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Petri 7

 

The technical stuff:

Camera type: Rangefinder

Lens Type: Petri 45mm f1.8 - f16

Shutter Type: Petri MVL 10 Speed + B 1,2,4,8,15,30,60,125,250,500

 

 

 

Affectionately dubbed  the Green O Matic, why, I have no idea, unless it's because the rangefinder window is green. Petri were never a major force in the Japanese camera market and seldom heard of in Europe. They fall into a group along with Taron, Beauty, Aires and one or two others that fell by the wayside against much stronger competition from the likes of Pentax, Minolta et al. That aside this is an extremely good camera with a style resembling the Himatic or Canonet. It's a fully featured rangefinder with speeds from 1 sec to 1/500th and a cyclops selenium light meter and what appears to be a good 1.8 lens, which claims to be Petri's own. It has an all metal construction which makes it both robust and heavy but seems to be fully functional, I'll reserve judgment on that until I have had chance to try it in the field.

A 12 shot roll and a trip to the park to put it through it's paces. A nice camera to handle perhaps a little heavy but this does keep it stable. The lens seems to have good resolving power and is sharp when the focus is right. However this is where it starts to fall down. Maybe the example I have is in need of a good service but the rangefinder is not entirely accurate. The lightmeter is also a bit of a disappointment, it is easily cheated by back lighting although it's fine when you shoot "down the sun". I will admit that I gave it some tough challenges as you can see from the pictures. The Heron in flight has a funny story attached. I saw the Heron flying over to the pond when I was over the other side of the hump in the background. So I came back, carefully keeping a low profile so as not to to be seen by the bird. I knew it had landed on the pond so I crouched down behind the bush you see behind the bird and almost crawled using the rushes for cover, so I couldn't be seen, and as I reached the point where I could see it clearly a duck hopped up out of the pond right in front of me which spooked the Heron which suddenly took flight and I spun around to grab the shot as the bird flew away. The sunset shot, second row right, is a spoof. The sun wasn't setting at all but there was a shaft of bright sunlight breaking through the clouds so I wound the stop right down and tried to create the illusion of a sunset. The portrait shot of the avenue of trees shows how the lightmeter was fooled by the backlighting but this is a difficult shot for any camera. Overall I was quite pleased with the performance and as I said the handling is really good, it has a nice "feel" to it.

 

 

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