New to forum with a Canonet
I just purchased my first two rangefinders: an old, larger Canonet QL17 and a newer GIII QL17. After replacing the light seals and cleaning the rangefinder on the GIII I gave it to my dad to try to get him back into photography (he used to enjoy it, but doesn't want to have to read the whole manual just to change the shutter spd on a newer digital display SLR- hey, neither do I!).
The older QL17 was cheaper and "as is". Its main problem was a frozen aperture. I decided to try to repair it since it was inexpensive, and using info on this site and others managed to do so, using a pair of old, dull, nose-hair trimming scissors as a spanner, and then a kneaded eraser to unscrew it once it was free. I got the aperture free and then cleaned and adjusted the rangefinder (mostly vertical- I did this by taking the top cap off, adjusting, then sliding the cap on to check it, until I saw the post by Greyhoundman describing the concealed holes for adjustment from the outside- Thanks!). I replaced the light seals and, since I couldn't find a replacement battery, I used an Alkaline 625 and a made a spring out of heavyish copper wire to make up the difference. After reading about the 1.5v light meter discrepancy, and noticing a consistent difference when compared to a better meter, I halved the ASA to compensate; I'm anxious to see how these shots turn out. This camera also came with a Canonet hood which fits well but, since its old and is a friction fit, was a little loose. I figured out that the rubber liner which contacts the lens barrel for fitting could just be popped out. I then cut a strip of looseleaf paper to the same dimensions and used it as a shim behind the rubber- no chance it will inadvertently slip off now.
How do people feel who have used both the old and new QL17? Certainly the newer one is smaller, which is why I gave it to my dad, since he certainly preferred the smaller size. But, in my opinion, the older one looks much better and the controls feel nicer in the hand. Also, I like the extra 5mm of focal length, since with the GIII I tend to feel like I need to take a few steps forward to compose the shot. I guess it mostly comes down to the lens. I took some test shots with each (same film, settings, subject, etc.) so we'll see.