Canonet GIII and Revue 400SE. Test shots and comparision.

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by maciek_stankiewicz, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Recently I had a chance to play with beautiful small rangefinder: Revue 400SE.
    As You may expect I decided to test it against my everyday camera: Canonet GIII QL17.
    Both are beautiful and very similar cameras with shutter priority and very fast 40mm f1.7 lenses.
    Cameras are very similar but I found that both have strong and weak points when it comes to ergonomics;
    Better feel of winding mechanism, Better (bigger) focusing tab, manual aperture (which Revue don't have).
    Much smoother shutter selector, aperture opens to maximum (Canonet @1.7 opens to f2.4 in Auto mode), nicer self-timer switch in front.
    I loaded fresh roll of Fuji Superia 100 to Canonet, then to Revue. Before I say anything about optical performance, here are the cameras...
  2. Lens Performance:
    Both cameras deliver excellent results when stopped down, images are very sharp with very good contrast with Canonet lens being little warmer.
  3. Here is next shot (full frame)
  4. First: Canonet
  5. Canonet stopped down
  6. Revue stopped down...
  7. Corner sharpness @ 1.7 ( crop)
  8. Summary:
    Looks like Canonet got better lens with better sharpness, better corner sharpness and better improvement when stopped down. Looking at other images I can tell that Revue lens is more contrasty, probably have better, more modern coatings. Please judge those poor scans for Yourself.
    Revue 400SE is a Poor Man's Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII. These cameras are very similar. I'm wondering is there a different optical quality... Minolta owners love that Rokkor lens and reports it's excellent quality.
    This is a comparision between Canonet and Revue. If anyone perform or have a test of Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII versus Canonet GIII please share it here.
    I hope You found this short article helpful.
    Thanks, Best Regards,
    Maciek Stankiewicz
  9. Isn't the Revue a rebadged Konica Auto S3?
  10. Charles - no it's a rebadged Vivitar 35ES. See here.
  11. According to Wikipedia, the Konica Auto S3, Minolta 7sII, Revue 400se, Prinz 35ER, and Vivitar 35ES were based on the same Cosina rangefinder chassis:
  12. O.K. Do You have an opinion about any of these cameras?
  13. I owned the Minolta 7s-II and the Konica S3, sold both in favor of the Canonet Ql17l, earlier version of the GIII. The finder on the Canonet is much better than either the Konica or Minolta. The letter cameras are based on the same chassis, but viewfinder construction and lens is different. I suspect the same is true of the Revue/Vivitar. The Canonet is heavier made, including internals such as gears.

    if you can find it- look for a Canonet Ql17l, same basic camera as the GIII but earlier. The GIII is somewhat lower-cost construction, and not as tight quality control.
  14. The Konica Auto-S3, Hi-Matic 7SII, Revue400SE, Vivitar35ES and the Prinz (forgot about the exact designator) are of very similar design. The body cast is slightly different, the Hi-Matic has slightly rounded corners while all the others have a "brick" body design. Shutter/lens assembly is identical, except for the auto-flash features of the Konica and Revue/Vivitar/Prinz versions. The Konica has an additional indicator for the aperture selected by the auto-flash mechanism in the viewfinder... and all the others still have the support for the indicator lever beneath the top plate.
    I do not know whether the lenses are of identical design, at least the Konica Auto-S3 claims to have 38mm focal length instead of 40mm on all the other versions.
    There are also slight variations in the meter circuit, the Auto-S3 has two variable resistors for meter adjustment, all the others have just one, but the tiny board behind the galvanometer is identical on all models.
  15. Maciek, from what I've read from numerous sources, the Revue 400SE, the Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII, Vivitar 35ES, and one other brand that I can't remember (Prinz, maybe?) are all the same camera assembled by Cosina with minor differences based on brand specifications. In fact the old "Minman" website for Minolta enthusiasts used to include the Vivitar and Revue under the Minolta rangefinder category because of their similarities. Your tests are interesting though and support my belief that the GIII-QL17 is an outstanding camera and one of my favorite rangefinders, however I do think that there were a lot of variations between samples, and some folks got copies that had less than stellar lenses. Thanks for a great post with great information.
  16. Interesting. My results were a bit different. I found the Vivitar ES, to have the sharper, better lens. However, the Canon was no slouch.

  17. Old threads never die. I think the Konica S3 was also sold as the Konica C35FD.

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