Petri Racer

Petri Racer (three quarters)

Petri Racer (three quarters)

Petri Racer (three quarters)

Petri Racer (three quarters)

Petri Racer (front view)

Petri Racer (front view)

Petri Racer (rear view)

Petri Racer (rear view)

Petri Racer (top view)

Petri Racer (top view)

Petri Racer (bottom view)

Petri Racer (bottom view)

Petri Racer (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Petri Racer (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Petri Racer (three quarters)Petri Racer (three quarters)Petri Racer (front view)Petri Racer (rear view)Petri Racer (top view)Petri Racer (bottom view)Petri Racer (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Manufacturer: Petri Camera Company, Inc.
(now Petri Kōgyō K.K.)

Made in: Japan

Introduced: 1966

Camera Type: Rangefinder

Format: 135 Film

Dimensions (cm): 12.8 x 8.4 x 7.5
The Petri Racer is a fixed-lens rangefinder introduced by Petri Camera Company, Inc. (formerly known as Kuribayashi Shashin Kōgyō K.K.) in 1966. Like most Petri cameras such as the 2.8 Color Super, the Racer has the distinctive “GREEN-O-MATIC” viewfinder which sets it apart visually from other Japanese fixed-lens rangefinders of the era.

The first thing that struck me about the Racer was its unusual shutter button. Located on the front plate of the camera, the button is rather large, its placement surprisingly ergonomic,threaded shutter cable socket, and the release pleasantly soft. Similarly, the frame advance lever sits nice and flush with the back of the camera until needed and is a pleasure to use. Most of the other controls can be found on the lens barrel which allows the top plate to accommodate the film rewind knob, cold shoe, threaded shutter release socket, frame counter, and a guide for the cadmium sulfide light meter housed in the inconspicuous little bubble located above the Petri 45mm f/2.8’s front element.

A focus ring with protruding knob can be found at the base of the lens barrel while the knurled ring just in front of it is actually used to select the shutter speed. Nestled within a cut out portion at the 4 o’clock position of the shutter speed selector is a flash sync socket which can be activated by a thin metal switch at the 10 o’clock mark located just above the self-timer lever at 7:00. The forwardmost dial on the lens barrel is used to select both the film speed as well as the shutter speed with a range of 1 to 1/500 seconds, and Bulb.

My wife bought this stylish camera for about $10 when we were in college. After burning a few rolls of film with it, she graduated and it got packed away where it remained until recently when we cleared out the storage unit and stumbled upon her small collection of vintage cameras. Apparently her taste in cameras is rivaled only by her taste in men.