Rick Drawbridge , Feb 23, 2011; 05:41 p.m.
Following Gabor Szabo's recent fine post on the Petri 7S, it occurred to me that I'd never put a film through this little Petri rangefinder, despite it having sat in front of me for a couple of months. I dusted it off, loaded it with Fuji Superia 200 and it became my companion camera for a week or so. And good company it was, too. The Petri Racer is a fixed-lens 35mm rangefinder camera manufactured in Japan by the Petri Camera Company Inc., (formerly the Kuribayashi Company), and introduced in 1966/67. It has coupled CdS match-needle metering, and a bright "Green-O-Matic" split-image rangefinder spot in the frame-lined viewfinder. Focusing is quick, with less than 90 degrees of travel in the focusing lever.
On offer was a choice of two 45mm Petri lenses, either f/1.8 or f2.8. There's not much information available on these lenses, but the f/2.8 appears to be a 4-element design, nicely coated. In the style of the era, auxiliary tele and wide-angle lens attachments were available, along with a cute little viewfinder. From what I've gleaned from some Asian sources, the f/1.8 version has something of a cult following in Japan, by mine is the f/2.8 version. It's the only Racer I've seen down here, Petri cameras being a little few and far between in this part of the planet. It's one of those rare cameras with real "style", with sleek lines, nicely-detailed brushed metal and black finish, and a good big chunky lens barrel for that purposeful look.
Petri Racer 002