shown here with my 1968 Canon 50mm 1:1.8 lens


Cross this one off the bucket list. My 1959 Canon P is a long awaited find. Patience paid off as I got this beauty for under $50 and it is in excellent condition. Minor wear to the exterior and the viewfinder/rangefinder is like new! It is very clear and the RF spot is very visible with no flair. This is the nicest viewfinder of all my cameras, which this camera by the way, makes my 50th in the collection.

The P stands for Populaire and was originally set as a 'lower' end model than it's predecessors, the VI-L, VT etc. It uses a less expensive but probably not less complicated, viewfinder with 35, 50 and 100mm etched framelines with parallax correction. The "half mirror" is only the size of the RF patch, leaving an undisturbed view on the remaining 90 percent of the VF. It seems to float visible from the front in the viewfinder.

The shutter speed dial has the low and high speeds, no front slow speeds dial and it can be set anytime, before or after winding the shutter. It has a folding crank style rewind knob that hides in the top plate when not in use.

I haven't tested it yet but I'm sure this will be my main go-to camera. The Canon L2 is currently my go-2 camera but I discovered a pesky light leak anomaly when changing lenses. My other go-2 camera is the Olympus XA with it's awesome 35mm lens and pocket-ability.


There were no fixes so-to-speak, it is in very good condition and I didn't even have to get into the top end to clean up the VF/RF. Some exterior cleaning is all I've done.

The folding rewind crank seems a bit loose, sticking up slightly from it's normal resting position. Perhaps someone has been in already and cleaned the VF/RF, and botched the rewind crank. I'm currently trying to find information on how to dismantle the RW crank without removing the top plate, it seems the spring is loose.

here is a sample photo taken with this camera


Here is an Online Owners Manual

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