Is the Canon 7S really that good?

Did you find this set where they were also selling Mogwai? :)

One thing for Canon people to note: these finders are not all the same size, like you might have been led to believe. The 50, 85, 100, and 135 framelines are something to behold. Lovely.


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.
I am a happy L1 shooter, and wouldn't mind a VI-L to go with it and a nicer condition L1 to go with my street beater. (which works impeccably). Spastic me likes his cameras with just enough battle scars so I don't get emotional running film through them.
Some people like that trigger ... thing... Sane people don't. What more can I really say?

I'll stick with the P for my next Canon ;)
Some people like that trigger ... thing... Sane people don't. What more can I really say?

I'll stick with the P for my next Canon ;)
If you are left-eyed, it makes perfect sense to use a trigger or a winder. You don't want to poke yourself in the right eye with a lever.

I'm not as hot on the P as I once was; the VI series has a 1:1 finder (50/100) but doesn't try to use that for 35mm. On the P, it's not easy to see the 35mm lines in a 1:1. No framelines for 35mm on the VI (just a 0.7x view), but given that the P framelines do not correct for field size anyway, it's a minor thing.
I tried P, 7, 7sz and the Canon L2. I kept the latter because I found its viewfinder was the easiest to use with glasses and it was way smaller than the 7sz. The selectable RF is such a boon for nailing focus. Coupled external viewfinders mean that you can have a bright VF and use the in camera VF on the RF setting. The V type finders are a little hard to come by but do turn up from time to time.
The VI really needed a parallax-corrected 35mm frameline. The view is not very accurate (maybe 90%?) and it pretty barrel-distorted. But it is alot easier to use and frame than the P, whose 35mm frameline is nearly impossible to see, especially with glasses. The Nikon S3's 35mm frameline sucks as well.
I don't know how I feel about the 7, been pondering selling mine, something about the overall experience I don't like as much as the L1/L2 and even the older barnack like IVS I have. On paper its great, but it is a lot of the little things about it that bug me some really dumb like the feel and look of the film advance lever, to having a nice viewfinder, but a really weird patch that has this weird shadow like thing to it. Mine has a responsive light meter, and it seems close enough, but not something I would trust without another meter on me

The size isn't an issue for me, but somehow it feels "cheaper" to me over the earlier models which is odd.
The 7s/7sZ were the pinnacle of Canon rangefinder production, and are fantastic cameras to use IMO, especially for their viewfinders (the 7sZ is a little better with upgraded optics). That being said, I prefer the V series with the Canon parralex corrected top viewfinders, which are beautifully bright.

The VI series is also great, but the viewfinder lines have a tendency to fade away, making the top finders a necessity (it’s also hard to find a good buy on a VI L, but if you don’t mind the bottom trigger wind, the VI T is great). The 7 series body is just a little bit bigger, but still handles very well and has parralex corrected frame lines for 35mm to 135mm.

I’m also a fan of the P, but if you wear glasses the 35mm frame lines can be very hard to see. The shutter mechanisms are all basically the same starting with the IV SB 2, so they are all equally reliable. Don’t be too concerned with metal shutter curtains that have wrinkles (unless they are severe), minor dimples and wrinkles have no effect on operation.