Canon P

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by don_harpold, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. Hello All
    I was wondering what the opinions were on the Canon P, I don't think I have seen mention of them on this board.
    I have been looking at them and kind of like the look.
    So any advise or suggestions would be appreiciated
  2. SCL


    They are similar to the Leica M2 & M3 in many respects. The VF isn't quite as good IMHO, but overall a great camera. Metal shutter curtains usually found in imperfect condition. When I got mine 2 years ago I immediately sent it off to Youxin Ye for a CLA, even though it seemed to work just fine. He told me the lubricants had dried out over the years and now it works as smoothly as butter. I also reskinned mine. See Steve Gandy's site for more details on the P . My only negative is that my Leica Visoflex II (LTM version) only fits when I use a chimney finder, not the standard horizontal finder, because of the slightly greater height of the top plate. Canon did make a Visoflex equivalent which fit perfectly, but I have yet to see one.
  3. Perhaps my post HERE will be of some use
  4. Thank you Stephen
    Great write up and some beautiful photos, now I want one more than ever
    I will keep looking
  5. SCL


    Don - they seem to be plentiful out there, but as always, ask the seller plenty of questions so you don't end up with a lemon. Louis's writeup would make anybody drool. BTW, during the time they were produced, Canon's lens design & coatings were outstanding, often rivaling if not exceeding Leicas. Dante Stella has some interesting comparisons with the Leica offerings on his website. I've got several to use with the P (and my Leicas) and they're quite good, as well as beautiful to look at. My favorite is the 50/1.8 Serenar shown below, said to match the Summicron of the era.
  6. I have a P but with two Leica M4s also, the P can't win that contest. I find the finder messy, and the body is basically Canon's SLR body without the prism, so it's not compact. That said, it's a solid camera, well made, and ergonomically excellent. The more obvious competitors for it are the LTM Leicas, and except for size it mops the floor with them in nearly every respect including solid feel. For the price, it's a great introduction to LTM, and since I have a mess of LTM lenses, I didn't hesitate to buy one just to see what it was about.
  7. There is no doubt the Canon P is a beauty to own and use with a nice classic mechanical feel. Makes a great collectible, too. The range of available LTM lenses are wide, plentiful and reasonably priced.
    That said if you are just looking for a good shooter in an LTM rangefinder format look at the Voigtlander/Cosina Bessa R. Light in the hand, with one of the brightest viewfinders made. Accepts all LTM lenses and has modern niceties like accurate, center-weighted, TTL metering and a quiet shutter that goes to 1/2000th. Pretty darn good looking, too.
  8. The Canon P is one of the all-time high points in RF cameras. There are also a number of other models (e.g., link) that are very similar and perhaps a little less sought after by collectors (translation, nasty people who drive up the prices of cameras you want to buy).
    Appropriate (temporally) Canon (aka Serenar) lenses are rather less costly than their Leica equivalents.
    Finally, many excellent to superb, even, Soviet LTM lenses are both cheap and optically impressive (e.g., ).
  9. Soviet LTM lenses use the Contax RF standard which is not compatible with Leica's:
  10. Thank you everyone
    I have been corresponding with a seller on one with a 50mm 1.4 lens
    I will let you know if/when I get it or one
    Again thanks to all who took the time to reply
    Stephen and JDM those are beautiful cameras
  11. I really liked the build quality on mine, but really didn't like the size. This is a seriously large rangefinder camera, and the largest 35mm I ever owned. Thanks for pointing out that it was basically the Canon SLR body Michael. I just looked at my FT QL (love it, but again, a BIG camera) and the body looks almost identical to the photos here. I also had trouble getting spot on exposures from the Canon cameras w/ the metal shutters. That's even w/ using my very accurate shutter tester and knowing exactly what the speeds were running.
    Nothing beats an M viewfinder. We're talking two different price points and levels of build quality compared to the Leicas, but the build quality is still great.
    Like Louis, I heartily recommend the Bessa R cameras. If you are used to the other cameras we have been discussing, you won't like the build quality or the "clacky" shutters. But the viewfinders are very good, the shutter goes to 1/2000, the camera is small (but loudish), and they have one of the most accurate meters you will ever find. For a tool to go out and get shots, you can't beat them. If you need quiet, get an M. If you don't mind the size and weight and want an inexpensive well built camera for your LTM lenses, get the P.
  12. Soviet LTM lenses use the Contax RF standard which is not compatible with Leica's:
    Yes, but depth of field can help a lot, and my own comparisons of Canon and Soviet LTM lenses (link) suggests more practical interoperability between Canon and Soviet LTM than suggested in Dante Stella's article.
  13. Yes, but depth of field can help a lot,​
    I guess the same thing can be said about AF inaccuracies in more modern combos. Anyway why get things like the Jupiter-3 and -9 for an LTM camera when you have to stop down to let DOF mask focus errors?
  14. Hello All
    I received the Canon P and though it is not perfect it is pretty nice.
    Here are a few shots from the first roll, I used the meter that came with it, the Canon meter that mounts on the camera, on some of the shots so maybe not perfect exposures but Some came out good, for me, so I am pretty happy with it so far.
    These are using Ultrafine Extreme 100
  15. 3
    I will post some more on the CMC weekend thread
  16. one more
  17. I have the Canon VI that took my baby pictures, new when I was about one. It came with the Canon 50/2.8 lens.
    More recently, I got a Canon P with Canon 50/1.4 lens from a Goodwill auction.
    One difference between the VI and P, is that the VI viewfinder can switch between 50mm and 35mm framing.

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