Lomopedia: Canon Canonet


One of Canon's best remembered cameras, the Canonet was the company's first intermediate-class offering, and the first model of its highly successful line of 35mm rangefinder cameras.

The Canonet was released in January 1961, and caused an uproar in the camera industry as Canon, a maker of high-end cameras, sold it for under 20,000 yen. It was the first time that the camera company introduced a camera aimed for the intermediate/mid-class consumer market. With its sleek and clean design, as well as impressive features, the Canonet was a commercial success, and with it, the so-called Canonet boom began.

The 35mm rangefinder camera boasted of shutter speed-priority automatic exposure, a 45mm f/1.9 lens, and a Copal SV shutter with speeds from 1 sec to 1/500 sec.

Photo via Photo.net

Technical Specifications:

  • Type: 35mm Lens Shutter rangerfinder camera with shutter speed-priority EE
  • Picture Size: 24 × 36 mm
  • Normal Lens: SE45mm f/1.9 (5 elements in 4 grousp)
  • Shutter: Copal SLV; B, 1 to 1/500 sec. Built-in self-timer. Time exposures with T ring set to B. M-X switchable sync contacts with German socket.
  • Viewfinder: Coincidence rangefinder integrated with reversed Galilean viewfinder. Automatic parallax correction with projected frames. 0.67x magnification. Viewfinder bottom features aperture scale (f/1.9 – f/16) with inside-pointing arrows on both ends. Red circle, coupled to match needle and EE, is displayed in viewfinder as an exposure warning.
  • Exposure Meter and EE: Selenium photocell for comb-controlled shutter speed-priority EE. Metering range of EV 5 – 7 and f/2, 1/8 sec. to f/16, 1/500 sec. (at ISO 100). Film speed range of ISO 10 – 200. Manual exposure enabled by disabling AUTO (EE).
  • Film Loading & Advance: After opening camera back, insertion onto spool. Advances with camera-bottom trigger. (100°single stroke).
  • Frame Counter: Counts up. Resets automatically when camera back is opened.
  • Film Rewind: Camera-bottom collapsible crank
  • Dimensions & Weight: 140 × 78 × 64 mm, 700 g
Credits: danielmtong, lewy, megalithicmatt, buckshot & wuanjia

All information for this article were sourced from Canon Camera Museum, Camerapedia, and Matt's Classic Cameras.

written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-02-05 in #reviews #lomopedia #canon #rangefinder #rangefinder-camera #35mm #canon-canonet


  1. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    I bought one of these last year but have only shot two rolls in it. Really ought to blow the dust off it, I guess!

  2. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    The Canonet was a direct competitor to my Yasgica a Electro 35 GSN. An acquaintance of mine had one and we talked about the cameras and later became friends!

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