Monday, September 17, 2012

Cult Camera - Canon QL17 Rangefinder

It ain't called cult for nuthin'!

"The EE (Electric Eye) feature and viewfinder were made as small as possible and the internal construction was completely different from the original Canonet, making the QL17 a totally new model. However, it had a strong Canonet-like appearance. The "QL" stood for "Quick Loading," a feature which made film loading quick and easy. At first, "Quick Loading" was inscribed below the Canon logo. It was later replaced by "QL."

Jersey Diner

With its FAST f1.7 lens, the QL17 is the perfect camera for night photography. Load it up with fast film or switch the camera into manual mode and shoot the night away! 

above: Classic Jersey Diner! The Monarch on Rte 23S in Wayne, NJ. Below: Frank's Pizza in Pomton Lakes, NJ

Frank's at Night
"The classic little rangefinder that punches above its weight. In the 1970′s the Canonet became a household name, with over a million units sold. So let’s have a look and see why this camera became one of the best selling fixed lens rangefinders ever made."

"Originally sold in 1965 the QL stands for "Quick Loading" -- you don't have to wind the film around the take up spool, it's very similar to today's "drop and load" cameras. You put the film in, close the back and wind away. "

"The Canonet QL17 (new) represents the prized and popular side of the sought-after compact rangefinders; to be sure, its 1972 successor, the oft-touted GIII version is often mentioned in the same breath as the Konica S3, Minolta 7sII, Olympus 35SP, and the Rollei 35*. "

"Batch Fried" Film
above: FPP / Metropolis Music Guy Mark Dalzell with his QL17.
The QL17 is highly regarded by the gang at The FPP - The Film Photography Podcast - Listen in.

All images and content © 2012 Michael Raso / 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Mike. I really enjoyed reading the Canon story. I still shoot film myself. Great to see there's a strong film following. Almost forgot, thanks too for the great podcasts!
    Warm regards,
    Glen Converse