dial and you can also apply program shifting by turning the main dial. (see next section) Program AE mode also lets you select the AF, film winding and metering modes in addition to supporting AE lock, exposure bracketing and multiple exposures.

If the camera’s maximum shutter speed (1/4000 sec) and the value of the minimum aperture of the lens flash in the viewfinder then there’s too much light. Either use slower film or put a neutral-density filter in front of the lens. If a shutter speed of 30 seconds and the value of the maximum aperture of the lens flash in the viewfinder then there isn’t enough. Use faster film, turn on the flash or go into bulb mode.

Adjusting program AE (program shift, exposure compensation).

As noted above, the Elan/100 lets you adjust certain metering options in program mode and in some of the other AE modes.

Program shift.

Program shifting means you can alter the shutter speed and aperture value together whilst retaining the same exposure value (EV). You can do this in Program AE and DEP modes by turning the main dial. For example, 1/90 second at f 4.0 is the same exposure value as 1/30 second at f 6.7, since both settings let the same amount of light hit the film. However the settings result in different photos being taken because of the differences in shutter speed and aperture (depth of field).

Unfortunately you can only shift the program in increments of half a stop, not one third of a stop as you can with newer EOS cameras. You also cannot program-shift if flash (internal or shoe-mounted Speedlite) is enabled.

Exposure compensation.

Exposure compensation means you can set the exposure setting to be greater than or less than what the camera thinks you need. For example, if you’re shooting a snow scene you might want to apply a +1 stop exposure compensation setting. To do this in, for example, AE Program mode you rotate the rear dial. The top-deck LCD and viewfinder scales will indicate the amount of compensation that you’re applying by shifting the black rectangle on the graphical scale. (a very nice feature - earlier EOS cameras like the 10/10s don’t have this nice little scale.) You can apply up to +/- 2 stops in 1/2 stop increments. The camera remembers exposure compensation settings even if you turn it off.

Shutter priority AE mode (Tv).

In this AE mode you set the shutter speed (time) and the camera automatically sets an appropriate lens aperture for you, based on your selected metering mode - evaluative, partial or centre-weighted averaging.

Turn the command dial to Tv, which stands for “Time value”. (Nikon more sensibly refer to shutter priority as S mode.) Turn the main dial to adjust the shutter speed setting and the rear dial to adjust exposure compensation. The camera flashes the aperture value if you’re out of range (ie: if you haven’t got enough light it’ll flash the maximum aperture of the lens, and if you’ve got too much it’ll flash the minimum aperture of the lens.).

You can’t go into bulb mode here - the maximum time value is 30 seconds. For bulb you need manual mode. The shutter values are expressed as fractions of a second unless the " symbol appears, in which case the value is expressed as a second. Thus 125 means the shutter speed is 1/125 of a second whereas 1"5 means the shutter speed is 1.5 seconds. Unfortunately you can only adjust the shutter speed in increments of half a stop, not one third of a stop as you can with newer EOS cameras.

Aperture priority AE mode (Av).

In this AE mode you set the lens aperture and the camera automatically sets an appropriate shutter speed for you, based on your selected metering mode - evaluative, partial or centre-weighted averaging.

Turn the command dial to Av (for Aperture value). Turn the main dial to adjust the aperture setting and the rear dial to adjust exposure compensation. The camera flashes the shutter speed value if you’re out of range. (ie: if you haven’t got enough light it’ll flash 30" and if you’ve got too much light it’ll flash 4000, the maximum shutter speed.)

You can choose any aperture value that falls within the aperture range of the lens you happen to have installed. The wide-open aperture varies a lot from lens to lens - f/1.4, 1.8 and 2.8 are typical values for fast lens and 3.5, 4.5 and 5.6 are typical for slower zoom or telephoto lenses. The largest aperture value is usually printed on the lens itself, and is sometimes an aperture range on zoom lenses which do not have constant apertures - eg: f/3.5-5.6. The smallest aperture value on a 35mm lens is usually f/22. Unfortunately you can only adjust the aperture in increments of half a stop, not one third of a stop as you can with newer EOS cameras.

Metered Manual mode (M).

In this mode you set both the lens aperture and the shutter speed manually. The camera will assist you by telling you whether it thinks you have the correct metering based on your selected metering mode - evaluative, partial or centre-weighted averaging.

Turn the command dial to M. The camera will display little + and - arrows telling you whether your picture is correctly exposed, overexposed or underexposed. Use the main dial to change the shutter speed and the rear dial to change the aperture. The minus symbol appearing in the viewfinder means that the image is underexposed and that the camera needs more light; plus means that the image is overexposed and the camera means less light. Both plus and minus means that the camera thinks the exposure is correct.

Sadly the Elan/100 does not use its nice little graphical scale in the viewfinder and on the LCD for manual metering, unlike later EOS models. You have to use the annoyingly uninformative +/- arrows.

The manual recommends that you shoot metered manual in partial metering mode, suggesting that the camera’s evaluative metering is not optimized for long time-period exposures. Also, if you’re using flash and you try to set a shutter speed faster than the camera’s x-sync (1/125 sec) then the camera won’t let you and will steadfastly remain at 1/125. Unfortunately you can only adjust the aperture and shutter speed in increments of half a stop, not one third of a stop as you can with newer EOS cameras.

