Is the Canon 7S really that good?

wrs1145

A native Texan looking for the light.
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Trying to decide what next to buy has been difficult. I thought about buying a Canon 7S, but I have a question. Why isn't this camera more popular as a Leica alternative for those of us who own a few thread-mount lens?
 
if you are like most Canon RF owners...your initial choice does not matter that much
because you will end up with at least 3 different models :)

like many in this forum I own most of them. The best in my view are the L1 / VL, VTDeluxe in its various forms, and 7sZ.

Save yourself some worrying and buy all 3 to begin with.

They are certainly inexpensive enough compared to Leica film M's.
 
Dear wrs1145,

I'm the wrong guy to ask. I lusted for a Canon 7s ever since I was in college and my Aunt Sally sold Uncle James 7s at a yard sale with a 50mm f1.4 for like $ 10.00. I had a Canonet 28 at the time it was a dream camera to me.

Fast forward to last summer when I bought a working 7s from a Japanese eBay seller for literal chump change. The meter works, or at least provides exposures close to known good hand held meters I own, and the shutter curtain don't look like crumbled black aluminum foil.

I'm just about through a roll of color film and once I get the film developed I'll see if I made a wise choice.

I can say that I do appreciate the way the camera is built and how it handles. The integral selectable frame lines are nice as well as I have M39 lenses in 35, 50, 90, and 135mm from various eBay purchases over the years. Mostly Zorki 4's that didn't work well but had what seemed to be clear lenses with no issues.

I hope to report back soon about how it all worked out.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg PA :)
 
I had a regular 7 and it was good but I really think that if I ever get another Canon it will be a P. I want simpler especially since I have a very nice Sekonic handheld meter that I trust far more than anything from the mid 60's.

Even then, I'll keep my Canon glass on my M 240 instead these days and if I'm going to do the masochistic tango of film, I'll use my Nikon S2 instead. I love it even more than any of the Canon - and I _loved_ my Canons.

Hope that makes sense.
 
My theory is that it's not as pretty as Canon's other (less capable) options - just like the M5 is the "ugly duckling" of the Leica world and similarly unpopular with many. Whatever its faults, reliability and capability are not among them.
 
I've had a lot of both. The Leica RF seem smaller and more ergonomic. I never had the 7s but I had the 7 and even back when I had great eyes I couldn't read the meter. The Leica IIIF is a great, relatively modern, camera and they're cheap enough. I like the the smaller IIIA thought.
 
I've toyed with the idea of getting a 7 in order to shoot LTM 35 & 50mm lenses and still might. I hear the P is much nicer in hand but the 35mm frame lines of the 7 appeal to me. I think I have enough cameras for now, though. I really don't want for anything.
 
I went with a Canon L3 as recommended by Matt Osbourne on YouTube. I got it today from Japan!
 
I went with a Canon L3 as recommended by Matt Osbourne on YouTube. I got it today from Japan!
That's an ... interesting ... choice. I'll be interested in hearing a review after you've used it awhile. It's not one that has ever interested me.
 
I think that the Bessa R2 and R3 series do the Canon 7s better. For many, the main appeal of the 7s includes the switchable framelines and the cds meter. The Bessas have both features, but with TTL light metering and one stop higher shutter speed (1/2000). The R2A/R3A also have aperture priority autoexposure. Except for today's prices, I do not see any case for the 7s over the Bessas.
 
I think that the Bessa R2 and R3 series do the Canon 7s better. For many, the main appeal of the 7s includes the switchable framelines and the cds meter. The Bessas have both features, but with TTL light metering and one stop higher shutter speed (1/2000). The R2A/R3A also have aperture priority autoexposure. Except for today's prices, I do not see any case for the 7s over the Bessas.
FAR more solid construction when I remember the 7 & the Bessa I owned but that's the only real advantage of the Canon. But as I've said, if I did it again, I'd buy a P and use my Sekonic handheld to meter.
 
