Canonet CLA?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by zenrhino, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    I know there are folks out there who do foamseal replacements on Canonet GL17's, but do y'all know of anyone who does full CLA's on them?

    In particular I'd like to get the rangefinder cleaned up since it's not as bright as I'd like.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I found a site on the web that showed how to take the top off of the camera (not hard). The main problem is getting the rewind nob off. Once you see how it is done, it isn't difficult at all.

    Then I cleaned the rangefinder parts with a q-tip and some alcohol.

    Of course, I had 2 Canonets at the time, so I could risk one. It did work well enough that I was able to do the second.

    I never worried about the light seals. Never had a light leak. Then the back started opening on its own. $6 on eBay and I had a seal kit. No more problems there either.

    Matt

    I would try to find something softer than the Q-tip, but it worked great.
     
  3. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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  4. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    Cleaning the viewfinder is easy. If I can do it anyone can. I used the same diagram that Matt posted a link to. I thought my viewfinder was clear until I cleaned it and saw the difference. I also bought a kit on ebay to replace the foam seals. If you search there are also directions on replacing the seals. One of them used the foam from a mouse pad.
     
  5. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I am so glad I remembered this thread!

    I just took delivery of a Bell&Howell Canonet 19 - and I LOVE IT!!! I found a very useful link, as well, that no Canonet RF owner should be without:

    http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/photo/cameras/canonet.html

    But my question is this:

    The 19 is really simple in terms of access to the top - the rewind lever is on the bottom (and the more I use it, the more I think that is where it ought to be - seems awkward, but its just so intuitive - I was shocked!). I noticed that Matt mentioned the a q-tip and isopropyl. Easy enough, as I only have three little screw to take out, BUT - is there anything I should just NOT touch (either at all or with the alcohol)? Are any of the parts going to be affected by the alcohol (I understand the amounts have to be very judiscious)? Can I use compressed air in there, or is that too "forcefull"?

    And finally - I want to clean now, but there is half a roll of film in the camera - does the top coming off affect the light-proofing of the body ( I would assume yes, but I htought I'd ask).

    Thanks,

    Peter.
     
  6. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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  7. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Yeah, uhm....

    You can get a QL17 GIII at www.ebay.com for $25...
     
  8. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    I'd question the $25 Canonets. They often have something wrong with them. A Canonet in good working order normally costs $50 - $75 on ebay and I've seen them go for over $100.

    To me, this is money well spent. Remember that this camera sold for over $100 when new, or over $400 in today's money. It has probably never had a CLA. There's no point in buying the camera if it's not going to be put in good working order. Even with the additional investment, it's a very good buy. You can buy a 20-year-old old car for a cheap price, but you might easily have to invest the same amount you paid for it to get iit in good working order.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2005
  9. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    I'm with you on this one Bill...I have a $10 eBay special QL-17 GIII for parts...It's worth about $10. I bought a recently CLA's one (with receipt) and a Canolite D from a reputable dealer for $100.

    Kent
     
  10. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    If it's worth having, it's worth having it in proper working order. You can do it yourself, or you can pay someone else to do it, but time is money; you're paying for labor, knowlege, & experience. I've read posters report that they have gotten CLAs for a little less. $85 comes to mind, but I don;t know where. perhaps you can find a local independent service tech to do it. There's a company near me that services a wide range of cameras. When they made a very minor repair for me on my Nikon FM3A under warranty, they told me that their minimum charge is $95 & that the Nikon factory is higher. ToCad, which services a number of products, including Contax has a minimum charge of $150. within that contest $100 for the Canonet seems reasonable to me. All mechanical products need periodic service & the cost of service is completely unrelated to the age of the machine & what its retail value is - new or used.
     
  11. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Yup, I have to agree with Bill ... having spent the last few years treasure hunting for great deals on cameras and shutters I've finally come to the realization that they're pretty much useless if they're not accurate. No point in using your light meter, figuring out exactly what shutter speed and aperture to use if the shutter doesn't actually work at the set speed - you'll never get the results you're after ... or at best it's a crap shoot, might as well just use a point and shoot.
    My local tech is a bit cheaper than $100 I think, but for classic medium/large format shutters APUG's own Carol Flutot Miller is the one to talk to. Can't say enough good things about her.

    Nathan
     
  12. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Well, I picked up a QL17 with flash and cases for both, instructions and camera strap, for about $50 US... clean enough to eat of off and in perfect working order. I understand that older machinery needs maintenance, and properly performed, it is well worth the price - however, the value of the original merchendise comes into play before the situation gets to a point of diminishing returns. I suppose it all depends on what value the item represents to the person - I have a 30 year old Zenit SLR that is of great sentimental value, and I know that the money I recently spent getting it working could buy me 10 of them... but I wanted my old camera fixed because it was worth it to me. Financially, it was a stupid move, but to me it was worth it. With the QL17's I found the range of shapes they come in is huge - from real wrecks to real gems - and the prices do not always reflect that (especially on eBay...)

    I have heard that the meter on these cameras is at best... well... a helpful suggestion more than anything from people who have a lot of experience with these. My personal impression is ( and I might have just got lucky) that it is quite accurate and fairly sensitive when measured against various meters on my other cameras and those of friends (keeping in mind that meters do seem to have a bit of "personality" built into them even on pretty high end stuff)

    My main concern with the Canonet 19 that I have is that the viewfinder is a bit dim - it appears to be an ease fix, but I want to make sure I learn about all the do's and don't's, just to avoid breaking or damaging something through ignorance.

