Every now and then you get a duff camera: one which has been sold with undisclosed or unrecognised faults, sufficient to exclude that camera from remaining as part of a collection. These are the ones that got away.


0other Petri cameras in my collection (as I expect it to remain)


JapanPetri 7s [1963 - 1973]



advertThe Kuribayashi Petri 7s is a coupled-rangefinder 35mm camera that was introduced in 1963, discontinued in 1973, and replaced by the Petri 7s II. The later model had a hot shoe, and modest styling changes.

It has a coated 45mm lens, available as a four-element Tessa type f2.8, or a six-element f1.8. A leaf shutter provides speeds from 1 sec to 1/500th sec, plus B. This is synchronised for flash, with a switch on the lens barrel to select between X and M synchronisation. There is also a PC socket on the lens barrel, and a cold shoe. The shutter release button is threaded for a cable release.

The rangefinder is combined with the viewfinder, and Petri called their focusing system the Green-O-Matic. The overall finder is tinged green while the coincident focusing area is yellow. There is also a bright frame in the viewfinder, but this does not move to give automatic parallax correction.

The camera has a Selenium meter, with the sensor arranged as a ring around the front of the lens (Petri call this arrangement the Circle-Eye), and the meter reading is shown both on the top plate of the camera, and in the viewfinder as a centre-the-needle display. The viewfinder needle is not a reflected image from the top plate; there is actually a second mini needle on the left side (facing) of the rangefinder window (visible in the first photograph).

It's hard to pin a price on a camera with a ten year production run, but the magazine advert shown at the top of the page, which I assume to date to the cameras introduction to market, cites a recommended retail price of £33 - 16s - 6d. In a 1968 edition of Amateur Photographer, the f2.8 Petri 7s was advertised at £29 - 3s - 6d (excluding a case, which was an extra £3 - 10s - 9d). At that time, the camera cost slightly more than the average weekly UK wage (about £28). In 1972 the cost was £37.17.




Viewfinder: Combined viewfinder/rangefinder. Fixed bright frame with parallax marks.

Focus: Fully coupled rangefinder with manual lever on lens barrel.

Lens: 45 mm. F2.8. Four-element Tessar style.

Close Focus: 2.65'.

Diaphragm: Stopping down to about f/16.

Shutter: Petri MVE leaf (in-lens) shutter1 - 1/500 + B + self-timer.

Cable Release: Standard socket in shutter release button.

Meter: Around the lens (ATL) selenium manual metering cell.

Exposure: Manual match-needle display meter with reading shown both on the top plate of the camera, and in the viewfinder. The meter pointer superimposed in the viewfinder window is actually the image of a second meter needle placed in the bottom left corner of the rangefinder window (behind the green film), and not a reflection of the top-plate meter needle.

Exposure range: 7 to 17 at 100 ASA.

Film Speed: 10 to 400 ASA.

Filter Size: 52mm screw thread.

Flash: Cold shoe and PC terminal. M and X sync.

Film Advance: Single stroke 180° lever.

Frame Counter: Manually set, with automatic count-up.

Rewind: Via crank and bottom release button.

Back Opening: Sliding catch.

Size: 132 x 79 x 72mm (W x H x D)

Weight: 600g.



Petri 7s


I bought my Petri, which was advertised as a working camera, in March 2014. Unfortunately, while in good cosmetic condition, the film advance lever is jammed. I ended-up getting my money back without returning the item (the seller didn't want to pay the return postage costs).

There are two variations of this camera. The other one has a translucent window on the front of the top plate, beneath the shutter release. The user manual shows, but does not name this window, and the Petri 7s repair manual lists it as a decorative blanking plate and shows that it's position would not allow the window to provide illumination to any other component. With the help of the nice people at photo.net, we have deduced that the with window model is the earlier version (lower serial numbers). The window, as suggested by the manuals' lack of comment, does nothing; it is merely decorative.


I looked for a Petri 7s after reading Internet accounts that professional photographers used the camera as a handy backup (e.g. Wikipedia). My impression is that this claim has absolutely no substance. The camera is not exceptional in any way, was lowly priced, and entirely aimed at the amateur photographer. It feels cheap and flimsy, and there is nothing to commend it over many of the alternative fixed-lens rangefinders of the period. In fact, I'd go further and say that the Petri 7s has put me off buying any other Petri model.

German distributor and retailer - Porst - bought lower-end cameras from manufacturers such as Petri and rebadged them for sale to Joe Public. They encouraged manufactures to make their product even cheaper, in return for assured high volume sales. Dixons did the same thing here in the UK. The Petri 7s II improved on the 7s by adding a hot shoe, but it was also sold by Porst as the Carena RS.