An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff
Canon Rangefinder Identification Guide
This guide will help you identify any interchangeable lens Canon rangefinder/viewfinder camera. This
does not identify Canonets, or any later leaf shutter Canons. If you're not sure what a rangefinder is,
check out rangerfinder
If your camera has no finder windows whatsoever, nor a shutter, but it does have a dark slide that pulls
up to expose the film, you have a microscope camera. These were made from the early Seiki days,
until 1956. They are very uncommon, but alas, not highly sought. They do have value to some Canon
If your camera is marked "Seiki Kogaku" on the top, or has a viewfinder that pops up out of the top
plate of the camera, you need to go to the Seiki section.
Canon cameras made after 1946 fall into different series, mostly numbered in roman numerals from 2
thru 6, plus 7 series in regular numbers, and the "L" and "P" series. If your camera was made prior to
1946, you would be looking in the Seiki section.
If your Canon is of the classic Leica style, film loading through the removeable baseplate, then it falls
into one of the three following groups:
If it has a top shutter speed of 1/500, then go to the II series section.
If it has a top shutter speed of 1/1000, and does not have a flash synch rail on the rewind end of the
camera, then go to the III series section.
If it has a top shutter speed of 1/1000, and does have a flash synch rail on the rewind end, then go to
the IV series section.
Please note that ALL factory flash synch on Canons prior to the V series of cameras was by means of a
rail on the rewind end of the camera onto which flash units slid. Any other type of flash synch was
done after the fact, and was not done by Canon. Shown above is a sample of a Canon side synch lfash
The later cameras all have film loading through an opening back door, and flash synch on the rewind end in the form of a plug.
If the camera is a later style, yet still has a slow shutter speed dial and a self timer lever on the front of the camera , then go to the V series section.
If your camera is a later style, and has a slow shutter speed dial , but no self timer lever on the front of the camera , then go to the L series section.
If it has no slow speed dial, and is not model identified on the top (either "P", "7" or "7s"), then go to the VI series section.
If it has a large letter "P" on the top go to the P series section.
If it is marked "Canon 7"" or "Canon 7s", then go to the 7 series section.