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Canon SII
France Version française
Photos by JPG text by JPG. From the collection of JPG. Last update 2012-02-14 par Eric Borel.

Manufactured or assembled in Japan from 1946 to (After) 1946.
Index of rarity in France: Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 10521

See the complete technical specifications

Chronology of cameras Canon 

Traduction de Manuel M

Canon SII was produced as from October 1946. It is the first Canon of “great production”.
Its famous predecessors were:

 -The KWANON X, produced with a few units as from 1933 - the only known specimen is exposed to the Canon museum.
- The HANSA called also Original, produced between 10/1935 and 6/1940 with, approximately 1,100 specimens
- The S, produced between 10/1938 and 1945 with, approximately 1,600 specimens
- The J, produced between 01/1939 and 1941 with, approximately 200 specimens
- The NS, produced between 01/1940 and 1942 with, approximately 100 specimens
- The JS, produced between 1941 and probably 1945 with, less than 50 specimens
- The SI, produced between 12/1945 and 11/1946 to 97 specimens
- And the JII, produced between 12/1945 and 11/1946 between 164 definite specimens and 525, supposed.

All these models are extremely rare. They used already the film 35mm, which seems visionary today.
Canon SII produced at the time of the name change of the company.

Indeed, KWANON, then especially CANON, were the names of the models.
The first models of the SII, and also rarest, carry the engraving of former business name: SEIKI KOGAKU. Seiki Kogaku Kenku Sho (Precision Optical Recherch Institute) - was founded in November 1933, by two enthusiastic friends: Goro Yoshida, “the inventor” and Saburo Uchida, the businessman. They were joined, soon by some associates, of which Takeo Maeda which cumulated the positions of director marketer, of engineer in chief and to advise designer.
This man of exception, is for much in the success of this corporate. He became the Chairman in 1974 about it.

This first version of SII was equipped with Seiky Kogaku SERENAR lens, retractable:
A f1.5, a f2, and a F 3.5/5cm coupled with the rangefinder and two fixed, f4 of 13.5cm and f4 of 20cm, not coupled.
Some of very first SII company were equipped with retractables optics 5cm, NIKON.
The company takes the name of CANON CAMERA COMPANY Ltd, on August 15th, 1947.
“Canon” is then engraved on the bodies, then on the lensess, which become famous Canon SERENAR.

The techniques of manufacture are improved and the quality of the cameras and optics becomes irreproachable then.
The robustness, the precision and the technical innovations of this CANON family are quickly recognized and business success, immense.
Between Kwanon X of 1933 and the 7SZ, marketed until in September 1968; more than 500,000 cameras were sold.

End of manufacture of the SII in June 1949 with some very small probable remakes, in 1950 and even 1952.
This manufacture will be often subjects to hybridization (see IIS HYBRID)
Full number of produced specimens: 7,550 including approximately 70% in Canon version.

Compared to its predecessors, the SII is revolutionist by two very important innovations:

on the one hand, it is the first Japanese camera to propose a combined and coupled rangefinder viewfinder.
in the other hand, in its Canon version, it is the first to have a standardized mounting, having a roller of measure of the rangefinder. He is proposed with standard lens, with telemetric cam.

Principal characteristics:

Serial numbers: 15000 to approximately 18000, for models “SK” - 15700 to 23375, for the models “Canon”
The majority of the interchangeable lens (Canon version), with the Leica standard screwing of 39mm and are coupled with the rangefinder. Standard lens: Canon Serenar 50mm f2 or 3.5 and Nikkor f3.5, for the first Seiki models
Rangefinder viewfinder combined for 50mm. No frame nor of correction of parallax . Round telemetric Image.
Focal plane shutter,, allowing speeds of the 1/20s the 1/500s + B, by serrated roller on the hood and slow speeds of 1s to the 1/20s by separated serrated roller, “Leica” located on the front face of the body.
35mm for exposures 24x36mm
No synchronization for flash.
Loading by the sole (in Leica).
Engraving “MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN” (MIOJ) on the sole.

It should be noted that in this Canon family, of many hybrids exist between the models. This is all the more frequent, that the periods of marketing of the models are always superimposed.
Just as for Leica and our Foca nationals, of many models were modified by the later addition of a synchronization flash socket.

With personal capacity and as a collector, I love this family of cameras. It is not, as some say it, of the “Leica of poor”, but indeed of the cameras very quite finished, pleasant to use and powerful, often equipped with interesting innovations.
In fact, this family is fabulous “system”, for the collector of today, as it owed the being, for the photographer of yesterday. In addition to the many models of bodies, he proposes a bunch of accessories of high-quality very, like one of the most beautiful ranges of lens ever met. F3.5 of 19mm to the f11 of 1000 mm to mirror, via legendary the f0.95 of 50mm. More than 40 different and often excellent lenses, were built and marketed during 35 years. Since end of the year 90, these Canon are increasingly searched. Their prices become prohibitory and even often exceed, those their “models”, Leica.

Picture one: SII - Canon version - n°: 21465 + telescopic SERENAR f3.5-16 of 5 cm

Picture two: SII - Canon version - n°: 21718, modified by addition of a synchronization flash socket under the accessory shoe.

Picture three: SII - Canon version - n° 21465: rear view

Picture four: Idem seen top

Picture five: view of 3 Canon SII

Picture six: Open basis MIOJ

Canon SII

Canon SII

Canon SII

Canon SII

Canon SII

Canon SII

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