Bulb (long exposure) photography.

In manual mode you can also go into bulb (long time exposure) mode - it’s the “buLb” setting that’s one step past 30 seconds. Bulb mode means the shutter stays open for as long as you keep the shutter release button pressed. Apparently the name comes from the olden days of mechanical shutter releases, when you’d have a rubber ball-shaped bulb that you’d squeeze to trigger and hold the shutter. Obviously, since the time value is determined by you the camera’s built-in light meter isn’t of any particular use in this mode.

This time mode works particularly well with the RC-1 remote control, detailed further down this page. You simply press the RC-1 shutter release once to open the shutter and then press it again to close it - no need to keep the button pressed down during the exposure. This is perfect for bulb photography, as it means you don’t have to touch the camera and risk bumping it. (unlike older mechanical cameras the Elan/100 lacks a threaded shutter button, so you can’t attach a mechanical cable remote shutter release, and unlike most later EOS cameras it lacks a wired electric shutter release) To minimize camera shake concerns still further you can also set custom function 13 - mirror prefire.

You can’t use the built-in flash or AEB in bulb mode. Note that the shutter in the Elan/100 takes power to stay open, and if you’re taking a lot of astrophotography images or other photos that require really long shutter speeds you may have problems with the battery draining flat and closing the shutter prematurely. (6 hours or so of open shutter is apparently normal for a new battery) If this is an issue you may need to find an older EOS camera such as a 10/10s or a 600 series model.

Depth of field AE mode (DEP).

DEP is short for “depth of field AE mode.” Not to be confused with depth of field preview (see the section on the AE Lock button), DEP is a function that help you set the correct depth of focus field for your photos. Basically it tries to keep everything between two user-selected points in focus.

Select the DEP mode using the mode dial. Then autofocus on a foreground item within your desired depth of field by selecting the subject and pressing the shutter halfway. “dEP 1” will appear in the viewfinder. Then recompose the image and autofocus on a background item by selecting the subject and pressing the shutter halfway. “dEP 2” will appear in the viewfinder. Finally, compose the final image in the viewfinder and press the shutter release halfway again. The camera will then calculate the necessary aperture setting and shutter speed to keep both items, and everything in between, in focus. Press the shutter release all the way to take the photo.

Of course, this all works only if the lighting conditions are OK for your selected depth of field. If there isn’t enough light then the slowest shutter speed (30 seconds) and the maximum aperture value of the lens will flash. If there’s too much light then the fastest shutter speed (1/4000 sec) and the smallest aperture value of the lens will flash. And if the aperture value flashes then you can’t set the desired depth of field and need to move further away from the subject or set a wider setting on a zoom lens. If you don’t move the camera between setting the two dEP points then the camera will try to get the narrowest depth of field possible. Which is just the same thing as going to Av mode and dialling in the widest aperture of the lens.

DEP mode is program shiftable (main dial) and uses single-frame wind. To cancel DEP mode just turn the command dial to something else. Note that you mustn’t adjust zoom settings on zoom lenses between setting dEP 1 and dEP 2, as you’ll throw everything out of whack. Likewise you can’t use flash in DEP mode - if you do the camera will revert to basic program AE mode. Finally, DEP mode obviously won’t work if the lens is in manual focus mode or doesn’t have autofocus circuitry. In these cases DEP reverts to program AE mode again.

For more information about DEP mode have a look at Vadim Makarov’s page on the subject. Or, if you’re interested in learning more about the complex math that underlies this camera mode, check out section 9.27 of the old EOS FAQ - “What is “depth of field” and how does the “Depth-of-Field” mode work?”

Camera shake warning.

If the camera determines that there isn’t enough light to handhold the camera without blur then a wobbly camera icon appears in the viewfinder. This icon blinks if the current shutter speed is less than the reciprocal of the current focal length.

For example, if you’re using a 50mm lens then you don’t want the shutter speed to be anything slower than 1/50 of a second (well - 1/60 of a second, actually, since there’s no 1/50 second shutter speed). This is just a reminder that you should really be putting the camera onto a tripod. The camera shake warning doesn’t appear in M mode, since presumably if you’re using manual metering you know what you’re doing and are bravely willing to suffer the consequences.

ISO (film speed).

Film speed refers to the light sensitivity of a given roll of film. “Slow” film reacts slowly to light and so photographs taken with slow film require either lots of light or slow shutter speeds. “Fast” film, on the other hand, tends to be grainier and of slightly lower quality, but is capable of working in lower light conditions or with faster shutter speeds.

Film speeds are assigned numeric ratings determined by the International Organization for Standardization. ISO 100 film, for example, is slow film that’s suitable for outdoor photography in sunshine. IS 400 or 800 film, on the other hand, is faster film which is more suitable for indoor photography.

Most film cartridges these days have their film speed printed on them in a form that cameras can decode automatically. There should be a pattern of squares (exposed metal or black paint) printed on the side of the film canister. This is the DX code, read electrically by a row of metal contacts within the camera. If you use such film then there is no need to specify the ISO film speed yourself.

However, there are times when manual film speed setting is important. Perhaps you’re using an unusual type of film (handloaded film, for instance) which lacks DX coding. Or perhaps you want to shoot a roll of film at a slightly different film speed from what the manufacturer suggests in order to achieve some effect or other. In these cases manual film speed override is a very useful feature.

