A Legendary Digicam That Deserves Love

There aren’t many cameras that elicit salivation just like the Canon QL17 GIII. The longer, correct title is the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII, however I’ve seen it referred to as by the previous title many occasions. It’s a digicam from a time the place Canon nonetheless made primarily steel cameras. It’s additionally from the rangefinder period and it’s only a attractive piece; many photographers are sure to love it. However make no mistake, it’s not a Leica. 

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The Large Image

On-line, a number of of us examine the Canon QL17 GIII to Leica cameras, and so they shouldn’t. Leica cameras are an entire different value level, constructed much better, extra sturdy, and extra dependable. The Canon QL17 GIII is extra similar to the Yashica GSN Electro 35. It’s a smaller, sharper, higher constructed model of the Yashica. It’s not for a beginner: begin with digital, get used to utilizing it, after which notice that this digicam is hard-mode.

Consider the Canon QL17 GIII as a Leica M6 that may eat batteries quicker, is smaller, and has a set lens. Contemplating its 40mm lens, you may in all probability equate it to the Leica CL with the 40mm f2 Rokkor lens. Besides, the Leica remains to be the higher digicam.

The Canon QL17 receives 4 out of 5 stars. Need one? Try the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII on eBay for the very best offers. In any other case remember to test Amazon and Blue Moon Camera to see in the event that they’re in inventory.


  • This stuff final many years.
  • It’s what I prefer to name semi-mechanical. Which means that it makes use of a battery simply to energy the sunshine meter. In any other case, it could possibly proceed to maintain working even when the sunshine meter isn’t powered.
  • I imply, it’s attractive. I genuinely want that Canon made cameras that appear to be this. 
  • It feels great in my palms.
  • The lens is fairly sharp.
  • Clean focusing and brief focus throw implies that it’s a superb digicam for avenue pictures


  • No aperture precedence mode. However there’s a shutter precedence mode. 
  • This digicam eats batteries.

Gear Used

I purchased the Canon QL17 from Kyoto Studio Japan on eBay. I used it with the:

  • Discipline Work Slim Leather-based Strap: bought ourselves.
  • Fujifilm Natura 1600 (we had some self over)
  • Fujifilm PRO400H (we’ve nonetheless obtained some within the fridge)
  • Kodak Tri-X 400 (our personal buy)

All of our movie is developed as a courtesy of Blue Moon Camera and Machine based mostly in Oregon. We’re smitten with the work that they do. 


The Canon QL17 GIII isn’t an revolutionary digicam by in the present day’s requirements. However what it does do is flaunt its beautiful beauty much better than another present digicam on the market.


Right here’s a have a look at the Canon QL17 GIII. It ought to be stated that mine is available in a uncommon coloration. It was reskinned. However the concept remains to be the identical. On the entrance there’s a rangefinder focusing tab across the 40mm f1.8 lens. Behind that’s the grippy materials and the rangefinder/viewfinder home windows.

The again of the digicam is fairly easy. You’ll simply see the viewfinder and the battery test button.

The highest of the Canon QL17 GIII is the place the motion occurs. Right here you’ll discover the rewind lever, the new shoe, and the movie advance across the shutter button.

Have a look right here across the lens. All that it is advisable know is right here. The lens holds the shutter speeds, apertures, and has a window for the ISO setting. 

Construct High quality

The Canon QL17 is product of steel and finds methods to maintain it light-weight. There are sure to be photographers on the market who will complain that it doesn’t have a grip. And it’s probably not designed to have that. It’s a rangefinder-style digicam and as a substitute, you simply have to carry it in a totally totally different approach. Good rangefinders are a tactile expertise that assist you to take unimaginable photographs.

After all, mine was refurbished and I purchased it for myself as a birthday reward. Nonetheless, there’s much more that helps with the construct high quality. Since this digicam doesn’t want a battery to function, then there’s no have to put one in there so long as you know the way to meter a scene. Even when the sunshine meter stops working, the digicam will proceed to snap photographs. That’s very reassuring.

Ease of Use

Anybody that understands cameras and has labored with them for years ought to be capable to perceive the Canon QL17. There’s a management for the ISO, the focusing, apertures, and shutter speeds. Evaluations Editor Hillary Grigonis is an skilled photographer, however she doesn’t have a lot expertise with movie. Nonetheless, I’m certain that she’d be capable to wrap her head round this. Brittany and Feroz then again are skilled movie photographers, and wouldn’t have any points utilizing it. 

