I'm about to get into the world of film cameras and have decided on buying a Canon Canonet QL17. However, it has a fixed lens and a large part of my photography involves wide-angle and telephoto lenses, which can't just be attached onto it. Are there extensions/attachments? that I can buy for this camera that will allow me to use these lenses?


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    It seems quite clear that you have chosen the wrong camera for your preferred type of photography. I'd suggest a little more consideration before actually buying anything. – osullic Sep 30 at 7:28
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    Ahhh! The romantic appeal of using a vintage rangefinder for photographic purposes diametrically opposed to the strengths and weaknesses of the rangefinder concept! – Michael C Sep 30 at 8:12
  • @osullic I haven't found any better vintage cameras for the price that don't have fixed lenses, do you have any suggestions? I also have looked at medium format cameras like the bronica sq-ai – Jodast Sep 30 at 16:13
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    @Jodast well it depends on how restrictive you are going to be with your definition of "vintage". I'd suggest a manual 35mm SLR. See rackandboneman's answer below for some good suggestions. Good luck, and enjoy! – osullic Oct 1 at 8:44

This is a coupled rangefinder camera, so the lens attached to it will be rather integrated into the camera mechanics - no chance to hack that camera into anything that can usefully work with fully interchangeable lenses. Wide angle converters or teleconverters that can be adapted to the filter thread would potentially work, as long as they do not shift focus - also, it seems there is a metering cell besides the lens, but within the area a filter or attachment will cover, so it is likely that you would be restricted to fully manual unmetered exposure only.

This camera is simply not designed for using interchangeable lenses.

Consider leaving and using that camera as it is, and getting a second system that is optimized for using interchangeable lenses in a commonly available mount. Most rangefinders with interchangeable lenses are uncommon (Braun, Voigtlander) and/or commanding premium prices (Leitz) - probably the most common affordable ones are russian designs derived from Leitz. These are an acquired taste, and still not very versatile as an interchangeable lens system, compared to an SLR.

So your best bet would be a manual focus SLR system, based on eg a Minolta SRT-anything or X-500/X-700/XD-anything (these all take MD mount lenses, which are common in the used market), or Canon A-1/AT-1/AE-1/AL-1/others (takes FD mount lenses, also common), or an equivalent Nikon model (F-mount lenses), or something M42 screw thread based (various brands, most rather plain, also some upmarket models existed by eg Pentax or Fuji). SLR lenses are hard to adapt cross-system, going for lens mounts outside these four common ones could make it hard to find a good lens selection. Mind that you can easily adapt SLR lenses to your mirrorless digital camera (DSLM) too (but not really to a different mount SLR!!), so they can serve two purposes.

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    +1 I agree that as soon as one starts to seriously consider interchangeable lenses, an SLR makes much more sense. However, expanding on your note about the Soviet designs, @Jodast might want to consider the line of 39mm screw mount Canon rangefinders, such as the Canon P or Canon 7. In terms of affordability, these stand somewhere between Leica/Voigtlander and the Soviets (and accept a wide range of lenses). – Kahovius Sep 30 at 9:45

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