Gareth,

I just ran some film through the Canonet QL17 that my mom handed down several months ago. The shutter was stuck, so I went in through the front of the lens and flooded the shutter repeatedly with solvent until it stayed working for several days. You can find info online, most of which says to go through the rear of the lens, which requires special tools.

The results are really great, it's a very fine lens, but the finder and focusing ease isn't Leica or Cosina quality, and you only get a 40mm lens. My exposures were consistently good, so the shutter is working at correct speeds now. I also am using either a piece of PVC or an O-ring to hold a hearing aid battery #675 (IIRC) in place and run the internal meter. These batteries are air-zinc and correct voltage like the Wein, but cost less than $1 each in a blister pack of 4 to 12 batteries. At typical prices, the QL17 is a great bargain.

I haven't shot AF cameras myself, but have shot using CV rangefinders side-by-side with two guys using Canon 20D's with 70-210 IS zooms. They post their stuff online to sell, so I can check their results. The 20D seems to put the soccer players on the near edge of DOF, and sometimes in front of the DOF, so you get sharp spectators and soft focus players. Obviously there are many AF systems out there, and they perform differently in different situations, but you may want to check out AF performance before dropping a lot of money. I'd be really upset if I spent the money on a 20D and got poorer results than my R3A or Bessa T and a 135 Hektor that cost $100 in excellent+ condition. And don't get me started on the double line boke on many of the photos from the 70-210 Canon AF zoom vs. the much smoother Hektor.

M u s t s t o p t y p i n g ......

Lee