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Canon Pellix

 

The technical stuff:

Type: Single Lens Reflex

Lens: Canon 50mm f1.8

Shutter: Cloth Blind Focal Plane 1 - 1/1000

 

 

This is definitely something unusual, previously I had only read about it in books, and now I have seen one in the flesh. It's a Canon Pellix, the first metered SLR produced by Canon. Made only for a short period in 1965/6 and this original model was upgraded by the QL soon after release. It has a unique feature in that it has a fixed mirror which is designed to let light pass through to the film plane. This is achieved by means of etching the silver coating in such a way as to allow 70% of the light received to pass through and the other 30% is reflected up to the prism housing and consequently to the viewfinder. It's rather strange because when you look into the camera through the lens you see the shutter blinds in the back of the camera and a ghosting of the focus screen. An innovative design but not without its problems, primarily, that both the viewfinder and exposure were rather dark because of the restricted light, exposure would consequently be down by approx 1/3 of a stop. It does have TTL metering but these meters are difficult to see in poor light because the metering is done "stopped down" and due to the limited light from the mirror it can get very dark. All functions seem fine, although the viewfinder has some nasty marks in it and could do with cleaning, so I am hoping to fire a roll of film through before it goes under the hammer.

I have been out with it now and have decided that it's too good to miss so I've bought it. The metering is a bit erratic, probably because I only have a 1.5v battery, these were designed for the 1.35v unit. The marks in the viewfinder I can live with. As for performance I have to report this in one word...stunning. This is what Canon built their reputation on and this is one Canon I am happy to own, as you probably know I'm not a Canon fan, but this has historic interest as well as exceptional performance.

 

 

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