Home page of Rangefinder-Cameras.com

Salmon anglers fishing at the Rakaia River mouth. Canon Canonet QL19 (New).
The 45mm f1.9 lens on the Canon Canonet provides excellent sharpness and contrast. The final result you can produce as prints has much to do with the scanning of the negative film. February 2010.

When the Light Meter Doesn’t Go 

Good rangefinder film cameras often come up for sale with their only fault being a dead light-meter. You can often get it going again with the right batteries, cleaning the battery contacts, or replacing the corroded wires inside the camera that run to the battery. With the meter not working, provided the camera has a manual mode, it is still possible to use it by taking light readings with a separate light-meter. With old rangefinder film cameras like the Canon Canonets the manual mode is fully mechanical requiring no meter, or battery, for all of the film speeds to work correctly. Others like the Yashica Electro default to their fastest speed when the meter fails. It means you can still shoot with your Yashica Electro if the meter fails on a bright sunny day with ISO 400 film if you set the aperture to f16. Continue …

Christchurch Tram. Photograph taken with Canon Canonet QL19
One of the trams back up and running in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, after the series of earthquakes that began four years ago. The Canon 45mm f 1.9 lens with its 5 glass elements in 4 groups does a great job on the tram’s red paint work.

Yashica Electro 35 (from 1966)

This is an aperture priority auto-exposure camera only. There is no manual mode. The battery powers both the meter and the shutter. Therefore without a battery and working electrics for the shutter, it is unusable. If the lights aren’t coming on it just won’t go. If the electronics aren’t working even the B setting is useless. The electronics are designed to hold the shutter open, without them working, the shutter just fires off at its fastest speed of 1/500 of a second. With many of these old cameras you can use them in manual mode. In which case if the meter has failed you can continue using them by taking an exposure reading with another camera, or hand-held light-meter, and then transfer it to your camera with the inoperative meter. With the Yashica Electro that isn’t possible except maybe at 1/500 of a second. Continue …

The black Canon A35 Datelux camera.
The lens is on the Canon A35 Datelux is excellent, the range-finder is very bright and easy to use, and the automatic exposure system works surprisingly well, as does the built-in flash which automatically adjusts the aperture depending on the subject distance.

Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII

The Minolta 7sII was is one of the best of the Japanese rangefinder cameras made before the age of plastic “point and shoots” and SLRs had completely taken over the majority of the market. It was introduced in 1977 and had all of the best features. These included an excellent quality, fast, 40mm f1.7 Rokkor lens in what is one of the smallest of the 1970s rangefinders bodies measuring just 115mm x 78 x 59 including the lens. Continue …

The Olympus Trip was extremely popular back in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Olympus Trip 35 was extremely popular back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Ricoh 500G

The Ricoh 500G is an excellent little 35mm film rangefinder. The 40mm Rikenon lens is outstanding being very sharp and with good contrast. The camera is a solidly built compact rangefinder camera made in the early 1970s. At just 420g it is also one of the lightest and best featured. If you are looking for a small rangefinder to fit your coat pocket when walking or cycling the Ricoh 500G fits the bill nicely. Continue …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *