5 frames with...

5 frames with a Canonet QL17 G-III – by Gandhi Cabañas

July 20, 2019

Although there are already a few posts about this camera in this website, I would like to write a few words regarding my experience with the Canonet QL17 G-III.

I have two of them. The first one was given to me by an uncle in 2008 or 2009. It was already a little damaged, the lens was scratched and the self-timer didn’t work. Nevertheless, the photos came surprisingly nice and sharp every time. I was very happy with it at that time. It was easy to use, the lens was precise and fast, and once you are used the rangefinder, the focusing process comes naturally. I was in love with this camera. Suddenly, the shutter stopped shutting for no apparent reason. Then a few weeks later, it worked again for about three rolls of film. And then it stopped working again, this time for good. I tried to “fix” it by myself but of course I made things even worse. And now I keep it in my bookshelf as decoration.

One day, last march, I was walking on Donceles street in downtown Mexico City, a street well known for its second-hand photo stores, which by the way, I sincerely recommend if someday you happened to be in the Mexican capital. And then a beauty in a window display caught my attention. It was a mint Canonet QL17 G-III with a Canolite D flash on the top. I knew that camera had to be mine again. I checked it and everything was working perfectly. Then I asked for the price. It was OK, but I knew I could bargain a little and so I did. At the end I leaved the store with the camera, the flash, a lovely handmade camera strap, three PX625 batteries, three expired Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400 film rolls and a six-months warranty, all for a very reasonable price.

The photos below were made a few days later with the previously mentioned film. I hope you enjoy them.

The Mexican Revolution Memorial


Chapultepec Park

On the subway

The Museum of Anthropology

For more photos:

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  • Reply
    July 20, 2019 at 11:24 am

    These photos have a fantastic feel and colour.

    • Reply
      Gandhi Cabanas
      July 23, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks a lot!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Love the first pic with the layering of the people and the vintage vibe. Very nice.
    A few of the others seem fogged? Don’t think it’s a light leak, maybe film storage as it was expired?

    Either way, great stuff and the first one rocks.

    • Reply
      Gandhi Cabanas
      July 23, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      I think it was because of the film being expired and poorly storaged for many, many years.

      • Reply
        July 29, 2019 at 8:27 am

        Did the seller provide genuine mercury PX625 batteries? If so, you did well! They are very rare now.

        • Reply
          Gandhi Cabanas
          July 31, 2019 at 8:38 am

          They are indeed deadstock genuine mercury batteries!

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