The Kuribayashi Company was founded in 1907 and made cameras up until it went bankrupt 70 years later in 1977. From the mid 1950s through the early 70s especially the company made various Rangefinder Cameras. Reviews on Petri Cameras are mixed, most agree that they had pretty good lenses some say they were well built others say they were not. For what it’s worth you can find lots of these 60 year old cameras on ebay in fully working condition so they couldn’t have been that badly made! Only one though became particularly popular taking on a cult following. The Petri Circle Eye 7S camera, it had a 10 year run from 1962 to 72 An almost identical version the 7SII was made from 1973 to 76. The camera developed an avid fan base especially among street photographers. A testament to its build quality is that fully working models of these cameras are very easy to find today and because Petri never became a household name like Nikon or Olympus they can be picked up at very reasonable prices. This one cost me $18.00 & works perfectly including the nearly 60 year old selenium solar cell that still powers the accurate light meter.

Sadly the Kuribayashi Company did not adapt well to the rapidly changing methods of mass production manufacturing and the advent of camera electronics in the late 1970’s and ended up going out of business. Some employees purchased the company and tried to keep it going but it’s camera manufacturing days were over and the name Petri ended up being sold to the Dixons Electronics group in the UK, an ignoble end! The company did continue though as a maker of telescopes! 

For these photos I used a roll of Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400 which remains one of my favorite films. I shot half the roll inside our local Asian supermarket without a flash and the other half out on the trail all were metered using the camera's internal meter.