Canon PELLIX QL (1966)

Shutter Two-axis, horizontal-travel focal-plane shutter with cloth curtains. X, T, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 sec. Built-in self-timer (self-timer lever also functions as a stop-down lever).
Viewfinder Fixed eye-level pentaprism. (Pellicle mirror with 20/1000mm ultra-thin, vapor-deposited Mylar film). Microprism rangefinder at center of fresnel matte screen. Metering indicator, exposure match needle, and eyepiece shutter provided.
- Magnification 0.90x
- Coverage 93%
Power -
Size 144 x 91 x 100 mm
Weight 700 gr


Solid build, pellicle mirror, "switch" to black on viewfinder
takes time to get used to--a little clumsy at first

The Pellix QL is a beautiful camera featuring a pellicle mirror which means that it does not move. It is a thin membrane which allows light to pass through to the film for exposure. There are much better explanations of the mirror on the web for those of you more mechanically inclined. The pellicle mirror allows for more frames per second and (I believe) faster shutter speeds, even though the Pellix fastest shutter speed was 1/1000. The Pellicle mirror was used on later cameras such as the New F-1 High Speed Motor Drive, EOS RT, and EOS-1N RS where a stationary mirror was taken full advantage of. This camera features Canon's Quick Loading system which most of you are familiar with. Film from 25-1600 ISO can be shot at list speed. Shutter speeds range from 1/1-1/1000 and work mechanically, plus bulb. There is an X for flash synchronization. Flash needs to be tethered as the camera sports a cold shoe. Canon made a booster for low light. The booster needs two batteries and attaches to the cold shoe and then to the battery terminal. The light meter requires a battery (1.35v) and works only in stop down mode. This is the part that takes getting used to. The meter one must push the stop down/timer lever to the left to get a reading. The lever can be locked in place. With my index finger on the shutter button I use my middle finger to push the shot down lever to the left (pulling to the right sets the timer). It is not rocket science, but it takes some getting used to. The light meter is the typical matchstick variety. R, FL, FD, and nFD can generally be used, with a few exceptions based on whether the lens extends into the body of the camera (the FL 19 f3.5 cannot be used. Instead Canon made a 19mm F3.5 R for the Pellix). FD and nFD lenses cannot be set on A to attach them to the body You need to set any other aperture and then the lens can attach. FL lenses can be set on A. I do not own any R lenses but those must be shot in full manual mode only, no automatic exposure. Double exposures can be made by depressing the rewind button on the bottom of the camera and then use the film advance lever. The camera also has a eyepiece shutter to keep out light when using the timer. The other nice feature is that the release for the back is on the bottom of the camera and must be intentionally used--no accidental opening of the back of the camera can occur.
I bought the copy I own because it was inexpensive and had an FL 50mm f1.4 version ii attached. This lens is fantastic. I got lucky that the camera was in remarkably good condition. As the body is almost 60 years old silvering on the mirror is common, but mine has none. Make sure you can see the condition of the mirror if you intend to buy a Pellix or Pellix QL. This camera is more of an historical artifact or novelty due to the pellicle mirror. I will shoot mine because it is in such remarkable condition, but I would not encourage anyone to buy this camera over an F-1, EF, A-1, or AE-1P (or T90 or T70 for that matter).
The build of this camera is typically solid for its day. I knocked the "features" down to an 8 since it is clumsy to use and should have been able to have a higher shutter speed or should have had a motor drive since it should be able to shoot several frames per second.