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Thread: Canon P

  1. #1
    eSPhotos's Avatar
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    Canon P

    My only rangefinder, Zorki 4 is in her final stage of her life - shutter is not moving fast.
    M6 would be a fine replacement but the reality tells me thatís out of question. So I had a look at a Bessa R and that looked very modern (read plasticity).
    Canon P caught my eyes but not much information on performance, built quality and reliability found online.
    Please tell me about the camera. I'd like to hear from people who is using or has used this camera before.
    I have a few russian LTM lenses that I am going to use.
    Searched the site for a couple of hours but couldnít find satisfactory answer.
    TIA

  2. #2
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    The Canon P is a very fine camera, but a good one will fetch a fairly high price. Don't dismiss the Bessa R, plasticky sure, but they work really well and you will have the benefit of a modern TTL meter too.
    The Bessa R2 is a bit more solid but takes the M mount lenses, easily fixed with an adapter.

  3. #3
    mablo's Avatar
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    I had three or four Canon P cameras in recent years. It's a true classic rangefinder camera. Canon P operates much like the Leica M2 but loading a new film is easier and faster. On the other hand the rangefinder patch (yellowish round blob) is not as good as the one in Leica. The viewfinder is the first thing to check out when buying a Canon P. Most Canon P titanium shutters are wrinkled. It looks a bit odd but it doesn't mean they leak light or anything. Canon P takes any LTM (M39) lens; Leitz, Canon, Jupiter... you name it. Contrary to what some people say it does take the 35mm Jupiter-12. The viewfinder is 1:1 and it's very easy to use both eyes open. It's equipped with frames for 35mm, 50mm and 100mm lenses.

    It's a great rangefinder camera. Canon LTM lenses are also very good and relatively easy to clean and repair by yourself.

  4. #4
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eSPhotos View Post
    Please tell me about the camera. I'd like to hear from people who is using or has used this camera before.
    The Canon P is a gorgeous camera - I have used them on and off for a few years.
    Quite heavy - all metal construction. Very solid feel.
    Nice, smooth lever advance, and a properly lubricated example will have a very quiet shutter. Almost all of them now have "crinkled" shutter curtains (metal) but this does not affect operation.
    The frame lines in the viewfinder are engraved and always visible: 35mm, 50mm and 100mm. Some people with glasses report having problems seeing the 35mm framelines. I don't wear glasses and even I have some trouble, as the viewfinder is 1:1 (you can use it with both eyes open.) Still, it is a great camera to shoot with.

    Did you read Camera Quest's Canon P page? He has lots of good information.
    Those who know, shoot film

  5. #5
    eSPhotos's Avatar
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    Thanks all. That's what I wanted to hear.

    @Tony, I'm sure Bessa is a good camera but I prefer metal body. I haven't mentioned in my OP but R2 is still in my list as its body is meg alloy. It's a good looking one too. Only drawback is M mount. I even thought about selling all my LTM lenses and get 1 or 2 M lenses...

    @Mablo, good to hear all positive comments. It's also good to hear that Jupiter 12 can be used. I have this lens and like alot.

    @IloveTLR, sounds all good, too. Yes that's about the only site that describes the camera.

    I am leaning towards the Canon P but who knows if a good priced Bessa R2 comes up ...

  6. #6
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    I had a P and screw mount Bessa. Used the P much more. They are heavy... but I liked that.
    I am back to SLR use. Bessa needed a fair amount of attention to rangefinder patch alignment.... I was good at it but never needed to tweak the P that I carried around more.

  7. #7
    Gerry M's Avatar
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    I've had a couple of P's. Very well built, but if you wear glasses, the 35mm frame lines are difficult. You may have to move/remove your glasses for them. Also, the VF is a bit cluttered with all frame lines always showing. You might consider a Canon 7. The VF is much better and they usually are in the same price range as the P. I'm using a 7S and, for me, it is much easier to use than the P. JMO. Best of luck with your search.

  8. #8
    janrzm's Avatar
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    I have a Canon P that I use predominantly with the Canon 50mm f/1.4. It's one of my favorite rangefinders and I have many..... I'd agree with the comments of @mablo and @IloveTLRs.

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    I just got my self a Canon 7 as well and it is a very nice user. I myself have never handled a P but from what I understand the build quality is a bit better. The 7 is no slouch though. Although the rangefinder patch may not be as bright as a Leica it is still plenty bright to focus quickly and accurately. And for the price you can't really complain. KEH has a few of both the P and 7 in stock ATM if you haven't already seen.

  10. #10
    eSPhotos's Avatar
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    So far all positive comments. That's very good and thanks.
    Canon 7 looks good but I think I will go with the P.

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