Canon Canonet 28

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Viewfinder camera, 1968

The original Canon Canonet 28, introduced in 1968 is a viewfinder camera, with scale focus and automatic exposure. It has a socket for flash-cubes on the top.

1968 Canonet 28
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)

Rangefinder camera, 1971

The Canonet 28 35mm rangefinder camera, introduced in 1971 was a cheaper version of the famous Canonet QL17, but lacking the "Quick Load" feature and with a smaller maximum aperture. The lens is a fixed 40mm f/2.8 Canon lens. It has fully programmed auto exposure with shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/600 (shown by the meter's needle in the viewfinder), and manual control of f-stops for flash (f2.8-f16). The film speed range for auto exposure is from 25 to 400 ASA. It uses a Copal leaf shutter and has a coupled rangefinder. It was made in Taiwan.

This Canonet was marketed from 1971 to 1976, and was one of the last heavyweight rangefinder cameras. By the late '70s, camera construction had begun a rapid change from metals to plastics. The rangefinder Canonet 28 had a brief moment of Hollywood stardom, used by the title character of the 1998 John Waters film Pecker.


  • Type: rangefinder camera
  • Manufacturer: Canon
  • Year of launch: 1971
  • Film: 35mm with speeds 25 to 400 ASA
  • Lens: 1:2.8/40mm (5 elements in 4 groups)
  • Shutter: programmed shutter with speed/aperture combination 1/30 sec./1:2.8 to 1/620 sec./1:14.5
  • Aperture: automatically or manually, 1:2.8 to 1:16
  • Viewfinder: bright frame finder with 0.6× magnification, superimposed coupled rangefinder, shutter speed control meter scale and parallax marks
  • Metering: CdS photo cell above the lens within the filter ring (EV 8 to 17 at film speed ASA 100). The shutter is locked when the meter indicates over- or under-exposure
  • Battery: 1.3 V battery type PX625
  • Film advance: Lever, exposure counter, rewind unlock button, and rewind crank
  • Flash: hot shoe with second contact allows usage of Canolite D flash in automatic exposure mode. Other types of flashes may need an adapter and can be used only with 1/30 sec. shutter speed with manual aperture setting
  • Dimensions 125×75×61mm
  • Weight: 550g


For the viewfinder camera:

For the rangefinder camera:

Canon Cameras