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Canon Rangefinders - Peter Dechert and Peter Kitchingman Peter Dechert is best known for his Canon Rangefinder, Canon SLR, and Olympus Pen books, the latter two long out-of-print. He was a monthly columnist for many years for SHUTTERBUG magazine, and has contributed to many others. Most recently he has written about the pre-WW2 Zeiss 35mm cameras, but his interests in camera equipment and optics are many and varied. As a pro protographer and honorary life member of ASMP, Peter is also expert in using the gear! Peter Kitchingman - author of Canon Rangefinder Lens book Peter Kitchingman's 'Canon M39 Rangefinder Lenses 1939-71' book is the definitive source on these very interesting optics. His interests also go to the entire Canon Rangefinder system and beyond.

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Old 06-03-2013   #81
job
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Personally likes the L1 the most because of it small size and view. Small than the P and 7s but warm with good patch contrast. All the manual discs and wind are so classic and beautiful.
Waiting for my IIIA for it's classic vintage beauty and small size. However a bit worry about it's small view compared to the later and may be better IVsb2
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Old 06-03-2013   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by job View Post
Personally likes the L1 the most because of it small size and view. Small than the P and 7s but warm with good patch contrast. All the manual discs and wind are so classic and beautiful.
Waiting for my IIIA for it's classic vintage beauty and small size. However a bit worry about it's small view compared to the later and may be better IVsb2
I like the L1 best too. I think it has more character and who can resist that front mounted slow speed dial? The only problem with mine is that the slow speeds are now really slooooow. Apart from that it works beautifully.
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Old 06-03-2013   #83
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Hi Lawrence,
You are right. The front slow speed dial is really eye-catching and attractive.
That makes the outer appearance of the V series better than the VI and 7 series ( at least personally ).
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Old 06-03-2013   #84
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Raid, have you had a chance to compare the P with an L1?
I have never used an L1. Is it a nice Canon RF camera?
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Old 10-25-2013   #85
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I have the IVSB and I like it very much ... except for the squinty viewfinder which is a disaster.

The P and 7s sound very intriguing!
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Old 10-25-2013   #86
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P for Perfect and Populaire.
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Old 10-28-2013   #87
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I have three old Canons, and I keep changing my mind. The IVSB-2 is undoubtedly the best made. The P is the most enjoyable to use, I think. And the 7S with its marvelous multi-frame VF and good meter is certainly the most featured. If I were going to sell one, I would be very hard put to select the one to go.

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Old 10-28-2013   #88
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I have the IVSB and I like it very much ... except for the squinty viewfinder which is a disaster.

The P and 7s sound very intriguing!
I also have the IVsb. I traded off my IIIc but kept the IVsb when I was given the option to keep one.
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Old 10-28-2013   #89
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I miss my VI_L more than any other Canon RF camera. It was a superb camera.
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Old 11-06-2013   #90
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Definitely the P is the easiest to use and take good pictures with of the ones I've had, Barnacks, a 7s and a VT. I'd like to try an L too.
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Old 11-06-2013   #91
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Well, I only just got my P a short time ago and, apart from some rangefinder issues I've addressed in another thread, I really like it. It handles very nicely, has a good weight, and operates smoothly and easily without being too "fiddly."

That being said, I'm really drawn to the Canon II, III, and IV cameras. I used to have a Leica IIIa, and while it was a bit "fiddly" to use (especially loading), I still enjoyed shooting it. If I got one (and the more I think about it, the more sure I am that I will), I would look for something like a IIIA, or some other model that doesn't have the flash bracket on the side. One thing I love about those Canon models is their appearance, and I feel that the mount on the side spoils the look somewhat. Besides, I wouldn't be interested in using one of those for flash photography anyway.
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Old 11-06-2013   #92
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Rather use a P.
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Old 11-08-2013   #93
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I just bought a Canon P and 50 1.8 and so far I love it. I was a bit worried about the round, soft edged rangefinder patch in comparison to Leica M's I've handled before, but it's not an issue at all for me. Film loading is also really nice compared to the Leica's. Now I'm tempted to find a nice 7 or VT to try as well.
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Old 01-11-2014   #94
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I liked my Canon P well enough that I bought a second one. I mount a 50/1.4 on one and a 35/1.8 on the other.
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Old 01-12-2014   #95
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I have a few Canon RFs, IIS2, L1, P, 7sz

