Canon Canonet QL17 GIII

The Canon Canonet QL17 GIII is the last model made in their higher end range finder line. The main difference between it and the earlier version QL17 is the addition of a battery check light. This camera has a fast and sharp 40mm f1.7 lens, and a coupled viewfinder with an easy to focus yellow rangefinder patch. It also has a very quite leaf shutter which makes it nice on the street. The inclusion of a hot shoe, self timer, and an auto shutter priority mode makes this camera a favorite pick for people shooting while traveling, or just wishing to have a smaller footprint than an SLR. I have three range finders and this is definitely the easiest to acquire a quick focus, with its lever on the left side of the lens barrel. Like most of these older cameras you can use modern 1.5v batteries or a 1.35v step down adapter to get the light meter to work. Exposure compensation is a must if using the modern 1.5v without an adapter, or a repair person can calibrate the meter for the higher voltage.

This is one of those cameras that has a bit of a cult following like the Stylus Epic (Mju II), and as such prices can be somewhat ridiculous. The rarer black paint model commands higher prices than the silver edition shown above. However, it does produce reliable and sharp saturated results with color film, so perhaps the reputation is well deserved.

Here is a link with more information on this camera: Camera Quest: Canonet QL17 GIII Review

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