I got the lens for this setup first. I found 2 very similar ones in a junk box and gave away the only body I had to a friend. That meant I had this lens and nothing to attach it to. I kept looking on the bay for a cheap replacement, but it took longer than expected. Later Petris, those after 1974, used the M42 mount and my lens was the Petri bayonet type which are less common. Eventually, I stumbled on this one.
The viewfinder was very dull especially if you selected a small aperture, due to the stop-down TTL metering. The meter was powered by the banned mercury type. The battery compartment was located on the front of the camera, not on the bottom. The one on mine worked to a fashion, but it was very jerky and the dark viewfinder made the needle hard to see. There seems to be a sort of micro prism to help focus, but it wasn’t like the ones I have seen before. This one had dots, but they didn’t become clear if I hit the sweet spot. I decided to use the camera with the aid of a light meter and not rely on the meter. Like Prakticas, the shutter button was on the front of the camera body. You can read more technical details about this camera from 1971 on this excellent blog post.
I loaded mine with a short roll of Exeter Pan and went for a wander around Barnsley and then to visit my friend’s horses. When I first looked through the viewfinder I noticed the focusing was off, I was sure that it wasn’t when I first tried it. Looking at the camera I noticed that the scale on the lens was off-centre, I had not attached it properly with the breech lock system. I took it off and tried again, phew, it was me and not the camera.
When I wrote about Exeter pan before some people asked if it was Fomapan. Well, there are no markings at all on the sprocket edges and the developer didn’t run blue. That makes me think it isn’t, but I don’t really know.
Here are the results.
To be honest I am not entirely comfortable around horses. I have fallen off a couple in the past so I tend to stay on the other side of the fence to them. I do think they are beautiful, but riding them is not for me.
As for the camera, the dark viewfinder didn’t seem to affect me much as these seem quite sharp. I quite liked using the camera, but my example was missing a strap lug connector. That meant I had to use a wrist strap and it was a heavy camera. That detracted from my enjoyment as it made my wrist quite achy.
I think I was lucky to find this example as I looked on the bay recently and there weren’t any listed in the UK, all were in Japan or America. It is a classic-looking and working camera, a lovely addition to a collection but I think I will end up parting with mine due to the strap issue.