Canon CANONET 19

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by audreygardewine, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. I’ve finally gotten a CANONET 19. I’m new to this website so hopefully I’m in the right place. I’ve only ever used instant cameras and digital cameras. I’ve searched quite a bit, but I cannot figure out why the shutter doesn’t budge. I can’t see where to put a battery so I’m assuming I don’t need one. Any suggestions on how to get the shutter working?

  2. A common problem with older leaf shutter cameras is the lubricants in the shutter blades can gum up over time and then the shutter will not open. If you are comfortable with removing the front elements until you reach the shutter you might free it up with a few drops of Ronsonal lighter fluid. It can also free up stuck aperture as well. I successfully used this technique to review a Minolta HiMatic 7S and a Konica Auto S. However, numbers tries on a Canonet 25 failed to revive it. Also didn't work on a Yashica Lynx 5000. BTW, no battery is needed as the light meter is selenium (which is light powered). If you don't want to try the lighter fluid fix you might be better off to search for another.
  3. These are interesting cameras, and when working, produce good results. As Mike says, the shutter is gummed up with lubricant - but this won't have come from the shutter. These shutters require minimal lubrication. What gums them up is grease migrating from the focusing helix. Buying another of these will be a lottery - they are, after all, nearly 60 years old - and unless you can buy one which has been overhauled recently, similar problems are likely. If you are of a technical frame of mind, they are good cameras to learn repair techniques on.
  4. It's a while since I played around with a Canonet. Actually it's easier to access the shutter blades by unscrewing the rear lens group. A few drops of lighter fluid on a cotton bud (or Q-Tip, if that's what they are called where you are) might free the blades up.
  5. I have a couple of these. The lenses are of variable quality - when they're good they're very good, but.....

    The rangefinder will probably also need alignment, and the underlever wind on takes a bit of getting used to.

    And like all old cameras, not fully working and out-of-spec comes with the territory.

    The shutter mechanism on cameras of this type is horrendously complicated and difficult to access. You'll probably just end up with a box of bits if you attempt a DIY repair. Unless you really know what you're doing. And a pro repair is going to cost more than the camera is worth.

    The 'trap needle' auto exposure mechanism is ingenious and interesting though.
  6. Please take this with a grain of sale.. I know nothing about "this" model, but all of the advice is right on. You may get lucky, free the aperture and off you go. Unfortunately, it's not always easy . The "trap needle" selenium cell is a fickle piece of technology at 60 + years... I can attest to/from experience. I liked the adage above "...when they're good ..they're very good ..."

    Good Luck

    Good tip John... the back way is easier..
  7. The last of the Canon fixed lens/leaf shutter rangefinders, the Canonet GIII 17 might be in better shape, but unfortunately their prices are no longer reasonable. At one used camera vendor I looked at you'd have to spend over 80 USD just to get one that functions.
    A couple to look for that are not two expensive are the Minolta HiMatic 7S and the Konica Auto S2. Both have CDS meters which will work off the zinc air Wein cell. However, these cameras can also suffer from gummed up shutter blades.
  8. FWIW. I recently tested the shutter speeds on some of my old leaf-shuttered film cameras. They varied between 'nowhere near' to 'almost in the ball park'. With the higher speeds being mostly in the 'nowhere near' category.

    So even if you get a satisfying click after pushing the shutter release, there's no guarantee that the exposure will be anywhere close, or that the next squeeze of the trigger at the same speed will result in the same length of click, or in any click at all.
  9. Beautiful camera.

    As others have said it probably does have stuck shutter leaves. A quick google finds: which might be useful to you.

    Also useful might be: where the author mentions a low light locking mechanism?

    I have used similar Yashica, Petri and Taron cameras, and the results can be stunning. The biggest stumbling block, even when you have a good film camera, is getting the film developed well. I have now given up on high-street shops as the chemicals are usually worn out and they do like to blame the camera! I did have good success using a specialist via post, but this is not so cheap once you take into account the postage too.

    Have a bit of a google – you should find out some more info.

    Best of luck with this


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