The ISO command dial setting lets you override the automatic DX ISO film speed settings and set your own. Turn the dial to ISO and use the main dial to adjust the film speed manually, from 6 to 6400 ISO.

The Elan/100 can read DX codes from 25 to 5000 ISO - the full range available using DX coding. It only has the necessary contacts to read film speed and frame count - it doesn’t have the contacts required to read the film latitude. One mildly annoying feature is that the camera will continuously flash the ISO symbol at you if you have a film canister loaded which does not have DX coding. Even if you’ve set the film speed manually.

Film speed trivia.

Old-timers may recall that ISO (International Organization for Standardization) film speeds used to be called ASA (American Standards Association) film speeds - you might still see old references to “ASA 100” or whatever still. In the UK there was a BS or BSI (British Standard) system which used the same numbers as ISO. Since the numerical values for these three systems are the same you won’t have any problems.

The EOS 10/10s cannot use the old DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) film speeds, but that shouldn’t be a problem as nobody really uses that system anymore. However, you still see DIN numbers printed on film packages next to the ISO number (a number followed by the degree sign - eg: ISO 100 is DIN 21°). Contrary to popular belief, this designation does not indicate temperature or something. And technically, at least at one point the full official ISO film speed designation was actually the combination of the old ASA number plus the DIN number. (I don’t know if it still is) However, this seems a pointless and redundant compromise, since as noted above, the DIN film speed system is basically obsolete.

Finally, in Russia or former East Bloc states you might find film labelled under the GOST system, which until 1987 had numbers that were basically 90% of ISO’s values. For example, ISO 100 was GOST 90. In 1987, however, the GOST system switched to the same numeric values as ISO. Either way it shouldn’t make much difference with print film, which has pretty wide exposure latitude. Old Russian cameras use the previous GOST system for film speed settings, but they obviously use Cyrillic lettering for the dial, which will look something like “rOCT” in Roman letters.

Multiple exposure.

(multiple exposures)The multiple exposure setting is indicated by two overlapping rectangles on the command dial. To use multiple exposures turn to this mode, then use the main dial to alter the number of exposures. 1 is of course the default, and you can dial up to 9 exposures. Note that you can’t shoot multiple exposures in any of the PIC modes - you have to be in a “creative” mode.

ME allows you to take multiple photos without advancing the film to the next frame, thereby creating very ugly pictures. Or for taking a photo of someone superimposed over another background, like a Victorian ghost picture. And if you want to take particularly ugly pictures you can shoot more than 9 exposures if you insist - just reset the counter when it reaches 2 each time.

The overlapping rectangle icon is displayed in the top-deck LCD during multiple-exposure photos. To cancel multiple exposure just go to the ME mode and dial the setting back to 1. Once you’ve taken a sequence of multiple-exposed photos then the ME mode setting reverts automatically to 1 so you don’t mess up the next photo on the roll.

It’s usually necessary to decrease the exposure value of each exposure when shooting multiple exposures. The manual suggests -1 stop compensation when shooting 2 exposures, -1.5 for 3 and -2 for 4, as a general rule of thumb. Here’s a useful chart indicating some exposure combinations.

Another, and much simpler, way to do it is to increase your ISO setting manually - mutiply the current ISO setting by the number of exposures you want. So if you’ve got ISO 100 film and you want to shoot two multiple exposures, change the ISO to 200. Four exposures would be ISO 400. Just remember to switch it back when you’re done! Note of course that this method assumes you want to expose each exposure equally.

Auto-exposure bracketing (AEB).

The Elan/100 lets you shoot a sequence of three photos with different exposure settings rather than just one. If you’re unsure about the correct exposure setting for a given photo this option lets you bracket automatically without having to adjust the exposure settings manually. This is useful for films with a very narrow latitude, such as slide film. And it would also be really useful for infrared film if the Elan/100 didn’t fog high-speed IR film...

To use this function turn the command dial to AEB. Set the bracketing amount with the main dial - it’s measured in stops and you can bracket in 1/2 stop increments up to 2 stops from the default exposure. The camera will then shoot three photos - one underexposed, one at the presumably correct setting and one overexposed. AEB can’t work with bulb or flash, but you can use exposure compensation. (though the latter throws off the LCD and viewfinder settings.)

In program AE mode both shutter speed and aperture are shifted. In Av, DEP and M modes only the shutter speed is shifted and in Tv mode only the aperture is shifted.

Custom functions.

The Elan/100 has seven user-configurable settings which Canon calls “custom functions.” Turn the command dial to CF and then use the main dial to go between the functions.

Press the * button on the back to switch between 0 (off) and 1 (on) for each custom function. If you have one or more custom functions set to something other than the default then the CF icon appears on the top deck. Somewhat uselessly, as it doesn’t tell you what CFs have been set.

  1. Automatic film rewind:
    0 - Enables automatic rewind at the end of the roll.
    1 - Rewinds only after pressing the film rewind button.

  2. Flash sync timing:
    0 - First curtain synchronization.
    1 - Second curtain synchronization. (red-eye reduction lamp is disabled)

  3. ISO setting:
    0 - Set by DX code. (manual override is still possible, however.)
    1 - Manual only.

  4. AF Assist Light:
    0 - Enables the camera’s red AF assist light.
    1 - Disables the AF assist light.

  5. AE Lock Button: (the * on the back)
    0 - Sets AE lock only.
    1 - Sets the button to both Depth-of-Field Preview and AE lock.

