Rangefinders

Canon Canonet QL19 (gone)

Canon L1

Canon P

Canon VI-L

Certo Super Dollina II

Certo Super Sport Dolly

FED-2

Konica III

Leica IIIa

Leica IIIc #1 & Leica IIIc #2

Leica IIIg

Olympus 35 SP (gone)

Voigtländer Bessa II

Yashica Electro 35 GSN (gone)

Zeiss Super Ikonta 530/2

11 thoughts on “Rangefinders

  1. Some nice examples! I have, had several on your list, several Yashica Electro’s often bought not working, and with some CLA love, they usually come back to life, then I would release them back to the world.
    The Olympus 35SP is a fine camera, the spot metering a great feature, mine was in virtual mint condition, apart from decaying light seals, which were easily replaced, it was recently let go to fund a Canon P, which is now sporting one of my Jupiter 50/2 lenses and is about to be loaded with XP2, speaking of which, just to show how good it is, I found a 12 year out of date roll in my sock draw ( so obviously not refrigerated! And sharing space with my socks won’t of helped!) which while a tad grainy in some shots, washed out in others, still gave some decent results.

    1. Yep, most of mine have required some sort of attention before being put into service. Light seals are a usual replacement item, some shutters need work to run reliably, and then there are the model-specific items like the POD on the Yashica Electro. Old cameras often need a little work, but once it’s done they’re usually quite reliable.

      I used the Jupiter-8 as the standard lens on my Canon P for a while – it’s a great combination. I haven’t tried XP2, though I’ve heard good things.

  2. Just bought a Vito 1939 in bad condition and found this (excellent) site by accident. It is now down to bare metal and I need to find out why the door does not quite close. Also bought a Leica IIIc – not easy to load! Otherwise it is just beautiful!

    1. Are you referring to the back (film loading) door or the front (lens erecting) door? The back door is quite simple; the front is a bit more complex. While you have it apart, be sure to clean the frame counting mechanism – it’s quite delicate and needs to be scrupulously clean to work reliably. The interrupter/reset wheel arrangement needs to be carefully adjusted as well.

      Loading the Leica will get easier, assuming you’re trimming the leaders. I know some people do it without trimming, but it’s much easier to just cut them before you head out and be done with it. Count 20 sprocket holes and cut, avoiding cutting through any holes or leaving any jagged edges.

  3. I wonder if YHF has any comment on the the Leica iiiG? Is it worth it? I have a chance to buy one and have read a lot of mixed reviews. Thank you for the very interesting and highly entertaining website.

    1. Well, cameras are an individual sort of all thing, but I find myself reaching for my IIIg more often than almost anything else. Prices vary widely, so obviously that’s a consideration, but the camera itself is very nice. Any specific things you’re wondering about?

      1. I guess I was just wondering if you were still enjoying it. I have also the iiic and iiif. Thank you for responding.

        1. I find the IIIg a better travel camera. No need for an external finder for 50 or 90, and parallax adjustment, make it very self-contained. If I’m shooting specifically in the street I find one of the earlier cameras with a 1:1 finder mounted to be faster. Your preferred focal length should be considered too – the IIIg makes a lit more sense for a 50 shooter than 35 or 28.

  4. I recently got into Canon rangefinders and I have acquired a IVSB2, an L1 and a 7S. Two have been CLA’d by Don Goldberg with the L1 due to go. I am waiting for a nice 100mm f3.5 to come in the mail. I have owned Leica rangefinders in the past and I found the the IIIF difficult to focus. The L1 is just about perfect for me. Do you think that the Canon P is superior?

    1. I think “superior” would be overstating it. I prefer shooting the L1 based on feel, but the P is undoubtedly more versatile because of the viewfinder and metal curtains. I consider the P an ideal travel camera, but if I’m just shooting locally and with a 50 I’ll generally opt for the L1.

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