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View Full Version : Olys SP, RD vs Canonet QL GII


ruben
01-01-2007, 06:08
Hi folks, friends, compas and chaps,
I have been missing for several months as I was immersed in music during my free time. Yet this new Olympus forum dragges me back. So I have a question for all.
After owning the Olys SP, RD and RC (still with me) and touring the many Yashicas RF, I went to the Canonets QL GIII which I prefer now to the Olys for the strategic advantage of auto parallax correction.
Excluding the RC, which obviously has the clear advantage of the size and weight, am I missing something, either on behalf of the Canonet or the Olys ? Perhaps lens sharpness at widest apertures ? Something else ?
Cheers,
Ruben

Flyfisher Tom
01-01-2007, 06:25
Reuben,

I think the Canonet is an excellent camera, and I prefer its smaller size to my SP. I do favor the SP in terms of its sharpness. I'd rate the bokeh on the cameras to be roughly equal. My experience is that the SP is slightly more flare-resistant than the canonet. But we are splitting hairs here :)

Solinar
01-01-2007, 06:26
The QL17 GIII is one of those designs that is greater than the sum of all its assembled parts.

Nope, I can't see what is missing. The Canonet Q17 GIII is much more fluid in operation than the Oly 35SP. How often does one need to do a 1/2 or 1 second exposure? That said, the G. Zuiko is rather crisp wide open and the spot metering is a nice touch, but the Oly 35SP is a slower beast to work with.

The Canonet Q17 GIII also wins on ergonomics even against the smaller Oly 35RC and 35RD. I'm not a big fan of the Olympus aperture ring on the 35RD and 35RC.

Enjoy.

Trius
01-01-2007, 07:22
My Canonet is partially disassembled right now. I need a different spanner wrench to remove the front element, as it is hazy. So, I can't really compare it to my SPs, but I found the ergonomics of the GIII to be not quite as good as the SP. But that's just me. I do agree that the RC is too small, or at least that the aperture ring is too small to work well.

And I would prefer that the SP had a moving frameline for parallax. The Olympus LC has that, but I don't like its size or viewfinder as much as the SP. I think the SP's viewfinder is superior to the Canonet, but it's not a huge advantage.

For me, the spot meter trumps everything, and I don't find the SP significantly slower to work with.

oftheherd
01-01-2007, 08:58
Interesting question that I can't really comment on since I don't have functioning spot metering on my SP (or any other metering for that matter). It is a nice camera to work with, but certainly larger than the Canonet. Not as heavy though I don't think. I think I prefer the Canonet both because of its size and for its functioning meter. I guess from my perspective though, I would say whichever one you prefer, use it and be happy for it.

I guess that didn't help much.

shadowfox
01-01-2007, 08:58
Oh man, I "hate" thread like this because it usually leads up to my getting yet another GAS attack :D

See, I've been curious about the Canonet and how people rave about it. And to be able to participate in this discussion properly, I have to try out the Canonet because so far, I haven't yet seen a match for my G-Zuiko equipped 35 SPn in terms of sharpness and bokeh.

To me, operation is not a decisive factor, if it was, I'd be using digital P&S. I love classic rangefinders because of their picture quality.

Having said that, I was a digital weenie a couple of months ago, and I'm now fluent in using EV value metering system on my SPn. So far, as Trius had indicated, the 35 SP's operation is in no way slowing me down.

Now it's time to throw down the gauntlets :cool: . Let me see some fave Canonet shots...

This one is from a Christmas party last week ... (Oly 35 SPn, of course):

ruben
01-02-2007, 01:48
Oh man, I "hate" thread like this because it usually leads up to my getting yet another GAS attack :D

....
To me, operation is not a decisive factor, if it was, I'd be using digital P&S. I love classic rangefinders because of their picture quality.




Being that the case, I don't see anything the Canonets may add to you. Rest in peace.

Furthermore, take into consideration that after buying 3 Canonets from eBay, this limited experience has showed me that a lot of somewhat damaged cameras of this breed are circulating there. In one case it was the metal base of the battery housing, in the other a very dim yellow patch, and the third a non-working light meter plus stucked shutter. So with some surgery I ended with two working cameras out of three.

My interest in the Canonets was indeed the parallax auto correction and speed of manipulation. And as you say this is not your case.

Happy New Year,
Ruben

PS. Actually there may be a point in favour of the SP in the field of manipulation speed. With the Canonet you have no straightforward way of compensating exposure in contrasty situations so you have to go back to the hand exposure meter. But provided you accept the "Program" way of the SP, and not knowing what the camera is doing, you can 'compensate' exposure by using the "spot" button, which according to my SP corrects your exposure by one stop. Whether I can do away from using a handheld meter and get acceptable images from contrasty situations this way - it definitely deserves a try.

Trius
01-02-2007, 04:08
Ruben: Just to be clear, the spot meter does not necessarily compensate by one stop. The area metered corresponds to the rangefinder patch. If you point the patch at a very dark area and use the spot metering funciton, the reading may differ by more than one stop; same applies to measuring very light objects, etc. You need to know a bit about the zone system or similar to use the spot meter effectively.

zuikologist
01-02-2007, 05:10
Ruben - I have tended to use the SP this way for contrasty shots and it works pretty well. Spotmetering even functions in the SP's fully auto mode, which is quite useful for quick shooting. There is a difference in shutter sound between the SP and Canonet - the SP sounds more metallic, which can be more disturbing to some.

Solinar
01-02-2007, 05:41
Basically, what the 35SP brings to the table that sets it apart is the meter. Spot metering is a nice feature, but having a live meter while shooting in the manual mode is even better.

What makes the Canonet or even the Oly 35RD seem more fluid is that one usually resorts to using the shutter preferred AE mode. The Canonet is basically designed for this type of shooting.

