Canonet III QL17 Repair & Batteries

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by aoresteen, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    GAS got me again! I just bought a black Canonet III QL17 and I need some info. Item 220762480826 on the bay.

    The seller says the camera is in great user shape (but a bit brassy) but I assumed that I would have to send it in for a CLA, new seals, and a meter adjustment.

    [​IMG]


    1. Who is the go-to repair person when it comes to servicing the QL17? Can they adjust the meter to use alkaline or siver oxide batteries?

    2. Anyone know where I can get the proper lens hood? I've seen a listing for a Hood 4 and a Hood 5 but I'm not sure if both will work with the QL17. Which one is the best shade to get?

    This will be used with B&W film with a yellow filter - HP-5 of course!
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    With respect, is it really worth the bother with so much 35mm gear floating around?
     
  3. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    As far as the battery is concerned, I would go for this solution:

    http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/batt_adapt_us.pdf

    I myself bought recently a Canon Canonet QL19 GIII and have already contacted Rick Oleson for a ready-to-use adapter, he's going to make a new batch in a few days and I'll order one.

    As far as the lens hood is concerned, I have read somewhere and seen pictures of a hood produced by Vivitar which also incorporates a UV filter. It looks great on this camera, but it has two shortcomings:

    - It skews the light meter reading, so if you rely on the internal light meter this is not a very good idea;
    - It partially obscures the vision through the viewfinder.

    My experience with this kind of small cameras is that it is better to hold the camera and push the shutter button with one hand only, and project a shadow over the camera with the other hand.

    Hope it helps
    Fabrizio
     
  4. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    You bet it is!!! :smile: I need a compact travel camera that I can keep with me that I don't have to worry about much. I need manual speeds/f-stops, filters, and a fast 35 to 50mm lens. I've looked at Olympus, Yashica, Canon, Konica, Rollei, Petri, etc and the Canonet QL17. When I saw this one I jumped.

    I have a lot or 35mm equipment - Leica RF, Nikon/Contax RF, Olympus OM, Contaflex, Contax RTS, and those cameras are either to heavy or too dear to keep in my briefcase all the time.
    Plus this one will pair nicely with my RTS with the 85mm f/1.4 Zeiss lens.


    I like to have my cameras serviced so I know that they are working properly. If a CLA costs me $125 that's ok as I assume I'll get five years out of it. That's pennies a day (7¢ a day).

    Others may not want to spend the money. Kinda like fixing an old car. I tend to fix them while others will trade them.
     
  5. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    No on the nice circular metal hood marked "Canon made in Japan CANONET", it's for an older model. Its 2 1/4 inch inside diameter is too big for your 48mm filter outside diameter which is around 2 inches.

    Yes on the plastic "CANONET HOOD 5" "CANON JAPAN". The box numbered A-0475.
    This one has a flat top and bottom with a cutout through the back upper-left which is carefully shaped so that you can see right through the viewfinder. To pack it away, turn it around and fit it onto the plastic lenscap.

    Filters have an effect on the meter needle, because they block a portion of the sky (which you probably didn't want in the meter reading anyway). The hood has a strong influence on the meter needle Depending how much sun and sky it's blocking. I watched the needle go up about 1 stop when the field of view is evenly illuminated (example f/11 to f/8). When aimed with the sun in the field of view of the meter but blocked by the hood (by design) the needle went up 4 stops.
     
  6. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    Yes it is worth servicing, especially a black one. I never noticed much difference in exposure using an alkaline battery, compared to the mercury one. For those doing super critical work the way to fix it is to put a voltage regulator in the camera, but then an on camera meter is not much use for super critical work anyway, and the meter does not work on manual either, I suggest a small hand held meter an forget about batteries.

    Sorry, I can not recommend anyone as I do my own service work.
     
  7. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Generic rubber screw in hoods (46mm IIRC) are available. I've never heard of a "go to" person for the Canonet like I've seen for Olympus, Pentax, Yashica. I'd love to find out if there is one as I have a couple of working ones and a couple of non working ones. I know there's a lot of interest in the GIIIs at Rangefinder forum, so perhaps look there if you haven't already.
     
  8. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Black ones don't come so often, nice find! :smile:

    I've opened a few in the past and they were not pleasant to work on :sad:
     
  9. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    The hood which came with one of my G-III QL17's is labeled "CANONET * HOOD * 4" and "JAPAN". It's secured to the rim of the lens or filter with a little screw, and has a cutout which can be positioned to minimize finder blockage. Unfortunately, the plastic out of which it's made feels pretty fragile; if your cameras get banged around a lot in use, it might not last long.

    You bet it's worth repairing. I'll be interested too, to learn of a repair person who's especially good with these - I've got one that could use an overhaul.
     
  10. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Just got done sweating over this. In case it happens to you. Mine got a stuck shutter last week while looking over these posts.

    I "knew" it was something that had happened before - and that it "recovered" from it before, but this time it seemed like I'd really need to send it in for repair. I set the shutter to B - now it wouldn't come out of B, I set the self-timer. Now everything was wedged.

    Then this evening, doing homework with my daughter, I decided to just "play" with it. I went through winding, "firing", opening the back and repeat. Before she finished her work, I hear bzzzzzz...

    It's fine now.
     
  11. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    The go-to replacement for the original lens hood on the QL17 is the black, all-metal Hoya 48mm screw-in. I waited for about 3-4 months for one to show up on "that auction site" and was rewarded with a near new sample for a reasonable price.

    As a second almost as good if not better option, consider the lowly Kalt 49mm black metal screw-in shade with a 48-49mm step-up ring. This combo results in a deeper (and thus darker) recess for the lens and surprisingly does not vignette whatsoever - at least when mounted without a filter between it and the lens. I can confirm this from personal use.

    It also looks really cool on QL17, which as everyone knows results in much improved compositions...

    :cool:

    Also, the comments by 'Bill Burk' regarding hoods and meter readings are dead on, and should be heeded if you intend to rely on the internal meter for outdoor daytime exposures. Meter readings on my QL17 vary widely for the same scene with and without a hood.

    Ken
     
  12. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    Wow. Nice to see a black one show up in the wild.
    I love my Canonet, for sure. You can redo the light seals yourself. There's a guy on ebay who sells kits that are just perfect. It'll take you about 30 min the first time.
    And I've checked the meter in my QIII 17 with an alkaline 625 battery against my Sekonic hand-held and it's only about 1/2 stop difference at most for me, which since I only shoot b/w and c-41, isn't that critical.

    One of the nice things about a Canonet is that you can clean and adjust the rangefinder yourself as well. Lots of good instructionals out there on the web for that.
     
  13. Wishy

    Wishy Member

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    I bought my black QL17 for £5 at a camera fair with a stuck shutter. Repaired for around £40. Bargain all in all. I used a "all cameras" repairer

    Regarding alkaline battery vs mercury. I find alkaline is sufficient give the type of camera.
    Be aware the QL17 has a single CDS cell which isn't very well recessed. It reacts very poorly to backlighting, and has a bad habit of exposing for the sky.

    So my advice is, if you're anal enough to be worrying about a >half stop difference between the 625A vs mercury, then you should be using a reliable handheld meter instead.

    Other than that, its a good camera. Heavy for the size. The lens is good - sharp / contrasty / fast. Rangefinder could be brighter, but you probably won't find anything better without spending a lot more. One thing that does annoy me - its hard to tell how much of the image is going to be included on the right hand side as there are no framelines here.