A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > Classic Manual Cameras > Canonet 28 light meter not...

Canonet 28 light meter not working.

Matthew Levek , Nov 19, 2006; 12:59 p.m.

The light meter in my canonet 28 does not work, or at least the needle doesn't. i put in a new battery. The web site I ordered it from said that the battery would work for this camera. The needle doesn't move at all. does anyone know what could be wrong? Another question, if I take pictues without the light meter working, in situations where I know there isn't too much light or too little light, will my pictures still turn out?


Charles Stobbs , Nov 19, 2006; 02:41 p.m.

I recently learned a lesson that everyone has been preaching for years -CLEAN THE CONTACTS. I had a Konica C35 with an immoveable needle and after several days of thinking and worying I cleaned the battery contacts, in the camera and on the battery itself, even though they all looked spotless. A dab of acetone (fingernail polish remover) on a Q tip and the meter jumped into action. If you use a hearing aid battery as I do, be sure you notice which end is positive (+). They are the opposite of most batteries, the button end is negative (-). Good luck.

John Falkenstine , Nov 19, 2006; 03:06 p.m.

Use an eraser from a regular wooden pencil. They're usually quite gritty and do the job well.

Winfried Buechsenschuetz , Nov 20, 2006; 02:12 a.m.

On the Canonets a loose battery contact is a common fault. One of the contacts is only heat-melt riveted to the battery chamber.

To check this, remove the bottom plate (do not loose the leaf spring of the battery door), and remove the two screws holding the battery chamber. Pull it out, and check the plastic rivets holding the contact. If it is loose, glue it to the battery chamber with superglue, and put a thin piece of rubber foam between the battery chamber and the body wall when re-inserting the chamber.

During this procedure you should also check the solder point of the battery wire. On old cameras the wire is often corroded. Cut it off as far as possible, solder a new wire end (and isolate the solder point), and solder it to the battery contact.

Michael Madio , Nov 20, 2006; 04:16 p.m.

If the above mentioned DIY fixes don't work, just use it in full manual. Use "Sunny 16" and/or inexpensive hand-held light meter. I have the QL17 G-III with a functioning meter, but I can't be bothered to buy batteries so I use it full manual.

Dave Swain , Nov 20, 2006; 05:21 p.m.

Under the right hand panel ( looking from front). There is a switch for the auto mode. One arm of it is brass. It gets corroded and won't allow the meter to work. You have to peel back the covering and remove the small plate. Then disassemble the contacts to clean the brass one. I've done dozens of them. The covering is the worst part.

Winfried Buechsenschuetz , Nov 21, 2006; 09:38 a.m.

"If the above mentioned DIY fixes don't work, just use it in full manual. Use "Sunny 16" and/or inexpensive hand-held light meter."

Nope. The Canonet28 has no fully manual mode. You can set apertures manually - but this is for flash use only, the shutter speed is set to 1/30. You can try to use a meterless Canonet28 with 1/30 and set the aperture accordingly - but I am afraid this won't make you happy.

Anyhow, most dead battery-driven lightmeters can be fixed unless the meter coil itself is broken.

Michael Madio , Nov 22, 2006; 12:06 p.m.


My bad ... you are indeed correct. I was thinking of the wrong Canonet.

Gordon Burgess , Mar 14, 2009; 04:30 p.m.

Thanks for this thread!
I was able to make the Canonet 28 I got off of ebay to work. The negative contact did come loose from the plastic housing. I didn't reglue it but folded up a piece of paper and put it behind the contact to keep it from touching the housing and shorting the circuit. I put a bit of foil where the contact touches the battery to make good contact and it works great! I want to do b&w film and this is a fun camera for people and urban shots. I love rangefinders.

rick mason , Jan 10, 2010; 04:07 a.m.

I know this thread is five years old but I learnt a lot from reading it and was able to rehabilitate the lightmeters on two Canonet 28's with the experience of the contributors. One had the dirty corroded brass contact on the auto mode switch (thanks Dave Swain). The other had the loose connector in the battery terminal that needed glueing (thanks Winfried). I would not have had a hope without this thread, I hope its of help to others too. Thanks again

Back to top

Notify me of Responses