My new (sorta) Canonet GIII among broken cameras.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by kb244, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Long story short, I work at the Camera Center here in Eastown, Grand Rapids, Mi. Down in the basement are mostly dead/broken cameras from back when the store did repairs and such in-house, and as such there is a single dresser that has nothing but broken, dismantled, etc small 35mm compact and rangefinders. Among them was this Canonet GIII QL-17 missing a rewind knob. So I took a rewind knob off another GIII ( in much worse shape ), cleaned it up a bit and checked it over. The meter was dead but luckily unlike the many broken canonet 28s and A35F in the same drawer, the GIII can function mechanically and manually, the rangefinder also still seemed to work. So I did two test rolls thru the camera, and when those came out fine, I purchased a 48mm UV and 48mm Polarizer from the store. The little thing might become my small 'in the bag' 35mm camera that I can keep along side my larger Mamiya RB67 in the same bag (I currently keep a Canon FTb with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C in the bag with it. )

    [​IMG]

    Test Shot 1
    Kodak Gold 400, 1/60th @ f/1.7
    [​IMG]

    Test Shot 2
    Kodak UltraTec ISO 6, developed by inspection in HC-110 1:100 @ 4:30/68F

    [​IMG]

    *Click for full size scan (approx 2400 DPI)

    Anyone have any experience with this camera, the threads were dinged up a lil so I forced the 48mm UV onto it so that its nice and secure ( and straight) so that I can screw things normally off and on the front ( I made sure to clean it up real nice before putting on the UV ), will I experience any vignetting if I pop on a standard 48mm polarizer on the front of the UV.
     
  2. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    No experience with the camera but I wish I could find things like that !!!
    Cheers; Chris
     
  3. rosey

    rosey Member

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    I have a couple of these gems, and am always amazed at the high quality of the negs they produce. By the way, try a compatible Wein cell in the correct size and you may find the meter works. I have a supply of the original mercury cells (none for sale) on ice, and if the meter is working it's usually very accurate.
    It makes a great camera for unobtrusive street shooting if you set the hyperfocal distance and shoot from the hip or very quickly.
     
  4. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    we got a bunch of PX625 1.35V batteries in the store, none of them move the meter down from the top.
     
  5. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have a QL III bought mine in the 70's. Excellent camera, I can find no real faults, the case is falling apart, I carry mine with my 4X5 and 6X9 kits. I use a standard 625 1.5 battery and it seems to meter spot on. In other threads some folks report that the the meter can be adjusted for the 1.5 battery, but I don't know if mine is just out of tolerance and the 1.5 battery brings it back into tolerance or the circuit adjusts the voltage. I use a polorizer without any ill effects.
     
  6. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    My co-worker took the camera from me, filed down the battery contacts, poped in a 625 1.35V , set it on "A" and handed me the camera, and apparently the meter works now.
     
  7. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    Congratulations on the find Karl,

    I love my Canonet GIII, its a little gem of a camera.

    Bill
     
  8. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    out of curiosity, any other goodies in any of those drawers. Maybe any old decrepit Nikons or old Nikkor lenses?


    erie
     
  9. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    nada. The Canonet was probally the only gem in there, the rest were your typical plastic 70s to mid 90s compact 35mm cameras most without their backs, or they have the top disassembled and what not (most of the cameras in the drawer like 99.99% are whats considered not worth repairing and are kept for parts)
     
  10. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Great little camera, as were the similar Olympus and Minolta RFs. Others were also good, but not as compact.

    I have a couple and use them with the 625 adapter from the gentleman in the Netherlands. Seems to meter just fine. I used them for quite some time as my camping and canoeing camera, until retired in favor of an Olympus XA and Minox 35.

    Still a great "walk around the city" camera.
     