    Bottom line is - the Canonet line is a GREAT value, even if you do spend $100 on a good one, and real steal given that better deals come up frequently. I think many people who are not "into" photography end up selling them based on their unimposing appearance (they just don't look like a pro SLR with all the gadgets - therefore most "lay" persons don't realize the value of what they have on their hands!

    Cheers
     
  13. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    Gnashings I agree with you about the value of the Canonets. To show how well built they are, they weigh more than any M-mount rangefinder Leica ever built! They used heavy duty parts in this camera.

    The point about service & repair is just what you said. It was worth it to you. Exactly the point! Even if you pick up a clean Canonet & its working perfectly, it will need maintenance at some point if you want to keep it going. The lubricants they used in these things tends to turn to goo. And they're not making any more of these little gems. You can pick up an old car, lawn tractor, or snow blower for a cheap price & run it into the ground. But with a little regular maintenance the life of some of these overbuilt old machines is longer than yours. $100 invested in a CLA for a Canonet comes out to $10 a year if you figure that you probably won't need to do another one for another 10 years. That's cheap in my book.
     
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  15. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Yeah, I guess the limited supply is a factor - and I never expected to like the little guys as much as I do!
     
  16. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Well I got my QL17 off ebay last week and tried it out yesterday (some of the results are in my gallery). It's an amazing little beastie that will take me a little while to get use to using, but she's sweet. I scored the Canolite D to go with it today so have a full set now :smile:
     
  17. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    Congratulations on the purchase, TP. Very nice pictures; I especially like the dog photos. Nice shot getting him on the run!
     
  18. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Thank you. The one of my dog at the gallop was with my Centon but the others are with the QL17. With practice I'm sure I'll be able to get similar shots with the QL17 though :D
     
  19. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    TPPhotog:

    I got the flash with my deal too, and thank God - the Sunpack I own is well... the size of two Canonets :smile:

    I also picked up a Bell&Howell Canonet 19 - much bigger, heavier, but I do love it - what an honest bit of equipment! I understand it was made in 1961... and I took it out of the box it came in and put two rolls of film through it in the first day. As could be expected, the meter works well enough when its bright out - but its accuracy falls of with the light available - typical of the early photo-cell type meter. Other than that, it proved more capable than I am :smile:

    The rangefinder image is a little bit dim - is this typical on the 19's? Can it be corrected? I did swab everyting I could reach after removing the top plate with rubbing alcohol, and it did help a bit. Anything else - or is it just an inherent part of this camera?
     
  20. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    This is my first experience of owning a Canonet but the viewfinder on my QL17 is bright. I think the 17 & 19 are the same camera but with a different lens.

    APUG is full of experienced & very helpful Canonet users so it may be worth starting a thread specifically asking that question. Sorry I can't be more helpful but give me a few weeks and I'll know mine inside out :wink:
     
  21. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Yes, I have certainly found (in my short time here) that the well of knowledge on APUG is huge - and the people are very willing to put up even with a noob like me. Great site, great folks!

    As far as the 19 & 17 go, well, this one is surely not the same camera! I was under the same imperession - but now i know better! The Bell&Howell by Canon Canonet 19 I got is the size of a classic SLR body! The film advance is on the bottom (the whole camera seems like it was flipped over - the film windes right to left!!!)

    If anyone wants to see what I bought, here is a little write up -
    http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/photo/cameras/canonet.html

    It is a pleasure to use, and once you get used to its "backwardsness" its actually really convenient - the lefthanded rewind feels like... well... a better idea - you don't have to move your right hand off the shutter!!!
     
  22. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I saw those (might be the same site) when I was looking around for information before I bid for mine. Have to admit they look really good fun and having the winder on the under side and left makes a change from what we consider "normal" these days. I'm going to have to be careful or I might land up as a Canonet collector :D
     
  23. josephaustin

    josephaustin Member

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    Easy to collect, I have two, a QL17, and the oft scorned Canonet 28 which despite being an automatic camera, or manual with just apperature selection is fun to use. The lenses arent to shabby either. I used the q-tip and alcohol method to clean my viewfinder, becareful about cleaning the rangefinder assembly!! this page: http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/forum/
    is a good resource for camera maintence questions.
     
  24. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Yeah, collecting these things is not hard thing to fall into - I didn't mean to buy one, now I have two "poor man's Leica's"...hehehehe:smile:

    I had the top cover off my 19 - I only ended up cleaning (qtip and rubbing alc) the parts that I could tell would not move when touched. I meant to do more, but got scared - after all, I thought,its better a little dim, than completely useless because some clutz (me!) tried to clean it and knocked it around a bit! It takes some practice, and finding something with a sharp line and colour demarcation is helpful, but other than that, its fairly non-problematic.

    And the 19 takes no batteries! Its great. Soooo quiet. After buying these RF's I started referring to what happens when you shoot an SLR as "recoil":smile:
     
  25. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    No ... Don't tempt me they are too cute and I could easily convince myself that another version would be fun :tongue: I also love how quiet they are, I've had a few shots where I only knew for certain I'd taken the shot when I was able to use the manual film advance.

    My Canolite D arrived today in mint condition and looks really 70's when all rigged up. Sadly I'm on a late shift today so it might just get tried out at work :D

    Joseph thanks for the link it looks really interesting.
     
  26. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Maybe I am just in the process of exposing myslef as a total weirdo... but you mentioned that 70's look - well, I found that these Canonets (especially the 1960's 19!) have put my wife and I in weird moods - we dress up in old-fashioned looking clothes and wander around small towns taking pictures of each other looking retro...

    No, I am not kidding...and that may very well be a tad scary - but hey, we had fun!