I took the time this weekend to take some nice photos of my Canonet 28 film camera. I recently upgraded it with a metal lens hood which looks really cool and is also very functional. The Canonet lens has unusual 48mm thread diameter so I bought a 48-52mm step up ring, and the hood fits that. I’m almost done with the roll of HP5 in the camera and I’ll be posting a detailed gear review with some sample photos once I have it developed. A preliminary thought however…
I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the Canonet 28 as much as its older brother the Canonet QL 17, because the 28 is fully auto. However, I’ve found this not to be true. Despite not being able to control the depth of field as much as I’d like, it is still extremely enjoyable to shoot with.
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…
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…
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!