Canon Model IIA

Your camera would appear to be a Model IIA. It has the following distinguishing features:

  • No Model Name on Camera
  • Top Shutter Speed 1/500th
  • Has no Slow Speed Dial
  • Has a View Finder Selector Lever
  • Has no Side Rail (no flash sync)

Dates: March 1952 thru September 1952

Produced: 99 (Estimate)

Ser. Nos.:  65255 thru 73500

An estimated 99 units! This is a rare camera. So how come? At the beginning of the sixties Canon had its eyes on the international market. Their first move was to enter into a five year contract with Jardine Matheson for the marketing of 70% of Canon’s output.

Jardine Matheson was an old British trading company with strong ties to the Asian market. It was one of the original Hong Kong trading companies and it still has ties to China even today. They had offices in Japan in the 50’s and 60’s and were a natural choice for Canon.

Dechert says that Jardine wanted to market a stripped down rangefinder camera and Canon produced this model with no side rail and no synchronization, no slow speeds, B, 25th to a 500th. However Jardine apparently accepted only a partial shipment and then cancelled the order. A few were sold to the United Nations and the rest apparently went into stores and melted away as parts for other cameras.

Where the slow speed dial was is a round cover held on by three screws covered over by the leatherette body material.

The camera is limited in features but is otherwise a quality Canon product.