other Fujica cameras in my collection:
Fujica ST705/w [1976 - 1980]
The Fujica ST705 was launched in 1976 and replaced the 1971 ST701. It differed from its predecessor - primarily - by offering open aperture TTL metering. A DOF preview button also allowed the camera to perform stop-down metering, and thus use non-Fujinon dedicated lenses (read more about Fujinon lenses here on the ST801 page and here on the ST901 page).
Like its companion model, the ST605, the ST705 had an unusual top shutter speed - 1/1500th sec - a half stop value. Unlike the ST605 it also came in black, and was generally bundled with a slightly better lens; either a 50mm f/1.4 (7 elements in 6 groups), or a 55mm f/1.8 (6 elements in 4 groups). Another quality difference can be found in the rewind knob, where the ST605's is plastic, while the ST705's is metal.
According to an advertisement in a January 1977 edition of
Practical Photography (a time when the average UK weekly wage was £92.60), the ST705 with an f1.8 lens was priced at around £143, which was more expensive than the Pentax K1000 with an f/2 lens, offered by the same retailer for £130.
In 1978 the model was replaced by the ST705w; where
w stood for winder, indicating that the power winder developed for the Fujica AZ-1 could be attached to the camera. Other new features included a viewfinder shutter speed pointer, and a safety lock on the shutter release. The camera was sold with the same two lens options as the ST705.
According to an advertisement in a May 1979 edition of
Amateur Photographer (a time when the average UK weekly wage was £120.80), the ST705w with an f1.8 lens was priced at around £160, which was about £30 less than the new Pentax ME or MX (with an f/1.7 lens).
The Fujica ST705 was clearly aimed at Pentax KM/K1000 buyers, but was crushed a year after launch, by the newer, smaller, better Pentax ME/MX models. The ST705w was the last of the Fujica ST series (save perhaps for the ST 605 II), which were replaced in 1980 by the STX and AX models, with their new bayonet lens mounts.
Lens mount: Fujica M42 screw.
Focus: Penta-prism eye-level viewfinder with 0.96 x magnification; 92% field of view (with f/1.8 55mm lens); micro-prism, centre split image and ground glass focusing. DOF preview button allowing stop down metering.
Shutter: Mechanical cloth focal-plane shutter. B + 1 - 1/1500th sec speeds. Speed indicator needle visible in viewfinder. 10 sec Self-timer.
Meter: Open aperture 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: 25 to 3200 ASA.
Flash: FP and 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: 580g body alone.
Battery: Two 1.5V LR44 type.
The main attraction of this camera is that it completes my collection of the ST range (well as near to complete as I'm interested in getting). It's taken me a long time to buy one, because they generally sell well, for a quite a bit more than I've been prepared to pay, and are not especially common.
Comparisons with the Pentax Spotmatic and it's K series successors make the ST705/w a good option for the camera user; and it really is as good if not better. But in the late 1970s, the slightly better specification than some rival brands was short lived. The model came at a time when the centre-the-needle type cameras were being retired, and the era of micro-processors and auto exposure, spearheaded by the Canon AE-1, was taking a grip on the market.
I bought my ST705w in November 2016. It came with a Fujinon 55mm f/1.8 (non-EBC) lens, which I re-sold, as I already have one. This reduced the net cost of my Fujica to £1.24.
The camera was pretty dirty, but cleaned-up nicely. Happily it's in full working order, but - as ever - needs a new set of light seals and replacement mirror damper.