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Canon Canonet 28 test & review

I want to tell you about my first experience shooting with a rangefinder camera. I had a Canon Canonet 28, and it was a great experience!

First of all, the word rangefinder has nothing to do with the focal length of the lens.

A rangefinder camera is a camera equipped with optical systems of a viewfinder and a rangefinder which use a parallax effect (this term means a change of the visible position of an object in relation to the background behind it).

Simply put, such cameras work on the following principle: you rotate the distance ring of the lens until the split images you see in the viewfinder coincide.

The earliest and most famous representatives of such cameras were Leica. The great Bresson shot with it and Joel Meiretzowicz continues to shoot with it. So these cameras are very well established in the world of photojournalism, reportage and genre photography.

They have a number of advantages over SLR cameras:

  • No mirror lift mechanism as well as the mirror itself, and as a consequence, less weight and less chance of getting a blurred picture at long shutter speeds;

  • The amount of noise produced when lifting the shutter is reduced;

  • You feel that it's quicker to focus on it after you get used to it.

But: The subject will look a little farther away in the picture than it does in reality, it's a little weird, but not critical enough to refuse to use such a camera.

And now about the camera itself:
The Canonet 28 is an automatic rangefinder camera released in 1971, shooting on 35mm type film.


Shutter speeds: 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/600;

Aperture settings: 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16;

You can set the iso value from 25 to 400;

Lens 40mm 2.8;

Runs on 1.3 V PX625 batteries.

When I picked this camera up, there was little doubt that it was a mechanical camera. But, as it turns out, this baby is automatic. It doesn't even have a shutter speed dial.

If you set the aperture ring to automatic, the built-in exposure meter picks the aperture and shutter speed depending on the film sensitivity you set.

In the case you change the aperture value manually, the shutter speed is fixed at 1/30.

I didn't know that when I shot this and I used fomapan 400 film with an aperture of 2.8. Most of the shots at that shutter speed and open aperture turned out clear and undistorted, which was very surprising.

But several features of this camera are not to my liking:

For example, if the exposure meter can't pick up values in auto mode, the shutter locks up. This, of course, can save you from over/underexposure, but at the same time steal from you "that" frame, which is much scarier I think.

And of course, the fact that the camera is automatic is a bit embarrassing for a person who is used to setting all the values himself, to deliberately make the shots darker or lighter. So less control over the light. Regardless, it turned out the way I wanted it to. And if you choose a film with an iso less than 400, you can generally manipulate the exposure meter with the iso ring.

So all in all, even though I was a little worried and scared about the result, I'm absolutely thrilled and would highly recommend shooting with this machine at least for the sake of the experiment :)