Introduced in the month of September 1960 (produced until 1962)
The Canonflex is Canon’s first SLR and was designed to compete with the Nikon F which was also released to the public in the same year. Like the Nikon F it has an interchangeable prism and a focal plane shutter to 1/1000. A Selenium meter clips to a front accessory shoe and is coupled to the shutter speed dial.
It featured interchangeable breech lock mount lenses, interchangeable finders.
Did you know the value of the Canonflex camera was $299 in 1961…Now equals $2,373.19 in 2016.
The top-class 35mm camera market gradually shifted from rangefinder cameras to single-lens reflex cameras. The major reason was that SLRs could handle close-ups, photomicrography, duplication work, and other applications without being constrained by the limits of rangefinder camera lenses. When Canon introduced the Canonflex, its first SLR, there were already eight SLR models on the market.
The Canonflex used a high-quality, breechlock lens mount. The lens flange ring was turned to lock the lens onto the camera flange’s bayonet lugs. The lens flange and camera flange did not rub against each other like today’s lens mounts.The camera used Super-Canomatic lenses which had a fast, fully-automatic diaphragm. A 130-degree winding trigger at the camera bottom enabled quick film advance. An external selenium exposure meter could also be attached.
My Camera’s Serial Number is Very Special: Body sn # 59623
Lens sn # 68175
The Canonflex was Canon’s first foray into the SLR market, with a removable prism and clip-on exposure meter that coupled with the shutter speed dial. This model has a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000th.
Total production about 8,800 units; documented serial number range: 50646- 59281 (via IDCC
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So when I saw the R2000 for sale I made an enquiry and met a wonderful gentleman that has had this camera for many many years. I asked him why he was selling it and he told me that he was 70 years old and it was time to part with that Canonflex. For a part of me this made me sad because it is a reminder that we all can’t walk this life forever and there is a time that we must give up on things we love or have interests in. I don’t know how long I will have this camera for but hope that the next person that inherits my cameras looks after them and keeps the history alive.
So this camera is from the early 60’s and looking at the serial number would of been the last Canonflex made in the R2000 model. For a camera that is over 50 years old and the second model canon produced as the first Single Lens Reflex camera it also was a pinnacle piece of engineering history for canon. They managed to be one of the first few camera companies to have a shutter speed of 2000th second and helped move canon forward to become a successful competitor in the camera industry.
I recently found a second Canonflex online and wasn’t sure whether or not I should purchase it. My one has for a long time been out of use because the shutter winder is broken and when I did see another one available I thought maybe it could become a spare parts camera.
These camera’s are becoming rarer every year and I find that the Canonflex are the most special out of the canon line up because of the the Trigger-Action Winding Lever on the base of the camera.
The only faults are the missing Film Rewind Release Button but I can wind the film back by using a pen to release the locking pin and to the front left the covering is pealing a little. I have the option where I can either swap the part and just fix the best looking Canonflex.
Its a wait and see at this stage but the removable prism is in beautiful condition and so are the internals.
Note: One of the Canonflex in the collection is engraved on the winding trigger designating that it was once sold at a US Military Post Exchange.
Thankyou to the collector that sold me the R2000 Canonflex and know that it will be used and looked after in the years to come.
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