Camera has no View Finder Lever

Of all the rangefinder models there are only 4 cameras with this set of characteristics. They are:

  • No Model designation on Body
  • Maximum Shutter speed 1/500th
  • Has a Slow Speed Dial
  • Has no View Finder Lever
Model Date Model Date Model Date
Canon JS Apr 1945   Canon S I Dec 1945   Canon S II Oct 1946
Canon VL2 Jan 58    

Fifth Question:

Does the Camera have a Rangefinder?

At first this question seems a little odd. Of course it has a rangefinder. All cameras have rangefinders, right? Well, actually, no. Modern cameras do have but there was a time when older cameras did not. If they were able to focus at all, it was by selecting the distance on some form of scale. Then for a period in the late 40’s and early 50’s it was a cost sutting measure to create cheaper models.

Canon manufactered a couple of cameras without rangefinder. These are easy to spot. They have only one rectangular window for viewing the scene. This is a viewfinder only camera. The extra round windows are for the rangefinder image.

This Canon camera has a rangefinder. The indication of this is the second round window on the top front of the camera.

This camera has no rangefinder. The giveaway is the single rectangular windo on the front of the top plate.

If you make a wrong selection you can go back one step or all the way to the beginning one step at a time. If you simply get lost or want to look up another camera you can go straight to the beginning again and start over. Or, if you feel you don’t need all the explanations you can go to the Rapid Finder. You get the same questions but in abbreviated form with no discussion or photos.