I am quite fond of the IIS2, I think it's that model, 1/500 top speed, both X and FP sync, shutter with modern speed progression. I use it with the VF mag at the highest and a modern accessory viewfinder in the shoe. Focus with the magnified image, frame with the Aux. Using it that way, I might really like a Leica IIIg, but this is what I have. I love the solid feel of the bottom loader. Loading is a pain, but not too awful.

I could use the L1 the same way, and it would be fine. The copy I have is kind of beat up, but everything works just fine. Loading is easier, but the hinged back feels less solid than a bottom loader.

The P is very usable. Like many here, I don't think the 35mm frame is all that usable. Nothing wrong with it just less quirky than the older models. I've had some light leaks, but they're really easy to fix with some velcro loops in the two tiny spots near the back hinge.

7sZ, very likable. I think the meter works, but haven't tested it recently. My copy has a vertical alignment issue in the RF, otherwise it's very nice, and my copy is in very good condition.

I really don't think you can go wrong with any model from the IVSB2/IIF2/IID2/IIS2 on.
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Old 01-12-2014   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrence View Post
I like the L1 best too. I think it has more character and who can resist that front mounted slow speed dial? The only problem with mine is that the slow speeds are now really slooooow. Apart from that it works beautifully.

+1. The L1 shares the same sleek design of the P, but has switchable vf magnification instead of framelines. I find this makes the camera good for a 35 lens; I had trouble framing with the 35 framelines in the P's vf. The high mag setting on the L1 is also useful for fine focusing. I bought my L1 from a member here for a great price, especially considering it's in mint condition.
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Old 01-12-2014   #97
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Quote:
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I have never used an L1. Is it a nice Canon RF camera?

Yes. Yes. And Yes.
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Old 01-12-2014   #98
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Hi neighbor I have owned a couple two three P and a7 and a vt and a vt delux my favorite was the vt with the trigger wind.
you ever get down to rio vista you might see me out shooting
Ha! I just saw your posts in this thread. I do get down your way from time to time, as I've got a photo project going on the Delta. I've tended to shoot around Isleton and Walnut Grove.
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Canon P Luv. .. ...
Old 01-13-2014   #99
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Canon P Luv. .. ...

Can you feel it ? I myself own and use three. My only want would be a black one and an olive colored one. Pretty sure the color changes would not have an impact on my image quality, but don't they look good ? Cameras are a lot like people. .. ... doesn't matter what color they are when it comes to taking good pictures. Ka-pow!
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Old 04-08-2014   #100
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I have a Canon P and use these lenses:

Voigtländer Color Skopar 35mm f/2.5
Canon 50mm f/1.5
Nikkor 105mm f/2.5

Put me in the 'Want to try an L1" group.

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Old 07-19-2017   #101
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Without a doubt the Canon P is the best. That's why they made and sold so many.
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Old 01-03-2018   #102
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I think the Canon P beats all the others.

See Stephen Gandy's write up on Cameraquest website:-

https://cameraquest.com/canonp.htm
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Old 02-06-2018   #103
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Your choice of camera depends mostly on what and how you shoot. For instance, a VT's trigger advance is great for sports but not so good for studio use. The 7 rangefinders work better in low light. The 7 has no accessory mounting shoe. The bottom-loading models are slow to reload. What top shutter speed do you need? What flash sync do you need? Do you want (or trust) a built-in exposure meter? All of them are fun and interesting!
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Old 04-17-2018   #104
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Your choice of camera depends mostly on what and how you shoot. For instance, a VT's trigger advance is great for sports but not so good for studio use. All of them are fun and interesting!
Don't forget that the VT has a "pop-up" knob wind, accessed by pressing the button at the right rear of the body, then turning whilst lifting the knob above. It may not be as convenient as a lever, but it is as usable as any knob wind model.
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What did you decide on?
Old 12-28-2018   #105
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Arrow What did you decide on?

