Unusual 1950's Canon RF camera -- what model can this be?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Trask, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I've come across a swing-back Canon RF camera that I cannot identify (despite owning an L1, P and 7S myself). It seems to be a Canon VT that is missing the trigger wind on the bottom of the camera. I've never seen a pop-up knob film advance on this kind of camera unless it had a trigger base, which this one does not. And note that it has the pop-up rewind knob only seen on the earliest of the swing-back Canon RFs.

    Peter Dechert makes the point in his book that Canon seemed to occasionally use up parts from previous camera when starting a new camera model, so I suppose it is possible that Canon had some VT parts but no more triggers, so just installed a plain baseplate. I can only think this must be considered a rare variant.

    Any thoughts from APUG Canon RF experts?
     

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  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Kodak did the same with its Retina cameras. Use some parts from the previous model or parts from the new models on its predecessor.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I don't know what model it is but I do like it.

    Jeff
     
  4. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    Is it possible that someone took the trigger wind off at some point, instead of at the factory? Does not the VI-T share the trigger winder?

    As a side note, my VT has that "early" rewind knob but I was under the impression all VTs had the pop up knob, and the VIT went to the folding knob style rewind.
     
  5. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The serial number allows identification of the type... if you have a crib sheet.
     
  6. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    Very interesting. It may be as Fixcinater said, somebody removed the trigger from an Vt and substituted a baseplate from an L1. Or maybe somebody had an VL2 and removed the film advance lever and substituted a knob wind.

    You should post this over at RFF. Many Canon rangefinder aficionados over there, including Peter Kitchingman, Stephen Gandy as well as Peter Dechert. Maybe they can offer something.

    Jim B.
     
  7. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    Have you taken the base plate off to see if the wind coupling/rails to guide the trigger transport are still in place?

    If it is then I would suggest someone removed the trigger mechanis because the ribbon was broken. The top looks original VT, and you couldn't remove a lever wind and replace it with a know, as the know turns in a dirrerent direction to the lever..

    I used to repair cameras at Canon, and have collected them on and off for years. I think this is one that was broken and had a new base plate put on to it...
     
  8. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    Actually - thinking about it some more the camera could be a VL with the wind lever removed. THe knob rewind means the camera is earlier than a VT or most of the L series..

    Does the wind knob lock up (in other words is there a button on the back of the camera you can push to pull the wind knob up?)
     
  9. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Andrew: I'd been considering the possibility that someone had replaced a wind lever with the pop-up knob, but the top plate has the correct little button on the rear to allow the knob to come up.

    I've not pulled the bottom plate, in part because I don't own the camera! Yet! I suppose it could be a VT with a new bottom plate. Too bad Canon didn't keep better records on production and serial numbers.
     
  10. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    The VL2 (the economy model of the VL series) had a pop-up rewind knob. The VL had a rewind crank. As mentioned before, the camera could be a VL2 with the film advance lever removed.

    You really won't know what it is until you can take off the bottom plate and look at its innards. My guess is that some independent repair tech modified the camera many years ago.

    Jim B.
     
  11. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    My VT has a knob rewind exactly as shown in OP. Is it an oddity as well?
     
  12. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Its hard to say if it is a VT that is missing the trigger on the bottom or a VL without the correct winder. It is really easy to take off the bottom plate, it is just two screws on the sides, and using a spanner you remove the retaining ring that is around the tripod socket. From there you should be able to make out if it supports the trigger winder or not. These are nice cameras and really solid, but using that type of winder is will make it difficult to use this quickly. I have the VT and the VIT cameras.
     
  13. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Unless Canon built VL cameras with a place on the top plate casting for the release button that would permit a replacement knob (in lieu of the film wind lever) to pop up, this can't be a VL with a retrofit knob. Well, if I decide to buy it -- and I'm having a hard time convincing myself I need another Canon RF body, as I just came across an interesting Noct-Nikkor -- I'll be able to pull the bottom plate to see if it's a revised VT. And frankly, if I wanted a knob wind Canon, I'd be more tempted to try a IVSB or similar. I've used the knob wind on my Canon VT and it's less easy to use than the knob on my Leica III.
     
  14. xo-whiplock

    xo-whiplock Member

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  15. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    Use the wind knob to advance the film.

    Jim B.
     
  16. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    I would be skeptical that this wasn't some sort of hack job- making something that looks like a working camera out of parts; really, without seeing the insides it is pretty suspicious. Either that or it's super-rare one-of-a-kind etc. etc.