The Canonflex Revisited
The Canonflex is a clean well made camera with a precision feel in the hands. The viewfinder is bright and, with the lens wide open, easy to focus in good light.
The Bottom Trigger Winder is clearing visible in this image of the bottom of the R2000 camera body.
The winding system my be different but the camera is completely standard when you open the back.
|Lens Mount:||R mount|
|Exposure:||No Light Meter|
|Flash:||Canon bayonet terminal socket|
|Shutter:||Horizontal rubberized cloth focal plane
Speeds from 1 sec. to 1/2000th
X-synch at 1/60th sec.
|ASA:||Reminder dial – 6 to 3200|
|Frame Rate:||Manual bottom trigger winding|
The original Canonflex was launched in May of 1959. It was the first SLR from Canon which to that point had been a maker of fine rangefinder cameras. A few months later Nikon brought out the Nikon F and largely eclipsed the Canonflex lineup.
The Canonflex was in production for a year when Canon brought out the the “Flex” R2000 in September of 1960. This camera was intended as a deluxe version of the Canonflex. It was very similar in most respects but it boasted a top shutter speed of one two thousandth of a second (thus the name) which was the highest shutter speed then available on a commercial 35mm camera.
There were apparently only about 8,800 units made and today the camera is relatively rare. Serial number range is 50646 through 59281. The normal lens it came with was the Super-Canomatic 50mm f/1.8 “nifty fifty”.
The Canon flash attached to the bayonet socket on the left edge of the camera body and FP and X-sync were automatically switched.
This is a well built camera, heavy, precise. It has a clip on the right front of the body for a light meter that couples to the speed dial and the prism is removable to accept a waist level view finder. Manuals for this camera are very rare. There were few enough cameras made and the manuals fared worse than they did. Most were just thrown out.
In the Collection I have the following example:
Collection No.: C-117
Serial No.: 55992
Accessories: Pentaprism and Waist Level Viewer
Acquisition: 24 Jul 2016
The pentaprism slide off the camera revealing the ground glass and allowing for the mounting of different viewers.
With the Pentaprism removed the ground glass focusing screen is visible. It is a simple ground glass with no split image device to make focusing easier. However, the focusing screen is not interchangeable.
The pentaprism is a precise optical device that must be treated with care and protected. Do not touch the glass surfaces!
One accessory available for the Canonflex was a Waist Level viewer with built in variable focus to provide a sharp view of the focusing screen for different users. This worked well and was bright and clear. However, the image was laterally reversed which makes it difficult to use until one gets used to this effect.