Creating Custom Function Labels for Canon EOS Cameras

Most of the Canon EOS cameras have so-called Custom Functions, which turn certain features on and off. In the film cameras produced in the 1990s, these functions are identified onlynumbers. Except for the professional models, Canon provides no reference information on the camera about these functions. Carrying the instruction manual at all times may not be the best idea either.

Therefore people have come up with various labels and cards to have this information always available. My solution was to create a small sticker and attach it to the bottom of the camera. The Elan II has tiny "legs" (less than a millimeter high), and there is a suitable space on the left hand side of the bottom (lens facing the viewer), between these "legs". You may find other suitable space on your camera body.

You will need to use 5-point font and almost no line spacing in order to fit all the text into the small available space. Probably many word processors can be forced to produce such labels. I personally used TeX, and printed the result on a laser printer. Then I cut a suitable piece of wide transparent adhesive tape, and taped the label into place. It has stayed there for several years already, without coming off or getting in the way.

My TeX solution is available below. You may need to modify it to suit other camera models, your national language, etc. If you need to fit it elsewhere, the parameters to adjust are the font (\font), the vertical and horizontal size (\vsize, \hsize), and the line spacing (\lineskip).


The following TeX source is hereby placed in the public domain by the author. There is no guarantee: use at your own risk.
\font\basic=cmr5 \basic \nopagenumbers

\vsize=1.87cm \hsize=3.0cm

\parskip=0pt \parindent=0pt \baselineskip=0pt
\lineskip=0.7pt
\prevdepth=-2000pt

\noindent
01 Fast Rewind\hfil\break
02 Leader Out\hfil\break
03 Manual ISO only\hfil\break
04 *: 0 - AEL 1 - AF 2 - DOF\hfil\break
05 Mirror Lockup\hfil\break
06 2nd Curtain Sync\hfil\break
07 No AF Assist Beam\hfil\break
08 Spot Meter to Focus Pnt\hfil\break
09 Av + flash = 1/125 sec\hfil\break
10 No Focus Point Red\hfil\break
\vfill
\bye


In January 1999, Alex Stark (stark [at] niss.org) sent me the following LaTeX source, which achieves the same thing:
\documentclass[10pt]{article}

\begin{document}

\sffamily\fontsize{5pt}{5.15}\selectfont
\setlength{\tabcolsep}{0.15em}
\setlength{\fboxsep}{0pt}

\fbox{%
\begin{tabular}{rl}
01 & Fast rewind\vphantom{$^*$}\\
02 & Leave leader out\\
03 & Manual ISO only\\
04 & *: 0--AEL 1--AF\\
%& \hphantom{$*$: }2--DOF\\
\multicolumn{2}{r}{2--DOF}\\
05 & Mirror lockup\\
06 & 2nd curtain sync\\
07 & No AF asst beam\\
08 & Pt meter to focus\\
09 & Av+flash=1/125\\
10 & No focus pt red\\
11 & No eye ctrl DOF
\end{tabular}%
}
\end{document}