Through the Lens: Canon Tele Max’s Dual Focal Point

by E Magnuson

In the realm of 35mm film cameras, some models stand the test of time due to their functionality, design, and reliability. The Canon Sure Shot Tele Max, a favorite amongst photography enthusiasts in the early ’90s, is one such model. This article delves into the features, design, and technical specifications of this camera, providing both seasoned photographers and budding enthusiasts a comprehensive insight.

Design and Features

The Canon Sure Shot TELEMAX, known also as Prima Twin S in Europe and Autoboy Mini T in Japan, was launched in September 1991. It stands out as part of Canon’s highly successful Sure Shot range. This compact 35mm film camera boasts autofocus and a twin lens, a rare combination for its time.

One of the noticeable design aspects is the lens selector located on the face of the body. This positioning makes it intuitive and easy to adjust as your left-hand fingers naturally fall in this area. Moreover, the rubberized shutter release button ensures durability and user comfort. Additional functional elements include a window on the film back to remind users of the type of film loaded and an off-center tripod socket located on the flash side of the body.

Film and Film Format

Designed for the 35mm film format, the Sure Shot Tele Max provides flexibility in capturing scenes from landscapes to portraits. When choosing films for this camera, consider:

  • Kodak Portra: Known for its color accuracy and fine grain.
  • Fujifilm Superia: Offers vibrant colors and is ideal for a variety of lighting conditions.
  • Ilford HP5: For those who love black and white photography, this film provides great contrast and sharpness.

The film back window serves as a handy reminder, ensuring you’re aware of the film type currently loaded.

Power Source and Battery Life

This camera operates on a 3V CR123A lithium battery. Conveniently, on an average, this power source allows you to shoot up to 15 rolls of 24 exposure film with 50% flash usage. Ensure you have a backup, especially during long photography sessions. Grab the CR123A battery on Amazon here.

Exposure Control and Light Metering

The Sure Shot Tele Max uses an electromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture, providing decent flexibility for capturing images in various lighting conditions. Additionally, its a-Si cell for full-auto program ensures accurate exposure measurements across a range of EV 7 – 17.

Size Weight and Ergonomics

With dimensions of 125 x 68 x 48.5 mm and weighing just 255g with the battery, this camera is notably compact and lightweight. The design is user-friendly, with controls like the rubberized shutter release button and intuitive lens selector enhancing the overall photography experience.

Technical Specifications

LensSwitchable between 38mm, f/3.5 and 70mm f/6
Autofocus3-point Smart with pre-focus lock (0.65m to infinity)
FlashFlash-Auto with red eye reduction, Flash-On, Flash-Off
Timer10 sec delay
Dimensions125 x 68 x 53 mm
Weight255g (with battery)
Power Source3V CR123A lithium battery
Film Loading & AdvanceAuto-loading and advance with built-in motor
Film RewindAutomatic rewind with built-in motor


The Canon Sure Shot Tele Max is an embodiment of simplicity married with functionality. Whether you’re reminiscing the early ’90s or exploring the world of film photography, this camera, with its straightforward design and twin-lens feature, is worth considering. While it may not boast the advanced features found in modern digital cameras, its charm lies in its authenticity and the timeless quality of film photography.