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Heh. I get what you're saying but I generally only use the appropriate lenses anyway and the VF never bothered me. The "correcting" pins OTOH always were a PITA :)

Six of one, half a dozen of the other as my grandma would have said.
 
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The 7S is not as common as the 7 and they go for more than the $200 or less than the 7 for a good body, and if you do not care for a built in cds meter or a cold shoe then the Canon 7 will do just fine.
 
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I'm going to sound like a broken record on this forum, but i think VI-L or VI-T > P. :). I know people love the P, but the VI is just more functional and lacks the cluttered VF. And the VI can use all of those cool parallax corrected external VFs.
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You are definitely not wrong and the VI is one of my favorite Canon rangefinders. It also has the most useful 35mm view outside of the Canon 7, with the Lx series coming in third.

However, from a "buy it now use it now" perspective, over the course of time the Canon P viewfinders seemed to have fared better (semi-useless 35mm frame-lines aside) - the nifty finder-rotation mechanism means that a lot of VI finders are going to need a good clean -- and even if they are cleaned whether they come up nicely seems to be 50/50 chance.
 
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You are definitely not wrong and the VI is one of my favorite Canon rangefinders. It also has the most useful 35mm view outside of the Canon 7, with the Lx series coming in third.

However, from a "buy it now use it now" perspective, over the course of time the Canon P viewfinders seemed to have fared better (semi-useless 35mm frame-lines aside) - the nifty finder-rotation mechanism means that a lot of VI finders are going to need a good clean -- and even if they are cleaned whether they come up nicely seems to be 50/50 chance.
Yeah, the VIs definitely have a tendency for viewfinder dimming and/or getting dirty over the years. Mine needed a decent cleaning and it still is not 100%. The viewfinder was never on an M3/M2 level in the first place (and of course, neither is the P). But using reflected framelines was never a good idea to begin with. :). The Canon 7/7s and the Bessa R2/R3/R4 are all better in that regard.
 
if you are like most Canon RF owners...your initial choice does not matter that much
because you will end up with at least 3 different models :)

like many in this forum I own most of them. The best in my view are the L1 / VL, VTDeluxe in its various forms, and 7sZ.

Save yourself some worrying and buy all 3 to begin with.

They are certainly inexpensive enough compared to Leica film M's.
I feel seen as the proud owner of a P, 7, 7s and 7sZ.
 
I had a Canon VI-L and a P in my hand before I bought a 7s. They are all very well built cameras, but the 7s were the best choice for me.

Shooting with the 7s is a pure joy for me. The ergonomic feels like perfect. The full metal body gives a very good feeling.

The internal CDS light meter works perfectly good, but you need good eyes or glasses to read the scale. However, you need either a discontinued vintage mercury cell or a zinc air cell for powering the meter.

The shutter button is very smooth. No risk of shake when firing the shutter. I can hold at least a double longer exposure time compared to my Praktica MTL 5. The shutter of the 7s is not as silent as a Leica due to the metal foil instead a cloth.

I can highly recommend the 7s. You get a very good camera. High value for money, it is still affordable. And it is very beautiful, too.

IMG_20240201_181737518.jpg
 
if you are like most Canon RF owners...your initial choice does not matter that much
because you will end up with at least 3 different models :)

like many in this forum I own most of them. The best in my view are the L1 / VL, VTDeluxe in its various forms, and 7sZ.

Save yourself some worrying and buy all 3 to begin with.

They are certainly inexpensive enough compared to Leica film M's.
So why the VT Deluxe and not the VIT? I get that the V finders age better than the VIs (or at least need less cleaning), but my offramp from the V was the spacing of the shutter speeds, which is absurdly close for the higher speeds.

I do love me some VL2 because I had mine (not a beauty queen) modded to take some lenses with bulbous rear groups. It's tiny and really elegant for superwides. Also, it doesn't have that 1/1000 speed to go bad!

Dante
 
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