Canonflex R2000 – A mini-review of Rare Camera – by Meifei Tang

July 7, 2019

Hi there. I’m Meifei Tang. I live in Shenzhen, China. I’ve loved taking photos since I was a child. My first camera was the Keystone compact camera. My parents gave it to me on my 10th birthday. After that, I started to take a lot of photos of family events and other everyday things. This has led me to major in film at uni. However, I am not very keen on writing camera reviews, etc. but with the help of my friend, (some glasses of) Rosé, here I am typing and challenging myself to go beyond just browsing, reading, and consuming content about photography. This is, after all, my first stab at a camera review for a broader audience than my classmates and teachers in film school.

My father suddenly passed away in 2013 and he was a lifelong photography enthusiast and camera collector. My sisters and I have our own choices of cameras to take from his collection and I ended up with a couple of vintage ones.

Part of the items I got is the Canonflex R2000. I spent some time finding info about this beast and to begin, it was a challenge!

Basic Facts:

The Canonflex R2000 is an SLR Camera. It was released in September 1960 and manufactured between 1960-62.
It has an R Mount breech lock lens mount
It is Manual focus, with an optional clip-in light meter (no built-in light meter)
No batteries needed for it to function fully
A flash can be attached via bayonet terminal socket
Shutter speeds range from 1 sec – 1/2000 (hence the R2000 name)
The film advance lever is at the bottom
It has a removable pentaprism
The aperture is manual stop-down

I don’t have the manual with me, so it was most likely in storage or lost – we have moved a lot. However, the scanned version of the manual is here – where you can find the best explanation of how to use the manual stop-down aperture lens.

On a roll

The R2000 is a chunky beast. It is built solid and could definitely injure anyone who got hit by it. It took a while for me to get used to the orientation of the camera and after about a month just getting the feel of it and cleaning it, I loaded up my first roll – a roll of Kodak Color Plus 200. Its debut use under me was during a night out with my photographer friends.

At an event, no flash

Passed by a construction site while heading downtown

I then used another Kodak Color Plus 200 roll and documented the mundane life at home as a new mom.


A/C repair guy hanging by the window

Our almost dead plant

My favorite – my happy son

I guess this may call for me to shoot more rolls, but for this heirloom piece, I’d say it still works like a charm.

Thanks for making it this far, I have started posting more stuff online via my Instagram @meifeiphotos. Please check it out!

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  • Reply
    David Hume
    July 7, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Thank you Meifie Tang! This is very cool and a delight to read your story and discover a camera new to me.

  • Reply
    Bill Smith
    July 7, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Meifie Tang, first off my condolences for your dad’s passing, I have never seen a Canonflex R2000 in person and you’re fortunate to be the second generation owner of one. I hope you use it often.

  • Reply
    Roger B.
    July 7, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Good writing and a fine photo of your son! Truly unfortunate that Canon turned “R” mount lenses into orphans when they redesigned their SLR cameras. Those “R” lenses are every bit the equal of the later “FL” glass. Have fun with your R2000, and please post again soon.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Nice review! I’ve often wondered about that Canon SLR. Glad to see someone using it to take pictures and not sit in a cabinet or a shelf.

    Let us know about it as you shoot more with it.

    • Reply
      July 15, 2019 at 6:47 am

      Hey John, I’ve shot more with it and it’s posted in my IG: meifeiphotos

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