Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The User’s Review: Petri Racer 35mm Rangefinder Camera, Released in 1966

As I learn online, there are two lens versions on Petri Racer, 1:2.8 lens originally priced at $74 and 1:1.8 lens at $100 ($100 in 1966 is worth more than $550 in 2010 according to measuringworth.com).

In an original manual online, there is a meter switch on the plastic plate and near the associate shoe on the camera top. However, on my copy, such switch is not there. I was wondering how to turn off the meter if not used. By testing my Racer, the meter turns off automatically in ~ 35 sec. after a shutter release. Once the film is advanced, the meter is on.

The 1.35 v cell battery is on the market nowadays. I put in a  1.5 v battery and foud that the in-camera meter settings matched those on my Vivitar 30 handhold meter.

Racer is lighter, compared to other cameras manufactured in 1960s. Its body and lens barrels and rings are made of alumina, not steel. Therefore, not resistant to scratch and dent.

Slide the switch to the bottom side in order to open the film door.

The shutter speed, aperture and distance on the lens

On the distance/focus ring, 'Made in Japan' is marked.
Inside the 57mm lens cover, it says 'Made in Germany'.
The lens filter size is 55mm.

So far, I have seen three versions of Petri Racer. The Racer shown in the following image has at least five differences from the one in above images. One difference is on the top plastic plate showing how to use the meter. Two differences can be found in the front face in the image below, and the rest two are on the lens.

The version of Rick's Racer on his page is between the two presented here.


  1. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

  2. Just came across one today, but the battery chamber is stuck shut. This camera doesn't require a battery to operate right? Just for the meter? Thanks!!