Canonet QL19

The QL17, QL19 and QL25 are all essentially the same, differentiated only by their f/1.7, f/1.9 and f/2.5 45mm lenses. This was very much the mainstream of cameras in the ’60s.


35mm Rangefinders dominated the market in the ’50s and ’60s, and were how most Western consumers were introduced to now household names such as Canon and Nikon. The first Canonet models represented Canon’s move to the entry level market, having previously produced only higher end models. After achieving good success in the 4 years since launch, the QL represented a significant internal redesign although it was styled to keep the family resemblance.

Technical Details

Fixed lens rangefinder with leaf shutter from 1 to 1/500th sec. Shutter priority auto exposure. Quick Load film feature gives the model its name, and looks very much like systems to be seen in Canon models years later.

Why it’s special

This represents the mid market for ’60s “family photography”. Aesthetics are less clunky than German competitors, and the whole package has been designed to be very accessible.

The Museum Sample

Purchased through eBay in March 2012 for $57, this is pretty clean and functional.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer : Canon
  • Year Introduced : 1965
  • Year Discontinued : 1970
  • Film format : 35mm
  • Serial Number : 230301

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