In my quest for the ideal kit, or collection, I have tried to narrow down the camera’s that I really want to try. It’s the hope that I can get my purchases under control. I don’t think it’s working. At least I am getting fun cameras out of this. I started this adventure at the beginning of May when I bought a box of cameras. The goal to try as many cameras as I can with a consistent turnaround in stock. I have yet to get rid of a camera since then.
Now my wanted list is a mix of the clichés, suggestions, YouTube video reviews, and articles on this site. Among these was the Canonet QL17 GIII. Sadly the prices, like those of the mju-ii and other online “gems”, have skyrocketed. In my area, that means about $300, which is ridiculous. I kept on the lookout just in case but put it on the back burner.
It didn’t stay there long. After two months, I saw an ad for my elusive Canonet for about half the cost of the others that I had been seeing. I saw that the Etsy vendor was in my home city of Montreal. I sent the guy a message and asked if I could pick it up. He was very willing to oblige, especially since he did not have to give Etsy a cut. So I met up with the dude in a trendy neighbourhood, and one quick money transfer later, I was the proud owner of a… Canon Canonet QL19 GIII. That’s right, not the model I thought I had bought. Now, the ad was accurate, I was not duped, there was no foul play. I’m just… over-exuberant. I was lured in by the lower price and didn’t even know to look at the number after the QL and before the GIII. This is because there are probably a hundred QL17 GIII reviews for every QL19 GIII review, if not more.
This is a huge gap in the internet hive-mind. Why is that? Well I definitely plan to find out! Today I will share 5 images from my first roll but I will be giving a full review in a couple of months, once I have run a few rolls and tested it in as many situations as I can. Hopefully we can find out if the QL19 deserves to be in the same conversation as its sibling. I understand that everyone loves fast lenses but does a difference of 0.2 aperture really warrant twice the price? It might, but does it mean it should be ignored like it seems to be?
Before we get to the pictures, I must mention that my limited experience with a rangefinder is hindering my ability to get all the shots that I want but I am improving. When I got my focus right, the images were super sharp. Another thing is that I really did not meter all of my shots. I will be trying to get one of those small off camera meters that mount on the hot shoe. I got the idea from one of Hamish’s articles here.
To top this all off, I also messed up my film selection. I had non-specifically asked for a roll of Cinestill and was given a roll of Cinestill 50D. This would not have been a problem but I was intending to develop the roll myself. So I shot the roll, put it in change bag, loaded it to a reel, dropped it in the Paterson tank, and sealed it. It was only when I looked up the development times for Cinestill 50D in Ilfosol 3 did I find out that it was a color film to be developed using C-41 chemicals. The film was already rolled and I was not showing up at a local photo shop with a Paterson tank. So I guessed the times and said fuck it, let’s take a gamble on the 3rd roll I develop myself since buying darkroom supplies 10 days ago.
These were then scanned on my Canon 5600F. Sadly you can see that my negatives were scratched by the squeegee.
Do you think that a full review of the Canon Canonet QL19 GIII is worth bringing to our community? Do you think that it should be as ignored as it is? Any experience shooting C-41 film in black and white chemicals?
Thanks for reading!
I started a film photography IG: ekpfilmphoto