If you have been reading the blog a while you will know that I gained a box of various junk cameras and parts recently. This is the last post about stuff from that box as I have now distributed, blogged, or recycled everything.
Deep inside one of the boxes were three Petri lenses. Two of the lenses were fine, seemed clean and useable. The last lens was beyond help so I dumped it. Unfortunately, the good lenses could only be used on a Petri camera which I didn’t have. The later Petris used an M42 mount but the earlier ones had their own bayonet mount…like the ones on these lenses. Luckily due to this lovely mount, the bodies are fairly cheap as few people seem to want them. So I found one for less than £10 on eBay. Not all are this cheap, the prices seem to vary wildly. Here is mine with one of the lenses attached.
On the front of the camera, you can see two knobs. They are for an external light meter. I have seen one for sale and they are pretty cheap, but they seem to be in America and I don’t want to pay the postage.
Actually, I didn’t know the name of this model for a while, but I found it by searching for Petri cameras. Then finally I noticed the name on the back of the camera, on the film door. So with that knowledge, I was able to find out that this camera was produced from 1970. I can tell this is the second version of the camera by the hotshoe on the top, the first version not having this feature.
The first lens I tried was the 55mm f1.8 version. I put in a roll of Ilford HP5 Plus and took it to a couple of places including Locke Park in Barnsley. I have to say that was one of the friendliest places I have ever visited and I regret not asking people if I could take their portraits.
The viewfinder has a kind of matrix focusing screen and at first, I found it a little dull. After some inspection, I found I had set the lens to manual. That meant it closed the aperture to whatever you set it to. So if it was f16..it was as dull as a dullard in a dullard competition. Then I found the automatic setting which left the aperture on the widest available and closed it on shutter release. I found this out by looking at it while pressing the shutter release.
Yeap, the aperture blades closed. The location of the shutter release is much like the Praktica cameras, on the front not on the top. That always takes some getting used to. Other than that pretty much a regular SLR with a top speed of 1/500th. You can read another review and get a few more details on this super blog.
Here are some of my results.
I found on a couple of the shots the curtain didn’t travel the whole length required. This reviewer also had this issue with the earlier version. There also seemed to be a slight light leak. The seals by the hinge were there, but quite hard and in need of replacing. I figured the curtain issue might be down to the fact it hadn’t been used for a while and it might get better with use. Well, I had my fingers crossed anyway. Other than that I loved the results. The film coped well in all situations and the lens was lovely and sharp.
The second lens I tried was also a 55mm, but this time the widest aperture was f2. It would have been nice to have a lens with a different focal length, but these were the lenses in the box. The lens that I dumped was also a 55mm which is why I didn’t try and salvage it. Again I used an Ilford HP5 and before loading it, I changed the old seal by the hinge. This time I took the camera to Pontefract, which again was a lovely day. It was much nicer than I thought it would be. I have been to the castle area before, but not the town centre.
Here are some of the results from that lens.
Again, I love the results. The film camera combination is one of my favourites. The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of a light meter, but that wasn’t a big issue, oh…and the weight. This is a solid camera and could cause some damage in a conker/camera fight. Looking at the camera now, I realise I didn’t like the film counter either. The arrow is fairly big, but the numbers are really small and tricky to see. That’s a bit dumb. Other than those things, I liked it…but would be happy to swap it or give away one of the lenses 🙂