  6. Beeper in self-timer mode: (also controls the in-focus beep on the 100 but not the Elan. At least some printings of the Elan’s manual is in error here - the Elan does not have the 100’s in-focus beep option. I don’t know why the two cameras have different capabilities in this regard. I presume patent restrictions, but only Canon would know)
    0 - On. Indicated by a speaker icon in the top-deck LCD.
    1 - Off.

  7. Mirror-prefire and self-timer:
    0 - No mirror prefire.
    1 - Mirror locks up prior to the shutter opening, when the shutter release or RC-1 remote controller buttons are pressed. Useful for preventing mirror-induced vibrations from blurring the image on slow shutter exposures.


To activate the motorized popup flash just push the round lightning bolt button on the camera top deck. The flash instantly pops up, ready to fire. The international EOS 100 automatically flips up the flash in the PIC modes when it thinks you need it, but for patent reasons the North American Elan does not do this. If the Elan thinks you need flash in PIC modes it’ll flash the lightning bolt icon in the viewfinder to instruct you to pop up the flash manually.

The camera will fire the flash in TTL mode (through-the-lens - the only mode available for the built-in flash) when you take a picture. If you want to use A-TTL flash metering you need to put an A-TTL-capable flash into the external hotshoe. If you want to use E-TTL flash metering you need to buy a new camera. Note that you can’t use the built-in flash when an external flash (or anything else for that matter - even something non-electrical like a hotshoe-mounting spirit level cube) is mounted in the flash hot shoe - tiny built-in switches in the shoe detect the presence of anything there.

The buzzing noise you hear when popping up the flash (or adjusting a zoom lens with at least a 28-80 range when the flash is up and the shutter release half-pressed) is the zoom motor. The Elan/100 has a zoomable flash - the first Canon EOS product to have this feature. It’s essentially a small motor in the flash housing that automatically adjusts the width of the flash output to varying lens lengths. The flash can go from 28mm (guide number 12 metres or 40 feet) to 80mm (guide number 17 metres or 60 feet) at three settings - 28, 50 and 80 mm. Flash sync (x-sync) in program AE mode is either 1/125 or 1/60 sec, but fill flash is possible in Av, Tv and M modes.

Since the flash is mounted on top of the camera in-line with the lens axis it suffers from two problems. First, it’s not high enough to clear a lot of lens hoods and large lenses (resulting in a dark curved flash shadow at the bottom of the picture) and second, you can get serious redeye in people pictures, caused by the light from the flash striking the retina of the subjects’ eyes and reflecting straight back to the lens. The camera does have a redeye reduction system detailed below, however.

If you hold down the flash when pushing the popup button then the flash makes a horrible clicking noise and the battery indicator will flash on the top-deck LCD, indicating a problem. Pushing the shutter button halfway should reset the camera in this case. To close the flash just push it down manually.

Note that the Elan/100’s flash program has a serious problem (a bug, if you will) that manifests itself when you’re using an ISO setting of around 2500 or higher. With an ISO speed set this high TTL flash often stops working. Luckily at film speeds this high you’re probably going to be relying on available light and not on flash, but it could theoretically limit your fill-flash options.

Fill flash and stuff.

Understanding how EOS cameras use flash photography is pretty confusing. It’d take a whole other document to explain. And so that is, in fact, what I’ve done. Please consult my Canon EOS Flash Photography article for more information. In particular, note that EOS cameras meter ambient light differently when flash is used in full auto (green rectangle) and P modes compared to Av, Tv and M modes.

Flash exposure compensation.

You can manually adjust the flash exposure compensation setting if you think that the default flash mode is putting out too much (likely) or too little light. This is also known as varying the fill-flash ratio.

To do so press the round button at the lower left of the top deck that’s marked with a +/- lightning bolt. You can then rotate the rear dial whilst holding down this button to adjust flash compensation. Note that you can’t adjust flash exposure in the PIC modes. Also note that this compensation remains in place until you manually cancel it.

Unfortunately, flash exposure compensation works only with the internal flash. Unlike later EOS cameras the Elan/100 can’t control flash compensation on external shoe-mounted flash guns. So if you want to adjust flash compensation on an external gun then you need a flash unit (eg: the Speedlites 430EZ or 540EZ) that has buttons that let you do that. More recent Speedlites of the EX series usually lack these buttons, as the assumption is you’re going to be using the flash with a camera capable of controlling flash compensation on external flash units.

Redeye reduction.

(redeye reduction)The round lightning bolt button in the upper left corner of the top deck also has an eye icon next to it, meaning that this button also activates the camera’s redeye reduction system. Once the flash is up just push the button again to turn on redeye mode. Push the button once more to disable redeye mode. Note that if you’re in a creative zone mode then redeye will only activate if custom function 2 (flash sync) is in first-curtain sync mode.

In redeye mode holding the shutter release button down halfway turns on a bright white light in the flash housing. An animated counter will appear in the viewfinder and count down around a second and a half. The idea is that you instruct your photographic victims to gaze into this white light in order to make their pupils contract. Once the countdown is complete you can take a photo of them without worrying about the evil satanic red-eye effect.

