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Question from New QL17 G-III Owner
Old 03-24-2006   #1
sircarl
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Question from New QL17 G-III Owner

Just got a QL17 G-III that I won on eBay. Never having used this camera before, I am puzzled by what I'm seeing when I look through the viewfinder. The rangefinder patch is a faint, very vague, yellowish rectangle. I do see the image edges come together inside the patch as I turn the focusing wheel, but it's not the easiest thing in the world to make out. And there's a slight bluish tinge to the viewfinder generally. My question is: Is all this normal? (Or at least, the best I can expect from a camera this old?) Maybe I've been spoiled by the superb viewfinder image on my RF645!
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Last edited by sircarl : 03-24-2006 at 05:21. Reason: Spelling error
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Old 03-24-2006   #2
jamiewakeham
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Probably needs a clean. My GIII is a dream to focus; much, much better than my CLA-d Zorki 1, for example.

I misread your address for a moment then, and was about to suggest that we met up for a pint tonight to compare them! D'oh...

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Old 03-24-2006   #3
dmr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sircarl
Just got a QL17 G-III that I won on eBay. Never having used this camera before, I am puzzled by what I'm seeing when I look through the viewfinder. The rangefinder patch is a faint, very vague, yellowish rectangle. I do see the image edges come together inside the patch as I turn the focusing wheel, but it's not the easiest thing in the world to make out. And there's a slight bluish tinge to the viewfinder generally. My question is: Is all this normal? (Or at least, the best I can expect from a camera this old?) Maybe I've been spoiled by the superb viewfinder image on my RF645!
Mine does have a very slight bluish tint with a yellowish tint to the rangefinder coincidence section, but overall it's very bright and easy to focus as long as there's detail in the subject to focus on. I suspect yours is just a bit dirty. I use mine for low light situations mainly and don't have too much of a challenge getting it focused.
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Old 03-24-2006   #4
JoeFriday
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mine is the same as Denise's.. the different color tints helps to aid quick focusing.. but it sounds like yours could benefit from some cleaning
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Old 03-24-2006   #5
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Thanks, all, for your helpful responses. I just shot a roll and dropped it off at my local lab. In addition to the hazy viewfinder (worse outside), I found that the ISO lever was nearly impossible to turn and the film did not wind on properly. I'm eager to see the prints, but it looks like this particular camera is a dud. So back to the seller it goes, unfortunately.
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Old 03-24-2006   #6
Andrew Sowerby
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I think that whey buying any old rangefinder camera you should budget for a CLA. Makes a world of difference. I just got my QL17 back from G'man and the viewfinder is much better. Hopefully your next QL17 (if you get another) will work out for you!
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Old 03-24-2006   #7
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You might just ask Greyhoundman how much he would charge for a good once-over. If it works enough to take pictures, it's probably just in need of some TLC.
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Old 03-24-2006   #8
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These old GIII's all need a CLA. When that is done, you will have a camera that is a pleasure to use.
The Greyhoundman works magic on 'em. Do not hesitate to invest in this. They are nice cameras!
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Old 03-24-2006   #9
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When I find the GIIIs the viewfinders are pretty bad, cleaning them makes an amazing difference in brightness and then it is easy to focus. Yes they all look bluish in color.
You have to push in the Iso lever, then move it. Did you get the film over to the starting mark correctly? The QL system works well. Get the Canolite D flash for easy flash exposures.
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Old 03-24-2006   #10
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Rob,

Yes, I did push in the ISO lever -- or rather, tried, nearly breaking my fingernail in the process. It's virtually jammed. As for the film winding, I inserted a 24-exposure roll and was taking pictures until the camera's frame counter reached 32, when the film advance lever froze. I have a feeling the first 8 shots were lost (will find out when I get the prints back today) -- but why would the camera not advance the film to start with and then advance it? I realize these cameras may need servicing to operate properly. But I'd rather not start with one that has so many strikes against it.
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Old 03-24-2006   #11
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P.S. Sorry, but I'm new here -- who is Greyhoundman?
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Old 03-24-2006   #12
Tyler Durden
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Rob, thanks, i didnt know how to move the iso lever, ive had the canonet ql19 gIII for about 2 weeks... I use it in manual mode only, so the iso lever didnt really matter to me, but i thought it was broken before...
thanks ,
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Old 03-25-2006   #13
Andrew Sowerby
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Greyhoundman is a fellow on the forum who fixes cameras.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/member.php?u=949

I just got my QL17 back from him and he did a good, quick job of replacing the light seals, cleaning the VF, fixing the quick-load system, etc. for a good price.

