Tag Archives: QL17

Canonet Q17

I was so surprised to find this camera while wombling. I had previously found a QL17 G-III and loved it. So I had high hopes for this camera if it worked.

The seals were shot, so I changed them quickly. The battery check button didn’t seem to work, but the needle moved as it should as a meter. The rear lens seemed clear, but there was a little bit of fungus on the front. It didn’t seem to be enough to affect the photos. The viewfinder was slightly hazy, but not too much. The second image was light, but again I could still focus. Finally, there was a small dint on the front, top of the body. All minor things that should not have any effect.

As you can see the lens is 40mm, that indicates this is the newer QL version as the original had a 45mm lens. This one also accepts 800asa film as opposed to 400asa on the older versions. This great blog goes into great detail on the different versions. It was originally released in 1969, you can find more technical details here. There is very little difference between this version and the G-III one.

Ok, but did it work. I put in a hearing aid battery and I got to shooting. Pretty quickly I thought the aperture that was indicated by the needle was too high. I checked the reading with my phone lightmeter app and I was correct. I adjusted the asa until the needle matched the lightmeter choice. For a 400asa film, I set the camera to the notch just passed 200.

Here are my test results. I used half a roll of 400asa film on a dull day in Hibiya park.

I love it. The focusing is quick due to to the short lens movement. The shutter is very quiet. I usually like the “thunk” of vintage cameras, but this quiet noise is also pleasant. The shutter did not fire if the needle was in either of the red zones, which I love too as it means leaving the lens cap on is never an issue. The winder also had a short movement. And most of all, it looks friggin’ cool. The shorter movements meant catching the little boy in focus was much easier.

Hibiya Park is awesome, there is always something happening there, plus there are lots of different areas and lighting conditions. When I first moved to Japan, I started learning the language. One of the sentences I had to repeat was, “Hibiya Dori doko desu ka?”, where is Hibiya Road? I didn’t realize it was a real place. When I finally got to Japan and was standing on the actual street I was so excited. I shouted, “Hibiya Dori KOKO DESU!!!!”, here is Hibiya Road!!! I still do it every time I am there, even if it is just in my head.

Keep or Sell: I am tempted to keep this, but I do have the G-III. So really I don’t need it, do I? I just want it.


Canonet QL17 G-III

I have wanted one of these cameras forever and never once thought I would find one in a junk bin…YATTA!!! I could not believe my eyes. Surely it would not work?? I tried it in the shop without a battery and the shutter opened. I tried it in manual and the speeds seemed fine. Ok then it must have fungus on the lens or massive amounts of haze??

A little bit of haze in the viewfinder, but not too serious. The seals were completely shot, so I changed those. There was some crud in the battery department, but nothing that a bit of vinegar would not remove. But what about the battery. Of course, it needed the banned mercury one. The hearing aid one (675) seemed just a little too small and the LR44 was far too big to fit in the hole. As the camera would still work in manual, I thought, “be brave”. So I used a dentist tool and yanked at the metal bar in the battery compartment a bit. That bent it and decreased the size of the hole. Voila, the hearing aid battery now fit and lit up the check light. That did not mean the camera would work in auto so I tried half a film, leaving the camera on auto only. Here are the photos I got back.

YES!!!! As it worked and I LOVE it. I tried it again with a black and white film.

The first part of the film was taken at my school so I have not posted any with full on shots of the children. The rest were taken in Yokohama where I was for a photo exhibition. I do love this camera. I posted it on Instagram and immediately got offers from people to buy it.

Ok, so a bit about the camera….actually no. There is so much already written about this camera I don’t see what I can add to it. So here are two great blogs about it. One and Two.

Though I obviously love it, I have decided not to keep it as it is very similar to the the Olympus 35DC of which I have a good example. That one is slightly lighter.

Buy this camera – Canonet QL17 G-III

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details.