The problem is that gazing into bright white lights tends to give a rather glazed expression to most peoples’ faces. Still. The steadily glowing white redeye light is preferable to the seizure-inducing strobe flashes that many other cameras use, I suppose.

Flash sync.

The Elan/100 uses a vertical travel focal plane shutter, like most 35mm cameras. These shutters employ two shutter “curtains” which move across the frame vertically since it’s the shorter of the two distances.

X-sync speed is the highest speed at which the flash can synchronize with the shutter curtain movement. (This happens to be 1/125 sec on the Elan/100, and is the top speed the camera will let you set when flash is on) If you could take a photo at a shutter speed higher than X-sync then you’d have problems, because the two shutter curtains move in such a way that a narrow slit is formed between them. The result would be only part of the image area fully exposed to the light from the flash. Unlike newer EOS cameras, the Elan/100 does not have focal-plane (FP) flash, which is a system that lets you override the X-sync limitation.

The Elan/100 defaults to first curtain flash sync, which means that the the flash fires when the first curtain opens. Normally this is what you want since it means on slow shutter speeds the flash will fire immediately when you press the shutter release and you know you’ve got what you wanted.

However, first curtain sync has an unfortunate side-effect when you take photos of moving objects. Since the flash fires at the start of the exposure and the shutter then remains open, the final image will look like the object is moving backwards - the motion trail will not appear to be trailing the object. To prevent this from happening you want the flash to fire in sync with the second (closing) curtain instead. This is done on the Elan/100 built-in flash by setting custom function 2. Second curtain gives you a more natural effect of motion when shooting slow-shutter stuff, but has the drawback of being harder to shoot sometimes since you can’t predict as easily the moment when the flash will fire.

Note that custom function 2 does not apply to external flash units - it only works for the internal flash. If you want second-curtain sync on an external flash then the external flash itself must have a controls to enable second-curtain sync. (eg: the 430EZ, 540EZ and 550EX Speedlite flashes all have second-curtain pushbuttons) You cannot use the Elan/100 to enable second-curtain sync on Speedlite flashes which support second-curtain internally but which lack external controls for it.

AF assist light.

The camera has a patterned red autofocus assist light built into the body, behind the transparent red panel on the front. (a feature sadly missing from the newer Elan 7/EOS 30/EOS 7 cameras which clumsily flash the main flash instead.) This high-brightness LED illuminates to help AF work in low light. It also helps the camera focus on featureless surfaces, since the projected red beam is patterned with nearly-vertical lines.

It’s a fairly bright light and can annoy human subjects, so the light can be disabled by using custom function 4. Also, if you’re feeling altruistic and shooting with a lot of other photographers you can disable the AF assist light so that other photographers don’t get illuminated red areas appearing on their photos.

Unfortunately, if you’re using a large lens or a lens with a large hood this light can be blocked. So if you’re using an external flash with an AF assist light then the camera uses the external flash’s AF assist light instead. This is unlike the EOS 10/10s and 5/A2, which annoyingly do not.

Note that the AF assist light will not illuminate if you’re in a creative zone mode and in AI Servo mode. It illuminates only in low-light conditions when you’re in One Shot mode - this is normal behaviour.

The Elan/100’s autofocus system works at a range from EV 0 to 18 at ISO 100.

AE Lock (*)/depth of field preview button:

You can lock the current AE settings for a period of about six seconds. This feature is useful if you’re shooting something with difficult metering conditions. A typical example is a scene that contains a bright light shining back at you - you don’t want the camera’s meter to be thrown by the intensity of the light and set the rest of the scene to be too dark. To avoid this problem you could simply turn the camera to meter the scene without the bright light visible in the viewfinder, apply AE lock and then recompose the image to include the light.

AE lock.

Push the small round * button on the back of the camera, upper right corner. This locks the current AE settings until the viewfinder information goes out 6 seconds later, at which point the lock is cleared. There is no other way to disable AE lock (without changing metering modes or whatever) and you can’t adjust the timeout value.

Depth of field preview.

You can also use custom function 5 to apply depth of field preview to this button as well. The * button then does both AE lock and depth of field preview - ie: it stops down the lens to the current aperture setting when the * is depressed, giving you a preview of what the depth of field will look like. Of course, if the aperture setting is really small then the viewfinder will simply get dark and you might not be able to see anything much at all.


To set the camera’s self-timer press the blue DRIVE button until an icon of a clock and an IR transmitter appears in the blue rectangle on the camera’s top deck. Pressing the shutter release will now trigger a 10 second countdown. (there’s no way to change the time value.) If custom function 6 is set to its default mode then the camera will beep during the countdown, and either way the camera flashes the AF-assist light two seconds before the picture is actually taken. If you want to cancel the self-timer in the middle of a countdown just lunge desperately for the DRIVE button again.

If custom function 7 is turned on then the mirror will flip up the moment you push the shutter button. This reduces mirror-slap vibrations that can blur slower-shutter exposures, but has the drawback of preventing you from looking through the viewfinder during the 10 second timer run.

Finally, the manual claims that proximity to fluorescent lamps can accidentally trigger the camera when it’s in self-timer mode. I’ve not noticed this myself, but it’s something to be aware of, I suppose.

Cover the viewfinder in timer mode.

