My Favorite Camera*

*At the moment

Canon Canonnet QL17 GIII

After seeing this camera on the internet for the first time I immediately wanted one. I began collecting rangefinders at every thrift store I could in search of this camera. Along the way I ended up picking up a few great cameras including the Yashica Electro 35 and the Minolta 7. Playing with both those cameras made me fall more and more in love with the rangefinder style camera. After searching for so many of these cameras I ended up making friends (or decent acquaintances) with a lady I kept buying rangefinders from on Offer Up and she finally found a Canonet for me and I purchased it for a whopping $45.


First Impressions

Hands down one of the prettiest cameras I have ever held. The film advance and that Copal shutter just feel so smooth.


Things I like

  • The look, damn thing is beautiful.
  • The lens is incredibly sharp and with that f/1.7 it does incredible in low light and delivers that beautiful shallow depth of field.
  • LEAF SHUTTER! Flash Sync up to 1/500 with any flash!
  • Beautiful contrast and color through the 40mm lens
  • It is small enough to slide right into my jacket pocket and it seems to not draw very much attention.
  • It has the option to be completely manual! Although it has a shutter priority I have not used it.
  • Rangefinder is bright and clear. 
  • Focus knob is in a perfect place that makes focusing quick and easy.
  • Quick Loading! Loading film in this camera is easier than almost any camera during its era.

Things I didn't really like

  • No light meter. Although I enjoy shooting manual a light meter would be nice so I don't have to carry around one around.
  • Focus is a bit tough on the camera. Although the viewfinder is nice and bright the actual parallax bit on the camera seems to be quite dull and actual hard to see the split, especially in low light. It could be just my camera but it is annoying compared the other rangefinders I have used.
  • Shutter is incredibly fragile and getting them fixed is a pain in the ass.
  • Sometimes I wish it was faster than 1/500 but then I remember it is a leaf shutter, part of me wishes they made two models one with a leaf shutter and one with a mechanical shutter.
  • Although I love the Quick Loading, it is so annoying since it makes the film door shut every time I try and load it.

Tips and Tricks

  •  MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TRIED A RANGEFINDER BEFORE. This camera can cost up to a couple hundred dollars, make sure you have experimented with how rangefinders focus, frame and operate before trying to pick one up! 
  • Make sure to find one that has a working shutter!
  • They come in black as well, personally I prefer the classic chrome but they do have black ones that are  significantly more expensive and rare. 
  • Learn the sunny 16 rule and how to use a light meter, I actually tend to use a light meter app I found on my phone that has never missed a shot.

Sample Images

My favorite camera I have ever used, which why I just sold it to fund something better...

...stay tuned.

Leave a comment if you have any questions!