New toy - Canon Pellix QL

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by badoix, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. badoix

    badoix Member

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    Hi all,

    Today I was walking past a friend's research lab (they work in the area of fluid mechanics). In a corner of the lab there was some old unused equipment. As I looked thru it I found a camera mounted on a tripod (an old Velbon pod that musta weighed 10 lbs!). It said Canon Pellix.

    I played around with it for a while. It had been lying unused for over a decade but it is in perfect working condition. The smoothness and precision with which the mechanical parts work - the clicking of the aperture ring, the motion of the focus ring, the shutter's smart operation - is absolutely amazing. But I had a concern - the mirror didn't seem to be flipping up. I thought, maybe it's stuck. But I looked again at the name - Pellix - and then it hit me - it's a pellicle mirror!

    It turns out the Canon Pellix QL is quite the piece of work. Not only does it have an ultra-thin pellicle mirror but it also has Canon's old quick-loading mechanism for the film chamber. No mirror flip and no need for mirror lock-up - I can see why this camera was being used in a lab for high-speed motion photography in fluids. Also you can see your image till the time of exposure and during long exposures! I can see interesting astrophotography possibilities.

    Anyway, was just excited about it. I'll play around with it a bit. If anyone has or has used this camera I'd like to hear from them. I've heard batteries for it are nearly impossible to find but I can live without a meter. The lens on it is an old 50 Macro! I didn't know they had Macros in 1965.

    Badri
     
  2. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    If it takes the old mercury batteries , then yes their almost impossible to get, but there are replacements, and from what i have read in the past, a camera repair person can change some of the metering systems over to the newer voltage batteries.
     
  3. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Those are really cool; the only drawback is sometimes you get internal reflections on hard, point light sources.

    Be careful and don't touch the pellicle! Correct me if i am wrong but I think that it is made of nitrocellulose and is very fragile.
     
  4. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Don't feel bad, I've read the name a thousand times, and until reading this post I didn't make the obvious connection either! Pellix...hmmm. Sounds like a really cool find!
     
  5. badoix

    badoix Member

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    yes, i saw a few posts on photo.net about getting batteries for it from Canada, or having a repairman switch over the meter voltage. I'll try it sometime.

    I have to put a trial roll into it and see what it churns out. It might need a little cleaning in places. A nice alternative toy to my Pentax MX. oh, btw, the viewfinder is almost as good as the MX. probably a little darker but it looks like at least 0.95 magnification with the 50! yippee.

    Thanks for the input guys..

     
  6. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    If the meter is like my dad's TL QL, the meter will be roughly one stop off with alkaline batteries.

    Chris
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    A manual for the Pellix is here:
    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/canon_pellix/cannon_pellix.htm

    The meter is not like the TL, as the meter cell is a pretty small spot behind the mirror in front of the film on the Pellix. Can't recall if the TL metering pattern is like the FT(b), but those bodies used a 12% center rectangle to meter through a half-silvered section (I believe up in the condenser below the pentaprism) to pick off the metering light. The FT and TL models had moving mirrors. The Pellix is more of a spot meter according to the instructions. You can see the darker center metering rectangle on the FTb. You'd also have to calibrate differently for the mirror losses on the Pellix.

    I used to have the booster meter shown in the manual's accessories listing in a version for my FTb bodies, a cool accessory if you shoot low light and can find one in working condition, but they were pretty rare. Look around the area where you found the camera and if you find one, grab it.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2006
  8. badoix

    badoix Member

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    Thanks for the manual link.. that's quite useful. I'll find a battery and try out the meter.. I don't know if I can also find a Booster where I found the camera.. that would be asking for too much!

     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I owned one of these many years go. Purchased it new and kept it for five years or so. Even when the camera was brand new the pellicle caused a very slight loss of sharpness compared to the Canon FT or FTBn with the same lens. Don't know if there is any way to clean the pellice, but I would imagine that after a quarter of century it would need it.

    Sandy




     
  10. Karl K

    Karl K Subscriber

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    I shot several rolls with the Pellix in the mid '60's. The light loss is about 30% to the film. The internal light meter compensates for that, but not when using flash. As I found out, my flash exposures were under-exposed because of that 30% light loss. The 12% meter coverage takes some getting used to. If you use a hand-held meter don't forget to reduce the ASA by 30%! There was a slight loss of contrast because of the pellicle mirror, but sharpness was excellent because of lack of vibration and mirror slap. Also, the stationary mirror is always in perfect alignment. I had the 50mm f/1.2 lens, which was quite soft up to f/4 or 5.6.
     
  11. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I guess the battery can be replaced by zinc-air (hearing aid) batteries almost perfectly :wink:
     
  12. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    What makes or breaks a Pellix is the pellicle mirror. These are optical plastic (or something) and pretty much can't be cleaned without scratching the bejeezers out of it. And once the mirror is scratched, it's pretty much toast. They are interesting cameras though and definitely harken back to a different era. I've got a couple that I still use when the mood strikes.

    Jim Bielecki
     
  13. Cooki

    Cooki Member

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    There is a company called Wiens who produce a zinc-air replacement battery, not the cheapest beastie in the store, but certainly available.
    Cooki
     
  14. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    www.criscam.com may have the right battery adapter for the Pellix.

    Hans
     
  15. badoix

    badoix Member

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    Updates

    thought I'd post an update on what I'm up to with the Pellix. I'm just running a trial roll through and have no photo results, so this update is mostly from reading the manual and posts in other places.

    Meter batteries:
    Thanks to the advice I found here and in other places I have found a battery for the Pellix from www.vintagebatteries.com. The Wein cell seems to be the ideal replacement. Some people suggest using other zinc-air hearing-aid batteries and jamming them into place with O-rings. Of course, using silver-oxide batteries and compensating the exposure would work. I found getting the meter recalibrated would be the most expensive thing to do and so I didn't take that route.

    Mirror issues:
    the mirror is certainly near impossible to clean as titrisol says. I am even nervous about using a compressed air blower on it.

    As for exposure errors, the manual also recommends 1/2 stop overexposure with flash as Kark K said. with daylight it should be OK. the manual recommends using a lens hood when shooting bright objects and with flash.

    I guess all said and done the Pellix might be an interesting curiosity to play with once in a while. I don't imagine it can be used for any critical shooting. I would certainly use it for casual/street photography except it's a monster to lug around :smile:

    thanks for all the input.
    badri