Normally when you take a photo you’re looking through the viewfinder and your face is therefore covering it. However, in self-timer mode the viewfinder is left uncovered and stray light can enter the camera, possibly throwing off the internal light meter. So when using the timer it’s wise to cover the viewfinder with something. The one time this isn’t necessary is when using M mode since you’re setting both aperture and shutter speed manually.

Some camera straps, such as many of those included with Rebel 2000 camera kits, include a plastic cover on one end that can be used to cover the viewfinder. Or you could put a grey or black plastic film canister cap over it if you have one around - they fit nicely. Some cameras, like the old T90, have viewfinder shutters for exactly this purpose, but the Elan/100 doesn’t. Naturally you’ll have to remove any eyecups around the eyepiece in order to cover the viewfinder with a canister cap or a strap cover.

Tripod socket.

Using tripods is quite simple. The camera has a standard tripod socket on its base which accepts pretty well any standard tripod with a 1/4-20 thread. They nearly all do - the only ones that don’t tend to be large heavy tripods meant for professional photographers who use big cameras. You can buy tripods in all kinds of sizes and price ranges, from tiny tabletop pocket-sized tripods for convenient snapshot travel photography to sturdy midweight portable tripods to heavy studio tripods. Tripods can have simple pan and tilt heads, three-way tilting heads and ball head mounts. The socket is also used for attaching other accessories, such as the optional handgrip or a third-party flash bracket.

Tripods, while cumbersome, make a big difference in terms of reducing blur caused by camera shake. They’re pretty well a requirement for nature and landscape photography. So don’t think of them solely as devices for holding the camera off the ground for self-timer group photos - they can definitely improve the quality of your photographs as well. A tripod-mounted camera will always take sharper pictures than a handheld camera, particularly at lower shutter speeds.

It’s a general rule of thumb in photography that if the shutter speed you’re using is slower than the reciprocal of the focal length then you must use a tripod to avoid camera shake. For example, if you’re using a 50mm lens then you shouldn’t use any shutter speed slower than 1/50 sec, which gets rounded to 1/60 sec. If you’re using a 300mm lens then you shouldn’t handheld a camera at shutter speeds slower than 1/300 sec. The camera uses this rule, in fact, for its camera shake warning. This rule also makes it pretty clear that the longer the lens the more a tripod is useful. To minimize the risk of camera shake still further put the camera into self-timer mode or use a wireless remote shutter release so you don’t bump the camera accidentally when you take the photo.

If you’re in a situation where tripods are too awkward you could also consider a monopod. These are simply metal poles with tripod mounts on the end. They’re obviously not freestanding, but they can help steady a camera better than nothing at all. In fact, when you use a monopod it’s like using a tripod with your two legs filling in.

Mid-roll rewind.

If you want to rewind the film before it’s fully used up just push the mid-roll rewind button. It’s the tiny recessed button on the right side of the camera, looking from the back. If the “don’t rewind” custom function is set (CF1) then pushing this button is also the only way to get the film to rewind at the end of the roll.

Note that there’s no leader-out custom function for rewind. (leader-out means that a tongue of film is left protruding from the film canister when you rewind, which is a very useful thing if you want to be able to change films midroll and resume shooting with that roll later on) You can listen to the rewinding very carefully and pop open the back at the exact moment when the film comes off the spool if you want to take the risk of accidentally opening the back too soon and wrecking all your photos.


This camera uses one 2CR5 lithium battery, and the camera displays the battery level on the top-deck LCD whenever the camera is turned on. The battery indicator has three settings - full, nearing depletion (it doesn’t mean halfway used up) and empty. If the battery indicator flashes then either the battery is exhausted or the camera has experienced a malfunction.

The camera contains a small amount of non-volatile memory which it uses to store the current frame count and user settings. So don’t worry about losing this information when you change batteries - all that data is retained even if the batteries are dead or not installed.

Most Canon EOS cameras use 2CR5s, though some of the newer models annoyingly use two CR123As instead, which can be a hassle if you have two bodies and you’re out in the field and thus need to carry two types of batteries. On top of this, a pair of CR123As usually costs more than a single 2CR5.

There is one area in which CR123As are definitely superior, however - they’re safer. 2CR5 batteries have both contacts at the same end, whereas with CR123As the contacts are at opposite ends. I once had a 2CR5 in my coat pocket, and the end happened to touch the foil wrapper of a roll of mints. The battery shorted out and got hot. Very, very hot. Luckily I noticed it before my coat caught on fire, but it was still an unpleasant experience. So. Note to the wise - keep all 2CR5 batteries wrapped up so they can’t short out. Lithium batteries have a very high energy density, and the risk of fire is quite real.

Also, and this probably goes without saying, don’t forget that the Elan/100 cannot function without batteries. All EOS cameras are automated and motorized and power-dependent. It’s a good idea to sling some spare batteries into your camera bag and have them around at all times.

RC-1 remote control.

The Elan/100 works with the optional RC-1 remote control. This is a tiny device the size of a small pack of gum which lets you trigger the camera without physically touching it. It’s extremely useful and I recommend all Elan/100 owners rush out and buy one. Heck, 10/10s, 50/Elan II and 30/Elan 7 users too - it works with those cameras also.

Using the RC-1 remote.

