Canonet QL17 GIII – week 77 results

As I’ve journeyed through my camera collection, some stand out as icons of their class. For rangefinders, it’s my M3 and M6.  In SLR, the Nikon FM2 & FG, Minolta SRT200 & XG9, and strangely my Chinon CM7. Box cameras? Brownie Hawkeye. TLRs would be a Yashica, probably the D. Polaroid? Spectra and 250. In viewfinders it’s the Vito B.

Then there’s the QL17.  I have an Olympus 35RC and a Konica C35, but I find myself drawn to the Canonet for a pocket rangefinder.  My example has a bright viewfinder and focus patch. Everything seems to work fine, although I have never tried it with a flash.  As a lefty, I like the focusing lever on the left side of the lens barrel.  Shutter speed is manually set on the lens barrel, and a pointer inside the viewfinder indicates the metered aperture on a scale along the right edge of the frame.  Red areas at the top and bottom indicate under- or over-exposure conditions.  As with all (most?) rangefinders, the shutter fires with a soft click.

The meter uses an obsolete battery, but I have had decent results with a modern alkaline replacement.  The CdS cell takes an average of the scene, which did cause the highlights to blow in a pair of shots where there was a large difference between skin tones and a dark background. A more sophisticated meter might have handled those shots better.

This week’s post contains more photos than usual because I enjoyed the subject immensely. As mentioned previously, Beth and I visited Andy Leider’s facility in Circleville, NY.  It’s a mecca for fire apparatus enthusiasts and a home for wayward fire engines. There are reported to be over 400 retired trucks on, in, and around the property. Most are difficult to photograph as they are crammed tightly into a dim warehouse, but it’s a place where we could wander and explore for hours. In fact we did, and we took advantage of the chance to catch up with an old friend as well.

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Shabby elegance – a 1940s sedan cab Mack quadruple combination (pump, tank, hose, and LOTS of ladders) basking in the sunshine from an open doorway.
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Mack painted one truck in stars & stripes as an advertising gimmick in 1976. Some cities loved the idea and ordered the paint scheme. I’d never seen one in person before.
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At the rear of the warehouse looking forward. This is one of the shots where the meter couldn’t handle the exposure extremes.
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IHC R-series. They sure had character.
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When I was a kid, THIS was what a New York City fire engine looked like in my mind. Not many have survived. Shop #MP8306
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Seagrave, Ward LaFrance, Pirsch. When styling counted for something.
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The graveyard out back. Some diamonds in the rough, lots of parts, and more than a few bees.
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1949 Oshkosh. This thing says “Pull over!” like nothing else.
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Old glory, old Snorkel