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07-30-2022, 11:16 PM - 6 Likes   #1
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Mild custom 1965 Petri V6: It's a camera, not a car

Hello,

Petri: Another Japanese camera company that ended up adopting the name of their popular product. The original company was named Kuribayashi Seisakusho and was founded in the early 20th century. Some sources say 1907 while others claim 1918. They started manufacturing cameras in the 1920s. In the late 40's they started to use the name Petri on folder cameras. In 1954 they entered the 35mm camera market with the Petri 35 rangefinder. In 1959 they entered the exploding 35mm SLR market launching the Petri Penta. This SLR used the M42 lens mount. Shortly after, in 1960, they launched an updated model, the Petri Penta V, changing to their breech lock bayonet mount. In 1962 the company changed the name to Petri Camera Co. They continued to release updated models that also used different name variations for different markets like Petri Penta, Petri Flex, etc. Eventually in 1965, the Petri V6 was launched with a new more modern style. It still retained the 1/500 top shutter speed, the Petri bayonet mount and the 2 studs to mount an external meter first seen in the V3 a year earlier. In 1970, the updated V6II was launched with a hot shoe. Petri also continued producing rangefinders, viewfinders and many other popular models. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt in the late 70's. It was briefly revived and sold rebadged K-mount OEM Cosina models for a while but stopped in the early 80s.

Petri V6
The 1965 Petri V6 specs are similar to many other SLRs of the time. Horizontal cloth shutter, Pentaprism, micro-prism focusing screen called "Micromic-Lens Focusing", quick return mirror, auto or manual diaphragm, flash sync port, automatic frame counter, single stroke advance, self-timer and the capability of mounting an external meter coupled to the shutter dial. Top shutter speed was only 1/500 when many others were offering 1/1000 by that time. The shutter release is located at the front, rather than the top of the body. Flash max sync speed is marked between 1/30 and 1/60 so I assume it should be around 1/50.
Keep in mind that by the time the V6 was launched, the fierce competition was already offering TTL metering in models like the Pentax Spotmatic and Topcon RE Super. That same year (1965) Canon and Nikon would enter the TTL metering fray with the Pellix and F Photonic T respectively and Minolta would follow suit in 1966 with the SRT series. So the market was very busy to say the least.

My specimen:
Earlier this year, a friend sent me this saying "I know you like to tinker with these".
It is a Petri with no model identification. Quickly identified as a V6. It included an original ever ready type case, two 55mm f1.8 standard lenses (one black, one silver) and a 2X teleconverter in its carrying case.
Not surprisingly it is dirty. The shutter was sluggish and both lenses need attention. There is considerable debris in the viewfinder, most likely from deteriorating pentaprism foam.



The advance lever is funky. It doesn't look right and is not working properly.



Both lenses needed attention:
Black lens


Silver lens





They were both serviced. I posted some details in this thread: Lenses back from the dead! - PentaxForums.com

Back to the camera. While this mechanism is totally unfamiliar, the mirror return gear is my universally first go-to place for shutter issues. A slight clean and lube of the mechanism and it started to work.


On the top, I see the advance lever left hand threaded cap is not original. The return spring is broken and missing. Prism came out with no fuss. A good deep cleanup was in order here.


Nahh, it was only for the picture. Took it out


The focusing screen was cleaned but it has some minor specs of damage. Not a big deal as the viewfinder is bright and very usable, but still not "100% as new" clear.

Turning the attention to the top cover.


Even the clear lens for the frame counter was removed and cleaned.


After some TLC


Note the frame counter lens is in place (smallest of the 4 openings).


Now, here comes the main problem:
Just touching the leatherette caused it to disintegrate. So I ended up removing it all.


And then found out that nobody does leatherette kits for this camera because it is quite rare.


So, I'll have to do my own. Ordered some cheap leatherette panels.

Started by doing masking tape templates.



After 2 days of measuring, tweaking and cutting... I have my own one of a kind custom color blue leatherette kit for a Petri V6


And just when I thought I was almost done, I removed the bottom plate for easier working with the covers and these parts fell off. No idea where they come from. I have tested the camera exhaustively and everything works fine. Go figure. There must be a reason for them to exist... But I haven't found it. Will save them in the meantime.


May I present for your consideration my fully working mild custom 1965 Petri V6















In order to disguise the non original cap, I came up with this contraption: A washer that was polished and added a piece of leatherette inside. A drop of white glue so it can be removed for service. No return spring so I have to return manually. Not a big deal at all.










The leatherette is extremely thin so everything shows thru it like screw heads etc.
This camera has the lowest serial number of any V6 I've seen while researching online. The shutter speed dial is also unique in my research and it matches the user manual. So I think this is a very early unit from 1965. At some point after, the X sync indicator changed styles.

