I'm all giddy now (Canonet GIII QL17)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by spacer, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    I've been wanting one of these since I was a kid, and while I was picking up my enlarger and some accessories for it, I ran across two of these cameras in Dave's cabinet. I asked him if he had any plans for them, and he said no, that the shutters weren't working in either of 'em. Did I want one for, say, $25?

    Uhmmmmmm..... SURE! They're both nice, but the one I picked looks like it just came out of the box, really minty. I took it home and looked at the shutter. Nope, nothing happens. Then I accidentally tapped the lens barrel on my Kowa case putting it down and hear a click. Eh?
    I checked it again. Now the shutter is working, but it's sluggish to open. Ah, congealed oil? So... it seems I have a very fixable camera in my hands, and have to decide whether a standard pro CLA will take care of the problem, maybe something I can do myself, or will I need to find a specialist to fix it for me...
    Also, she needs a battery...
     

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  2. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I never put a battery in my GIII. It's one of my most-used cameras.

    Is your lens loose? My lens wobbles slightly like it's loose from the camera body, but I have never figured out how to tighten it.
     
  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    It is a leaf shutter, it will need to be cleaned. I saw the KEH listed on for almost $300 and stated it has a rare element lens. I have one for years, a friend gave to me when he bought a 35mm zoom point and shoot in the 80s. Very sharp, easy to use. Shot of free lance travel in the 80 and 90s.
     
  4. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Who is Dave and where is this cabinet? :wink:

    I've had a couple of these cameras over the years, they are terrific. I would give it to a shop to do, they are worth it. Lens is excellent.
     
  5. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    Yes, the lens does wobble just the tiniest bit, I'm trying to find a local shop in AR or AL... didn't really want to send it off if I don't have to, and Dave does have a treasure trove of classic stuff, especially if you like old Nikons, Graflex, Rollei, and a bunch of bellows-graced goodness. He still uses it all, too, and has some really nice photos he's done. A contact print he did from his 8x10 field camera was really something else.

    I'll be happy to get this Canon going, and try out the Kowas... when I've got some extra disposable income, I may let my GAS expand a little.
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Yes, it's due for a cleaning, old lube is the villain.
     
  7. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    Great camera. I had one with some fungus on the lens but still taking great pictures when I run into a very nice specimen at the Goodwill store for $20. I could not pass. I have now two and will probably end up selling one.
     
  8. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    Ah. Here's a better photo of the camera. I talked to Dave and told him about the shutter fix and the battery alternates, and he's excited about getting his remaining Canonet working... and maybe has a little seller's remorse about mine. :whistling:
     

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  9. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Great deal on this find! Ive played a bit with the 2.8 version of the canonet. Canon rangefinders are just so fun. I have a Vt and ive been searching for a Demi S for a bit.
     
  10. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Have it recalibrated for 1.5 Silver Oxide batteries, and blast away.
     
  11. spacer

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  12. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    OK. I've been poking around several places and found what seems to be plenty of information for performing the fix on this camera. However, compared to the airplanes I've worked on, this stuff is so precise and delicate that I'm not sure I'm willing to trust myself to do the work on this beautiful camera. If it were a beater, sure... so maybe I'll keep an eye out for just such a camera (cheaper is better).

    I've seen some references to camera repair outfits in the archives, but what is currently the best shop that'll do a CLA for a reasonable rate. Wolf and Bedford want a mint, and won't even admit whether the folks they use will even touch a classic RF anyway.
    I sent an email and a voicemail to Garry's in IL, and hope to hear back, but everything I see on his site is SLR, so I'm waiting to see if he works on these.

    Any others out there? I'm still sifting through the forum threads for ideas, but figured I'd go ahead and shove it out here anyway.
     
  13. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    spacer Subscriber

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    Sent him an email. Any idea of a cost ballpark?
     
  16. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    Not really, but you could try giving him a phone call.
     
  17. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Member

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    I have two. The lenses both wobble. I have heard that if you tighten them, the focus/aperture/shutter dials get stiff. It doesn't bother me and it doesn't seem to have gotten any worse over the years they've been in existence. It's a fun camera. An SR44 battery will get you going. If you're picky, there's a pot you can adjust under the top cover to tweak the meter to compensate for the voltage difference between Silver oxide and Mercury cells. I shot a few rolls and think I'll leave it as is.

    I worked on one of them. The front lens is easy-peasy to get off, used a selection of tools I made myself from some cheap General brand calipers, dividers and long nose pliers with a Dremel tool to shape the tips. Ronsonol lighter fluid as a solvent loosens up the shutter just fine. Then I noticed that the coating on the front element was scratched and the rear element had tendrils of fungus. It still takes good pictures, but I found another that had a perfect lens, and those photos are even better! But they are pretty easy to disassemble from the instructions located here: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90468
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2011
  18. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    Thanks for the tip. I have the battery issue covered, and a sticky shutter is my remaining problem. If I can't get an affordable fix at a shop, I'll have no choice but to go in myself. I'll look around for a clunker camera to practice on first, though.
     
  19. heespharm

    heespharm Member

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    I would just buy a new one it may be cheaper
     
  20. spacer

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    Hmm... you know where I can get a new Canonet? I'm seeing really nice, recently serviced ones going for quite a lot, so if I can find a $60 CLA, I think it'd be well worth it.
     
  21. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    Oh, hush. If logic had anything to do with it, I'd just stick with my EOS dSLR and the A2E and be happy.

    ...and I wouldn't have these two lovely Kowa SIXes... :cool:
     
  22. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    I have a high-quality PDF of the manual if you need it. It's preformatted 4x6" for double-sided printing. The images are all the same, but the text is real fonts, not scans. The cover is a bit different, too. Prints very clean. I also have a PDF of the repair manual.
     
  23. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    I downloaded those from somewhere, but yeah, the scans I downloaded aren't all that great. I'd really appreciate those a lot.
     
  24. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    Hama came back with a $125/2 week estimate, which is way outta my price range for this camera. Another outfit in California gave me a $65 estimate for just the shutter work.

    I'm gonna keep 'em in mind, but I still have until we finish the move before I have to make a firm decision, unless I let boredom get the best of me. I picked up a fresh bottle of lighter fluid today... maybe my subconscious is telling me to just "get 'er done".

    Come to think of it... I'm seriously starting to consider pursuing an independent education in classic camera repair, if only as a weekend sideline. I used to be an airplane mechanic, though nothing I worked on there was as delicate as a camera's innards, it's a decent start.
     
  25. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    $125 + the $25 that you originally paid is not a bad price for a GIII that will look and perform like new. And that CLA by Hama would certainly help if you ever decided to sell the camera.
     
  26. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Wise words...

    Ken