picture of canonet
Mike's Canonet Fix It Page


I will not be held responsible for any damage that results from you looking at or following these notes. If you don't feel comfortable goofing around with this stuff or the possibility that you could damage something on your camera, just don't do it.


I have used 2mm Foamies from Walmart (large department store) to replace the foam on the backs of these cameras.  I use a paper cutter to get nice straight cuts that fit well.


By taking off the top you can adjust the rangefinder mechanism.  The top comes off by taking out the three screws, the rewind knob and the wind crank.  The rewind knob comes off, if you turn it counter clockwise while holding the film spool fork inside the camera.  I use a wood skewer to hold it so it is not marred.  The top washer is a nut that holds the wind crank on. It comes off by turning counter-clockwise.  It's hard to get a purchase on this without marring it.  Check my tools sections for ideas.

There is a recessed screw that you can see when looking down from the top.  I also had to adjust the mirror itself on the camera since that was also out of whack.  Adjust the rangefinder at infinity and it should be pretty accurate at closer distances.  Use a high contrast distant object to  tune it up on.  A distant tree line in daytime or the moon on a clear night works well.  Do not touch the mirrors or yellowish glass - they are easily damaged.


This can be adjusted by removing the bottom panel.   Adjust the variable resistor to match a known good meter in high brightness conditions.  The meter is more sensitive to adjustment in bright light than low light.  According to my testing, the design is calibrated to use mercury batteries.  Despite reports to the contrary, my bench testing shows that the circuit is sensitive to voltage of different battery types.   See my SRT page for information on mercury replacement strategies.   I use an MR9 clone with a 357 type battery in my Canonets.  Only problem is that the battery check light doesn't work with this combination.   The reason is that the Shottkey Diode I have used in my MR9 clone can handle less than 1 milliamp of current without excessive voltage drop.  The test curcuit uses a 20 milliamp lamp which results too much voltage drop across the diode and the lamp will not light.  There is no fix for the battery test function and the diode battery replacement combination without basically replacing the existing circuit with an one that uses a diode instead of a regular lamp.

Winder Cranky/Jams

One camera I bought for $20 at a neighbors yard sale worked fine after I tweaked the rangefinder and replaced the foam.  Then part way through the second film the wind function got very sticky.  Turns out there were tiny bits of sand that had snuck into the bottom of the camera.  I removed the bottom and used a wooden skewer to pick out the sand, which fortunately liked to stick to the skewer, better than the camera.    The neighbor I bought the camera from was from a costal location and no doubt had brought the camera along to the beach a few too many times.  These cameras are not well sealed from the elements.

Shutter/Lens Problems

Problems with the shutter, aperture, or anything in the lens assembly are difficult, since removing the and disassembling the lens assembly is difficult, especially without the special tools designed for the job.  

For More Info

See my links page in the general repair section.

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