Petri FTX

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Petri FTX


I was looking for information about Petri cameras and could not find any in the reference books. It took time and frustration till I realized I needed to look for Kuribayashi instead. To be safe, I ordered the “Collectors Guide to Kuribayashi-Petri Cameras” by John Baird. The book came, and using a polite term, I was unimpressed. The book is unreadable.

There are basic rules for producing printed material. If you publish anything, in print or online, you’ll do yourself a favour by getting Robin Williams’s excellent “The Non-Designer’s Design Book“. There are other books, including the oddly named “Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works“, but Robin’s book is an easy read and serves the rules on a silver platter.

In the Petri book, probably self-published, the editor, if there was one, has done away with any of the rules of print. The fonts are large and bold, with non-existent line spaces or paragraph breaks, making reading impossible.

And here is a sample, page 110, unedited. For the Brave, there are 285 pages.

Now that I have cleared this, here is the camera.

Petri, initially Kuribayashi, was an early camera maker. Established in 1907, they have evolved through the typical development path, from box to folders to post-war compacts, TLR and SLR cameras. I have a shelf of Perti cameras, but oddly, only two compact SLRs: the FTX and the Petriflex 7.

Most SLR models had M42 mounts, with several having Petri’s bayonet mount. The first model, the manual 1959 Petri Penta, was followed by the V series, all very similar, with minor changes.

In 1963, the Praktiflsx 7 introduced a coupled selenium meter with a prominent round lens at the forehead, resembling the Fujipet or Contarex Bullseye of 1959. Further models featured TTL CdS meter, under several Petri FT variants. The last in the Petri-made was the MF-T 1000, sold from 1976 to 1978. The resemblance to Exakta is not incidental, as Petry made Exakta’s later models. There were Petri SLR models after that date, namely the GX line and the later MF, but they were all Cosina rebrands.

As with other Japanese makers, Petri products were sold under Hanimex, Argus, Spiralflex/Spiraton, JC Penny, and probably more.

The FTX is a recreation of the 1967 Petri FT, where the main difference was the lens mount. Here, it is an M42, whereas at the FT, it was a Petri Bayonet. Perhaps they tried to build on the popular thread mount, with lenses abound. It seems there were several versions of the FTX, as the unit I have is slightly different from the one described in the user manual.

As with other models of the time, the FTX is a solid, well-built, straightforward camera. Basic settings, nothing to wonder about. Petri compact SLR models are available at low prices, except for the Petriflex 7, perhaps for its odd looks.

List number 9019
Brand Petri
Model FTX
Manual Butkus
Format 35mm
Introduced 1974
AKA JC Penny SLR 3; Argus STL 1000;  Spiraflex
Country Japan
Qty made
Initial price
Type Compact SLR
Body material Metal
Mode Manual, meter assist
Weight 690 gr,  Body only
Class average weight 620 gr,  Body only
ASA range 25-1600
Kit lens 1,8/55
Lens make Petri CC Auto
Filter size 52 mm
Lens mount Thread
Mount size 42mm
Aperture Steps down on lens A position.
Shutter Focal plane cloth horizontal
Shutter make
Light meter CdS, TTL, match needle
Winder Lever
Lock No
Speeds B, 1-1000
Mirror Auto return
Viewer Fixed eye level prism
DOF preview Yes
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Hot
External sync X
Sync speed 60
Timer Yes, mechanical
Battery, original PX 625
Battery, replacement 625
Battery voltage 1.35
Integral flash None
Service / repair links See
More Aperture Preview



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