Hi. I'm replying to an old post, I realize, but out of curiosity, what camera did you end up getting and how do you like it today?? Thanks in advance for your reply.

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damn, now I want a "P" or 7... (can't decide. any comments?)
Really bad for the purse to hang out with you guys
Unfortunately the Canons are extremely rare here in Germany, due to the obvious Leica dominance back in the days. And shipping over from the US costs a fortune in taxes.
Mhm, anybody in Europe selling a P? (love the look of it)
Cheers, Michael
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Old 12-29-2018   #106
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Yeah, over a decade ago he posted that.
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Old 12-29-2018   #107
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Raid, have you had a chance to compare the P with an L1?
Hi Bruce,
No, I have never used an L1. Is it a good camera in your opinion? There was a RFF thread about a black L2 (which looked very beautiful!).
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Old 12-29-2018   #108
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I have owned an L2 for a while and put a roll or two through a borrowed P and also a IID2. The P is the quickest and most modern to use of the three, but the IID2 has a lovely quality feel to it. The L2 was in the middle, with the convenience of a switchable 35/50 viewfinder, but the rangefinder patch faded to unusable so I gave it away. For a long-term keeper, I'd go for a good IID2.
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toss up
Old 12-29-2018   #109
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toss up

Canon P for outdoors and 1:1 viewfinder. The etched lines are a pain but if you just shoot 50mm then no worries.
Canon 7s for bright view-finder and framelines. But too often comes with bad meter so count on a handheld meter when shooting.
Both cameras are literally indestructible and will last longer than their owners.]
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Old 12-29-2018   #110
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I have a P and an L1. Even though the L1 hasn't the 1:1 viewfinder - I really like the L1's and the ability to change the view from 50 to 35 to somewhere around 135. The camera also handles really nicely
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Old 01-04-2019   #111
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Just picked up a Vt De Lux w/ 50mm f1.8. Any recommendations on a shop for a good CLA? Thanks
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Old 01-04-2019   #112
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Just picked up a Vt De Lux w/ 50mm f1.8. Any recommendations on a shop for a good CLA? Thanks
The head bartender. Check out the Cameraquest website.

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Old 05-10-2019   #113
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I have a VT, and L1, L2 and L3. I really like the switchable viewfinder and if I'm gonna use an 85 or longer, I'm gonna want to use an accessory finder and the auto parallax finders canon made are awesome.

All that said, for some reason the L3 I have has the quietest shutter I've ever seen in my life. I'm not sure if the lack of sync has something to do with it, but it's almost silent compared to every other rangefinder I own including a leica IIIC and a nikon S2. I do like the design of the rewind knob on the L1, very elegant. All of these have a very clear rangefinder patch.
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Old 05-20-2019   #114
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I have the Canons P and 7, just purchased the 7 but as of now still prefer the P. Makes it hard to pick up the 7 and use it.

David
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Old 05-20-2019   #115
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I just got a Canon P, my first interchangeable lens Canon RF. Looks pretty good. It just may be usable, as is. Love the feel of the advance lever.



The shutter is wrinkled a bit. I did read this entire thread a few months ago... I believe this wrinkle is fairly typical, and not harmful? Can't recall if I may have been reading a different thread on a different camera! Why is the wrinkle so common?



Successfully de-fogged the lens surface behind the aperture of the 50mm f1.8.


Will be testing it in the next week or so.
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Old 05-20-2019   #116
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......The shutter is wrinkled a bit. I did read this entire thread a few months ago... I believe this wrinkle is fairly typical, and not harmful? Can't recall if I may have been reading a different thread on a different camera! Why is the wrinkle so common?.......
Wrinkles, if minor, rarely impact shutter performance. As to what causes them, Canon used very thin plastic-coated, stainless steel for the shutter curtains. Some say wrinkles come from fumbled-fingered loading (touching the shutter while loading), some say that it’s an engineering side-effect of using such thin stainless steel (shutter forces eventually cause the wrinkles). Unless it’s major, I wouldn’t worry about it.

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