Category Archives: Cameras

G is for ggggrrrrreat !!!

Ok, so as you know I am in the habit of introducing the camera’s that I get to take apart … probably just so I can add a new post to keep this blog alive.

The Canon Canonet QL17 G-III. QL = quick load, 17 = f/1.7, the G = “grade up” … heah, that is what Canon states on their Museum site … and Canonet, well that’s just something someone in marketing thought up. So does this mean this is the third grade up version, hmmm (Orig. Canonet, New Canonet, and Canonet G-III … though there has been a number of other Canonets made)?

CanonQl17GIII_DxOAnywho, the G-III was in production for 10 years starting in 1972. It appears to be a very popular model for modern photographers looking for a point and shoot film camera. Some make claims that it is the poor man’s Leica? I don’t really believe that, it don’t look like no Leica that I know of … hmm, maybe a CL … ah, that’s stretching it.

The camera has a mechanical shutter, with auto abilities if you want to slap a battery in it. The highly praised 40mm lens, 6 elements in 4 groups, is probably where the comparisions to Leica come from … many on the web say so.

Warning … I may not be immediately posting any of the new cameras any time soon, as they all seem to putting up a lot of resistance to change.


Rollei, rollei, rollei … keep them wagons rollei’n.

Soooo, I finally ended up with a Rollei TLR … though not the one I really wanted, but heck Rollei’s are over-priced these days so I had to make due with a Rolleicord.

The Rolleicord is the little brother of the infamous Rolleiflex. Franke & Heidecke decided to make a cheaper (more economical) version of their very popular Flex line of twin lense reflex cameras … this way more amateur photographers could get a hold of a high quality camera.

The Rolleicord line started in 1933, and there were many variations of it over the 44 years it was in production. The Rolleicord is easily recognized by its knob winding, instead of the crank winding that the Flex’s have.

I got this one in … of course … “for parts” condition. It has issues with the shutter, the shutter lever knob is bent and not really attached, the leatherette is distrested, and probably a number of other things that are broken.

I was reading up on various versions made by F&H and the model I have appears to be a Rolleicord III with a Triotar lens … 1950-53.

The Triotar, as you may guess, is a triple element lens … and even though it sounds like a simple cheap setup, it can produce some nice dreamy images. It appears that it is very favourable to portrait photographers.

Ok for you Bokeh lovers !!!


I don’t often swear, but when I do I mean it … so WTF were these Olympus engineers thinking to use GLUE to attach the front plate on this SP !!!

I have worked on many cameras that are not as finely engineered as this Olympus SP, and they typically had a front lens plate/cover that unscrewed. So I spent the last 30 minutes trying to unscrew the dam thing (though I should have clued in that there is only one slot). Noting the scratch marks from someone who tried to remove it, I continued to do so thinking that it was screwed in crooked and jammed the threading. I gave up and thunk that there is something odd about this.

Some googling later I realized that it was possible that it is just attached with some adhesive. Welllllllll, it’s true. Olympus in their bright minds decided to attach it with shellac !!!

I will get back to this camera after I have calmed down.

Special G … Olympus-35 SP

Hmm, I buy broken cameras … just because they are cheap, and they need help. I find out about what they are after the fact. Sometimes I get surprised, like the Minolta Autocord … and it appears this new camera is also a surprise.

The Olympus 35 SP is a compact fixed lens camera made in the early 70’s … and it appears to be more than just a simple point & shoot film camera … at least from what I have read on the InterWeb.

Ken Rockwell … KR says this camera is the best fixed lens rangefinder camera and the lens is on par with the Summicron … and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

OK, now that I got him out of the way lets get on with it. I’ve always appreciated Olympus products … I dreamed of owning an OM-4 Ti. The camera looks like your typical 1970’s single lens cameras … except that is labeled with an SP and a G. So you ask, what’s so special about that?

Olympus35sp_DxOThe SP in the model name stands for SPot meter (OK, that’s just my guess) … yes, this camera has spot metering !! and centre weight. The SPn and UC versions are the same camera with just minor changes.

The G is part of the lens labeling, Olympus G.Zuiko 1:1.7 f=42mm … the G is in reference to the number of elements. A,B,C,D,E,F,G = 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Olympus liked to add this element letter on their lenses, which is a really great way of identifying the variants of the same camera. Hmm, 7 elements in 5 groups … something not expected to find in a camera with a fixed lens (except for the Walz Envoy 35, 7 elements in 3 groups based on image engraved on the top of the camera).

Now, it appears that many others have the same opinion as Ken … this lens (and camera) is really that good … and much cheaper than getting a Leica CL w/ 40mm Summicron. Many people on the Web approve this message.

Brownie Hawkeye clean up

Tools – Philips screwdrivers, and cleaning stuff

Ok, so I thought I would clean up the old Brownie. Looking through the viewfinder was a mat of dust particles, and the lens was covered with something.

The front metal cover plate is secured by four screws.

Push down on the viewfinder glass, on top, to maneuver the metal plate off.

Many things will just fall out at this point … so make sure you grab them all.




There is actually no lens element in front the shutter, just a square glass protector.

The Viewfinder is just held together with pressure from a spring plate and the front metal cover.




The back end is removed by the two internal screws.

Under that is one spring washer.



The camera lens can be popped out by pushing from the inside.




Pull off the metal plate and it will reveal the shutter mechanism.

Not much here.

… and that’s all folks

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