Monday, March 21, 2011

Japanese Barnack

I recently got this Canon rangefinder camera from It was described as a Canon III but based on the serial numbers, "Made in Occupied Japan" engraving at the bottom and the maximum shutter speed of 1/500 sec, I think it is really a IIB. The light meter is a Brockway Norwood Director M-2, an American made selenium meter and the grandaddy of the Sekonic L-398. The meter still works accurately without batteries despite being 50 years old or so. The viewfinder is a little dim and very squinty compared to my Leica IIF and Fed-1. I plan to just use it with my wide angle lenses with accessory viewfinders.
Above are some images from my first test roll, a Fuji Superia 400 converted to black and white.


  1. Looks like you are going to be getting some good work from that outfit. A Bessa L with a 15mm Skopar made some of my favorite architecture shots, and I'm still kicking myself years later for not buying it when I had the chance. I have some pretty good wide angles for my Pentax, but using them on an slr is oddly awkward; I much prefer one of those nice accessory finders like you have.

  2. Thanks, Mike. I guess the Canon IIB will definitely be a keeper. I love the Skopar 21mm, I just have to be careful when choosing my angles to minimize the inherent distortion.