New Old Camera

Posted 2009.09.09 17.39 in Hobbies by Stephanie

1972_netg3-17My photographicalogical interests continue to spread out, having gone from a shiney new DSLR to my old manual Minolta, and are stretching further back in time. Today I got a nifty ‘new’ Canonet GIII QL17 35mm Rangefinder! The very best compact photographic technology that 1972 had to offer!

It really is a ‘compact’ camera, yet has all the bells and whistles of a serious / pro rangefinder. This website compares the QL17 to a Leica M6 – and I do believe the very economical QL17 stands up pretty well to the rather expensive Leica.

For a camera that’s pushing 37 years old, it’s in reasonably good shape. As soon as I verified that the shutter, aperture and winding mechanism were working, I threw in a roll of B&W film and when I’ve worked through the 36 shots I’ll develop it and post the results.

The camera is ‘almost’ entirely manual – the only non-manual thing it can do is it has an Electric Eye sensor that can be used to run the camera in Shutter Priority mode. That is, you pick a shutter speed and the camera can select the correct aperture. This is actually opposite of my prefered mode (Aperture Priority) on my DSLR and my Minolta X370. The QL17 uses a (banned) mercury battery to power the Electric Eye, but there are non-toxic replacements now. Without a battery, the camera works just fine in manual mode.

Camerapedia has an entry for the Canonet GIII QL17 which has some good info and links. Canon even has a page for the camera in their Camera Museum site.


  1. Stephanie says:

    I have to add – one of my favorite bits from the manual states that although the camera has a fancy new ‘hotshoe’ for the flash, it also comes with the ‘conventional’ flash socket so you can use ‘normal flashes’ too. For the 99% of you who have no idea what a ‘conventional’ flash socket is, this is a P-C connector into which you plug a cable, that connects to a flash bulb. (Or one of them newfangled electronic flash thingies.)
    Anyhow, it’s just quaint to read of an archaic P-C socket being referred to as ‘conventional’. That was the funny bit.

  2. Lezley says:

    I HAVE to tell you what I just did! OMG!! OMG!!! I just wrote my first little bit of link code on a blog post!! I made links go and be linkable!!! THANK YOU!!!


    Blogger wouldn’t let me code the ‘target’. Let’s see what happens since I can’t preview..

  3. Lezley says:

    OMG!!! It worked!!! Ha!! I feel like I just learned MAGIC!!!

  4. Lezley says:

    Okay – blogs do NOT like target new window…

    It’s okay, it’s still MAGIC!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Sweet! Sometimes the WYSIWYG editors will parse code and remove stuff they don’t like, if there is an option to post in straight HTML that will usually let you include everything. Though that option isn’t always available.

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