Canon Canonet QL17

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by jjdig, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. jjdig

    jjdig Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I have been getting back in to film over the past year and I have been lurking here recently.
    I have been interested in the Canon Canonet QL17 and have been watching them on ebay. Well today I acquired one from my Father-in-Law, that he said he had purchased in Japan in 1966. It appears to be the original model with a 45mm 1.7 lens. The camera seems to function properly (I will run a roll of film through it tomorrow to see what I get). I have been online all day researching it and most of the info I have come up with deals with the giii which seems to be very similar but with a few changes - mostly the lens (40mm vs 45mm) and the battery.
    I am looking for info on the battery as it seems very different from the type used in the giii. The battery door says 1.3v which I believe is the same as the giii and the battery from the camera doesn't have any info on it other then a patent #. I have posted some pictures here (sorry taken with my iphone) including the battery that I pulled out of the camera. Any help regarding the battery or any other information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
    Joe

    IMG_0138.JPG (2).jpg

    IMG_0137.JPG (2).jpg
     

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  2. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    according to the photo, I think the battery you have is LR-50 or PX-1. But the manual said it needs 625 or PX-13. Of course any of these battery would have wrong voltage and might cause wrong exposure.
     
  3. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Keep in mind that you don't need a battery for this camera. I have never put a battery in mine and have been using it for years.
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    If the battery is slightly different voltage than needed than act accordling.

    Jeff
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    You can use a battery adapter, like that available fro Gossen and others for voltage reduction from 1.5 to 1.3. It is a tight squeeze but they fit into a Canonet.
     
  7. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I think the OP may have a validly odd battery question he's asking.

    If the battery in his picture came from that Canonet QL17, what is it?

    It's not a PX625 format. It's much too tall for that. (I have a QL17 GIII and a freezer full of 625 mercury cells.) But references I've looked at, including Canon's historical archives, says 1.3-volt (MP) mercury. And he says the compartment door reads 1.3-volts.

    The only form factor I could find that matched that voltage, used to be available in mercury, and looked similar was a PX640. But even that seems just a bit shorter. And nowhere could I find a reference to 640s in Canonets.

    There is the PX27 format, but I believe the voltage is incorrect (5.6-volts in the original mercury version), even though it closely resembles the photo.

    So what is that battery?

    (Regarding camera model, I also note that his lens collar levers are significantly different from other QL17s.)

    Ken

    [Edit: See the following link for an excellent Mercury Replacement Battery Catalogue by the Small Battery Company in the UK.]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2012
  8. jjdig

    jjdig Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. I have been looking into the various battery options mentioned in this thread. For the time being I am shooting with an external light meter.
    Regarding the differences Ken mentioned - is it possible that they exist because the camera was purchased in 1966 in Japan and that there may have been a slightly different model released to the US and Europe?
     
  9. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    That battery looks exactly like a PX-640 -- a 1.35v packaging of two mercury cells. I don't think it was ever intended for a Canonet but iof it fit it may have actually worked.
     
  10. Toan

    Toan Member

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    I've been using PX625A batteries for many years with no issues.
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The metering error is very small... insignificant when I was using 1.5v cells.
     
  12. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    I had mine re-calibrated for the 1.5v Silver Oxide batt's.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I have the GIII and the 625 fit. But according to the picture from the op the battery is PX-1a form factor. and the op has the original QL17 not GIII
     
  14. AgX

    AgX Member

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  15. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I think you are correct. Visually, the PX1A form factor looks identical. And I have now found a few references, such as this one by Kim Coxon on the RFF (3rd post down), referring to the earliest Canonet QL samples using this battery before the switch to PX625 mercury cells was made.

    Ken

    [Edit: Here is an MR-50 voltage-reducing adapter designed to convert an inexpensive 357 silver cell wristwatch battery into a 1.35-volt form-correct replacement for the PX1A mercury cell.]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2012
  16. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I have two Minolta SrT with a modification performed by a technician to make them work properly with ordinary 1.5V silver cells. Very nice and dandy, but you have to send the camera to a technician (this work was performed during a general CLA for both).

    I am a satisfied customer of Frans de Gruijter and consider his solution to be the best overall one, being cheap and practical.

    And by the way, welcome to APUG!
     
  17. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    There were 3 versions of the Canon QL17. Yours is the earliest version. The canon museum page lists it as a 1.3v MP mercury cell, but ive also seen a similar battery listed as a PX-640, which is about double the size of the usual PX625's, but still 1.3v. So a Wein zinc-air cell will work, but you will need a adapter or something to fill in the gap. A wad of aluminum foil will work, or a spring. A 1.5 volt silver oxide or alkaline will work as well, but you will need to adjust the ISO by about half a stop.

    Either way, do not stack two 1.3 or 1.5v batteries together, you will not get the correct voltage.
     
  18. jjdig

    jjdig Member

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    Thanks again everybody. This is great info.