Edit: Sorry, I just noticed that you're in the UK. It's probably not going to be worth your while to send a QL17 to him for a tune-up.
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Old 03-25-2006   #14
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Thanks everyone for your comments. I just got back my first prints, shot on Fuji Superia 400 and blown up to 5X7. Really pleased with the results -- sharp, but with a nice tonal range, and excellent wide open. (I was right -- the first 8 shots went AWOL somehow.) So it looks like I'll be hunting up a new QL17. That is, if I don't get an Olympus 35 RD instead, which I've also had my eye on! Decisions, decisions...
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Old 03-25-2006   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sircarl
P.S. Sorry, but I'm new here -- who is Greyhoundman?
He's the resident GIII guru here. I'm surprised he hasn't jumped in this thread. He often times jumps in when his name or GIII appear in the threads.
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Old 03-26-2006   #16
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The final upshot of my Canonet purchase is that the eBay seller is refusing to give me a refund for a camera she described as "in excellent condition." Why am I not surprised? This is a seller who had zero feedback, since she just joined, but I was in a "oh give the kid a break, I was there once too" mood. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Now I'm stuck with a Canonet that is less than wonderful. Paid 72 bucks for it too, on the strength of that "excellent" rating. Another sad eBay tale.
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Old 03-26-2006   #17
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The Canonet's usually need a simple cleaning. The ASA selector needs a LITTLE 99%Isopropyl Alchohol put on it and then worked back and forth. The top needs to be popped and the finder cleaned. The before/after is amazing once this is done. If it is working, the camera is most likely in EX condition. But, like almost every 30 something camera, it needs a little care in its old age.

You need a set of jeweler's screwdrivers to get the top off. And usually a big rubber band to get the top off over the film advance lever. Another on my list of camera to photograph up again.
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Old 03-26-2006   #18
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I would also suggest a trip to Greyhoundman, not only will be probably be able to bring it back to life, [actually I bave never heard him NOT be able to bring one back, and his prices are VERY reasonable] he can tweak it to take modern batteries.

the cost of the CLA and shipping may well be the same as buying another canonet that will also need a CLA.
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Old 03-26-2006   #19
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Brian -- you're a braver man than I am. I've looked at the Canonet repair manual. There's no way ol' butterfingers here is going to try to take the camera apart!

Dan -- the cost of shipping the camera back and forth across the Atlantic probably makes a CLA by Greyhoundman impractical, even if his prices are reasonable.

I'm thinking now I'll just try to sell the camera (with an honest description of its flaws), either here or on eBay. It would be a sensible purchase for someone who can undertake the repairs himself.
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Old 03-26-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sircarl
The final upshot of my Canonet purchase is that the eBay seller is refusing to give me a refund for a camera she described as "in excellent condition." Why am I not surprised?
This is one reason I seldom play e-bay roulette anymore.

Quote:
This is a seller who had zero feedback,
Is negative feedback an option?

Quote:
Paid 72 bucks for it too, on the strength of that "excellent" rating. Another sad eBay tale.
And, $72 would not be bad at all for one in excellent shape.

Doesn't Ebay have some kind of dispute resolution service?

I mean, clearly it's fraud to advertise something in excellent shape when it's in barely usable shape, but the climate and culture of the on line auctions is such that it's almost impossible to get any satisfaction.

People get ripped off for thousands on that site and they can't get their money back, just ask Jorge.
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Old 03-26-2006   #21
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Dan,

You bet negative feedback is an option. At least I can warn off others.

I have used eBay's "dispute resolution service" before, once, and actually got reimbursed for a non-working slide projector I bought on the site. But I had to run through all sorts of hoops, including getting an "objective appraiser" to ascertain that the projector wasn't working (I used my London photographic store) and to send them a letter saying so. Since the store is now closed down, I have no idea who I could ask to do all that with my Canonet. That's why I'll probably try to just sell it. There are two Canonets being auctioned on eBay now that supposedly have been CLA'd and are in great shape. I'm probably nuts, but I may bid on one of those.
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Old 03-26-2006   #22
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Kim Coxon (RFF member) could also do this work, he is in the UK. His wife is having surgery right now, so he is not going to be around for a bit. Rather than take a big loss on it, you could set it aside and wait for Kim's return. He is very reasonable on the CLA's if he can take on the work.
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Old 03-26-2006   #23
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Brian,

Thanks. I'll ask him.
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Old 03-27-2006   #24
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Silly question, but did you pay with PayPal? You can always dispute it with PayPal or your credit card company, at least you can here in the States.

FWIW, I just picked up a QL17 that's been CLA'd recently. My rangefinder patch sounds like it's the same as yours. I wear glasses though, so I think it might be a viewing angle thing. If I take off my glasses and get my eye in there the right way, the RF patch is very clearly defined. Even when I just loosely put my eye up to it and the rf patch isn't so clearly defined, it still seems easy to focus anyway. Odd, huh?
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Old 03-27-2006   #25
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Matt,

I normally pay by PayPal, but since the seller didn't have a PayPal account, I had to give her a check. So I'll have to rely on eBay's dispute resolution procedures.

As for the finder, I don't wear glasses and I still see a very vague patch. Maybe when I get the finder cleaned (Kim Coxon has said he'll do it) it will make a difference.
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