Hello there!

This is a nice rangefinder, I have one, will post photos soon, here some facts:

  • Canon’s first consumer rangefinder
  • $119.50 with f1.9 lens in 1961 ($871 in 2010 dollars)

The Canonet was Canon’s first mid-priced camera, a shutter-priority auto-exposure 35mm rangefinder with the meter around the lens, so it automatically compensated for filters.

Quoting from Canon’s own Camera Museum website: “The camera industry went into an uproar upon learning that Canon, maker of high-end cameras, was to introduce a mid-class 35mm camera with a fast f/1.9 lens for less than 20,000 yen [$56]. However, the Canonet safely went to market in January 1961. A week’s worth of stock was sold out in only two hours. It was the start of the Canonet boom. Two and a half years later, a million Canonets were sold.”

In the coming years Canon would improve the Canonet, and ultimately become successful with mid-priced SLRs, too. This was just as well, as Canon had no pro SLR to go up against Nikon’s F. Nikon, for its part, didn’t have a mid-priced auto rangefinder in the 1960s and 1970s.

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2 Responses to Classic Cameras Friday! Canon Canonet 1961

  1. Robert Kondo says:

    Id like to first thank you for making this little article with such rich history! i had stumbled upon my great uncle’s canon canonet and it is in superb condition! when i look at the picture in your article and the one he owned i am amazed how intact it is, same of course goes for the inside of the camera. So i was just wondering if it would be a good idea to try and take pictures with this little piece of history (would the new type of 35mm film damage the camera at all?), because i am anxious to try it out for myself! THANKS AGAIN

    • Thanks Robert,

      I would like to say that any kind of new 35mm film WILL NOT DAMAGE your Camera, let me tell you a short story: a few months ago I did find a Pentax K1000 in a box, that suppose to be GARBAGE, well to make the story short, un-dust the Pentax, put a Kodak film and the result were fantastic. Take a Look Here

      Every Friday I usually post about Classic Cameras, working in some photos from my Canonet!, will post soon


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