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Favorite Classics Cameras Canon Canonet G-III QL17
Canon Canonet
by Margaret Mak & Henry Taber

Canonet is a name of 35mm rangefinder series made by Canon, which was introduced in 1960 till 1972. These compact little cameras is known for its’ sophistication and performance. All of them are equipped with a fixed focal lens with an aperture of f/1.7, f/1.9, and f/2.8. Some models are dressed with the "QL" feature which stands for quick-loading.

Chronological order of Canonets (according to the Canon Camera Museum)
January 1961 Canonet December 1968 Canonet 28
April 1963 Canonet Jr. July 1969 New Canonet QL17
October 1964 Canonet S June 1970 New Canonet QL17-L
March 1965 Canonet QL17 March 1971 New Canonet 28
March 1965 Canonet QL19 May 1971 New Canonet QL19
October 1965 Canonet QL25 March 1972 Canonet G-III 17
November 1965 Canonet QL19E March 1972 Canonet G-III 19

We both own a Canonet G-III QL17, the last and most raved about Canonet. Most of the cameras from this era requires a discontinued mercury battery (PX625), including the Canonet G-III QL17.

-Technical Data-
(from the original Canonet G-III QL17’s instruction manual)
Type: 35mm lens shutter type camera with Electric Eye
Lens: Canon Lens 40mm f/1.7. 6-element 4-group construction, with four newly designed glasses. Spectra coated in amber and purple.
Filter thread: 48mm
Viewfinder: Viewfinder combined with range-finder, bright frame with automatic parallax correction, aperture scale, exposure indicator, over/under exposure indicator, and over/under warning marks.
EE Mechanism: Built in exposure meter with CdS cell for fully automatic exposure control. Shutter speed priority system. ASA 25-800 (DIN 15-30). With ASA 100 film, EV 3.5 (f/1.7 at 1/4 sec.) EV 17 (f/16 at 1/500 sec.) Powered by one 1.35V M20 (#625) mercury battery. Battery checker built-in.
Manual Control of Aperture: Possible at any desired f/stop by releasing EE mechanism
Shutter: Between-the-shutter. Shutter speeds from 1/4 to 1/500 sec. and B. Automatically sets aperture, self-cocking combined film/shutter wind, self-timer, X-synchronization.
Flash Contact: Accessory shoe with direct contact exclusive for Canolite D and the flash socket for the other flash units.
Canolite D: Exclusive electronic flash unit designed for the Canonet G-III 17 with direct contact for cordless type. When performing flash photography, it is not necessary to worry about guide numbers or to calculate f/stops. Automatic setting of proper f/stop is possible as the EE circuit is coupled to the shooting distance. Canolite D is powered by two 1.5V alkaline AA batteries.
Flash-Auto Mechanism for Other Flash Units: Aperture openings coupled to shooting distance at guide numbers 14, 20, 28 (m) with ASA 100. Shutter button is locked when it is outside the coupling range.
Film Loading: Canon-developed QL (Quick-Loading) mechanism. Accepts any standard 35mm film in cartridge.
Frame Counter: Resets automatically
Size: 120x75x60mm (4-3/4"x3"x2-3/8")
Weight: 620 grams (1 lb. 5-7/8 ozs.)


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