This is a sweet little camera from 1963 I found at a flea market for a whopping $10. I noticed right away it was in great near new condition, except for the grime of age, there's not a scratch or blemish on it. The lens is crystal clear, the shutter fires good on all settings from B to 500, the aperture and focus is smooth. The camera gets the name "Circle Eye" from it's around-the-lens selenium cell light meter.

There is a meter needle visible on top of the camera as well as in the viewfinder. I love the knob on the focus ring. It for me, is the most ergonomic placement of a focus knob I've found so far. Upper right (facing camera) is easier to use than the lower right or bottom center like I've used on my other rangefinders. No weird twisting of wrist or contorting of body..LOL

When you use the film advance lever, the shutter gives a sort of "thunk" sound as it's setting the shutter but this seems to be normal after looking it up on Google. Also, this camera, along with the Minolta Hi Matic 7s (what's with that 7s?) and Canon Canonet QL17 have no depth of field scale, just a chart you are supposed to memorize or cary around with you.

UPDATE: 06-15-12, I went out and shot a roll and the results were amazing! this camera, with it ancient Solenium cell gave the best exposure of all my cameras and meters except maybe the GS Simple manual exposure with the aid of the meter. Only drawback I can see is it's a "ring" around the lens type meter, if you're facing the sun at all you get a false reading so I just turned around and got a reading from what was behind me. I'm going to set all my other light meters to this one.


I took off the top plate and cleaned the rangefinder optics and installed new light seals which was a chore, as they are like the Canonet QL17 G III, large foam strips around the 4 door sides as well as in the grooves and double thick in hinge area. There is however a paper backing behind the door strips that make removing those easy as pie. I cleaned up the leatherette with some Meguiar's leather foam. I've found it cleans well and leaves no greasy feel. Very light foaming action gets down into the grain of the leatherette. It works great on Bakelite too.

Here's a photo from this camera

MANUAL: Petri 7s owners manual


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