It lives! (my Canonet 28)

As I mentioned in the previous post, I recently purchased a Canonet 28 on eBay. This is a compact rangefinder made in the 70’s. It has a sharp f/2.8 40mm prime lens, and it’s super lightweight. The only problem is that it was not designed to function manually (except for focusing of course). The Canonet 28 has a built in meter, with a light-sensitive cell on the lens (but not through-the-lens). If the meter is not functioning or you are using a flash, the camera defaults to 1/30 shutter speed.

When I bought the camera, the seller mentioned that he did not have a battery to test the meter, and there was a chance it wasn’t working. I took a gamble and scored the camera for about $22! I preemptively ordered a Wein Cell zinc-air battery that replaces the original required lead battery. When the camera arrived I installed the battery and held my breath…nothing. No movement from the shutter speed indicator. Bummed out, I called a local camera repair store to see about an estimate and set the camera aside.

A day or two later, after some further research, I discovered that zinc-air batteries need time to oxidize after opening in order to work correctly (hence the name ‘zinc-air‘. I picked up my Canonet with the battery still inside and set it to auto…presto! The meter jumped to life. I loaded a roll of Ilford HP5…

canonet 28 1

Unfortunately, the foam light-seals on the back still need to be replaced, as is true of most vintage cameras. I took a bit of an unorthodox approach to a temporary fix and sealed the back with electrical tape…

Canonet 28 2

Hopefully this works until I can replace the seals. I really don’t enjoy light-leaks in my photos unless it’s the look I’m going for (it never is…) On a side note, I used the iPhone Camera Plus app to take these pictures and I think they turned out really well. The app is completely worth all the 99 cents I payed for it. Huge upgrade from the native software.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Chris

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