In 1961, when the Canon 7 was introduced, its revolutionary new standard lens was advertised as being four times brighter than the human eye. How such a thing could be measured is somewhat questionable, but what is undoubtedly true is that the lens was a lot bigger, and with a much wider aperture, than had hitherto been seen on a 35mm camera. This was the now legendary 50mm f/0.95, a bunch of optics that became known as the Canon Dream Lens. It was a huge chunk of glass whose lens cap had a diameter of 75mm and, at a time when most rangefinder camera standard lenses had filter threads of perhaps 40-50mm, this one boasted a whopping 72mm.
I recall as a 13-year old and having taken up photography about a year earlier, seeing in the photographic press the arrival of the Canon 7 with a lens of the simply unheard of aperture for those days, a massive f0.95. However, thoughts of owning one day were not on the table.
The Canon 7 is the first model of three forming the 7 series; it was followed by the 7S and 7SII, and which were to see out the glory days of precision interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras. Zeiss had already ceased production of its famed Contax models in 1960, which year also coincided with the last model in Nikon’s rangefinder range. Only Leica would continue production, unbroken to the present day. But despite the onslaught of the SLR, the Canon 7 still sold around 100,000 units.
Today I have all 3 models of this camera and I have just found two them with film in them, fully exposed so I have processed the films and have known idler were the images were taken, the rollers of film are two rolls of Fujichrome SENSIA 400 film 35mm 36 exposure - EXPIRED 03/2006, these are the images. they are not in any order.