Canon Rangefinder 28mm Lenses


A Description of Canon Rangefinder 28mm Lenses produced 1951-1975



Serenar 28mm f3.5

the Serenar 28mm f3.5 of 1952 with finder and fitted leather storage box


Canon Serenar 28mm f3.5 Lens


As seen in the page about Canon 35mm lenses, Canon early in its lens production innovated in wide-angle rangefinder lenses. The Serenar 28mm f3.5, introduced in October 1951 is a good example of this. The first Nikon 28mm, a Nikkor f3.5 was introduced one year later. The Leitz Hektor 28mm lens was manufactured prior to World War II, but was an f6.3 model. 9 The 28mm f3.5 Lens was a 6 element in 4 groups design.


Canon 28mm f3.5 design


Interestingly, Canon also produced this lens, labeled "Canon Lens" on a mount for the Contax and Nikon rangefinder cameras. Several hundred of thes Contax mount lenses were produced 1953 to 1956. 2


Canon 28mm f3.5


The 28mm f3.5 Canon continued in the Canon range until the middle of 1960, and Canon continued its production even while it had introduced the Canon 28mm f2.8 in 1956. Canon sold a total of 10,278 units in the M39 screw mount version, and an additional 342 lenses in the Contax mount. 2


Canon 28mm f2.8 Lens


Canon introduced its new faster and lighter 28mm f2.8 lens in April, 1956. This lens remained in Canon production until the end of Canon rangefinder lens manufacture in 1975. 2 The excellence of its design and compact size and speed made it a photographer favorite - the reason for continued manufacture even after the end of Canon 7s rangefinder camera production.


The Canon 28mm f2.8 lens was of 6 elements in 4 groups.


Canon 28mm f2.8 design


Canon 28mm f2.8

the Canon 28mm f2.8 of 1958 with adjustable finder


Canon sold 10,278 units of the Canon 28mm f3.5, plus an additional 342 units of this lens in the Contax/Nikon mount, and 10,462 units of the 28mm f2.8 lens. The continuous production of Canon 28mm rangefinder lenses from 1951 to 1975 with only two different lens models demonstrates Canon's record in successful design and manufacture of wide-angle lenses - some still in use today.


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Any additions or corrections to these pages would be welcome simply by contacting this site as shown at the foot of this page .


1 Dechert, Peter. Canon Rangefinder Cameras 1933-1968. Hove Collectors Books. West Sussex, United Kingdom. 1985. ISBN 0-906447-30-5.
Peter Dechert's book is the most important expert source of information regarding Canon Rangefinder Cameras.
2 Kitchingman, Peter. Canon M39 Rangefinder Lenses 1939-1971. A Collector's Guide. Published by Peter Kitchingman. Perth, Australia. 2008. ISBN 978-0-646-48144-9.
Peter Kitchingman's book is the definitive study of the more than three decades of M39 format camera lenses developed for Canon Rangefinder Cameras.
3 Nostalgic Canon Camera Book. 懐かしいキヤノン EI Publishing Co. Ltd. Tokyo, Japan. June 2003.
Peter Kitchingman's book is the definitive study of the more than three decades of M39 format camera lenses developed for Canon Rangefinder Cameras.
4 "Canon Camera Museum" history website. published by Canon, Inc. accessed in 2019.
5 Rajner, Hans P. (author), John Wade (editor). Leica Copies. Classic Collections Publications. London, UK. ISBN 13: 9781874485056
Hans P. Rajner's book is an excellently detailed and carefully researched study of camera from around the world which used the Leica M39 lens mount and the same lens to film plane distance.
7 Dechert, Peter. Canon Single Lens Reflex Cameras 1959-1991. Historical Camera Publications. Yakima, Washington. 1992. ISBN 1-879561-04-2.
8 Tomlinson, Shawn M. The Film Photography Book. Lulu Pulbications. 2016. ISBN: 9781365263972
9 Sartorius., Ghester. Identifying Leica Lenses. Classic Camera 19. Tokyo, Japan. 2001. ISBN 4-257-12029-0
10 website consulted 2019.
11 O'Reagan, Douglas M. Allied Exploitation of German Science after World War II. Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, Maryland. 2019. ISBN 9781421428888
12 website consulted 2008.
13 Minolta expert Andrea Aprà has posted information on minoltarangefinders group and other groups and further detailed information by email. (thanks Andrea !)
14 website consulted 2019.
15 Small, Marc James. Non-Leitz Leica Thread-Mount Lenses. Wittig Books. Hückelhoven, Germany. 1997. ISBN 3-930359-47-2.
16 the Nikon Corporation website: consulted 2019.
17 p 152. Ray, Sidney F. Photographic Lens ISBN 9780240510323
18 website accessed 2019

If you have any comments or questions about this Canon Rangefinder site, please e-mail me (Larry Huffman) at e-mail address: