Canon Canonet G-III 17 (1972)

Canon Canonet G-III 17 (1972)

Shutter -
Viewfinder -
- Magnification -
- Coverage -
Lens -
Power -
Size -
Weight --


Great design, ease of handling, built strong, yet light weight
slow shutter speed

There are a lot of reviews online referring to this camera as the :poor man's Leica". I've never owned a Leica so I cannot really say that. What I can say is that this is a beautifully designed and functioning rangefinder camera, perfect for street photography. The lens is a 40mm f1.7, which is fast and within close range of the film's diagonal measurement of slightly more than 43mm. It is closer to the human eye than the "normal" 50mm. The lens is very sharp. The filer size is 48mm, allowing a range of black and white filters for those inclined. The camera accepts film from 25-800 ISO and it has a hot shoe for a pretty good little flash--Canonlite D. The f-stop range is 1,7 to 16. Shutter speeds range from B-500. This is the drawback for me--I wish it went up to 1/1000th at least. The maximum shutter speed and aperture combination makes choosing film speed tricky. On a beautiful sunny day even 400 ISO can be too much. Metering is not TTL so use of filters requires knowledge of how much to adjust/compensate exposure, It is a Quick Load camera so loading film is easy. It is set for a 1.35v mercury battery. I use Wein cells with a rubber O ring or 1.55v A625 battery. I do not know if this negatively impacts the circuitry, but it does not seem to impact exposure. Matchstick or needle reading for exposure is large and easy to read. Aperture can be set to A for automatic exposure. I also own a Yashica GSN which many feel is a superior rangefinder. It, however, has two problems not found in the GIII. One is the electronic shutter--it is difficult to find a working model today. The other is the clumsy focus ring--my fingers are always in the way. The GIII has a lovely focus lever that pairs beautifully with the bright viewfinder and focus screen. It is also smaller and lighter than the Yashica. If you want a rangefinder the GIII is a "must have".