Geez, I need to stay away from thrift stores from now on, I think. I just couldn’t resist the Canonet GIII QL17 that was under glass in perfect condition just begging me to pull out my $30 and buy it. If you would have seen the look on its face, you would have caved too.
Actually, $30 is a good price for the top-of-the-line Canonet and it was in very nice condition and it included the original flash attachment. The foam light-seals are a bit gooey and I’ll probably be replacing them soon, but other than that the camera should serve it’s purpose nicely. My Kodak Retina IIa was my first rangefinder, but it had such a tiny viewfinder that framing amounted to guesswork. Quite a few heads were cut off by accident. The Canonet, however, will give me a proper rangefinder experience because it has a big, bright viewfinder and parallax-corrected frame lines. That means that frame lines move when you adjust the focus distance. Very cool. I’m still working on my first roll of film through the camera, but I already like it a lot. It’s compact (but not pocket-sized), but still very heavy and incredibly well-built. The old cliché “they don’t make them like they used to” applies here 100%. I can’t imagine a better use of $30.
Come back here in a few months for a more detailed report on the Canonet. That is if I don’t get thwarted by gooey, decomposing foam and a sticky shutter.