Canonet QL17 GIII rewind knob issue

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by mechs, Jul 17, 2021.

  1. Hi All,

    I just got my hands on a beautiful Canonet QL17 and noticed that the rewind knob moves around freely as I move my hand while holding the camera.

    I loaded a test roll and checked the rewind crank and film advance mechanisms and all seem to be working properly--the film loads and advances as it should, there is no slack and the movement of the crank doesn't seem to do anything to the film. The frame counter works as it should and I am able to rewind the film fully and without any issues.

    However, turning the knob to tighten the slack after initially loading a fresh roll of film, I noticed that the rewind knob spins back after I tighten it. I also noticed the fork (part of the rewind mechanism in contact with the canister) is a bit loose. I unscrewed/screwed back on the assembly but that didn't seem to fix the issue.

    My question is: is this something that needs fixing or normal for this camera?

    None of my other film cameras behave this way, the rewind knob will usually stay in place after tightening the film tension initially.

    PS: I haven't had a chance to develop my first roll of film shot on this camera yet.
  2. It sounds like everything is working normally. Just use it and stop worrying about it. These are surprisingly good cameras.
  3. I've no particular experience with the Canonet, but I've just checked a number of my 35mm cameras and the rewind knob is pretty loose on all of them. Better that way than being too tight.
  4. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Some cameras have a wire spring clip inside that fits into a groove on the rewind shaft to hold it in place when lifting the knob up. Also, there may be a nut under the rewind knob that screws down and holds the shaft in place. If either have loosened, then that could account for any extra play.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
  5. Why are you trying to wind the film back into the cassette after loading it? That does nothing to improve the tension of the film, which is set by the pressure plate.

    All that winding on the rewind knob does is tension the film in the cassette and may result in scratching the emulsion surface. That abnormal tension will naturally spring back and turn the rewind knob in the opposite direction.

    Chances are that the camera transport mechanism is working fine, but your over-tensioning may well result in 'cinching' lines on the film.
  6. This has been my habit for many years, to make sure that the film has engaged with the advance mechanism correctly. Just turning it gently, not hard enough to cause stress. I've never been conscious of any issues with the film.
    robert_bowring and AJG like this.
  7. I sometimes do that to make sure that I can't wind the film back into the cassette otherwise the film isn't loaded correctly.
  8. The check for film being loaded correctly is that the rewind knob turns as the film is advanced to the first frame. You find that out well before frame 1 is in the gate.
  9. Sometimes if the film is loose in the cassette the rewind crank doesn't turn with the first couple frames.
  10. Your Canonet is A OK I had rebuilt hundreds of these and that is their design

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