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I just picked up the first roll of film shot on my new (old) Canonet 28 from Looking Glass Photo in Berkeley, and I could not be more excited! It took me a few months to shoot this roll of HP5 but the results are well worth the wait. The fixed 40mm 2.8 lens on the Canonet 28 is incredible sharp.
Meet my friend Griffin. I saw him with his skateboard and asked him to pose for this photo. After a few months he finally has the result. With this roll of film I really tried to branch out in my ‘style’ of photography. I took more candids and portraits and it was a great exercise in creativity. Forcing yourself to evolve is the best way to prevent getting bored or stagnating creatively.
This is just a small preview from the Canonet until I have some more time over the long weekend to post more photos and write an extensive review of the camera itself. Check back for updates! I have a lot of insights to share if you’re considering a compact film rangefinder.
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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.
I graduated from the University of Southern California on Friday! I’m on my way home for two weeks before starting my job in the Bay Area. I’ve almost finished the first roll of film from my Canonet 28 and can’t wait to have that developed. More updates to come once I get to Portland!
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.
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1. I just sent a roll of Ektar up to Photoworks in San Francisco to be developed. It’s pictures from my trip home to Portland, OR at Christmas, and also a bunch from San Francisco when I visited with my girlfriend in March 🙂 I can’t wait to see the results!
2. I’ve been wanting to get a 70’s era compact rangefinder and I finally pulled the trigger on a Canonet 28 that I saw on eBay. Everything works perfectly except for the light meter which is a rather big problem. The Canonet 28 was designed to be almost fully automatic, so with a crippled light meter I’m limited to shooting 1/30 sec. between f/2.8 and f/16. I don’t think it will be terribly expensive to have this repaired. I’m taking it to Walter’s this weekend to get an estimate. I’m hoping for the best because it’s a great little camera.
3. Finally, I’ve started a photography project shooting architecture around my home in Los Angeles on black and white film. I’m looking in particular for cool angles, reflections, and tones. A lot of it will be from the USC/downtown area which has a ton of neat buildings. I’ve included a few examples below.
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