8other Fujica cameras in my collection:


JapanFujica ST605n [1978 - 1980*]



ST605nThe Fujica 600 cameras were the base models in the ST series. The n was an upgraded version of the 1976 ST605 (which in turn updated the 1976 ST601), with the only apparent change being a shutter speed display in the viewfinder, courtesy of a needle indicator linked to the speed dial on the top plate.

The cloth focal plane shutter has a comparatively limited range with an unconventional top speed of 1/700th - not a typical stop value. Match needle metering is the stop down variety, and a switch on the front of the body activates the meter and stops down the lens.

This is a wholly mechanical camera, with the batteries only powering the exposure meter. In common with other models in the range, it uses two silicone cells in preference to Cds.

* I have assumed that production ceased in about 1980, since this is when Fuji abandoned the M42 lens mount, and launched the STX range of cameras. Before that happened, the ST605n was superseded by the ST605 II in 1978 or 1979?

According to advertisements in a 1979 edition of Amateur Photographer, the camera sold with an f2.2 55mm lens for around £110. That was roughly equivalent to a UK average weeks wages in 1979, so it wasn't a cheap item.


OK, so this is the Fujica ST605n page, but I'm quite fascinated by the ST605 II: it's a mysterious camera. I've found a mere handful of references to it on the Net, but they are mainly Japanese sites and translate very poorly.

Fujica ST605IIMy opinion of this model is therefore mainly based on the study of photos. It seems to differ from the ST605n in that it has an ST901/705w style shutter release lock (but in plastic), and an ST705/801/901 style lens lock (indicating an increased compatibility with Auto Fujinon lenses). It further appears to have a lens mount flange connection for Auto Fujinon open aperture metering lenses (but seemingly made of plastic too - unlike that of the other STs). I therefore suspect it was capable of open aperture metering. I believe it was only released to the Asian market, which would account for its scarcity in the UK. In summary, it's most like an ST705w, but with a lower top shutter speed, and no winder connectivity.

Information obtained from photos at Xylocopa's Photolog (thanks for sharing Xylocopa).




Lens mount: Fujica M42 screw.

ST605n viewfinderFocus: Penta-prism eye-level viewfinder with 0.96 x magnification; 92% field of view (with f2 2 55mm lens); micro-prism, centre split image and ground glass focusing. DOF preview available via stop down metering.

Shutter: Mechanical cloth focal-plane shutter. B + 1/2nd - 1/700th sec speeds with indicator built into viewfinder. Self-timer.

Meter: Stopped-down TTL centre weighted averaging metering via two Silicon photo-cell receptors coupled to a FET (Field Effect Transistor) circuit.

Exposure: Manual match needle metering, with indicator visible in viewfinder.

Film Speed: 20 to 3200 ASA.

Flash: X sync hot shoe at 1/60.

Film Advance: Single-stroke lever with 140° winding angle.

Frame Counter: Automatic count-up and reset.

Rewind: Via crank and bottom release button.

Size: 133 x 86 x 88mm (W x H x D) with lens.

Weight: 565g body alone.

Battery: Two 1.5V LR44 type.



My Camera

donkeyI paid £2.70 for my camera (body only) in May 2014 (£1.70 after re-sale of the unwanted case).

I have a Fujinon 55mm f/2.2 lens (4 elements in 4 groups) for this camera (which cost £10.01). This was a new lens introduced with the ST605, made with a less expensive plastic body, and with fewer glass elements.

My camera is fully operational, and in very good condition. I replaced the light seals and mirror damper. It's a comfortable camera to use, and smaller than many counterparts of the time. It's unexceptional - but competent - the camera equivalent of a little donkey (and I like donkeys).



Fujica ST605n

Fujica ST605n

Fujica ST605n

Fujica ST605n

Fujica v Pentax

Fuji's 1970s SLR designs were clearly developed as competitors to the Pentax Spotmatic series. Their choice of the M42 lens mount formed a bridge for Pentax users to cross to Fujica ownership.
The ST701 competed with the Spotmatic II, and improved on that camera.
The ST801 offered genuinely new technology, and pre-empted the arrival of the Spotmatic F, yet the divergence in open aperture metering lens design created a rift between Fujica / Pentax compatibility.
The ST901's auto exposure, and step-less shutter went toe-to-toe with the ESII.
In my estimation, the main reason why Fujica cameras failed to capture the market share they deserved was because, as a new brand, they were too expensive.

The Fujica ST605 addressed this problem. Instead of competing through cutting edge technology, it offered lower cost photography, coupled with compatibility with any M42 lens through it's stop down metering system. It sold very well. A few ST605/ns have passed through my hands, and they have all been in full working order. They tend not to have suffered hard lives, and oddly, many have never even had the clear plastic film (packaging) removed from their bottom plate.