Hope you approve. This is now one of the most elegant cameras in my stable and it deserves to be used. Stay tuned for an eventual test.

Thanks,
Ismael

07-31-2022, 03:45 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Very nice!
I'm a huge fan of the older Petri rangefinders (though they are fragile), but I think their SLRs are a bit clunky (though I do like the fonts they chose...)

I wonder if your spare parts aren't for the release button for rewinding the film... you won't get to properly test that until you shoot your test roll...

-Eric
07-31-2022, 04:50 AM - 1 Like   #3
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again - amazing, wonderful work.. and the 'custom' leatherette just adds to the camera's uniqueness....

bravo...
07-31-2022, 05:43 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I wonder if your spare parts aren't for the release button for rewinding the film... you won't get to properly test that until you shoot your test roll...
I was thinking the same thing. Either the rewind button, or inside the door to engage/reset the counter.

07-31-2022, 06:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I wonder if your spare parts aren't for the release button for rewinding the film... you won't get to properly test that until you shoot your test roll...

-Eric
Thank you guys!

That was my first thought as well. I tried a test roll and it works fine. Advances, stops, counts and rewind properly. The only thing I noticed is that the release button needs to be kept pressed. Not sure if that's how it works or if these parts help keep it pressed while rewinding. That's my only theory now. I checked the user manual and it doesn't say if it needs to be kept pressed or not. It simply says "Press the film REWIND BUTTON located at the bottom of the camera body and turn the REWIND CRANK in the direction indicated by the arrow."
These cameras seem to be rather obscure to the internet. Very little technical information out there. I'll keep looking to see if they "fit" somewhere.

Thanks,
Ismael
07-31-2022, 07:11 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I suspect since they went under well before the age of the internet, there’s less material available…

And they never had the popularity of the “big brands” to allow a build up of a large supply of tribal knowledge outside of the few people who worked there.

-Eric
07-31-2022, 04:17 PM - 1 Like   #7
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That is gorgeous 😍 love the blue, and the silver lense is spot on. Can hardly wait to see pictures from this one.

08-07-2022, 04:59 PM - 1 Like   #8
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This is another stunning restoration. Nice work as always.

I can't tell what the small plate would do, but the spring and plunger look identical to what causes a detent in a switch or dial. I have an idental plunger and spring in one of my rifles built about the same time as this camera. The plunger keeps the trigger safety in place and makes a solid, audible click as you slide the crossbolt safety on or off.

https://www.midwestgunworks.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/MAR-15059.jpg
10-29-2022, 09:25 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Coming soon...


Thanks,
Ismael
10-31-2022, 08:31 AM - 1 Like   #10
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My older brother had a Petri 35mm SLR, purchased at the PX when he was in Vietnam ('69-'70).
He said he chose a Petri because at the time it was the "store brand" of Macy's department stores.

By the 1980's it no longer worked and Petri was out of business. I bought him a brand new Nikon FE.

I have owned a couple of Petri rangefinder 35 models.
The compact Petri Color 35 is an excellent camera.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 10-31-2022 at 04:10 PM.
11-04-2022, 06:28 AM - 3 Likes   #11
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WOHOO!!!

We have pictures!


Hello,

Just downloaded the online scans. Negatives are in transit. Untouched straight out of the download except for resize and signature.
Long expired (about a decade) Walgreens ASA 200 roll. This was my last Walgreens 200 roll in the stash. Intentionally slightly over exposed between 1/2 and 1 stop.
Most with Sunny 16. I also occasionally used a light meter app on the phone to validate my estimates.



Longer exposure using self timer. Not sure but I think it was 1/2s


The previously posted preview was while taking this one.


San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. Lovely town in the central west mountains. Downtown is only a few minutes drive from the waterfall.














Memories! As a kid I remember visiting one of my mother's aunts in the second house from the left.



Very happy with the Petri! It is not only one of the best looking cameras in my collection, but it can also perform!
Hope you like it!

Thanks,
Ismael
11-04-2022, 08:43 AM   #12
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VERY NICE!!
Sometimes I wish all those camera systems were compatible with one another
11-04-2022, 07:01 PM   #13
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That thing takes some beautiful pictures...along with a little help from you of course. 😃
11-11-2022, 10:10 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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Hello,

Just got the negatives. Checking what my old (2002) scanner can do.

Commercial scan


My own scan


I think mine is a hair sharper and the colors a bit more accurate. But I admit the colors in the commercial scan look really good.
Which one do you prefer? Why?

Thanks,
Ismael
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