The Seikosha shutter on the 35SP is entirely housed in the lens barrel. It is an old-school carry over from when leaf shutters were fitted to folders. Why is it so clicky sounding when the Compur Rapid and Synchro Compurs on the old Kodak Retinas were wisper quiet?

Later cameras have most of their shutter gear trains and escapements housed in the camera body. Which makes them a bit quieter.

ruben
01-02-2007, 06:34
Ruben - I have tended to use the SP this way for contrasty shots and it works pretty well. Spotmetering even functions in the SP's fully auto mode, which is quite useful for quick shooting. There is a difference in shutter sound between the SP and Canonet - the SP sounds more metallic, which can be more disturbing to some.


Ho, that's inspiring indeed.

As for shutter sound, at least in my SP the bigger problem is the vibration rather than the sound, which by itself is quite loud relatively to a RF from the 70's (not to speak about a flagship camera).
But fortunately I reduced both problems to acceptable standard by making a soft leather case and soft release button (leather cushioned between the button and the shutter release of the camera)

happy good year,
Ruben

ruben
01-02-2007, 07:32
Basically, what the 35SP brings to the table that sets it apart is the meter. Spot metering is a nice feature, but having a live meter while shooting in the manual mode is even better. ..




Yes, but given the fact that none of the have a live meter in manual mode, Zuikologist is saying that the spot of the SP is a good point in favour of the Oly, in the fields of compensating exposure during quick shooting.

Cheers,
Ruben

zuikologist
01-02-2007, 08:07
Just use the one which is best suited to your style - smaller size and parallax correction in the Canonet is very useful as is the spotmeter and manual metering in the Oly. I like them both.

shadowfox
01-02-2007, 09:41
Just use the one which is best suited to your style - smaller size and parallax correction in the Canonet is very useful as is the spotmeter and manual metering in the Oly. I like them both.
To me, parallax correction would not be a big plus because as far as I can remember, using the SPn, I always get what I framed in the shot onto the negatives; unlike my Konica C35 in which sometimes I see feet or half tires chopped off here and there because I wasn't thinking about the parallax when I frame the shots.

zuikologist: I like your moniker ;)

Ruben: Too late :) I just won a Canonet GIII QL17 off eBoy last night, taking advantage of a temporary "late-night-first-day-of-the-year" lull in price, I managed to get one at $51

I have a feeling that I'd like it, plus I can shove it in front of my Digital bazooka Canonian friends and say: Look, finally a Canon that I actually like :D

Trius
01-02-2007, 09:56
I think both are great cameras, and once I get my GIII back together I will certainly give it a good workout. And I do agree that the shutter sound of the SP is louder and more metallic than the others mentioned. My Oly 35LC has a quieter shutter than the SP (seems much quieter), though in a noisy environment using a long shutter speed, I cannot hear the SP shutter closing, whereas I can with the LC.

And just so there's no confusion, the SP meter is active for manual shooting, where for the RC and RD it isn't.

Earl

clarence
01-02-2007, 12:53
Does anyone know why the meters on these cameras are only able to work up to 800ASA? I imagine 1600ASA film was already in production in the 70s.

Clarence

ruben
01-02-2007, 14:27
Just use the one which is best suited to your style - smaller size and parallax correction in the Canonet is very useful as is the spotmeter and manual metering in the Oly. I like them both.

I have enjoyed very much this thread and learned quite useful things. Solinar has pointed several drawbacks of the SP, thus explaining and detailing for me why I have had it sitting at my closet for so long against my perception of it as the "flagship" of the Oly RFs.

On the other hand Zuikologist has put the finger on the possibility of taking advantage of the spot metering feature for quick street shooting, in a camera that I never regarded but as a slow one for its EV complications. I did use the SP, but mostly for family and friends weddings, with flash, i.e, at permanent f/stop and shutter speed. Here the SP shinned both as a sharp glass and quick focusing camera, without the spot button.

Being grown in slr land, with rangefinders I have decapitated so many people as if I was a fan of Robespiere. Therefore the parallax auto correction of the Canonets is for me of great use.

What I have been looking for quite a long time is a pair of rangefinders to have daily in my backpack and use in my scarce time during my working days. The pair idea is just a personal deviation from my past, in which I used to carry several OM bodies. Since then I cannot discipline myself to an intermediate ISO speed and therefore I 'need' one camera with ISO 100 or 200, and another with 800 or 1600, accordingly.

Before this thread I carried lately two Canonets plus a hand light meter. But out of this thread I will replace one the Canonets for an SP to use for the bright light situations (using the spot button) and leave the hand meter at home. The "silly" idea of pointing and shooting looks attractive.

Weekends and holidays - another story. Perhaps a Kiev/Sekonic story.

Thanks you all,
Ruben

Trius
01-02-2007, 16:30
Clarence: I don't know about the Canonet, but the SP was introduced in 1969, with refinements over the next few years ... SPn, UC. At the time of introduction, I don't believe there was a 1600 speed film available. Kodak Recording Film, ASA 800 was the top speed that I recall.

In addition, the camera was targeted at amateurs; serious amateurs, to be sure, but the idea of pushing an ASA 400 film to 1600 or more just wasn't that widespread.

clarence
01-02-2007, 19:22
Thanks, Trius. I'd made one big assumption there.

I love my Canonet for its almost silent shutter and the ease of use when I'm shooting with 800ASA and below. Shooting with 1600ASA and higher is a bother, though.

Clarence

Russ
01-13-2007, 22:21
I really like using my Canonet QL-17 GIII and my Oly RC. The Canon is so quick to focus. But in terms of lens quality, the Canon lens pales, when compared to the Oly RC and Vivitar ES lenses.

Russ