When you’re the kind of individual that claims that you simply’re on the lookout for one thing easy, this isn’t it. However in case you’re an skilled photographer that desires one thing easy, this certainly is the digicam for you. 

The digicam has a satisfying shutter sound and click on. Additional, the movie advance has a bit of additional give that makes advancing the movie really feel so satisfying.


It is a film-camera. With that stated, the Canon QL17 GIII abides completely by Sunny 16 metering strategies. Take it out into the solar with little shadows, and it’ll meter the scene completely in line with that system. 


The Canon QL17 focuses manually through the rangefinder course of. While you look via the viewfinder, you’ll see a scene in entrance of you. Within the heart, you’ll see a picture-in-picture impact. As you focus the lens, you’ll see your complete scene both line-up or make no actual geometric sense. To get one thing in focus, you’ll place the middle space over a topic and focus nearer or additional away till you get it.

We’ve obtained an article on what that appears like proper right here so that you can take a look at. For anybody that doesn’t perceive how this works, we’ve obtained an entire article right here on how one can successfully use a rangefinder. If it’s powerful to see the picture-in-picture impact, then attempt to blue cellophane trick that helps you see a bit extra clearly.

Picture High quality

After all, the Canon QL17 is a film-camera. However extra particularly, it makes use of a 40mm f1.7 lens that’s completely connected to it. This lens oozes with all of the character that you simply’d love in a picture. 


The bokeh from the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII is a combination between each creamy and hazy. There aren’t all that many aperture blades and to be sincere, I don’t suppose I’d use this digicam for it’s bokeh. It’s certainly meant to doc moments as they occur as a substitute.


Even when the bokeh is simply mediocre, the sharpness from the 40mm f1.7 lens stopped down is implausible. I can solely think about what this may be just like the T-Max 400. 

Lens Character

This lens has halation, and we should always anticipate that with one thing this historic. You’re sure to actually like what it does. 

Further Picture Samples

From day one, The Phoblographer has been big on transparency with our viewers. Nothing from this overview is sponsored. Additional, a number of of us will put up evaluations and present a number of enhancing within the photographs. The issue then turns into that anybody and everybody can do the identical factor. They’re not exhibiting what the lens can do. So we have now a bit in our Further Picture Samples space to indicate edited and unedited photographs. From this, you may make a call for your self.

We didn’t edit any of those photographs.

Who Ought to Purchase It?

The Canon Canonet QL17 GIII is a digicam that belongs within the palms of skilled photographers. When you’re trying to find a rangefinder with a set lens, nice construct high quality, and a small measurement, that is powerful to beat. We like the way it can supply attractive photos too. However needless to say it’s going to eat batteries alive. So I’d recommend utilizing it for cautious, meditative avenue pictures and picture taking as a substitute. 

Tech Specs

Specs are credited to Camerapedia’s itemizing.

  • Kind: Rangefinder camera
  • Producer: Canon Inc. Japan
  • Lens: Canon Lens 40mm f/1.7. 6-element 4-group building, with 4 newly designed glasses. Spectra coated in amber and purple. Filter thread 48mm.
  • Shutter: Between-the-lens sort. Shutter speeds from 1/4 to 1/500 sec. and B. Mechanically units aperture, self-cocking mixed movie/shutter wind, self-timer, X-synchronization.
  • Viewfinder: Vibrant-Line sort, Parallax Correction Mark
  • Rangefinder: Viewfinder mixed with range-finder, brilliant body with automated parallax correction, aperture scale, publicity indicator, over/beneath publicity indicator, and over/beneath warning marks.
  • EE Mechanism: Inbuilt publicity meter with CdS cell for totally automated publicity management. Shutter velocity precedence system. ASA 25-800 (DIN 15-30). With ASA 100 movie, EV 3.5 (f/1.7 at 1/4 sec.) EV 17 (f/16 at 1/500 sec.)
  • Battery: Initially powered by one 1.35V M20 (#625) mercury battery. Battery checker built-in. (It’s potential to make use of alternate options. *see above)
  • Flash: Hot shoe Accent shoe with direct contact unique for Canolite D and the flash socket for the opposite flash models. Digital Flash Sync with All Shutter Speeds.
  • Weight: 620g

Some photos on this overview have been shot by my buddy Brent Eysler.