I just had to get me one o' dee's. The original Canonet from 1961 with the 45mm 1:1.9 lens. At first I thought it was not so desirable because the selenium cell kind of made it look so-so. Plus I always saw the "Bell and Howell" version which, in my opinion "cheapens" the Canon line. (Kind of like when Harley Davidson was owned by AMF.) But I took notice and saw that it had the cool film advance on the bottom and it had a fast 1.9 lens.

I also noticed the price of these was going up by leaps and bounds. I got one fairly cheap on eBay because of a described shutter problem. I worked on that camera and thought I had it fixed but couldn't fix the shutter without tearing it completely apart and the Auto meter was off by 3-4 stops. It would only fire on 1/125 sec. and I did come up with some good pictures on manual.

I bought another one for an unheard of $8 on eBay for a "Parts" camera. It turned out to be better than the one I had! The shutter worked on all speeds after a good lighter fluid bath, the Auto mechanism and meter worked. Plus a few cosmetic improvements over the original camera. It became my good camera and the original became the parts camera.


The original fixes were documented on my Flickr account. I Jerry rigged the auto mechanism and cleaned the aperture blades and rangefinder optics.

The second and current camera I did the lighter fluid trick to un-stick the shutter blades, remove the rear lens group and touch the blades with a Q-tip soaked in lighter fluid. The gold finish was worn from the rangefinder half mirror so I swapped out the rangefinder housing entirely and cleaned the exterior. I used the top plate and shutter button off of the original camera as well as it looked better.

Here's a picture from the original camera

MANUAL: Here's an owners manual online

[Camera Home] [SLRs] [Rangefinders] [Viewfinders] [TLR] [Meters] [Gallery]

all photos (except as noted)© R.Wrede
this site owned and maintained by R.Wrede,© all rights reserved.