I’ve had my Canon P for a while now. I mostly bought it for the 50mm f/2.2 lens that was attached to the front of it. That being said, I’ve shot more with the camera than I have that lens, and even then, it’s only one roll so far.
This is far from because I don’t like the lens, or indeed the camera. It’s for the same reason that some of my other gear hasn’t been shot yet too: It’s just in the never ending queue. In the case of the Canon P, this feels like more of a shame than a lot of other cameras that are sat in waiting – I had “Canon P” in my saved searches on eBay for about 3 years prior. I was looking for one around the same time I bought an M3. I’m not sure why I remember that, but I do.
I’ll come back to all this when I eventually review the Canon P, but for now, I just want to point out that there’s a lot of strong arguments to be made for it as a camera. The primary one – at least as far as I’m concerned – is how profoundly simple a camera it is. It has a fairly bright, 1:1 viewfinder with frame lines for 35, 50 and 100mm, a very neat rewind lever, a shutter dial, and little more. All that apart from the fact that it’s built like a tank – I think I’d move my foot out of the way if I dropped it…
By the definition of some, the Canon P is a Leica copy. This definition comes from the post war period when Leica thread mount camera designs were made available for the worlds camera manufacturers to copy. By the time of the Canon P, Leica had moved on to its Leica M cameras, and the style and features of the early thread mount cameras were a thing of the past. The reason the P retains the “Leica copy” broad definition is due to the lens mount being a Leica thread mount. This of course means that Leica M lenses can’t be mounted, but most Leica thread mount lenses can – including the more modern ltm Voigtlander lenses, which I have a few of (and indeed hold in high regard).
The roll I shot with it was a roll of Portra 400 with the Canon 50mm f/1.4 attached to the front. I reviewed that lens here, but didn’t talk about it in combination with the Canon P. These photos were scanned with my Noritsu LS1100
I will be back with a fuller review at some point later in the year, I hope…