Canon P

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by mark.brennan, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. I see that Peter Williams keeps mentioning the Canon P. It looks
    like a nifty little camera! However, it doeesn't seem as easy to
    find for sale as a Leica M3, for example. I notice neither KEH nor
    Adorama in NY City have any for sale. Any ideas for where to look?
    I saw a couple on Ebay. What's a good fast 50mm lens for this

    Any one else have comments on this camera?

    thanks and regards,
    -Mark Brennan
  2. I had a new one back in the '60s. Compared to the Leicas, it is larger and somewhat ungainly. The worst feature was the reflected viewfinder lines which could only be seen easily when the light was in the right direction, and all three (35, 50 &100mm) frames were visible at the same time and drove me crazy.
  3. jtk


    Yes, the worst feature is the awkward 35mm frameline but the camera may actually be smaller than an M, and it's VERY nice in the hand. I suspect they're more mechanically rugged than Leicas, as well.

    I use two :)

    They have hinge backs, of'd expect that from a manufacturer that actually understood photography...

    I doubt that any Canon Ps had the mechanical grief people regularly report about post-M-4 Leicas.

    KEH is a great source...they had two last week...they are VERY conservative in their descriptions.

    My fast 50 is a Nokton 1.5...a good lens. My favorite lenses are the Canon 35 f2 and the Skopar 25 f4.

    To learn more about Canon P and other rangefinders, from people who actually use them, visit
  4. It is one of the most used cameras by me. I love the Canon P camera. I use it often with Canon 35mm/1.8 and Nikkor 5cm/2 lenses. It is a very reliable camera. I like it as much as my M3. I agree that the viewfinder is not as good as in the M, but changing film is faster, and it is a camera that fits well in my hands. I like it so much that I searched for another Canon body. I bought a Canon VI-L which has three choices of focal lengths (there is a switch), making its viewfinder even better. I may still get another (excellent-mintish) Canon P body one day. As for a fast lens with it, any LTM lens fits it. I sometimes use a Canon 50mm/1.2 lens on it, but I use more often 50/2 lenses.
  5. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    I want one and I have an L-1 and still what a P.
  6. Quite a few Canon Ls, Ps, and others are regularly bought and sold over at

    I just sold a P on eboy. They do come up approx. once or twice a week there too.
  7. It looks like a nifty little camera!
    Neither little nor big, and certainly not ungainly.
    However, it doeesn't seem as easy to find for sale as a Leica M3, for example. I notice neither KEH nor Adorama in NY City have any for sale. Any ideas for where to look?
    Kimura (Tokyo), Furukamera no ichiba [I think it's called] (Tokyo), Box (Tokyo), Map (Tokyo), Sankyoudou (Tokyo), etc.
    What's a good fast 50mm lens for this camera?
    Any good fast LTM 50mm lens. The CV Nokton 50/1.5 and Canon 50/1.4 are obvious choices.
  8. I 'borrowed' one from someone and I have to say that, other than the 35mm framelines problem (I have glasses) which can easily be fixed with an external viewfinder, I find the camera altogether pleasing to use. Much better than my Nikon SLR. I still want an M-mount camera eventually (Leica or no, it really doesn't matter), but the P is giving me loads of oportunity to test out my exposure understanding; I tend to use the Sunny 16 method most of the time when shooting B&W film with great success.
  9. One of my favorite cameras ... I have two ( one is at Mark Hama's getting a CLA) ... not an M3 but I think it may be a better all around carry cam. I have the 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8 and 100mm f3.5 with a VC meter on top (I also have the original meter). The framelines are very usable and it is VERY nice in the hand. I was considering an M2 to go with my M3 and researched the "P" I won both at "THE" auction site and all the len's for a total of under 1K ( around the price of a good M2 body) ... body #1 is so mint it even had the original warrenty card and instructions ... #2 I bought for the 35mm f2 lens it came with, and is a shooter that needed the CLA ... I got into RF Canons when I bought a 35mm f2.8 Serenar for my M3 complete with finder ... I think the vintage Canon stuff is GREAT!
  10. Peter, do any of these stores you keep mentioning sell to buyers outside of Japan?