First, the camera has to be in IR-ready mode, which is the same as self-timer mode and is reached by pressing the blue self-timer/IR remote button on the camera’s top deck. You probably also want the lens to be in manual focus so the camera doesn’t screw up the focus. You then point the RC-1 at the front sensor, (behind the red transparent plate on the camera front) press the RC-1’s button, and the device uses an infrared beam of light to trigger the camera’s shutter release.

There are three settings on the RC-1 - L, dot and 2. L (lock) is off, dot means the camera triggers immediately and 2 means the camera triggers in 2 seconds. In 2 second mode the camera respects the mirror prefire custom function. You can attach to your camera strap using the included plastic clip.

Pros and cons of the RC-1.

The RC-1 is handy for many things. First, it simplifies group photos - you can set up the camera, walk casually over to the group with the RC-1 in hand and trigger the camera when you’re ready. No rushing frantically to get into the group in time to make the camera’s self-timer. Second, since you aren’t physically touching the camera when you trigger it you don’t have to worry about bumping it and blurring the exposure - useful with long exposure settings and mirror prefire mode. Third, the RC-1 works well with bulb mode - press the button once to open the shutter and press it a second time to close it.

There are two drawbacks. First, the sensor is on the front of the camera. It’s therefore easily blocked by large lenses or lens hoods, and also not very useful if you want to trigger the camera when you’re standing behind it. You could tape a bit of white paper or foil in front of the sensor to reflect the IR signal if you want to operate it from behind. In my case I’ve hacked an RC-1 to serve as a semi-wired remote by putting the LED on the end of a wire which can be velcroed underneath the sensor.

Second, and more annoyingly, the camera IR-ready mode times out after around 4-5 minutes. So if you don’t take your remote photo within that time you’re out of luck. Unlike the T90 there’s no auto sensing mode, which triggers the camera if the beam is broken - useful for wildlife photography. Rats.

The range of the remote is around 5 metres or 15 feet, and the internal batteries are supposed to last for about 2000 presses. It uses two CR1220 lithium cells.

Barcode reader.

The Elan/100, like its predecessor the 10/10s, works with an optional Barcode Reader E accessory. This was an experiment in simplifying the camera’s user interface for novices. Or, to be less charitable, an expensive gadget-driven idiot mode.

Basically it works like this. You get a booklet of barcode settings, each illustrated by a photo. (the scanner shipped with a small booklet of barcodes, EOS Photo Files, but Canon also sold a companion volume - EOS Barcodes 101 - stuffed with even more useful and exciting barcode settings!) The photo will be of a typical setting - a backlit item or a flower or a landscape or whatever. You look at the item you want to photograph, flip through the book until you find a similar photo, scan the barcode from the book and then input the barcode into the camera. The barcode is then used to program the camera.

Hacking the barcodes.

The barcode reader wasn’t a very popular feature. In fact, it really was a fundamentally flawed concept from a marketing standpoint - the only people who’d really want such a feature would be rank beginners. However, because of the cost of building the system, only fairly costly midrange cameras supported it. So Canon quickly dropped the barcodes - the 10/10s and the Elan/100 were the only ones bearing this dubious capability. However, there is one handy thing about it. And that is tied to the key word “programmable,” the hacker’s favourite word.

Basically, inquisitive people have figured out how the barcode system works and have written small programs so that you can write your own custom barcode programs. These programs let you design your own custom PIC modes - sometimes even accessing camera functions not available through the camera’s external buttons and dials. You then print out your custom barcodes on your PC or Mac (the camera uses Interleaved 2 of 5 formatting). This can be lots of fun to play with if you happen to be a geek.

For more information, check out Mogens Beltolft’s page on EOS barcode functions. PC users can check out this page for a list of barcode printing programs, UNIX users can check out this page and Mac users can check out this page. (the Scorpion Research program looks good for Mac users, by the way) Fun side note: the free Cuecat barcode scanner, once distributed through Radio Shack as part of a harebrained marketing scheme by a now-defunct firm called Digital Convergence, could recognize the Elan/100 barcode symbology.

The barcode reader requires two CR2035 3-volt lithium cells.

Using the barcode reader.

To use the barcode reader turn the command dial to a PIC setting. You can input a barcode into the custom barcode setting or you can overwrite the default portrait, landscape, closeup and sports modes with your own barcode if you like. This is handy, since it means you can replace any PIC mode you don’t like with your own barcode. And also one advantage of the Elan/100 over the 10/10s, which can only let you set one barcode program at a time.

Find a barcode and scan it in. Hold the scanner nearly vertical and press the button, then swipe the tip across the paper, starting from the white square and moving to the right. Make sure it touches the paper itself. If the scanner’s tip light doesn’t illuminate when you press the button then the batteries are missing or dead. The scanner will beep if the code is entered correctly.

Press the round output end of the scanner against the barcode receiver on the camera body. (it’s the translucent red button on the right side of the camera, looking from the back) Press the barcode into the body and push the barcode’s button at the same time. If you do it right (it’s easier with both hands) the camera will beep twice. The barcode that you’ve entered will appear in the display. (eg: P72 or whatever)

Turning the command dial to this setting will now engage whatever program you’ve installed. If you want to reset the program to the default setting for that command dial setting just enter the “reset” barcode that’s printed in the manual. If you don’t have the manual just print out the barcode 1320000000805000 using Interleaved 2 of 5 and use that. The barcode setting is set to default when the LCD displays “P00”, and the default barcode setting is identical to full auto mode.

