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Canon III is a 35mm film Rangefinder camera and manufactured by Canon Camera Company, Inc. Tokyo , Japan. The Canon III is a very close copy of a Leica IIIc. But there are some differences, mainly Canon's combined view/rangefinder which surpasses the Leica, straight body edges, and lots of other technical features. Its finish is fully up to Leica standards. There are some 500 individual camera models originate from about 21 original Leica inspired cameras. Many of these were prototypes or produced low numbers. Main brands that produced large quantities are FED, Minolta 35, Nicca, Yashica YE, Zorki, and Canon III.

Single Lens Reflex serial numbers are not terribly important to the collector because the cameras all had name designations right on the body: F-1, FT, Rebel and so on. But with the early rangefinder cameras this is not the case. For two decades Canon produced cameras that were superficially identical although they were evolving internally. Although one might think that serial numbers would be extremely useful to determine which camera we are holding. Unfortunately, this is not true. Canon’s serial number ranges can only be an approximate guide. I have no idea if there is an underlying scheme to the numbering or it is just not important to the Company.

The Model III looks very like the IIB which was produced long after the III was introduced. At the beginning of 1951 the Canon Camera Company Ltd. became the Canon Camera Company Inc. and this new designation first appeared on the Model III. The requirement for the “Made in Occupied Japan” was also lifted in 1951 and most Model III’s did not have this text engraved on them although a very few did have an indication that they were made in Japan. But this is very rare.

The camera has no provision for flash synchronization This camera is also the model in which Canon’s pop-up take up spool first appeared. This became very popular with Leica users and Leica eventually copied this feature.

Production continued into 1952 but new parts for subsequent models were slowing making their way into this model.

In addition to being an improved version of the Canon II C, the III had a shutter curtain which remained at a fixed position even after the film was advanced. This became a status symbol for high-end 35mm cameras and allowed a fast shutter speed of 1/1000 sec.

The exterior finish was top-notch with optimized metal, high-precision machining, further standardization of parts precision, improved paint finish and plating, and synthetic leather.

Name: Canon III
Manufacturer:  Canon Japan
Made in: Japan
N°: 57534
Production Date : -
Type: 35mm focal-plane shutter camera
Series: III Series
Picture Size:  24 x 36 mm
Normal Lens:  Serenar 50mm f/1.9
Collection Lens:  Serenar 50mm f/1.8
Lens Mount:  M39
Focus:  Manual Focus
Shutter: Two-axis, horizontal-travel focal-plane shutter with cloth curtains. Single-axis rotating dial for T, 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 sec., and single-axis rotating dial for B, 1/25, 1/40, 1/60, 1/100, 1/200, 1/500, and 1/1000 sec.
Dimensions & Weight:  136 x 72.2 x 30.5 mm, 720 g
Production Period: Feb 1951 - 1952
N° Produced:  10.175
Original Price:  63.000 yen (w/Serenar 50mm f/1.9)
Indexed Price (Approx.): 3.200 EUR
Avg Ebay Value: Body: 160-200 EUR
w/ Lens: 280-400 EUR
Source: Canon Camera Museum, flynngraphics.ca, Wikipedia.org, Camera-wiki.org, knippsen.blogspot.com, camerapedia.fandom.com, Ebay.com, Google.com