1960's Canon

Canon Pellix

Canon Pellix
Release Year1965
Release Price58,800 yen (~$540)
Lens MountFL Mount

Canon’s first 35mm SLR camera with TTL metering. A super-thin, semi-transparent film only 20/1000 mm thick was used as a fixed mirror. Since there was no mirror blackout, the user could see the image at the moment of exposure.

A stopped-down, TTL exposure meter used 12% spot metering at the viewfinder center. It was hailed for its accuracy and reliability.

The fixed pellicle mirror reduced the amount of light reaching the film by half. However, since the image could be viewed through the viewfinder even during long exposures, it was a popular camera.

The operating noise from the Canon Pellix is surprisingly similar to that of the Canon FX using a moving reflex mirror. Canon made two fast lenses, the FL 50mm 1:1.4 and the FL 58mm 1:1.2, in order to compensate for the light loss, but fast lenses might increase the risk of the sun burning holes in the shutter curtain not being protected by a solid mirror; a fact anticipated and solved by providing the Canon Pellix with a metal shutter curtain.

Another obstacle is the risk of light finding its way into the camera by way of the finder window during exposure, since there is no mirror to block the path in its up-position. This was also anticipated, and a finder blind is provided which is operated by turning the ring under the rewind knob, especially useful when leaving the camera on a stand. The Meter circuit is susceptible to breakage due to the CdS meter arm being moved into position behind the pellicle mirror during exposure reading. A special lens was made available for the Canon Pellix, the FLP 38mm 1:2.8, utilising the fact the camera has a stationary mirror that will not hit the lens’ rear element. The FLP code indicates that this lens is exclusively to be used on the Canon Pellix camera.

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