I am honestly a bit puzzled as to why I have never heard of the Petri 2.8 Color Corrected Super before.
It’s a very nice fixed lens rangefinder. It’s fun to use. It gives good results. It’s cheap as chips. All of these qualities usually lead to cult classic status and then to the camera becoming more expensive. But there’s not a great deal of information on the web about this little gem. Mostly it’s the subject of short articles and stubs. I’m starting to think this camera deserves a bit better.
The Petri line of cameras were built by the Kuribayashi Company. Kuribayshi did not survive the 70s, when it was crushed by larger companies. Apparently, they did not embrace electronics in cameras, and fell out of favor. Which is too bad, really. I much prefer a nice manual camera that does not require a battery to operate and has a higher chance of repair if something should go wrong. But I have been accused of being a Luddite on more than one occasion.
This camera has some interesting qualities. The viewfinder is parallax corrected and has a very nice bright line frame. It has a leaf shutter which is mounted in the lens, which gives it an odd set of controls. Both shutter speed and f-stop are on the lens barrel. Focus is done by using a lever on the left side of the barrel. The shutter is nice and quiet, a typical leaf shutter. The placement of the shutter pretty much precluded adding the ability to have interchangeable lenses without it being expensive, though. It’s also a bit odd to load film and notice there’s not a shutter curtain inside the tracks for the sprockets. The M/X flash selector, the self timer, and the PC socket are also on the lens barrel, which makes for a busy control set up.
The lens is pretty nice, though. It’s a Orikkor 45mm f2.8. It seems to be a unit focus classic Tessar design, and gives pretty good performance. Especially when you consider it’s over fifty years old.
The only controls not on the lens barrel are the shutter release and the winding lever. It has an indicator wheel for ISO speed, but it doesn’t actually do anything. The camera has no meter, so the wheel just reminds you what you have loaded.
The one I bought has a small badge on the top which states “COMMEMORATION Productions EXCEEDED 1200000” proudly. Japanese is one of those languages that doesn’t translate to English very well. Opinions vary as to what the significance of this badge is. Some people think it increases the value of the camera. Some don’t. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that it makes the probable year of manufacture 1960.
If it does increase the value of the camera, it doesn’t do it by much. I picked mine up for $30, complete with the bottom half of the never-ready case and a roll of Arista B/W. Not a bad deal at all. The strap for the case is old enough that it has questionable integrity, so I plan to get rid of it and connect a strap to the lugs on the body. I’ll leave the bottom half of the case screwed on to the camera.
All in all, it’s a neat little camera to walk about with.