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Thread: the two canons

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    David Lyga's Avatar
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    the two canons

    Canon made the GIII17 and made a larger one similar in name, also Canonet. The GIII17 had the 1.7/40 and the larger one had the 1.9/45. I find an amazing difference is sharpness when used wide open. The 1.7/40 is soft and lacks contrast wide open while the 1.9/45 is stunningly sharp and contrasty at all apertures. Comments? - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 11-07-2013 at 12:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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    The 1.7/40 is soft and lacks contrast wide open while the 1.9/45 is stunningly sharp and contrasty at all apertures
    Can you please provide examples. A/B comparisons: same scene, same film, shot on tripod. Lacking that it's hard to comment.

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    AgX
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    The speed difference is negligable, so one could think Canon made a high-end version and a version with lower image quality that is cheaper but still bears that prestigious under-1 speed mark.

    However your findings (confined to your two samples) show the opposite, the more expensive version is the minor. Seen that there is no practical speeed difference, that is puzzling. At first sight.


    With SLR lenses we got the phenomenon that at the largest aperture of the high-speed lenses the image quality is reduced. But still one gains one stop in speed AND at smaller apertures the lenses yield better image quality than their counterpart of lesser price and speed.

    In this case I could imagine that the image quality of the 1.7 lens would be better at smaller apertures than with 1.9 lens.
    Just a guess...

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    The GIII/1.7 I had was only mediocre. I've heard folks say that it is amazingly sharp but I never experienced anything more amazing than snapshot quality. Maybe I should have looked for a 19 but dumped all interest in Canonet when I started using a RetinaIIIc. THAT camera is amazingly sharp!

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    Unfortunately, I think testing 2 examples of approximately 40 year old cameras only tells you about those 2 specific examples. I'd certainly like to see your results with a larger sample size.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

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    ath
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    time for rangefinder adjustment?
    Regards,
    Andreas

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    David Lyga's Avatar
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    No, not time ror rangefinder adjustment, ath. I test lenses for infinity and know when they are focused, both for minimal distance and far distance. And mgb74, I am not talking about testing merely one camera. Several of each, over the years, have caused me to assert this.

    I do not have explicit examples here but Brian seemed to nail it on the head and infered (as I do) that there is a cult status with the GIII17 that is really not warranted. (I did not wish to commit such sacrilege by boldly stating so outright, but Brian helped me to be able to affirm this.) At wide open the 1.7/40 is soft, not contrasty, and not really good at all. But stop that lens to even 2.8 and it is very good, and greatest at 5.6. At about 5.6 no lens seems better to me but, of course, there are equals. On the other hand, the 1.9/45 I have found to be surprisingly good wide open (both sharpness and contrast) and, of course, stellar at 5.6 or thereabouts. Perhaps it is a more conservative, tried and true formula but its wide open performance is clearly better by far. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 11-08-2013 at 01:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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    Writing that sacriledgious statement nearly got me banned from another forum where they genuflect before the GIII and bow their heads at it's very name. It is an inexpensive entry into rangefinder cameras but was never intended to, nor will it ever, be a serious contender for "pro quality" photography. There... I wrote it.

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    FWIW, I "graduated" from a Kodak 35 RF to a GIIIQL17. I can't prove which lens was better, but the slides I can identify as being made with the Canon are no sharper than the slides I can identify as being made with the Kodak. Except for some of the existing light ones, that is... In the days of High Speed Etachrome @ ASA 160, going from f:3.5 to f:1.7 was a big deal. I used almost exclusively chrome film, it was cheapest (I had no darkroom then).

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    PDH
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Writing that sacriledgious statement nearly got me banned from another forum where they genuflect before the GIII and bow their heads at it's very name. It is an inexpensive entry into rangefinder cameras but was never intended to, nor will it ever, be a serious contender for "pro quality" photography. There... I wrote it.
    I agree, I have used a GIII for years, nice camera, but I have had Konica and Nikon consumer rangefinder from the 70s and 80s as well, I think the Konica S2 had a better lens. But quite agree, not a pro level camera. I would love to get a Konica Hexgar(sp?), that was and is a pro level camera.

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