Date back for the EOS 100 QD.

There was a version of the EOS 100 that shipped with a quartz date back. I think this was only available in Japan. Either way, I’ve never seen or used one and so can’t provide definitive information on how it works. Judging by other EOS date backs it probably has a MODE button to cycle between date and time formats, a SELECT button to select a number value within a format to change and a SET button to set a changed value. If the date display shows only a row of hyphens then date printing is disabled. The date printing facility superimposes its printed information over a corner of the photo - it does not support between-frame printing. Since the Elan/100 does not have a removable back it isn’t possible to turn a non-date version into a date version of vice-versa.

All Elan/100 cameras have the same cutout in the pressure plate required by the date back system, whether they have a date back or not. This has some consequences if you want to shoot Kodak HIE infrared film. (see below)

The EOS 100/Elan and high-speed infrared film.

This camera uses infrared LEDs to count sprocket holes in the film-transport mechanism and thus this camera will fog the edge of Kodak HIE infrared film. As noted above it also has a pressure plate cutout. Bummer.

The Elan was apparently the first EOS camera to use IR sprocket hole-counting diodes, in fact. The advantage is that the IR LEDs allow for precise film transport, so you can always be assured that film taken out and reinstalled midroll will have images that line up. (of course, this camera lacks a leader-out custom function, so it’s not as convenient as all that) In addition the Elan was the quiestest EOS ever made - until the release of the Elan 7(E)/EOS 30/33 - and the IR counter mechanism is part of the reason why.

For more information on EOS cameras and HIE/EIR infrared, check out my article on the topic.

Attaching manual-focus lenses or telescopes (stop-down metering).

I’ve written an entire other article on this subject, so you should check that if you’re interested. Note that the EOS Elan/100 uses the new style of stop-down metering.

Accessories and whatnot.

One drawback of the Elan/100 is that it never really had a lot of particularly good accessories. Naturally it can use all the various add-on components of the EOS system in general - flashes and lenses - but it’s a bit lacking in terms of other options. The most glaring missing options being a wired shutter release and a battery grip. Here are some of the things you could buy for it, though:

Eyecup Eb. This one shipped with the camera originally but is still available as an accessory. I find it doesn’t work very well with glasses.

Remote controller RC-1. See the RC-1 section above. The remote controller ships with a plastic clip that fastens to the camera’s carrying strap.

Barcode reader E. See the barcode section above. The barcode reader shipped with a vinyl carrying case and a small book of barcodes, EOS Photo Files. Another book of codes, EOS Barcodes 101, was available separately.

Grip extension GR-70. This is a knobby wedge-shaped piece of rubber with a wrist strap. It fastens to the bottom of the camera via the tripod mount, and a small pin fits in the hole in the bottom of the baseplate to prevent rotation. It makes the camera grip bigger for people with meatier hands, but is otherwise useless. It covers the tripod mount, it does not contain batteries, it lacks secondary shutter releases or other controls, it does not contain a built-in mini tripod and it prevents you from attaching the semi-hard case or a flash bracket.

Semi-hard case EH-6L and EH-6LL. An optional vinyl leather-look shaped case that fits around the camera. Case EH-6L is designed to accommodate such Canon zooms as the 35-80, and case EH-6LL is longer and designed to accommodate slightly longer zooms such as the 35-135. Two-tone - grey and dark grey. The case fastens to the camera by means of the tripod mount, so you can’t use a tripod in conjunction with it.

I’ve found these cases mildly useful for protecting the camera from scratches, small bangs and light wind and moisture. The main drawback is that they’re very bulky and bulbous, and the longer version is a nuisance to use with shorter lenses because the side zip tends to come undone. In theory they let you have the camera up and ready for shooting without messing around with a full camera bag, but they’re also a bit fiddlier and less convenient than you might want.

Dioptric adjustment lens E. The Elan/100 lacks a built-in dioptric adjustment feature like the Elan 7/EOS 30 to accommodate people who require glasses but don’t like wearing glasses when they look through viewfinders. The solution is either to grit your teeth and wear glasses when you use the camera or attach a diopter to the camera - basically a rectangular magnifying glass that fits around the viewfinder bracket. Canon sell 10 different types of diopters and each requires the Rubber Frame Eb to fit.

Angle finder C. Expensive, but allows you to look through the viewfinder from above. Handy for macro shots or shooting close to the ground.

Canon Professional Strap 1. This is actually made by Domke and co-branded with Canon. I list it here because I’ve found it’s a pretty darn good deal for the price - it’s got the Domke Gripper anti-slip material on the strap, it doesn’t have CANON EOS printed on it in gigantic letters like the amateur straps usually do, it has metal swivels on the end and so doesn’t get tangled up. It’s available in green and black, though oddly B&H sell the green one at a far lower price. The one thing it lacks is a viewfinder cover for timer exposures.

Third party books. This isn’t a Canon accessory, but may be of some interest. There was a Magic Lantern Guide book published on the Elan/100 (ISBN 1-883403-21-9) which you might be able to find in camera shops, though I understand it may now be out of print. It was carried by Silver Pixel Press in the US. This book, written by Steve Pollock, is aimed at beginners and doesn’t substitute for the manual - it’s meant to complement it.


- NK Guy,

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