Canon VT de luxe of 1957

 

A Description of the Canon VT de luxe of 1957

 


 

Canon VT Deluxe

Canon VT de luxe version 1 of 1957 with a contemporaneous Canon 50mm f1.8

 

Canon VT de luxe

 

Peter Dechert in his book Canon Rangefinder Camersa 1933-68 1 wrote:

 

"It seems not to be generally known that Canon made three distinct VT Deluxe cameras: the VT Deluxe was a series, not a single model."

 

Dechert describes 3 versions of the Canon VT de luxe. Their differences are slight:

 

- version 1, produced February to September 1957 had a new rewind crank, and a base plate identical to the Canon VT, and many had the Canon VT de luxe on the camera front in black. 3,475 units were manufactured.

 

- version 2, produced April 1957 to June 1958 also had the new rewind crank, and a different base plate with a magazine opening key which would also open and close Canon's proprietary Canon Film Cartridge inside the camera. Most version 2 cameras had the Canon VT de luxe on the camera front in red. 4,875 units were manufactured.

 

- version 3, produced January 1958 to December 1958 differed from the two previous verions by having metal shutter curtains, rather than cloth curtains. Also the viewfinder gave a somewhat different image. Dechert describes versions 1 and 2 having a silver-toned viewfinder image, while version 3 had a warmer gold toned image. Only 2,550 units were manufactured.

 

Features of the Canon VT de luxe

 

The features of the Canon VT de luxe include:

 

- an improved rewind crank on the top plate was both easier than the previous pop-up rewind knob, and also less expensive and easier to manufacture, having no spring mechanism

 

- the camera name "Model VT de luxe" was engraved on the front of the baseplate. Most of these cameras, including the version 2 and version 3 had this marking in red, as shown in the photograph below. Some version 1 cameras, such as in the photograph above had the camera name in black.

 

Canon VT Deluxe

Canon VT de luxe version 2 of 1957 with an earlier Canon 35mm f3.5 lens

Canon Film Magazine V

 

The Canon VT de luxe versions 2 and 3 had a base plate that allowed for the use of the Canon Film Magazine. The key on the base plate to open the camera back could also open and close the Canon Film Magazine.

 

The Canon Film Magazine V was the latest of a series of Canon Film Magazines which allowed photographers to load 35mm film into a cartridge which did not have the standard Kodak felt light guards through which the film had to pass. Some photographers thought these Kodak 135 cartridge light guards could abrade the film surface, while the Canon Film Magazine did not touch the film surface.

 

Canon Film Magazine V

Canon Film Magazine V

 

The Canon Film Magazine V would allow the photographer in a darkroom to load about 160 cm or about 5 feet of 35mm film (36 exposures) into the Magazine which when closed was light-tight. The key on the Canon base plate would allow the Canon Film Magazine to open for photography, then rewind and close to remove the exposed film.

 

1958 Introduction of New Canon Lenses

 

At the same time as Canon's introduction of the Canon VT de luxe in 1958, Canon had completed its update of its rangefinder lens line in new lighter alloy mounts with distinctive black focusing rings, a most attractive improvement. The range included:

 

- Canon 25mm f3.5

 

- Canon 35mm f1.5 and f2.8

 

- Canon 50mm f1.8, f1.8, f2.8

 

- Canon 85mm f1.9

 

- Canon 100mm f3.5

 

- Canon 135mm f3.5

 

All of these lenses were in the new mount, except the 50mm f1.5.

 

Canon 7s lenses

The Canon lenses of 1958-1959 (l to r):

Canon 35mm f2.0, 100mm f3.5, 35mm f1.8, 135mm f3.5, 50mm f1.8,

the excellent 50mm f1.4, and the solid chrome 50mm f1.5

 

These were the last Canon rangefinders to use the split high speed, low speed shutter. Later models featured a non-rotating, single dial on the camera top for all speeds. However, time has demonstrated that the Canon split high speed, low speed shutter is very dependable decades after manufacture, not always the case with the single dial shutter design.

 

The Canon VT de luxe series are potentially fine "user" rangefinder cameras, but their relatively low quantities manufactured have caused their prices in secondary market to climb high due to purchases by collectors.

 

 

You can click on the links in the table below to consult other pages of the canonrangfinder.org site.

 

Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Subject Page
Canon Rangefinder Cameras - 1 Canon Rangefinder Cameras - 2 Canon Rangefinder Lenses
Canon S Canon IVSB2 Canon 19mm
Canon J Canon IIS2, IID2, IIF2 Canon 25mm
Canon NS Canon VT, Canon L2 Canon 28mm
Canon JS Canon L1, L3 Canon 35mm
Canon J-II Canon VT Deluxe Nikkor 50mm
Canon S-II Canon VL, VL2 Canon 50mm
Canon IIB Canon VI-L, VI-T Canon 85mm
Canon III, IIC, IV Canon P Canon 100mm
Canon III, IIC, IV Canon 7 Canon 200mm-1000mm
Canon IIIA, IVF, IVS Canon 7s Canon Accessories
Canon IIA, IID, IID1 Nicca Rangefinders Canon Finders
Canon IVSB Leotax Rangefinders Minolta Rangefinders
Canon IIF, IIS Other Rangefinders Minolta Lenses
  Comparison Canon - Nikon Rangefinders other M39 lenses
Go to canonrangefinder.com home page

 

 

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

 


Footnotes:
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. https://global.canon/en/c-museum/history/ 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 http://www.nicovandijk.net/rflensmatrix.htm 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 www.canonrangefinder.servehttp.com 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 http://www.collection-appareils.fr/objectifs/ 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: https://imaging.nikon.com/history/ consulted 2019.
17 p 152. Ray, Sidney F. Photographic Lens ISBN 9780240510323
18 website http://www.rokkorfiles.com/Lens%20History.html accessed 2019
19 Katz, Jerome. The Kardon camera story: a dedication to Peter Kardon, great American patriot & pioneer. SJF Enterprises. New York, New York. 1977.
20 Baird, John. The Japaneese Camera. The History of the Japanese Camera Monograph Collection. Historical Camera Publications. Yakima, Washington. 1990. ISBN 1-879561-02-6.
21 interesting website http://www.topgabacho.jp/Topconclub/Leotax.htm accessed 2019
22 Alexander, Jeffrey Scott. Nikon and the sponsorship of Japan's optical industry by the Imperial Japanese Navy 1923-1945. MA Thesis. University of British Columbia. 2001.
23 Alexander, Jeffrey Scott. Nikon and the sponsorship of Japan's optical industry by the Imperial Japanese Navy 1923-1945. PhD Thesis. University of British Columbia. 2010.
24 Lewis, Gordon, editor. Fujimura, Amy and Fujimura, William, translators. The History of the Japanese Camera. International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House. Tokyo and Rochester. 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1.
25 Rotoloni, Robert. Nikon Rangefinder Camera: An Illustrated History Hove Books Ltd. Sussex, UK. 1993. ISBN-13: 978-1874707073
26 Eastland, Jonathan. Dr. Leica M Compendium: Handbook of the Leica-M System Hove Books Ltd. Sussex, UK. 2006. ISBN-13: 9781897802052
 


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