  11. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Provided people arnt asses and call the cops on you (to see what I mean : http://kb244.deviantart.com/journal/9335485/ )

    lol, whats the world coming to when yer testing the meter of the canonet pointing it up at the sky and back down, that people feel the need to call the cops on you cuz you got a camera and that you might be a 'stalker'
     
  12. dmr

    dmr Member

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    This has become my primary low-light camera. About a year ago I got my baptism by fire in camera repair, fixing a stuck shutter on it.

    My last project has been to recalibrate the meter so it will work with ISO 1600 film. I'm planning to write this up as soon as I shoot a few more rolls with it. The initial results are encouraging.
     
  13. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    When you get around to that writeup, you may want to consider doing a basic writeup on 'recalibrating' the meter so that it'll work accurately ( without adjustment beyound the calibration ) with 1.5v 625 batteries as opposed to the old 1.3v mercury cells.
     
  14. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Congratulations on your Canonet QL17 GIII rangefinder. I too love the camera. Here are some of my notes that may or may not be of value to you.

    PROS:
    Except for built-in light meter and flash guide number feather, camera operation is battery independent (my most important pro)
    Low cost
    Small size
    Lightweight
    Quiet operation
    Auto parallax correction
    Hot shoe and PC flash connections
    Aperture priority auto exposure mode
    Quick film load feature
    Auto or manual exposure modes
    Manual focus
    Fast 1.7 40mm fixed lens
    Attractive appearance
    Electronic flash sync at all shutter speeds
    Tripod socket centrally located on underside of body
    Has flash guide number feature that allows the diaphragm and focus mechanism to couple for automatic flash exposure

    CONS:
    No depth of field scale on lens (my most important con)
    Foam light seals on inside of camera back deteriorate over time
    Hard to see f/stop and shutter speed numbers on lens barrel
    Shutter speed and f/stop controls are too close together on lens barrel
    Flash guide number feature does not work well
    Flash guide number feature requires batteries to function
    Uses obsolete mercury battery for light meter (PX625 work fine as substitute)
    1-second and ½ second shutter speeds missing
    It is hard to read exposure settings when the camera is mounted on a tall tripod
    Lens hood blocks one corner of the viewfinder
    Built-in light meter does not work in manual exposure mode

    COMMENTS:
    1. Best f/stop is f/5.6
    2. The guide number feature is not as good as the Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 GN lens or the guide number feature of the Minolta Hi-Matic 9 rangefinder. It has only 3 guide number settings (metric 14, 20, and 28). The guide number feature does not function unless the camera is loaded with functioning batteries.
    3. Body is same size as Nikon L35 and Canon G5 (two other cameras I use) but it is too small for my hands when it comes to manual focusing and manual exposure control.
    4. Auto exposure lock (in auto exposure mode) is accomplished by slightly depressing the shutter release.
    5. Nice camera to carry as a backup.
    6. Small size, quiet operation, and non-intimidating appearance make it ideal for clandestine candids and street shooting.
     
  15. dmr

    dmr Member

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    I do plan on writing this up in more detail, but here's the Readers Digest Large Print version ... :smile:

    The newer battery does make the meter "hotter" than with the older battery.

    The procedure is basically the same, except you don't intentionally mis-calibrate it by exactly one f-stop.

    The procedure is basically this:

    1. Install a fresh battery. Start with known quantities if you can. :smile:

    2. Mechanically adjust the meter for a known light level toward the low end of the scale. I used 1/15, f2.8, ISO 400 with the highly precise laboratory-grade standard light source. (A blank bathroom wall with the lights on dimmers.) :smile:

    3. Electrically adjust the meter for a known light level toward the high end of the scale. I used 1/500, f11, ISO 400, which was out an east-facing window on a partly cloudy afternoon. Again, a laboratory-grade precision light source. :smile: :smile:

    4. Check both of the above again. You'll find that the electrical adjustment affects the readings on the high end of the scale far more than at the low.

    This is similar to the standard "two point calibration" or "zero and span calibration" used on clinical lab equipment.