Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Canon Canonflex lenses

The Canonflex system was doomed to a short life by its lenses. They are essentially semi- automatic lenses that are automatically armed as the film is advanced. The biggest drawback of this system is that if a lens is removed before the film is advanced (or in the process of handling the lens, the release pin is inadvertently activated), the lens will not stop down for the first exposure. The lenses also have two aperture rings, one for the automatic diaphragm setting, and the other for manual setting of the diaphragm, and also for depth of field preview.

The complexity of the diaphragm system had to be more expensive to manufacture, and in my collection of Canonflex lenses, it seems that a disproportionate number of my lenses have had the automatic diaphragm fail. It's not a large enough group of lenses to make a meaningful statistical analysis, but about half of my lenses have diaphragms that don't work correctly.

Announced with the first Canonflex were 35/2, 50/1.8, 100/2 and 135/3.5 lenses. At first, only the 50 and 135 lenses were available. When the 35 was finally released, it was a 35/2.5 instead of the 35/2. Canon named their automatic diaphragm lenses "Super Canomatic R". They made a semi-automatic 200/3.5 which was labeled "Canomatic R", and their lenses with manual or preset diaphragms were called "Canon Lens R".

Canon 35/2.5 Super Canomatic R

Canon 50/1.8 Super Canomatic R

Canon 55-135/3.5 Super Canomatic R

Canon 58/1.2 Super Canomatic R

Canon 85/1.8 Super Canomatic R

Canon 85/1.9 R

Canon 100/2 Super Canomatic R

Canon 100/3.5 R

Canon 135/2.5 Super Canomatic R

Canon 135/3.5 R

Canon 200/3.5 Super Canomatic R

Canon 300/4 R

Canon 400/4.5 R

Canon 600/5.6 R

Canon 800/8 R

Canon 1000/11 Canomatic R