As I suspected I am now way behind in the quest to use one camera every week for a year but hey, I was never going to stick to it so who cares?
Anyway, this week’s offering is the Canon Canonet S, it’s a great rangefinder camera and I bought this one from a fellow member of the Talk Photography forum and although it did work after a fashion the slower shutter speeds were a bit hit and miss so I sent it off to Miles Whitehead for a thorough CLA. It came back very much improved with everything snappy and responsive as it should be. Canon only made these for a very short time in 1964 it was then quickly superseded by the Canonet QL.
Here’s some basic technical details, unashamedly borrowed from the Canon Camera Museum website. It has a very useable Canon SE 45mm f/1.7 lens, a Copal SV; B, 1 to 1/500 sec. Built-in self-timer. Flash sync enabled with M-X switchable German socket.
Coincidence rangefinder integrated with reversed Galilean viewfinder (I have no idea what this means). Automatic parallax correction with projected frames and marked finder. 0.7x magnification. Viewfinder bottom features aperture scale (f/1.7 – f/16) and match needle correct exposure window/exposure warning indicator.
Needless to say the Canonet S is a bit better than the Canonet and, according to Canon, not quite as good as the Canonet QL that follwed it, although the QL stands for ‘quick loading’ I couldn’t see what made it any quicker to load than the S.
Anyway, I think that’s enough of the technical info, It’s boring me and I’m typing it.
So, I loaded it up with a roll of Ilford XP2, I’m not normally a fan of these C41 process b&w films, I always thought they lacked depth, sublety and contrast but to be fair I think the last time I used some was some XP1 in 1990 so I can only assume they have tweaked the emulsion some time over the last 22 years.
I feel a little guilty as I didn’t go too far from home to test this rangefinder, a series of shots nearly all within a mile of my house.
One of the things I like about rangefinders and this one partiularly is they are really quiet to use, no great ‘slap’ of a mirror like an SLR, just a gentle click makes it so unobtrusive, they make a great ‘street’ camera although to be fair it’s not the sort of thing I shoot.
And finally, the return of the obligatory self-portrait, I have shamefully missed this out of the last couple of cameras and I’m glad to have reinstated it for the Canonet S.