    "Kimura (Tokyo), Furukamera no ichiba [I think it's called] (Tokyo), Box (Tokyo), Map (Tokyo), Sankyoudou (Tokyo), etc."
  11. I don't have one, and I don't actually need one, but when I look at this picture I start to want one.
  12. In all fairness, I gotta admit that my criticism of the Canon P was because I was comparing it with the IIIg Leica I was using at the time.
  13. Hey everyone -

    Thanks very much for all the great feedback. John - very useful info. I'll look back at KEH or go down there soon.

    Being a rangefinder newbiew, this camera was unknown to me until Peter Williams mentioned it in a response to another post of mine about the Bessa R3a, so I'm pleased to see how many people like it.

    You'll have to excuse me for this question, though, but what is an "LTM" lens?

    Many thanks!
  14. I noticed that I erroneously referred to Peter Williams in my original post, but I MEANT Peter Evans! Sorry!
  15. LTM ... Leica Thread Mount 39mm ... The lens mount before the M bayonet style ... lots of them out there by many manufacturers, and they can be used with an M when you use an adaptor .
  16. jtk


    LTM: Leica Thread Mount...screw mount Leicas, Canon rangefinders, most Voigtlander, some others.

    My own Leica IIIGs had lovely viewfinders, better than P...

    ...but P had a MUCH better loading system than any of the LTM or early M Leicas (only beaten by Canon F1 IMO) and had rapid advance lever. As well, my impression is that Canon has better quality control...

    Japanese craftsmanship Vs German, and we all know who won that, decades ago, in automobiles, heavy equipment, robotics, electronics.

    IMO Canon made a tactical mistake, introducing Canon 7 (more bulky than P but -better viewfinder and dead-end on-camera meter)...they saw the writing on the wal1, abandoned fine rangefinders, dedicated themselves to perfection of SLRs and amateur cameras (an succeeded bigtime). They chose to compete with Nikon, treated Leica's market as inconsequential.

    If Canon had stayed with rangefinders, continuing and developing from Canon P, poor Leica would have abandoned the camera market long ago.
  17. Thanks, guys. After looking over at I saw that the P took Leica screw/thread mount lenses. John, again, interesting ideas - thanks. It IS funny that Canon abandonded rangerfinders, but despite their current popularity, they remain a niche market. And look at Canon in the PS/DSLR market - huge!

    Seems like the Canon 1.8 LTM is pretty decent to use w/ the P? what about a Voigtlander 50?

    Also - what is the shutter noise like on the P? When I tried out the Bessar R3a it seemed a bit loud (though not as loud as my FM2) and of course the Leica Ms were whisper quiet.

    Thanks again for the great feedback!
  18. Peter, do any of these stores you keep mentioning sell to buyers outside of Japan?
    No, and neither do a few more that I could have named.
    John, should we start up a Canon LTM export biz? The two of us can evaluate them in the shops. You buy them, you sell them, you get all the profit; if they satisfy their buyers I get 20% of the praise and good karma; if they don't: "Hey it wasn't me who chose that particular item, it was him."
  19. jtk


    Peter, let's reverse roles. I so rarely get thanks!

    We could talk about shutter wrinkles, I suppose? P shutters are metal but they work like fabric in Leica, like a roller blind. People stick their thumbs in them and they get wrinkled. KEH will always describe the shutter as wrinkled, but if they call it "Excellent" or thereabouts it'll probably be operationally perfect. My two were both described as "wrinkled" and are virtually perfect operationally (same across the speeds as my recently CLA'd F1s when shooting Velvia).

    I think P is almost as noisy as Voigtlander, not the whispered "tic" of Leica.
  20. jtk


    I have a Voigtlander 50 1.5. It's bulky. Plenty sharp, maybe lowish contrast, makes no difference after Photoshop. I'm not in love with it, like I am with my Canon 35 f2.

    I'd look for a Leica threaded Canon 50 1.4 if I was doing 50 again. Maybe the 1.8's just as good? Don't know. I do know my Canon FD (SLR) 50 1.4 is exquisite, better than the 50 1.5 Voigtlander, so I'd hope for the same from the Canon rangefinder version...don't know if that's valid, since it'd be ten-fifteen years older. My FD 24 2.8 seems about comparable to the Voigtlander 25 f4 when both are stopped down to f 16, fwiw...but the Voigtlander vignettes (not unattractively) and the Canon does not.
  21. i thought a photo might be nice
  22. I just posted an ad for a canon p range finder....check it out

Share This Page